My parents, brothers and I went to the Nantahala River about 20 years ago to go white water rafting. Little did I know my kids first time white water rafting would be on the same river. We tried to describe what white water rafting was to the kids. We said it is a little bit like Kali River Rapids at Disney World. As we were going down the river they kept shouting “this is so fun”. I love that this rafting trip was a lot longer than a ride at Disney. Have you ever been white water rafting? If so, which rivers have you been on? This was the perfect river to start my kids out on. There was only one class three rapid (the last one) and the rest were class I & II.
We had the most magical weekend in San Diego with our kids. We were living in Phoenix at the time so we took a labor day weekend getaway to San Diego. San Diego is just a five hour drive from Phoenix. I picked Matt up from work and we drove straight to San Diego. By we driving straight I mean Matt drove and I sat next to him for moral support (if someone sleeping next to you counts as moral support). He likes to drive and I don’t so it works out pretty well. Who drives in your home?
Since Matt grew up in California and we still have extended family there I feel like it’s a place we will always go back to. I don’t feel the need to see everything. It was a relaxing weekend but we still did a lot and there are still things in San Diego I want to do when we go back.
First, we knew we didn’t need to go to the San Diego Zoo for this trip. Matt and I have both been to the San Diego Zoo. We were “zooed out” from living in St. Louis where the zoo is free and having recently been to the amazing Omaha Zoo. I want to see Mission Beach in San Diego. According to another hotel guest, “Mission Beach is the most crowded beach that he’s been to.” We found some less crowded beaches for this trip. At some point I want to see large beach crowds. Matt told me the most crowded beach he’s seen was in Waikiki Beach in Hawaii.
After looking through these photos and thinking about everything we did, I wanted to nail down what made this trip magical for me. I wanted to know so that I can recreate it in the future. I’m glad that this trip wasn’t out of the country because we definitely couldn’t go out of the country frequently. Could this magical type of weekend be recreated in a cold location or was the fact that this trip was in Southern California where temperatures are temperate all of the time be the key?
The St. Louis playgrounds are some of the best. One year was not enough to spend in St. Louis to experience all of the amazing playgrounds the city has to offer. I think the best way to describe the playgrounds in St. Louis is thoughtful. They aren’t just a swing and slides but a lot of them are themed and unique. We loved exploring some of the playgrounds that St. Louis has to offer.
Before we moved to St. Louis two different people told me the playgrounds are awesome. Little did I know how diverse and how many amazing playgrounds there would be. One of them told me there favorite one was Deer Creek Park or Rocket Ship playground. The little bit of creativity in the playgrounds ignited my own kids imagination and I could hear them fantasizing themselves in outer space.
Not only are the playgrounds fantastic but the people in St. Louis are so good. One of my favorite playground stories that exemplifies this is from a little playground in Richmond Heights- called Highland Park.
When we arrived on a warm summer day there were water guns all over this little playground. There was only two other moms there and I asked them if they were their water guns (because my kids were looking at them longingly). One of the moms said they were hers and that they were for everyone to use. She said, “it’s not fun if just my kids have super soakers to play with so I just bring a bunch for all of the children to play with”. She had a little cart that she puts them in and wheels them all to the playground from her home. These are the type of people I met in St. Louis. My kids of course were very quick to enjoy the water guns. St. Louis has been the best city to live in.
I tried ranking the playgrounds but I had such a hard time. They all had their unique qualities to them so aside from my favorite playground the rest of the playgrounds are not in any particular order.
This is my absolute favorite playground in St. Louis. The gardens and playground are free for St. Louis residents on Saturday mornings until noon. There are a few week nights in the summer where the gardens and playground are free for everyone (The Whitaker Music Festival). The playground is large and has so many different areas to go in. There are Music area, art out of nature, (Climatron kid area), Sand box, Puppet Theater, Water area, Tree house, store, Caves, Rope bridge, Slides, and splash pad.