Monthly Archives: June 2011

The End’s In Sight!

Asphalt was laid yesterday!  Lines are being painted today!  Hip Hip! Hooray!

The Square is looking shiny and new, just in time for the Grand Opening at 11 am on July 4th!

Update: The south half is now open!  We can drive and park in front of our building again!  No more hauling wedding cakes 2 blocks to load into a car!


Posted by on June 28, 2011 in Julie, Square Reconstruction 2011


CityMuseum of St. Louis – When junk yards and children’s museums combine.

It is incredibly hard to describe CityMuseum.  It absolutely warrants a visit, if you find yourself in St. Louis in the future.  Part junk yard, part antique mall, part science museum, part architecture museum, part amusement park, part insanity, pure genius.

On the roof - fountains and a school bus hanging over the edge.

turtles in a random aquarium tank

Operating Shoelace Factory


A working mini train through a tiny town train model.

Justin under TinyTown

Bob's Big Boy!

Room of Sponge blocks.

Justin in a random hole.

Human Hamster Wheel

Starting the next exhibit?

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Posted by on June 22, 2011 in Julie, St. Louis


A Day in St. Louis

At the last minute, Justin and I decided to stop for a day in St. Louis as we traveled home from Texas.  Justin found a killer deal on in downtown St. Louis, and we thought it would be nice to break up the long drive home.  Once he booked the deal, we found out the hotel was the Hyatt Regency at the Arch, just across the street from the Gateway Arch.

We arrived on Sunday evening, and it was a beautiful night to walk over to the Arch, get some nice pictures, and enjoy not being in the car after 12 hours driving.

After a good night’s rest we decided to walk over and explore CityMuseum, about a mile away from the hotel.  We found it easily, and were pretty much immediately overwhelmed by everything there.  Truly, enough for its own post, coming shortly.

After several hours the museum was overloaded with kids and families, and our brains were just as overloaded, so we decided to head out, grab a bite for lunch, and make our way back to the hotel and then over to the Gateway Arch.

Western View from inside the Arch

Eastern View from inside the Arch - the Mississippi River was a bit high!

It also turned out to be “Marine Week” in St. Louis, so there were a number of booths and helicopters that you could explore, as well as a display of some of the weapons the Marines use in combat.  Justin had a bit of a moment, getting to hold one of the weapons he regularly uses virtually while playing Call of Duty on the XBox.  The Marine we spoke with had some fun with that, and said they played pretty often as well!

We relaxed a bit at the hotel, then drove over to Niche for dinner.  We were looking forward to this meal, as the Chef was nominated for a James Beard Award a couple of years ago, and the restaurant was well reviewed.  On Monday nights they offer a special supper, where you choose from only two dinner options for a set price.  Justin chose the braised beef and white bean option, while I choose the roasted chicken and cauliflower gratin option.  We started with fantastically prepared caesar salads, followed by the main entree, and then finished with a cheese course and a dessert.  Everything was spectacularly delicious.  Service was stellar, and the restaurant was a great blend of sophisticated and comfortable at the same time.

From Niche we drove over to Park Avenue Coffee for a second dessert of St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake.  We had read reviews that this cafe offered a great selections of flavors, and as it was close to the restaurant, thought we would check it out.  It is primarily a coffee shop, but under cake domes was a wide variety of butter cake options.  Justin chose a White Chocolate Raspberry, while I choose the Triple Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake.  Both were sufficiently gooey, buttery, and delicious.

After filling out tummies, we decided to spend a bit more time walking around the downtown area near the hotel.  St. Louis really has a very accessible, comfortable, and appealing downtown space, near the center of which is CityGarden.  There are lots of fun fountains and sculptures, set throughout the green space.  Lots of children and families were enjoying the water features on the warm evening.

We really had such a nice time exploring and relaxing in St. Louis.  It was such a great, last minute idea to fit into our drive home.  We look forward to returning in the future!

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Posted by on June 22, 2011 in Julie, St. Louis


A Whirl of a Wedding

Show me some excitement, Em! (at the bachelorette party)

Pedicures with Katie, Allison, Emily, and Emily's Aunt Barbara.

Guys waiting to go to lunch, at Chik-fil-A of course!

Katie getting glammed up, upping her already high gorgeous quotient.

Finishing touches on the dresses - nearly ready to go!

This beautiful bride is moments away from becoming my sister!

Justin's comment when he saw me all dolled up, "You don't look like my wife. You look like a grown up!" Definitely made me laugh!

Bridesmaids and dear friends Lori, Allison, and Dana.

A sweet picture of Aunt Maggie and Travis.

The fantastically happy couple, with a fantastic photo bomb by Katie.

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Posted by on June 19, 2011 in Julie, The Woodlands 2011


A Travel-y Post! For Realz!

Yesterday morning Justin and I headed out from Stevens Point with the car pointed in the direction of the south.

*taken after keeping the camera pointed at him for 5 minutes of nutso faces!

This weekend Trav and Emily get married!  Hip Hip, Hooray!  I made a load of cake pops for the wedding, and we decided to drive to give our new little car a nice start-of-life workout.  We traveled down through Illinois, and some more Illinois, and just when we couldn’t take much more Illinois, there was St. Louis!

More impressive than I expected!

Our directions technically were going to take us around St. Louis, but as I had never seen the Arch, Justin decided we should continue on I-55 right over the river.  It really is something to see.  And I had extended photo taking opportunity, as traffic was backed up a bit due to a very recent accident.  We only were delayed about 5 minutes, but we both agreed it was well worth it.

We made it as far as Brinkley, Arkansas last night before stopping.  We still have about 9 hours to go before reaching The Woodlands this evening.  Looking forward to arriving and seeing great friends and family!

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Posted by on June 15, 2011 in Julie, The Woodlands 2011, Travel


Welcome Progress.

Two big trees were planted today! Loving the green additions!

The concrete for the sidewalk around the corner was poured in the morning. The crew moved onto our sidewalks in the afternoon.

Watching the cement trucks maneuver around each other, the barrels, and the other heavy equipment is always a bit entertaining. A construction ballet!!

Each guy on the team had a very specific role and job. It was interesting watching the chunky cement being made perfectly smooth.

Nearly complete sidewalks! It is after 8 pm now, and the guys are still working, sawing in the expansion gaps. So happy to have these beautiful, wide sidewalks!

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Posted by on June 7, 2011 in Julie, Square Reconstruction 2011


Feeling Envious.

The North half of the Square is open to traffic!  It looks lovely!  People can drive and park near businesses!  Hooray!


The South half… Not so much.


Don’t get me wrong.  It is great to see progress being made.  The ugly, overbearing electrical poles were taken out just today, and it certainly does make a difference.

Cutting the last of the wires...

Voila! Can't even tell they were ever there!

But I long for sidewalks.  Real, gravel-free sidewalks.  Nice wide sidewalks that make our shop accessible.  We’ve been told sidewalks will be poured next week.  I hope, I hope, I hope!