Tuesday, April 10, 2012

St Louis Zoo and Unexpected and Unwelcome Adventures

We decided to visit St Louis, MO and take advantage of some of their free city sights.  We parked the rig at a campground onsite at yet another condo and actually stayed inside the condo.  Although it was great to have free lodging, the 50 mile commute to the city wasn't all that delightful.

Although the St Louis Zoo itself is free, the parking lot costs $15.  We actually planned to park there because taking a family of six to the zoo for $15 is super reasonable.  However, we saw plenty of cars and street parking along the road leading up to the zoo and decided to park for free like many others and just have a bit longer of a walk to get to the zoo.  As we were unloading, Steve saw a policeman on bike and verified that it was fine to park.  The officer assured him that it was, but he also said to be sure to hide any valuables, like a GPS.  Sooo...we did, and we took off.  More on that to come. ;)

This is Robert. He likes people a lot!
The Hippo exhibit was awesome!
The zoo itself was great!  Big zoo, lots of animals, lots of exhibits.  We arrived early to be able to get into the children's zoo area for free (it's free for the first hour only).  Honestly, it was crowded, and we took off for the main part of the zoo pretty quickly.  There is a lot of construction going on right now, but even so, there was still plenty to see!  The hippo exhibit was definitely the best I've seen; you could actually see the hippos swimming underwater, right next to the glass!  The baby elephant was awfully cute, too!  It really is amazing that this zoo is free!

This baby elephant was born in June, the same time we began our adventures.
The Penguins were lots of fun and put on quite a show. 
Catching flies after a long day at the zoo
After much walking, we finally decided we'd seen all the open exhibits and began our trek back to the truck about an hour before the zoo closed.  We were all tired and hungry and excited to go out for dinner on our way back home.  Alas, we arrived at the truck, loaded all the children, and then Steve proceeded to panic because, without my knowledge, he had pulled the security chip from the truck (which is necessary to start the truck) and placed it in his pocket when we left the truck in the morning.  The chip was g-o-n-e, and we had no way to start the truck!  He took off back to the zoo, retracing his footsteps, and I stayed back with the kids, praying and cleaning out the truck, hoping that somehow, someway, it would turn up.  Ummmm...it didn't.  Enough said, right?  We had a real problem on our hands!

Fortunately, we have a second security chip, but Steve keeps it in the rig, which was 50 miles away.  He called Enterprise and had them pick him up to rent a car.  After getting it, he picked up some food and dropped it off at the truck for us to eat, good man that he is. ;)  Then, he took off to go get the security chip. Thankfully, this was a pretty safe area, and I keep extra diapers, water, snacks, toys, and even books in the truck.  There was even a most disgusting park bathroom close by where we were parked, a good thing as we were stuck there for over 4 hours!
The girls made good use of the time reading
These two made the best of it by having outside play time.
Steve finally arrived with the oh-so-necessary security chip, and  we drove home (another hour), getting home around 10pm.  We had been gone for nearly 14 hours, and Steve had driven over 200 miles!  What-a-day!!  I have to say that all four kiddos were absolutely awesome about it.  Could have been so much worse, but it sure wasn't fun, either!  Life is so not boring!

1 comment:

The Lundys said...

Oh my! Glad it turned out okay in the end and you made the best of it. Be glad your story didn't end like ours, having to hike 4 miles BACK UP Mt. Rainier to find keys Allen had dropped. Unfortunately for us, we had no spares (then!), do now. You're a smart mom to have all those supplies at hand!! :)