Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday - City Garden

City Garden is a new sculpture garden in downtown St. Louis.  It opened in 2009 and I'm ashamed to say we had not been there before today.  It is a really cool place and we had a great morning.  I can't wait to go back.

The fountains and pools are really the best part.  Especially on a hot sunny day.

What's in here Dad?


The Eye of Mordor watches the kids play???

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Saturday - Grant's Farm!

Grant's Farm is one of the more unique attractions in St. Louis.  It's owned by the Busch family and run by AB Inbev (formerly just AB).  This attraction is not free, but it's still a great value and one of our favorite places to visit.

Grant's Farm

A trip to Grant's Farm starts with a tram ride through the deer park where there are lots of different animals to see.

The tram lets you off at the main park area.  There are plenty of animals and other attractions.  There is also an awesome beer garden with plenty of pretzels and brats.

We decided to buy Audrey a fun pass which included two bottles of milk to feed the goats, a ride on the carousel and a snowcone.

Then we saw a bunch of cool animals.

Lil' Sebastian

Gussie is not sure about camels
The best part about Grant's farm is (DUH!) the free beer.  That's right, every visitor gets two pretty good size samples of AB products.  Back before Inbev came along, there used to be a huge selection of products to choose from.  Now there are usually only six or so beers on tap, but you still can't beat it.

As I said before, Grant's Farm is not entirely free.  Admission is free, but you have to pay $11 to park (and there's no free parking nearby).  We also spent $5 on Audrey's fun pass and $15 for food.  The food expenses could have been avoided by coming earlier, but then it would have been too early for free beer.  So it was a trade off ;)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

O Family St. Louis Vacation - Kick off!

Last night was the start of our stay at home vacation.  I should probably mention now that this "staycation' is in addition to our regular vacation in July.  That means our budget for the week is pretty small.  So we will be staying at our house all week.  It's a bit more tricky to make things feel vacation like at home, but we'll do the best we can.

We started things off with a picnic dinner in one of my favorite place in the whole city, The Grand Basin in Forest Park.

The Grand Basin is a beautiful  area below the Art Museum and Art Hill.  
This picture was not taken by me 
 Here is a picture of the Basin during the 1904 World's Fair
This picture was not taken by me either ;)
It's a beautiful place to picnic, especially at sunset.  

 When we got home, we put the kiddos to bed and enjoyed some margaritas on the porch.  Not exactly the beach, but I love sitting on our porch.  I love our porch sitting neighborhood.
The margaritas were made (by me) with my step-dad, John's recipe.  We eat at a lot of Mexican joints but I have never found a margarita that I like better.  I hope he won't mind me sharing the recipe.

What you'll need:
Course salt (optional)
Lemon juice
Triple Sec (or Grand Marnier if you like things fancy)
Rose's Sweetened Lime Juice

Start by salting the rim if that floats your boat (wet the glass and stick on a plate full of course salt).
Then make your own sweet and sour mix.  You could use the store bought kind, but I don't see why.  This is super easy and you avoid the syrup flavor.  Use equal parts water and lemon juice then add as much sugar as you like.  The Rose's lime is sweetened so don't go too overboard.
Next, mix one shot of Tequila, about 3/4 of a shot of Triple Sec, 1/2 a shot of Rose's, and two shots of Sweet and Sour.  Then squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a fresh lime.  Shake and pour over ice.  Makes one.  But you'll want to make way more than one.  Trust me.