Each year, it seems like I forget the things I love most about each season until I’m surrounded by them again. This year, I was blown away by the flowering trees and the tulips! I was also shocked by how much time I was able to spend IN TOWN over the past month and a half. This led to a lot of local adventures…and a few out of town! Here’s a roundup of what I’ve been up to recently…in a nutshell, a lot of FUN!
I took some friends to see “Motown the Musical” for the first time at the FOX Theatre. It was AMAZING!!!
Some of my friends from Vevey were in St. Louis for a night while making a cross-country move from Los Angeles to Cleveland (courtesy of Nestlé). The Vevey alum gathered for a BBQ meal at Salt + Smoke.
An impromptu Friday hangout with the parents of this cutie led to some snuggles with her…
…as well as our first attempt at creating a diaper cake (or is it a diaper tower?!) ourselves! It took three of us, but I actually think the final product was pretty good for amateurs!
My Facebook feed was recently buzzing about the book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo, and as the old saying goes, curiosity killed the cat. I had to find out what all of the talk was about! I HIGHLY recommend this book (which no one is paying me to say), but I also warn you to only read it if you’re ready to take action. I totally bought in, and for three days after I finished, I did nothing but clean out every drawer, closet, cupboard, and box in my house. Having moved so many times, I’m not really a pack rat, but when I evaluated every item on the basis of whether or not it gave me joy, I found plenty to get rid of. Below is the only picture I captured in the purge. All of these books went to a good home…along with approximately 17 30-gallon bags of stuff.
The St. Louis Art Museum has a temporary exhibit running (through May 7, 2017) called “Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade.” We went to see it a few weeks ago on a Friday night (when it’s free!). It was so beautiful! For the rest of time, I’ll notice when hats are featured in paintings from the late 1800’s. Degas was fascinated with painting them…painting the women who made them and the women who wore them. They even had various hats, bonnets, and fascinators from the 1880’s on display throughout the exhibit. How I wish time travel was possible!
April 2 was Opening Day for Cardinals baseball. Or should I say, Opening Night? Because of tv schedules and who-knows-what-else, Opening Day actually took place on a Sunday night instead of a Monday afternoon. That took away some of the fun, but it was still fun. And most importantly, the Cardinals were victorious over the Cubs! While we missed the Clydesdales parading around the field (AGAIN – this is probably my fourth or fifth Opening Day, and I’ve NEVER seen the Clydesdales!), we still got to see the rest of the pre-game events. There’s so much tradition here; I love it!
This year, Chuck Berry’s daughter, Ingrid Berry, sang the National Anthem in memory of her dad who passed away a few weeks prior. Fun fact: Chuck is a St. Louis native. He performed once a month in the Duck Room at Blueberry Hill for years. I saw him about five or six years ago, and he was awesome!
You may recognize this friend from my visit to Colombia in April 2014. He lives in St. Louis now, and this was his first Opening Day game!
Springtime means it’s staying light later, which means evening walks with friends in Forest Park, which means moments to enjoy gorgeous flowering trees like this!
I played tour guide for visitors one weekend in April, which was really fun. We went to the Arch (the construction is almost done!!!)…
[This is the inside of the dome in the Old Courthouse. I’d never been in there before! Isn’t it cool?!]
…to the Missouri Botanical Gardens (where the tulips were showing off!!)…
[Yes, there’s a Japanese Garden in the middle of the Botanical Gardens in the middle of the city]
[I’m sure Henry Shaw loves being decorated for Easter…if not, he should. The carrot necklace really is becoming.]
…we had Afternoon Tea at the London Tea Room…
…we spent the afternoon at the St. Louis Zoo (where the baby orangutan showed off)…
[As an aside, the St. Louis Zoo has been voted “America’s Top Free Attraction and Best Zoo” by USA Today.]
…and I grilled my first burgers on my new grill!
Since this is my first spring in my new house, I was SHOCKED at these stunning flowers outside my front door. Their vibrant color is amazing!
I spent a 4-day Easter weekend visiting friends in Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio. I think I got to see more than 25 friends, which was really fun! With most of them, it was a quick meal or a quick catch-up in the backyard. I’m grateful they made time to see me.
[Four Miami alum in this photo, but they all met for the first time at this meal!]
[In Cleveland, my friends live really close to Lake Erie. As in roughly five houses away! we walked down to the beach when I arrived.]
[One of my nearest and dearest. Loved spending Easter with her and her family again. The last Easter we spent together was eight years ago when her oldest was only three months old!]
[They showed me how to hunt for sea glass. They have a huge collection!]
This friend went to Boardman High School, Miami University, and then to Purina. While she’s only one year ahead of me, we didn’t really get to know each other until Purina. Now she works at the Nestlé office in Cleveland. I was so glad that she could come over with her husband and girls for Easter egg dyeing, an Easter egg hunt, ice cream cones, and play time. The girls LOVED it, and it was fun to introduce my Cleveland friends to each other!
[Easter egg dyeing is hilarious when this many little ones (and glitter!!) are involved!]
[Easter Egg Hunt in the backyard!!]
[Once the littlest ones realized there was candy inside the eggs, they were opening each egg and eating a lot of the candy during the hunt! So adorable!]
[Most of the kiddos after a successful hunt!]
[After all of the Easter fun during the day, we got to catch up with one of my Vevey friends over dinner at Forage Public House.]
[Matching dresses for church on Easter Sunday morning!]
[The girls…with big smiles all around!]
My sweet friend had a birthday in April, and I hosted a party involving Tex Mex, brownies, and cookies & cream ice cream to celebrate!
When Vevey friends come to St. Louis for meetings, you squeeze as many meals in as possible during the week. We told stories and laughed SO HARD during this 7:00am breakfast!
Some friends had a dinner party last weekend, and they introduced the group to the Chinese version of Jenga. It was still as nerve-wracking, but in this version, you roll the dice to find out which color block you have to remove. So much screaming and laughter took place during this game!
The final highlight in this spring round up was my time with friends in San Francisco this week. I went for a work conference, but squeezed in an evening of catching up with some of my favorites (and their little one!) over dinner at Nopalito and dessert at Heartbaker (where my friend’s art is on display!).
[The view from my friend’s office – pretty great, even on a cloudy day!]
Wow – reflecting on the past six weeks reminds me of how wonderful this spring has been! And we still have nearly two months to go!