Tag Archives: local events

summer plans


Summer is finally here, and this three day weekend was not enough of a taste. It’s time to wrap up things and head to bed, and I just want another day at home.

I thought I’d try and distract myself from the impending work week by thinking of some of the fun things we have planned for the summer here in the Lou. We’re creatures of habit, for the most part, but our habits are pretty fun.

The Tower Grove Farmers Market is in full swing, and we try to make it there most Saturday mornings. The photo above is from our visit last Saturday – F found beets the size of Ellen Tebbits’ beet in the book we are currently reading. (We made beet sliders with them, and we’re STILL eating them.) The girls’ have new Keens, so we’re ready for the fountains and the Whisk popsicles and the live music and the great people watching.

We still try to visit the garden (officially MoBot, but we only call it “the garden”) every Wednesday and Saturday morning during their early morning walking hours from 7-9. We beat the heat and the crowds and the light is just so much better. And in the summer, E can join us on Wednesdays! Most Saturdays, it’s just me.

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis is on deck this week – I love to run by the set as they build it in the park. It starts on June 1st and runs through the 26th, except Tuesdays. This year they are doing A Midsummer Night’s Dreamand we usually meet up with the same friends each year for a picnic and the play. It’s such a terrific community event.

Summer 4

Speaking of theater – this year we purchased season tickets for the MUNY performances. Those start in a few weeks, and our tickets are on Tuesday nights. I think it will be fun to meet up in the park, maybe have a picnic dinner, and stay up late watching the shows. Sometimes it’s hard to make summer feel like summer when we’re still working our normal schedules. I hope this adds some excitement to our summer weeks.

It wouldn’t be summer without Circus Flora! We go every year on Father’s Day weekend – but this year we’re also joining some of F’s Girl Scout Troop for a backstage visit and tour. The theme of the show is baseball this year – perfect for this Cardinals town. I love this circus. I can’t imagine summer without it.

On the subject of baseball, we’ve already made it to our first game of the season. We don’t typically attend too many games, but we tend to purchase tickets when various groups we’re involved with offer them. I do love to go to the park a few times each season, but I also love the sound of the game on the radio and the sound of the homerun fireworks we can hear from inside our house!

We purchased tickets from Left Bank Books for the release party for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts I and II. It’s a pretty late event, but I think that will be a blast – something the girls will really get into. It’s right between their two birthdays, so we’re keeping it a surprise for now. If you think you might go, let me know. We might plan a meet up an hour earlier at Jeni’s next door! Talking about birthdays reminds me that we’ll also have two summer birthdays to plan. No definitive decisions on those. Some talk of laser tag and animal themes. (Not related.)

Summer 3

What else? We don’t belong to any outdoor pool, but M takes the girls swimming at various spots around town when we find the time. Last summer, he and E tried to go for a bike ride once a week on some of the park trails around here. I continue to sweat it out, running at the hottest point of the day – character building. The girls go to various summer camps around town, and E spends several weeks of the summer as a counselor at one of them.

Although we love amusement parks, we’ve never taken the girls to Six Flags here. Maybe one day. We’re kind of spoiled now to Cedar Point, and the girls are already plotting our next visit there. We’ve got a beach vacation coming up soon, but not soon enough! I’m ready for sand in my toes and the smell of salty air.

We’ve also got to really buckle down on our house projects, and we’re hoping the end of the school activities will help this some. We have three weekends at home – in a row! – it’s something we haven’t had in ages. We need some concentrated blocks of time to work, and maybe we’ll finally get some of those.

Last (I think), but not least – our Thursday night gatherings in the front yard. We haven’t officially kicked off the season yet, but everyone’s been asking. It’s always nice to open up the gate and welcome neighbors and friends over once a week to listen to the blues across the street, chat and catch up. It just feels like summer

scenes from a weekend: mardi gras edition

Mardi Gras

This weekend was the big Mardi Gras celebration just down the street from our house. Our city boasts the second largest Mardi Gras event outside of New Orleans – and it can get a little crazy around our parts. Since we don’t have off street parking (yet!), our Saturday becomes an “out” day or an “in” day – we either camp out at home for the day, or, if we venture out, we stay out until after dark. Otherwise we’re parking blocks and blocks away from home and walking.

E took the ACT at a nearby university on Saturday morning as part of the Duke TIP program, and F had a 9:00am indoor soccer game, so we had no choice but to have an “out” day.  E tested for four hours, and M and F headed out to Frisco Train Store to play with some trains after the game. We met up for lunch and then headed over to one of M’s library projects to while away the afternoon hours. After the girls finally made their selections, we hung out with friends for a few hours before heading out for a late dinner, and finally, home!

And while our Saturday Mardi Gras strategy ended up being avoidance, on Sunday the girls participated in the their own Mardi Gras parade down Cherokee Street. This one was organized by their aftercare instructor, and the kids pulled the floats they’ve been working on after school over the last couple of weeks. The Saint Boogie Brass Band led the parade, and it was just a fun afternoon of music making and float pulling.  We rounded off the afternoon with cones at I Scream Ice Cream, and now we’re half-watching a football game and gearing up for the week ahead.

It’s about to get cold again here, but it’s been a nice weekend of moderate temperatures and bursts of sunshine to usher in February.

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around town: home wine kitchen


Last year our anniversary fell on a Monday night. For two people who work a traditional Monday-Friday desk job, Monday night doesn’t usually scream party night. Plus, most of the nice restaurants around town are closed on Monday nights (likely for that same reason). Then I read an article about Home Wine Kitchen’s No Menu Monday, and that seemed like a perfect anniversary spot. Unfortunately, their Monday reservations were full for the next three months. So I pushed it to the back burner and sort of forgot about it.

Lucky for us, I remembered it this year.

no menu monday

This year our anniversary fell on a Tuesday night (another party night!), but I thought I’d give the restaurant another try for the Monday before. Lucky for us they had one last eight o’clock reservation, and we booked it. (You have to put a non-refundable deposit down because of the unique nature of the event.)

No Menu Monday is exactly what it sounds like. There is no menu to select from, just a series of questions that you have to answer about some of your general likes or dislikes. It’s really more of a conversation about food before someone crafts it for you. You can choose to do three courses or five – we initially thought three, but then threw all Monday night caution to the wind and went for five.

Home Wine Kitchenimages via Home Wine Kitchen

I can’t overstress how relaxed and enjoyable the whole experience is. Because you start talking about food at the beginning, the conversation seems to carry on throughout the meal. Everyone on staff is involved in your meal, and because of the size of the space and probably curiosity as well, it’s really fun to watch the food coming to the tables. No one is eating the same thing.

This was really a perfect spot to celebrate – even on a Monday night. M and I have very different ideas of a great meal in a restaurant. We’re on the same page at home, but when I eat out I like to eat things that I never prepare at home – meat and seafood and as many tree nuts as you can throw at me! M still eats vegetarian, but he really enjoys it when the menu and flavors are unique, and it’s not just the lonely meatless option with little thought put into it.

All ten (!) dishes put on our table were fantastic and well worth the one-year wait for a spot at the table, and the slow rise the following Tuesday morning.