Saturday, June 29, 2013

Daly family vacation, part 2...

Once we were Lincoln-ed out (not really, kind of, maybe), we headed down the interstate to St. Louis!

As you can see, it was a beautiful day to go up to the top of this awesome monument!  (I will mention, though, that there was at least 115% humidity...)

Before we went "to the top", we watched a documentary on the construction process.  These guys NEVER wore a harness-- hard hats and the occasional pair of safety glasses were it!  As we watched the movie, my hands were sweating, my heart was beating fast, I don't know how their wives made it through one single day of their hubbies being gone to work!  I would have been a nervous wreck.  But, not one person lost their life on the construction of the Arch!

This was a pretty cool wall in the visitor's center at the bottom of the Arch.  To the sides (which you can't see) there are to-scale versions of some other landmarks, like Mt. Rushmore.  The Arch towers above!  The wall also pays homage to the architects and engineers who designed the Arch.
Our car ride to the top was a thrill for these first-timers!   Here, Holly is yelling at me to get in the car, she's sure I'm going to get left behind!  The design of the car only took 2 weeks and is a hybrid of elevator, Ferris wheel and trolley car. 

At the top!  630 feet above ground!  The kids thought it was awesome to be up so high and see so far!

 The next morning before heading home, we toured the Anheuser-Busch Brewery.

This is a replica of the wagons pulled by the Clydesdales!  Emma could pretty much walk underneath without hardly ducking her head!  In this very posh stable, we also saw a horse that was too tall to be on the hitch, he was over the requisite 18 hands tall, he was 7 feet tall!!!

Beer or not, I just love assembly lines.  Seriously, I love assembly lines.  I could watch an assembly line for days.

The Brewery takes up 7 city blocks, we walked to one end and then took a trolley back to the visitor's center for two free samples!  The grounds were so beautiful and spotless.  I think in retirement I would like to be a tour guide here.  The commute might be too much, but by then they might have the personal jet-pack perfected and I can literally just "jet down to work"!?!?!?  We'll see...
So that's it for another year! 
Where are you going this summer? 
What's your idea of a great family vacation?  Fishing?  Sight seeing?  Shopping?  Visiting family?

The Land of Lincoln!

2012-2013 School year -- Done
4-H Enrollment paper work -- Done
2 (LONG) weeks of Professional Development --Done
Family vacation -- Done

Here are some shots from the first part of our vacation:   "The Land of Lincoln"!

New Salem; the village where Abe Lincoln spent six years before beginning his political career.  While in New Salem, Lincoln ran a general store, worked as Post Master, and spent some time in northern Illinois serving as a captain in the Blackhawk War. 
The Illinois State Capitol Building;  embarrassingly enough, this is not our children's first state capitol tour.  We toured the KY state capitol two years ago...  Illinois has the 2nd tallest capitol building of all the 50 states.  (I don't remember which state is tallest.)  The Capitol Building in D.C. is significantly shorter.

After Lincoln moved to Springfield and married Mary Todd, the couple moved to this home where they lived until their move to the White House.  After President Lincoln was assassinated, Mary Todd lived with her sister Elizabeth and then her son had her committed to an asylum for the mentally impaired. 
The Old State Capitol;  this is the actual spot where Abe Lincoln sat, this is NOT his actual hat, though.  We saw one of three remaining hats that he owned at our next stop, the Lincoln Library and Museum.

At the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum, we got to meet the Lincolns!  Well, at least a wax replica.  This museum is a MUST SEE!!! You are taken on a journey through Lincoln's life.  The Library part is interesting too, but by the time we got to that part of the building, the kids were TIRED and our feet hurt and we were hungry and, well, you know how it goes...  We just did a quick look-around the exhibits about the "Boys in Blue", the soldiers who fought in the Civil War.  I'd have liked to spent more time there, but maybe another time.

Lincoln's Tomb:  our last stop!  We all had to rub Abe's nose for good luck.  When I visited the tomb as a kid, it was closed.  This was the first time I was inside the actual tomb/monument. 

We learned a lot, we had fun, and that ended the first half of our vacation! Stay tuned for part 2...

Meet me in St. Louis!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

An afternoon at the pond!

Saturday afternoon after chores were done, we loaded up the fishing poles and headed out to Dave's mom and dad's pond.  It was a wonderful late-afternoon, early-evening to be out "on the water". 

Danny caught the first fish--thank goodness... He'd been driving us NUTS all week with "When can we go fishing?  When can we go fishing?  When can we go fishing?"  He was so desperate to go fishing, he even bought the worms with his own money!  Thanks, Danny :)

The fishing pole situation went pretty well, all the big-kid poles were pretty much ready to go, we had to add a new hook here or a sinker there, but over all, everyone was fishing with in minutes of arrival. 

Dave took one for the team by using the "Tigger" fishing pole, circa 2004--Danny's 3rd birthday!  (The girls eventually got bored and shared their poles with us!)

Drew became as master of the rod and reel.  I was brought up on  "button pole" and it wasn't until I met Dave that I ever fished with a non-button pole (I'm sure there is a technical term for the non-button pole reel).  Anyway, my old button pole is a piece of junk all these later, so all we have are the ones with the veil-thingy.  I had it in my head that Drew was too young to be using anything but a button pole, but he was a natural!  I showed him how to cast once and he was instantly a professional.   (Notice in the picture how his pole is bent over, he's reeling in a big one!  Sort of...)

The girls never cast their own lines, but they had fun reeling in the bobbers and the occasional empty hook.  We were surprised by how content they were to just relax and watch the water!

Even I caught a fish, I caught one of only 2 sunfish, the rest of our catches were icky bull heads.

In case you're wondering:  No, we didn't have fish for supper!