Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spring Weekend Getaway

Aaron and I after our run!

+++Disclaimer+++-This is one long blog, but I think it will be worth it!  If not, let me know!  As I am typing this I realize it is really long, but again worth it!  Lots of great places to visit in St Louis!

For the last three years Aaron and I have gone away for the weekend just him and I.  NO KIDS!  We love our kids very much but we focus most of our spare time on them!  And we love doing that!  But the kids are getting older and soon(way to soon) they will be out of the house and we want to know that we can get along with each other without the kids and have common interests to share.  And guess what, we can and we do! Year 1, the first spring trip we did, I planned the entire trip, beginning to end.  He had no clue what we were doing.  I made envelopes for each part of the trip.  When we were on our way to place 1 he got Place 1 envelope, when we got to place 1, he got place 2 envelope and so on til the end of the trip.  We really enjoyed it that I got to surprise him.  I planned stuff he likes to do and stuff I like to do.  Year 2, he planned.  He switched things up a little and made little drawings so I had to guess what they were.  I did pretty good with his stick figure drawings, LOL!  This year, Year 3, it was back to my turn to plan the trip.  The first 2 years we did this it included some activity but nothing to strenuous.  This year the trip was planned around enjoying the outdoors, exercising, eating and relaxing!  I will do sort of a bullet point display of what our trip was and the highlights of the trip.  My girls gave their input on where we should go.  They mentioned that they thought the Stanley Cup Playoffs (Hockey) would be going on about the time of our trip.  Oh yeah, I thought!  Cause I am such a sports enthusiast, not!  But I did check into it.  If they teams did the right thing, we could actually go to either Chicago or St Louis to see a playoff game.  The tickets were expensive and I wasn't sure to know how to go about getting the right tickets, for the right date and for the right city.  So I let Aaron in on our thoughts about the hockey game.  I didn't want to buy tickets if he had no desire to see the game.  Well, he wanted to and he helped me pick St Louis!  Easier to get around, better stadium and way cheaper for parking and such!  Unfortunately he knew where we were going one of the days but I wouldn't tell him anything else.  The first year we did the trip we ate at some restuarants that were featured on the TV show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  This year I made sure I planned a few of those also!  We left on a Friday and came back on a Monday.

==Day 1-Friday, April 20, 2012

     -Leave house at approx 4pm.
     -Arrive in St Louis at approx 7:30pm
     -Iron Barley 
       Eat dinner at a DIVE(according to the show).        
       When we arrived they said it would be a 45 minute wait.   We figured that at 7:30 
       on a Friday night we would wait.   About 10 minutes later the informed us that a 
       table opened up in the Iron Barley Underground, same menu, service and even
       had entertainment also.  Basically it was extra seeting in the dungeon basement.
       Dive and Dungeon included, we really enjoyed the place.  Food was awesome, 
       atmosphere was great and the basement wasn't so bad!  We would go again, but
       would try something else.  I really enjoyed my DelMonico Prime Rib and Aaron 
       enjoyed his Lumberjack Porkchops.  But we want try more, maybe next time.
       Aaron and I have never been to a Dueling Piano Bar.  We had a great time.  
       I requested Bennie and the Jets/Elton John and Aaron requested 
       Play That Funky Music/Wild Cherry.  They played both of our songs! Woot Woot!
       I had 3 amazing drinks, first was an Sour Appke Martini, can't remember the rest.
      We would love to go back but would be better as a group.
    -Stayed at the Red Roof Inn in Westport/St Louis. Nice, clean and comfy beds!

==Day 2, Saturday, April 21, 2012

       We arrived at Forest Park in the middle of St Louis at 8AM.  We ran 2.25 miles on
       the running path.  It was beautiful.  Sunny, slight breeze about 45 degrees. 
       Wonderful day for a run.  The path was very nice although I am still confused on
       the Bike/Running path.  I think they are supposed to be used for just one thing but
       some people ran on the biking path and also on the running path.  The running path 
      was mostly a paked gravel and the bike path was paved.  The view of the houses in 
      the neighborhood was just gorgeous.  If you are in the St Louis  area, go run at 
      Forest Park, you will love it.  I heard about the park in fellow bloggers(Anna Kinkade)
      blog My Runners High .  We came back later and did one of the walking tours of the 
      park and also went to the Boat House and did paddle boats.  Not so much of a paddle 
      boat fan.  They are not made for tall overweight people, as my knees were in my chin. 
      But the view was wonderful as we relaxed in the pond!
    -Sweetie Pies 
      This would be a Diner that was featured on the TV show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  
      Call before you go as the times listed on the website were not the same as  listed on 
      the website.  The website said 8am open and it was more like 11:00am.  When we drove
      by it said closed so we checked and there was another location, so we called and they
      would be opening soon so we drove over there.  Little did we know, both places were in 
      business, they just opened later than listed on website.  Anyway, it was good food and
      good service.  It is set up like a cafeteria to get your food.  i had the fried chicken, 
      mashed  potatoes and macaroni and cheese.  Aaron had the catfish filets, corn and 
      macaroni and cheese.  We split the peach cobbler.  Needless to say, all of the calories
      we burnt were well spent on this meal.
     We stayed at the B&B for the next 2 nights.  It is a very nice B&B.  Clean, beautiful, 
     charming, spacious, etc.  We would stay again.  They have 2 queen rooms with their 
     own private baths.  They also have a King room with its own bath across the hall.  We
     stayed in the King room.  We were the only guest that weekend.  It was located about 
     5-20 miles from all the stuff we went to for the weekend.  It worked out wonderful.  It is 
     nestled back into a nice neighborhood with a park right across the street but so close to 
     everything  St Louis has to offer.  We had awesome food for breakfast each day.  The 
     owner are very nice.  The wife, Lillabet, is very friendly and we had a wonderful time 
     talking with her.  Her husband, Jordi, is very nice, we only spoke briefly a few times as
     he had to work but they made us feel at home and will go again.  If we stayed again 
     when there were other guests I think I would prefer the queen rooms with the private
     baths but the king room was very nice. 
     We went to the 6:30pm hockey game at Scottrade Center in St Louis near the Union
      Station.  Although I am not a huge sports fan we had the best time ever.  the 
     crowd was  wild.  The blues won the game, which meant they won the game needed 
     to advance to round 2 of the playoffs.  I actually paid attention to the entire game, 
     except when my  stomach was saying feed me.  Due to all of the activity during the day
     I was super  hungry. I think I grazed all night.  Food at game was good, beer was even
    When we drove through the neighborhood of the B&B before we checked in we spotted
    a few local bars in the neighborhood.  Not a on tap sort of bar, but unique chic bars 
    with outdoor seating(a little to cold for us to seat outside that night).  I was still 
    hungry after the game and we wanted to have a drink so we went to Sasha's.  It was so 
    neat inside, wine bottles displeyed on racks on the walls, marble top tables for two and
    the atmosphere was great.  We split a square flatbread pizza, had a beer and it was

==Day 3, Sunday, April 22, 2012

    -Casino Queen-Not much to say, the don't have our favorite card game, Piagow, and we
      dropped $80 in 1/2 hour or so and left.  It wasn't one of the casinos I picked but we 
      went and figured it was a nice donation to the Casino Queen!  Stupid Slot Machines! 
      They are so not my friend! LOL
   -Moolah Theatre and Lounge -We went to see Think Like a Man.  It was a very funny 
     movie.  This theatre is one of those places that has balcony seating, couch seating 
     and regular movie seating.  I believe it is an old stage theater.  They have regular 
     concessions and also offer pizza, hot dogs and more.  the also have a bar that you can 
     get a drink at to take in to the movie.  Really enjoyed the experience.  
   -Boathouse Forest Park -We ate an early dinner at the restuarant at Forest Park. 
     I had the BBQ Beef Brisket Sandwich with chips, Aaron had the hamburger and fries 
     and we also had an appetizer of soft pretzels with cheese.  It was good food but we
     probably wouldn't go back.  Basic pub like food, nothing special. 
   -Baileys Chocolate Bar -We went here for dessert.  Aaron and I split a Flourless Molten
     Cake with Coffee Ice Cream ala mode.  It was very tasty and rich.  I think I like the ice
     cream part the best.  Aaron didn't want anything to drink so I had a Dark Chocolate
     Martini.  Yummy!  I would love to go back and try one of each of there drinks and 
     desserts, especially the truffles.  It was a place we drove by and didn't see very well.  
     It looked closed.  Inside it was dark, kind of romantique.  I really enjoyed going.  
    -After all of our places to visit, we went back to the B&B and crashed.  Aaron watched a 
     hockey game in the TV/Sitting room while I fell asleep on the couch.  We got up and 
     ate breakfast at 8am, chatted with Lillabet til 9:45am and then we were on the road 
     and I was asleep before we got out of St Louis.  Long weekend but so much fun.  Can't
     wait to see what Aaron plans for next year. 

I never thought we would go on a mini vacation and include exercise as one of the main things to do.  I wanted to get more running in, but not sure where we would have fit that in.  Loved it and would do it all over again.  

What would be your dream getaway with you significant other?  Have you ever eaten at a Diner's, Drive-ins and Dives Restuarant?

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