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“love the place you live”

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An Old Town Christmas

I live about 15 minutes from the cutest little old town center in the world – St. Charles, MO.

St. Charles is the site of the first state capital for MO, and it’s also where Lewis and Clark Expedition had it’s first and last stops before leaving and coming back into St. Louis.  Because of that they’ve preserved the buildings along Main Street and converted them into the most charming little shops in the world.  They also have the coolest Christmas tradition ever.

They begin the season the Saturday after Thanksgiving with a parade.  During the parade you get to see all 40 of the Christmas characters that they will have roaming the streets for the next few weeks.  Among them are Santa’s from different countries, The reindeer flight instructor, Mother Goose, the Ice Queen and Jack Frost and many more.  But the best part is that each character has their own “playing card” that they pass out to all the kids when you meet them!  They also have bands preforming and all sorts of great holiday things (and they redo the parade every Saturday).  It’s super fun.  Abi was only able to collect 25 of the 40 so we’ve thought about going back one night to see the lights and collect the rest, but it has been a little bit colder than Abi (or I) want to brave.

So here are our photos from the day, photo dump style.  And if you’re ever in the St. Louis area for the holidays you HAVE to check out the Christmas Traditions in St. Charles.

Lewis & Clark

^^Captains Lewis and Clark and their trusty dog Seaman.^^

Decorated Homes

^^  I love that all the shops have decorated for Christmas!  Do you all judge a house on how it will look decorated for Christmas or is that just me? :)  ^^

parade

parade1

^^ Lewis & Clark Fife & Drum Corps // Father Christmas // Santa Lucia  //  WWI Santa ^^

parade2

^^ Christmas Angel  //  MacNicholas  //  Saint Nicholas  //  Frontier Santa  ^^

Parade3

Meeting1

^^  Reindeer Flight Instructor //  Frontier Santa  //  Civil War Santa  ^^

meeting 2

 

Schools out for the summer!!

Today is the last day of school for Abi.  So late in the year, right!? And the preschool gets out a week before the rest of the schools.  It’s mostly because of all the snow days we had this winter. I took the last day of school picture yesterday in front of the school. Know what’s one thing I love about New England?  This little school house has been a school house since 1854. That means its been a school 42 years longer than the state I grew up in even became a state. Wild.

abi school day

I have no idea where she comes up with these poses.  So adorable!

But now that school is over we’re getting full swing in the summer fun game.  We only have two and a half weeks left here in Boston and then we get to explore St. Louis.  So I’ve been putting together a little bucket list to make sure we can fit it all in.  We’re excited to get going on it!

Visit a Childrens Museum
Ride the Train
Visit Plymouth Rock
Explore Boston
Play in a Fountain
Visit the Zoo
Build a Bear
Picnic at the Common
Swim in the Atlantic
Visit the St. Louis Arch
Pool Day!
Get a Shave Ice

How about you guys?  Do you have any fun summer plans?

Daddy’s Dairy

A while ago Design Mom started a column on her blog about loving where you live.  I decided that’s a good idea.  In the past 4 years we have lived in 5 states and visited a few others.  We figured we would be in each place for a while and would have plenty of time to see things.  But we never got around to seeing more than the one or two main touristy things in the area.  So I’m going to join Design Mom in the quest of loving and learning about the places I live and visit.

Up the street from us there is this little hole in the wall ice cream shop.  We never thought much about it.  But then we were talking to some friends the other day and they told us we were totally missing out.  We finally decided to see what all the fuss was about at this little shop called Daddy’s Dairy.

Oh. My. Goodness you guys. If you like ice cream and you’re in the south-of-Boston area you HAVE to stop here.  They have 120 flavors of soft serve ice cream.  120!!  Take a look at the menu.

 

I decided on Chocolate Raspberry and it was heavenly.  It was a vanilla ice cream with raspberry jam and raspberry filled cups.  So good you guys.  This little girl really liked her Cotton Candy and ate every last drop :).

 

Do you have a favorite local ice cream joint?

Boston Freedom Trail {part 1}

A while ago Design Mom started a column on her blog about loving where you live.  I decided that’s a good idea.  In the past 4 years we have lived in 5 states and visited a few others.  We figured we would be in each place for a while and would have plenty of time to see things.  But we never got around to seeing more than the one or two main touristy things in the area.  So I’m going to join Design Mom in the quest of loving and learning about where I live and visit.

When I found out that my husband was being transferred for work causing us to move again just 5 days after I unpacked the final box from our last move you think I would be more upset than I was.  Well, I was pretty livid until I found out where we were headed – Boston Massachusetts.

You see, I’m a huge history buff.  Especially for Revolutionary history.  We even named our daughter Abigail after Abigail Adams.  I have wanted to visit her my entire life and now I was moving there!  I was pretty dang excited about it.

One of our first excursions we took when we had a free weekend was to hit up the Freedom Trail in downtown Boston.  We decided to start at the end of the trail at Bunker Hill in Charlestown (they have free street parking there) then walked the trail backwards toward the city center.  Here’s the Instagram pictures I took of our trip.

Our 1st stop:  Bunker Hill Monument

2nd stop: USS Constitution

3rd stop: Copp’s Hill Burying Ground – That headstone is from 1661.

Photobucket

4th stop: Old North Church – There were two lanterns in case you forgot.

5th stop: Paul Revere’s house.

And here is where Abbi lost it.  It was SOOO hot and humid and we had been walking for ever so I don’t blame her.  We were going to turn around and head back to the car when we noticed the splash pads on the Greenway.  So we decided to let Abbi run around in them for a while first – clothes and all.

 

We finally dragged her away (she wasn’t very happy about it – as you can see on the right :) ).  She fell asleep in the stroller on the walk back to the car.  Poor kid.  We plan on getting to the rest of the trail before summer is out.  So be watching for part 2 soon :).

Are any of you Revolutionary history buffs?

Biltmore Estates

A while ago Design Mom started a column on her blog about loving where you live.  I decided that’s a good idea.  In the past 4 years we have lived in 5 states and visited a few others.  We figured we would be in each place for a while and would have plenty of time to see things.  But we never got around to seeing more than the one or two main touristy things in the area.  So I’m going to join Design Mom in the quest of loving and learning about where I live and visit.

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While Abbi and I were visiting their family, my sister and I decided to ditch the kids and take off on a road trip. The Biltmore Estate was our destination. We have this unhealthy fascination with touring homes.  I blame our dad.  If there was a new home being built or an open house near we always had to go walk through it. If there was a historic home near our vacation spot, we toured it.  We’ve been in historic mansions from California, to Massachusetts and even in Canada.  Our husbands don’t exactly share our zeal.  So it was the perfect opportunity for a girls trip!

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The Estate is amazing you guys.  It’s a 1750,000 square foot mansion that was built by George Vanderbilt between 1889-1895 for his summer home.  He was single at the time, and even when he did get married they only had 1 child.  That is one mighty big place for 3 people.  I wish that they would have let me take pictures inside the home.  It was amazing.

3

But the grounds are equally as amazing.  If not even more so.  It was originally 125,000 acres and meant to be a totally self sustaining.  They had their own dairy, farms, everything.

4

To look at it now you would never know that it was almost completely empty of trees when Vanderbilt bought the land.  He brought in the landscape architect that designed Central Park in NYC to plan the estate grounds.  It was the first attempt at planned forestry.  It is totally amazing.

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Have you ever visited Biltmore? Do you love old historic homes as much as I do?

 

 

Strawberry Fields in the Summer

A while ago Design Mom started a column on her blog about loving where you live.  I decided that’s a good idea.  In the past 4 years we have lived in 5 states and visited a few others.  We figured we would be in each place for a while and would have plenty of time to see things.  But we never got around to seeing more than the one or two main touristy things in the area.  So I’m going to join Design Mom in the quest of loving and learning about where I live and visit.

How loves strawberries?  K.  That was probably a dumb question, right?  Everyone loves strawberries.  They’re delicious.  You know what makes them even more delicious? When they’re warm from the sun and fresh off the vine.  While Abbi and I were visiting my sister and her family in North Carolina we hit up their neighborhood “you-pick” strawberry field.  It was the first time that we had ever picked our own produce and it was so fun (besides when I HAD to do it as a kid in our family garden.  when it was a chore it wasn’t near as fun)!

walking

abbi with a strawberry

mitchell

strawberry baskets

Have you ever picked your own berries?

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