Tuesday, September 20, 2011

St Louis Hot Air Balloon Race

We went to St Louis last weekend for the Great Forest Park Balloon Race in St Louis.  We've gone every year since before Tori was born and it never disappoints.  We drove the van down Friday night to go to what they call "The Glow" where they let you walk onto central field to see the balloons up close and watch them use the furnaces to make the balloons light up. 

 Tori was a little scared of the furnaces so we had to keep a distance from them but she had so much fun pretending that the balloons were going to fall on her.  She kept holding up her arm to block the balloons and yelling "watch out!" 
 The STL zoo balloon was Tori's favorite.  She loves "Emmetts" (elephants) and kept trying to tickle the balloon from far away.  I even showed her this picture and she tried to tickle the computer :)
 After the glow they cleared the field and had a firework display!  We haven't been to the glow for a few years so this was a new addition for us.

 Then we spent Saturday morning at the zoo since its right by central field where the race is held and we got great parking since we were there so early (we had to walk 1.4 miles each way the night before!).
 The hippos were posing for Tori and she was loving it!!  There were other little kids around and she kept asking them "You see it!?!?!" 
 And then we finally saw the elephants!  She's been talking about seeing them for days....  She also got the see the lions (pumas, tigers, leopards and other big cats too which she called all of them lions) which she proceeded to "Rawwwwrrr" at as loudly as possible!  One the the leopards was sleeping on a rock fairly close to where we were able to stand and it actually woke up and looked at her like she was crazy. 
 Then off to the balloon race.  There were supposed to be 90 balloons this year, but I think many of them didn't show since there was rain in the forecast.  Remember last year when it was scorching hot?  Well this year we wore jackets and hats!  It was actually a little chilly!  It was fairly windy also so the huge Energizer Bunny and a few of the oddly shaped balloons couldn't make it off the ground.  There were still many that did tho, and Tori had a great time cheering them on.

 One of Tori's favorite snacks right now is popcorn so she was very excited to see the giant popcorn bag.  We just had to bust out our own supply for some fun pictures :)

It was still a fun day and we had such a great parking spot that traffic wasn't even an issue (I think it took us an hour just to get out of the park last year).  We finished off our trip with a run to West County Mall for some chick'fil'a and a shopping spree at Motherhood.  We're not sure if we're going to attempt the trip next year with all three kids but we will definitely continue the tradition as the kids get older!

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