I’ve yet to find a family who doesn’t have some version of this story:
The parents go to much trouble, often reaching deep into their pockets, to come up with a fabulous gift. The gift is presented with much fanfare. After the photos are taken and the oohs and aahs have subsided, the parent realizes the cold, hard truth. The fabulous gift didn’t matter … all the kids wanted was the simple, cardboard box that enclosed the gift.
We knew this summer wouldn’t be an extravagant one. With our Disney trip less than a year behind us and a trip to Spain next summer taking tentative shape before us, this summer would have to be quieter. Still, nothing says summer to me like some kind of road trip to look forward to, and so we made plans to visit St. Louis.
We packed a lot of fun into 48 hours. I planned pretty extensively before we left, and while it wasn’t a pricey vacation, we dropped more cash than we normally would in an ordinary Naptown weekend.
We went to the Zoo.
We browsed the shops and ate like locals.
We saw the Arch from top
We spent hours at the most unique and phenomenal museum I’ve ever been to, The City Museum.
We met my kindred football soul for dinner and watched our kids hit it off instantaneously.
We did all of these things and more, and what do the kids remember most about the weekend? The fact that our visit and our hotel location coincided with the 2013 World Naked Bike Ride. Yes, for 10 minutes we had a bird’s eye view of people of all different ages, colors and body types in their birthday suits. On bicycles. I wish I could share the video we took, but it’s definitely NSFW … or anyone who has trouble getting certain mental images out of their system. It’s not the bicyclists that make the video so wonderful, it’s the belly laughs and commentary from Elena and Eli. At one point Eli says, “That’s just bad manners.” Yes, bad manners and a bad idea for body parts that chafe easily.
Our trip to St. Louis was like the fancy present and the box. We could’ve gone anywhere, we could’ve stayed home. It wasn’t the place, or the things we did, or the money we spent. The kids will remember snapshots of the weekend, they’ll definitely remember the naked bikers. But more than anything they’ll remember the package … the four of us, wrapping our arms together, enclosing the gift that is our little family.