Spring Break 2015.
After much conversation, and even more research, we followed a different trail south this year.
I'm fairly certain I missed my calling in life as a travel agent/ geography teacher. I could dink around on google maps all.day.long. searching for places to visit.
Upon sitting in stopped traffic, trying to exit Florida with half of America last spring, we decided that we might need a wee little break from Orlando. We were ready for something different, and were pretty set on visiting the Smoky Mountains again...especially since all of our children can climb with their own 2 feet now. But after the long cold winter, decided it might be in our best interest to head just a bit further south...lest I be disappointed.
Well, we researched and discussed many a location til we were crazy, and finally decided upon Galveston, TX. I've always wanted to visit Texas, and since going to St. Louis with the kids has always been on my bucket list, it worked out well that it was on the way.
Join me on our Spring Break journey...
We left at the crack of dawn Saturday morning, and drove 7 hours to St. Louis. We arrived around lunch, and hit our first destination on my carefully currated Spring Break bucket list....the Budweiser factory. .
We enjoyed our free tour, seeing the clydsdales, and sipping our free samples.
Next stop, we had 3 pm tickets to the top of Gateway Arch.
We waited a loooong time to get in, as you first have to stand in line and go through a Homeland Security check just to get in the main door.
We enjoy history, so it was fascinating to learn more about westward expansion, and the history of the Gateway to the West. Tim especially enjoyed the video that showed how the arch was built.
Going to the top. A 5 seater car...sure we can squeeze in 7! I may have hyperventilated a bit from the sheer clausterphobia, lack of air, and my ears popping when we were nearing the curve at the top.
View from the top, Mississippi River side.
The photo I didn't buy...
I so badly wanted to get a pic of the kids with the whole arch, but alas, it just wouldn't all fit.
We walked to a pizza joint for dinner and caught the MSU basketball game before heading to our hotel and the pool.
In the morning, after our free breakfast buffet, we drove a little further west and hit Six Flags Great America for the day.
Finally tall enough that we can all ride together!
When all of our adrenalin junkies myself included, had their fill, we hopped in the van to continue the 14 hour drive south. And I will just say, that after 2 long days under our belt, we didn't really have the same motivation to drive the 14 hours through the night as we usually have when we first leave on vacation.
It was a long. boring, tiring, crazy- cycle kind of night through Oklahoma.
Well, somewhere along the way, facebook alerted me that Tim's brother Casey was in Houston for Easter.
Turns out we were literally driving right past him, so we stopped and hung out for a few hours.
We finally made it to Galveston late afternoon Monday.
Just in time to breathe in the ocean, grab dinner, and sit and watch the championship basketball game.
The next day we were still tired, so we explored a bit, and went to the beach and got fried.
We visited Galveston Island State Park to fish and explore...
The kids had themselves a hermit crab race...
We rented a bike and managed to squeeze our whole family on it.
We tooled around town enjoying listening to the girls scream as Tim pretended to run into things.
We drove over to Pelican Island, and visited Seawolf Park. We watched people fish, the boats come in, and toured a WW2 submarine and destroyer ship that were stationed there..
Pleasure Pier was closed the whole time, so I could only get a picture :)
Fishing in the ocean...before Tim fell in :)
We enjoyed riding the ducks, learning about Hurricane Ike, and the history of the island over the years...
We swam in the pool a ton, probably the most we ever have on vacation...
We visted Moody Gardens on our last day because it was raining.
Ellery deffered to her map the entire time.
All in all it was a good trip. A slower pace than what we are used to, but really a good time together. On the way home we swung through Chicago to visit my parents :)