Friday, April 1, 2011

Visitors Galore

We've been busy beavers lately. We've hosted two sets of visitors in the past week and we'll be hosting 3 more in visitors this coming week. With all these happenings, my thinking is that if I am going to stay up on my blogging, today would be the day to do it.

Harry and Camille were the first friends (family, really) to step foot in our humble abode. Pepin was very excited to meet someone other than us, his adopted Pittsburgh Great-Grandparents no less!

You probably don't remember but Harry and Camille were also our first visitors in France and while they didn't make it to Metz, they did meet us in Paris for a fabulous mini-honeymoon. You can read about that adventure HERE, HERE, & HERE.

As luck would have it, Harry and Camille just happened to be making their way from CO to PA and Saint Louis is directly en route. Somewhere along the way, they stopped to pick us up some great housewarming gifts (please don't feel like you have to shower us with gifts if you visit, your company is plenty!). The first was this great Asian box that now holds Pepin's treats. He knows to come running whenever he hears that noise.

They also picked out these great swirled water goblets (or glasses of some description, I'm no good with such high-class things) that we have been using non-stop.

And of course I forgot to take any pictures while they were here.

Regardless, we had a wonderful time first at our apartment eating cheese and crackers with sweet German wine and playing with Pepin, then at a great Mediterranean restaurant called Remy's.

On our way back to their hotel we hit some trouble though when I hit two bad potholes simultaneously on the busy outer belt of the city and ended up on the side of the road with a flat tire and a badly dented wheel. To add insult to injury, my Dad had called me the day before to let me know that he had the tools out of my car, including the jack! Not to mention the fact that we weren't 100 meters from Harry and Camille's hotel and could even see the sign from where we sat on the highway. Thankfully, 10pm isn't a busy time to get  flat so AAA was there within 20 minutes to put on the spare for us.

The next visit was from Tom and Ginny (Michael's parents). They flew in to the Saint Louis airport Saturday morning and we came right back to the apartment to meet their new Grandkitty and give him this very exciting and stimulating (and thankfully, tiring) present. It spins.

As you can see, he likes it.

After lunch at the famed Blueberry Hill restaurant (Legendary performer Chuck Berry performs there for one hour on a single Wednesday each month, downstairs in the Duck Room. Thanks Wikipedia.) we made our way through Forest Park and eventually stopped at the impressive (and free!) Saint Louis Art Museum. While we were browsing the first floor of the museum, the snow that Tom and Ginny brought with them from Northern PA snuck up on us which led to us stopping quickly for groceries then camping out at our place for the evening, making veggie tacos and playing some more with Pepin.

After snowing close to 4" on Saturday, most of it melted by Sunday morning and we were left with maybe an inch on the ground and balls of wet snow clinging to tree branches, ready to fall on your head at the slightest breeze.

On Sunday we decided to hit up the Missouri Botanical Gardens, which are huge, and beautiful. Don't get me wrong, I love Phipps, but MoBot has much more outdoor space (which I can't wait to see in a month) and is only $4 for MO residents! We did pay a little extra for the special exhibit that combined hundreds of Orchids with Aztec history and culture.

It's too bad my mom will miss this exhibit (Sunday was the last day), she is an orchid hoarder. (She'll hate me for saying that since she lives in fear of being an actual hoarder.)

Tom and orchids, a great combination!

I found a new favorite orchid! I would love to have this everywhere, no more grass! Too bad it is only fit for 9b, 10a, 10b, and 11 hardiness zones while we are somewhere between 5b and 6a here in St Louis.

Our wonderful house guests in the orchid room.

The Japanese gardens are host to some of the largest coy I have ever laid eyes on!

Really can't wait to see this in the summer!

The Climatron, home to all sorts of tropical climate life.

Look at that, Chihuly has left his mark on yet another Botanical Garden!

The freak snowstorm did little to dampen the spirits of these ready-for-spring trees.

After MoBot we hit up Lowes to purchase our housewarming gift. Ain't she purrrdy?

Then we made our way over to the free tour and tasting at the wonderful local craft brewer, Schlafly, at which time my phone died and I was no longer able to take any pictures. Boo.

We stopped for dinner makings on our way home then spent the evening grilling and chatting.

On Monday morning, after Michael had already left for work, I made the sad drop-off at the airport. Don't look too hard for Tom and Ginny in this picture, I managed to snap it just after they went through the doors.

And although sad, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Saint Louis Airport is incredibly user friendly, for anyone planning to visit us (*wink, wink*).

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