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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Where's Peara? Flat Paper Traveling Buddy Friend's Trip to St. Louis, Missouri


Mr. Flat Traveling Buddy arrived in St. Louis, Missouri. He traveled from a Traditional elementary school in Arizona.

When our flat paper friend arrived at our house, he didn't seem to be such a stranger. He was greeted with our traveling buddy - Peara!

Our traveling buddy isn't so flat. She is a stuffed, plush yellow pear who comes with our family every where we travel. We take pictures of her when we go on vacation. Her pictures become part of a blog series called, "Where's Peara?" where children try to discover where Peara is traveling. The blogs then go on to explain educational tidbits about the places Peara visits.

We thought we'd treat this new arriving flat traveling buddy the same way we treat our plump Peara traveling buddy, before sending Mr. Flat Traveling Buddy onto another host family in another state.

Wikipedia

FIRST, A FEW FACTS ABOUT MISSOURI:

  • It is called the Show-Me State (Missouri residents are said to be skeptical of everything unless it is proven to be true, right before our eyes - show me!)
  • Capital cit is Jefferson City
  • Motto:  "The welfare of the people shall be the supreme law"
  • The 1904 World's Fair, held in St. Louis, is credited for many inventions, like iced tea and ice cream
  • St. Louis is also called "The Gateway to the West" and "Home of the Blues" (though musicians will argue that the latter isn't really thriving anymore)
  • State bird - native bluebird and the flowering dogwood is Missouri's official tree
    Wikipedia
  • Kansas City has more miles of boulevards than Paris and more fountains than any city except Rome.
  • In 1889, Aunt Jemima pancake flour, invented at St. Joseph, Missouri, was the first self-rising flour for pancakes and the first ready-mix food ever to be introduced commercially.
  • President Harry S. Truman was born in Lamar, MO on May 8, 1884.


NOW, ONTO WHAT MR. FLAT TRAVELING FRIEND DID WHILE IN OUR CITY

Here's what this flat Traveling Buddy did while he was in St. Louis - O'Fallon, MO to be exact. O'Fallon is a suburb on the northwest outskirts of St. Louis County.

 

When he arrived, it was winter in the midwest. For us, this usually means at least a few snowy days. We showed Traveling Buddy what snow looks like, but since he didn't come with the proper attire needed to go out in the snow, we provided him with a coat, boots and scarf and sent him snowboarding with the family.



He also went along on a visit to the local library where he found some other paper friends:


Since it was cold outside, we decided a trip to the Magic House Children's Museum in Kirkwood, MO would be educational, yet fun.

We learned about Magnets and Magnetic Structures.



And, had fun with the Shadow Walls where you stand in front off a green wall, in the dark, and wait till a flash of light flashes.  When you turn around, there it is - Your shadow on the wall.







In another section of the Magic House, there was a replica of the Oval Office where the President works:



That's Mr. Flat Traveling Buddy on the Oval Office phone!

And, he learned about the Bernoulli Effect


He especially enjoyed the electro static electricity ball that made his hair stick straight up when he touched it.








Then, he sat for awhile with a Raggedy Anne doll in the dress up play room.




In February, one of the children in this host family celebrated a big birthday - 12 years old!  She, of course, wanted to enjoy her special day at the local American Girl Doll Store at Chesterfield Mall.

Mr. Flat Traveling Buddy came along...



We ate in the Bistro, and we received special treat bags with birthday balloons, just his size.



Then, he got to sit in a bubble bath and relax - Ahhhhhhhh!!!


We also took a visit to the Disney Store, which was almost as fun as visiting Disney World or Disney Land - Almost!  Mickie Mouse, the big guy himself, was there to greet us....  Or, at least a plush replica as there:



He got to fill some pretty big shoes....


Look - There's Perry!


And, he better stay grounded next to this little cutie. Have you ever seen an elephant fly?


One of his favorite spots in the whole store was a poster of Olaf from the movie, Frozen:






When the weather turned slightly warmer, we took a trip to the St. Louis Zoo.  It is voted #1 in the nation. On the way to the zoo, we caught a far away glimpse of the St. Louis Gateway Arch.


 


You can take a tram up to the top and get a great view of the city. But, we didn't go into the Arch.

Instead, we headed for the zoo.

Just before we arrived at the zoo, we also saw a HUGE Amoco gas station sign.  It looks smaller in the photo, but this sign is one of the largest gas station signs in the nation.





We rode the zoo train:









And the Carousel that has zoo animals on it instead of just horses:




Mr. Flat Traveling Buddy sat on an elephant

And a bird of some sort


We saw several different varieties of monkeys














And a tiger:

But, our favorite were the elephants.

The little one is baby Kenzi who was born just a couple years ago.



There is an every tinier baby elephant at this zoo, though.  You can see Priya staying close to her mama:



St. Louis, Missouri is celebrating 250 years of being a city, in 2014.  To celebrate, these special sculptures of cakes are being placed at various tourist and hot spots across the city.  This one is the one that was specially designed to appear in front of the St. Louis Zoo:


Don't worry!  He wasn't really this close to a live elephant.  This one is a statue.

We had one unseasonably warm day in March. It got up to close to 80 degrees - The next day the city had snow in the forecast - Funny weather they have here.  

We chose to enjoy the day riding bikes:



But, the family told me I couldn't ride until I put on a helmet.




There is much more to do in the city, but there wasn't enough time to take it all in before Mr. Flat Traveling Buddy had to be sent off for another family to enjoy before it is time to go back home to Arizona.

If you ever come back to the St. Louis area, be sure to visit:

  • The Gateway Arch
  • The Missouri Botanical Gardens
  • The St. Louis Zoo
  • The Missouri History Museum
  • Forest Park
  • The St. Louis Science Center
  • Steinberg Outside Ice Skating Rink
  • The City Museum
  • Turtle Park
  • The Magic House Children's Museum
  • Fox Theatre
  • The Muny Outdoor Theatre that has free seats in the back
  • St. Louis Union Station (Train station rehabbed into a shopping mall attached to the Drury Inn)
  • The Chase Park Plaza Hotel
  • Busch Stadium to see the St. Louis Cardinals play baseball
  • Soulard Market
  • Ride the Metro city transportation train
  • National Museum of Transportation
  • Lambert Airport
And, be sure to sample some of the locals' favorite foods:

  • Toasted Ravioli
  • Imo's Pizza (Flat crust pizza cut into squares - "The Square Beyond Compare")
  • Ted Drewes Frozen Custard




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