I am counting the days until school begins. When I first heard that school began on August 12, I thought well that’s rather early. But now- I’m counting days, hours, minutes. I think part of it is that we are all out of our routines. Nothing is the same and we are all driving each other crazy in this suffocating brick house, in this environment of humidity, bugs and little friendships. In an effort to delay my check-in into the asylum we’ve been using our time to explore our new town. It has helped a little.
This past week, we explored a great part of the city – the Central West End of St. Louis. Imagine a cleaner version of Berkeley, California. Charming streets. An eclectic vibe. Hip, funky, young people of all colors. First stop- Left Bank Books! It was a lovely bookstore with a large downstairs used book section where you could get lost for hours. M found his way there immediately while I, C, and I took our time looking around the upper floor. Eventually, we made our way downstairs too. We wasted a nice two hours there and bought a few used books. We had worked up an appetite and it was definitely time for lunch. Our options were Gringo Tacos or Pi Pizzeria. Being the snobby Mexican diner that I am, we trotted off to Pi Pizzeria.
Apparently pizza is quite a thing here. This pizza was made with a special cornmeal crust. It was quite delicious. We started off the meal with a St. Louis specialty local item- Billy Goat Chips. Think salt and vinegar chips and then you throw some hot chili powder on it. Waitress said well it’s really hot so don’t put too much. Ha Ha. Let me tell you- it wasn’t hot enough. I also ordered a kale salad for us to share although I’m the only one who ended up eating it but never in all my California years have I had a kale salad like this one- it was slathered in some type of buttermilk dressing. I know. Gross. All in all, it was a great meal and the service and feel was so welcoming. After filling our bellies, we headed to the St. Louis Science Center. It’s absolutely free just like the California Science Center. The kids really loved it. Their exhibits were well thought out, creative and fun. My only complaint was that it was super busy but the crowds wore out the later in the day it got. We will definitely return to the St. Louis Science Center.
It rained last night pretty hard so I wasn’t sure if we would be able to go today but it turned out to be a wonderfully cool, overcast gray day to explore a family-friendly and FREE fun thing to do here. The Saint Louis Zoo. I know. Sometimes I feel guilty visiting the zoo because well you know. But that aside, the animals were extremely well taken care of and looked as well as could be. I have to say that the zoo was better than I had even hoped it would be. We arrived early in the morning and even caught a free parking spot on the street. Woo hoo for me! We headed straight to the new polar bear exhibit and made our way past the penguins and puffins. They were as cute as can be swimming and shaking their tail thing. The polar bear was a sight to see. He was playing with something in the water and every now and then we were able to see him in all his glory as he stood up out of the water. A truly magnificent creature. We visited the gorilla habitat and watched these glorious creatures co-mingle with each other. Upon reflection, they are just like us humans with all our family conflicts and drama and sibling rivalry. One of the gorillas threw a chunk of grass at another one of the gorillas. Both gorillas stood up, grunted and looked at each other. What to do? The one who had been attacked decided he would let it go and did nothing. Just sat down and like that the fight was over. This was good modeling and I hoped that my children would learn something from that.
All in all a good day. Amidst the sibling rivalry and competition, we somehow found a few moments of peace. Or maybe I should say, I found a few moments of peace. My animals- I mean my kids seem to be finding their way. Everything’s going to change in a few days once school begins. But for now, it’s just us, for better and worse and everything in-between.