Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Road Trip!

We took a road trip to St. Louis for the weekend. Let's just say, I can't believe we haven't gone there sooner. It is an awesome and accessible city to visit. I know this won't be our last visit. We hadn't even crossed the Mississippi back into Illinois when the girls were asking how soon we could return.

With a statement like that, you would think that we saw a lot of the city and/or it's museums, zoo, galleries, waterfront, etc. But, in fact, we didn't. We spent all day Saturday at the City Museum. And, that is the real reason the girls would like to return. I, on the other hand, know that there is much more to explore there.

The City Museum is hardly a museum. In fact, it's more like a giant playground for children and adults alike. It has 10-story slides, mousetrap-like climbing areas, rope swings, tree houses and caves. I learned a lot about myself that day. For instance, I am very uncomfortable in high places. And, I don't like going in to small spaces in which I am unsure of the way out. In other words, I'm a little claustrophobic.  In describing this place to friends the following week, I knew I wasn't alone. They were squirming in their seats just to hear about these tight places we climbed through.

Here are some images (Photo Project 2012 - Day 230) of our day at the museum:

We started in the outdoor area at ground level. Obviously, you don't stay on the ground. We climbed up lots of cages to get to the suspended plane and bus. Some of areas were tall catwalks while other sections required going through tubes like the one above.

We made our way to the roof, where Annalee climbed a 10-story caged tube where she was greeted by a praying mantis. From there, we slid down the 10-story slide.

Underneath the top of the 10-story slide was this domed structure that people could climb up and into. It also housed a very long rope swing that Zelda enjoyed swinging from.

Back inside on the first level, we crawled through lots of tubes. The one of me above was just the start. Once I got to the area where Annalee was (middle picture) I turned around and went back out the way I came in. I was just too freaked out that I wouldn't be able to get through.

In addition to the day-long museum visit, we had another reason to visit St. Louis. Actually, it was the reason we went to St. Louis at all. We went to pick out our two new Tonkinese kittens. Our breeder lives just west of St. Louis; we had met her at a cat show in Palatine in the winter. Her cats had born three litters between April and May. We waited the 16 weeks until they were available and made the road trip to get them. Since we were her first deposit for kittens, we had pick of the litters.

Tonkinese come in four colors and three coat patterns, making a total of 12 variations. We knew we wanted a male and a female, and we wanted to cats that we would be able to easily tell apart. Our breeder had three males that were platinum minks, so we knew what our boy would look like, in general. She had two females that were points - lighter body with a dark face, ears, paws and tail. It was just going to be a matter of selecting our kittens from the five she had that met our criteria. And, we wanted kittens with a friendly, playful disposition that would love the girls.

We drove straight from our home to our breeder's in Chesterfield, Mo., so we could see all the kittens and make our selection. We spent nearly two hours with her kittens, first choosing ours and then playing with some additional kittens that our breeder was keeping for her own from those new litters. We even got to hold a two-week-old kitten.

We returned to her house on Sunday morning after a quick stop at the local pet store for supplies. We had not come up with any names for the kittens - that would take an additional four days of work. In the end, we decided to name the girl Portia (she is the pointed kitten) and the boy Cinna (all cream/gray). For anyone who has read The Hunger Games, you should recognize the pairing. Naming options came down to those two and Dasher and Vixen. As one friend said, they're unusual cats, they should have unusual names. And, so they do.

Here are some images (Photo Project 2012 - Day 231) from our drive home:

No comments: