Sonora had a school concert in the evening. Grandma Carol and Grandpa Henry were able to make it out. She played very good!
Laura wanted to check out Tilles Park’s Winter Wonderland. We decided it would be best to visit on a carriage. So we split a large carriage and invited Josh and Jen to join us. We all met early as we were quite excited to get our ride. The kids were super excited and we all bundled up for the cold.
Once we got started, we had quite conversation as we took in all of the lights around us. Its impossible to get a good photo from a phone, but here is an idea.
After viewing the lights, we had everyone over to our house for dinner. Its amazing how much you can prepare for a group in a hurry. Luckily the house didn’t burn down while we were gone with the ham in the oven.
I wanted to ride the Chain of Rocks bridge for some time and the weather was decent. I packed up Corvin and Sonora along with snacks and hot chocolate and set out. Corvin had spent the night at a friend’s house and didn’t sleep much that night. By the time we got to the parking lot, he was sleeping. He asked me if he could just sleep in the van while we biked. I wasn’t to be deterred, so I pestered him till he woke up. I told him he could sleep on the drive back home!
We loved going across the river on the bridge, but I made the kids keep going. I told them we could slow down and really look on the way back. So we continued on. Looking back at the photos, it was a bit colder than I realized!
I wanted to go farther, but the kids were fighting. We ended up stopping around the 4 mile mark for snacks and hot chocolate. Of course the kids were happy for this moment!
So on the way back, the kids had the most fun on the bridge! We may have held a spitting contest down to the water, but I’m not telling…
All of our Thanksgiving plans with family fell apart this year. We didn’t plan to out of town, so we improvised a last minute camping trip. It has been three years since our last Thanksgiving week camping adventure. The kids seemed to miss the camping this time of year. So we quickly shopped for food and packed clothes and bikes into the minivan and took off. Our standard camping destination is Meramec State Park. Its about 90 minutes away from the house and next to the river. It didn’t take long for the park to welcome us with some wildlife!
Our plan was to go for a hike so we quickly parked the camper in our designated spot and went straight to the trail for the hike we had planned for the day. We have not hiked this park before as we mostly just paddle the river, so this was a pleasant change for us. Right off the parking lot, the trail provided us some entertainment!
A short way into the hike, we saw a stone pavilion overlooking the river. This was a fun distraction to look at!
No hike is complete without getting to limbo lower!
Eventually, we got to the most important part of the hike… stopping for lunch! We had deli meat on sandwich rolls and other assorted goodies that we brought with us. Since we were down on a rock bar of the river, we also took some time to attempt to build a rock bridge across the river. We got almost 10 feet across before we gave up to continue our hike.
Now our hike was half way over and we hiked back on the ridge overlooking the river.
We even managed to find a cave and work our way down to check it out!
After our walk was done, it was time to go back to the campsite and check set up camp. We dropped of the pop up earlier, but didn’t do anything to set it up. So after we got the camper mostly set up, we realized that we didn’t bring any water with us. After checking, there were no working water spouts anywhere near us. So I volunteered to go and find water. I ended up checking out several places in the park before driving out into town to look for water. Eventually I ended up at a used car dealership that had a working spigot on the outside of their building. With water, I headed back to our campsite.
From here, we made a fire and I proceeded to burn as many leaves as possible, enjoying the large quantity of smoke!
And being a boy, Corvin found the smoke quite entertaining as well! Since we were camping, we spent lots of time riding bikes in circles and cooking. A very chill evening!
After a hard day of camping, we finally packed up on Friday to head out. I decided to take a minor detour after seeing something interesting searching for water the previous day. The remains of a never-finished Sayman Hotel. (Found inside Meramec State Park)
So we ended up climbing around to see what is left of it.
A perfect way to spend a Thanksgiving day/night!
In an effort to get away, I took the kids out to bike on Grant’s Trail. It was a bit cold outside, so Sonora was quite bundled up.
Corvin and I unicycled and he did a great job!
And as a treat, we had hot chocolate out of the thermos when we finished our ride! A great evening with exercise and being together!