Tag Archives: St. Louis

Meet Me In St. Louis

My friends are coming back to St. Louis for our 3rd annual girl’s weekend.  This annual convergence is proving to be the necessary kick in the ass to complete my spring cleaning.   This means cleaning out every room, closet, and drawer plus the cabinets and fridge.   Not to mention sprucing up the yard, getting the windows washed, and cleaning out the car for sightseeing trips. 

As the centrally located gal in the group (they come in from Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida and California) it makes sense for everyone to come here.  And, I love hosting my friends.  Along with getting my spring cleaning Totally Completed (I’m pretty much done with closet and drawer cleaning until next spring) we get to take in the awesome things there are to do in St. Louis. 

It is so true that you don’t really appreciate what you have in your own city – I was somewhere in Tuscany waiting to go into yet another church when a lady in front of me asked me where I was from.  When I said St. Louis, she immediately started raving about the Cathedral Basilica and how it was one of the most beautiful churches she had ever seen.   At the time, I had never been there even though I’d easily been to more than 100 churches in Italy (seriously – 5 trips = lots of churches!!)  So, the first girl’s weekend we went to the Basilica (and it truly is one of the most beautiful cathedrals I’ve ever been in) and walked around the park at the St. Louis Arch which I hadn’t been to since I was a kid.  

Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis

Last year, we went to the Washington University / Forest Park area of town because Michaela had been reading about the 1904 World’s Fair and wanted to see the buildings that were donated to the city after.  The architecture of the buildings was amazing (I beg you to take the virtual tour provided in the link – it takes you building by building and you can see why Michaela wanted us to go).  I used to golf every week at Forest Park and I’m embarrassed to say that I still have never been into one of the museums which are now housed in the World’s Fair buildings.  We also went back to the Arch and toured the Museum of Westward Expansion.  Walking around the area made me appreciate how very pretty the waterfront park is. 

This year the group has already made their list – it will be the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Anheuser-Busch Brewery tour.  You guessed it.  Never been to the Botanical Garden (can’t wait after looking on the Garden’s internet site) and even though I worked for A-B for years, have never gone on the brewery tour. 

Missouri Botanical Garden

So, again this year during girl’s weekend I will get to visit two more spots that visitors come to St. Louis to do but I’ve never done.  I’m thinking I need to have a lot more girl’s weekends in St. Louis as there is a lot to see and do.  Maybe we need to up the weekends to twice a year.  YIKES – that would mean spring cleaning again in the fall.  I love my friends but spring cleaning once a year is enough for me …….  

 ~ Susan


Just do it !

I always say life is short and we need to take opportunities to do the things we want to do now but I haven’t always followed that approach to life.  It’s easy to start thinking that I’ll do this or that when I retire and have more time.  My husband has no problem jumping on any opportunity to go on a trip, meet up with friends and grandkids.  For me it’s been a bit harder because of last minute work travel.  I hate committing to something then having to back out.   That’s resulted in skipping some things I would really like to do.  Not anymore.  I am ready to start committing!  Over the past few weeks I’ve committed to a girls’ weekend at the Ozarks and a cooking class with my friend Karen.

Karen and I have been talking about signing up for a class for years.  You have to sign up weeks in advance or the classes sell out.  A few weeks ago she said, “We really need to do this,” and I committed.   There were lots of options but we signed up for a “How to make pasta 101.”

I love to cook and I love trying new things.   I blogged recently about all the gadgets I have and I have a brand spanking new pasta maker (Okay, 10 years old but never out of the box – which makes it new to me) and while I wanted to make fresh pasta, was a bit leery of the process.  It turns out that pasta making, just like about everything else in the kitchen, is easy.  But it sure was nice having a culinary instructor standing at my shoulder while painstakingly mixing my flour and eggs to make my first batch then coaching me as I was putting it thru the pasta roller several times until it was just right.  Now I’m set.  

Me with my flour covered wine glass in the prep area (class no-no).

It also turns out they serve wine at these things and I think Karen and I got our money’s worth on the class in wine consumption. 

 I’m starting to make plans.  If I have a personal commitment on my calendar, I’m going to do my best to push a last minute trip a day or two so I can make it. 

While I am planning on a great retirement and we have been committed to planning financially for a long and enjoyable one, retirement isn’t a given.  I’m now taking action to make sure I am making my life more enjoyable and letting work be work.  A cooking class may seem trivial but after talking about doing it for more than 2 years it came at a time when I really needed to be reminded that all we may have is now and we better be enjoying it.  And GO STL CARDINALS !!!


Fall is here!

Fall is here (although someone should remind Mother Nature – it was 85 in Philadelphia last weekend)!  This is my favorite time of year… the food, the beer, pumpkin EVERYTHING, it just all makes me so happy.

So I decided to share with you a few of my favorite fall things!

Fall festivals

I’m not sure it gets much better than fall festivals and right now there are so many to choose from!  If you live in the Philadelphia area, my favorite site for finding fun fall ideas (and weekend ideas in general) is uwishunu.  It’s a blog that is always updated with suggestions for dinner, drinks, nightlife, music, etc., and… fall festivals!   For those of you that live in other areas of the country, say… St. Louis, Jacksonville, New York, or San Francisco, there is a lot going on, so get out there.  Most are dog friendly, as long as you have a friendly dog J

Pumpkin everything at Trader Joes

I am a little obsessed with those things pumpkin this time of year.  And I’m a lot obsessed with Trader Joes every time of year… and it just so happens that some of my favorite pumpkin things are from Trader Joes.

Go figure.  A few of these things include:

–          Pumpkin spice coffee

–          Pumpkin bread mix

–          Pumpkin cream cheese

–          Pumpkin pancake mix – by far my favorite, and unfortunately they don’t have a link for this.

And if you don’t have a Trader Joes near you, one of my favorite fall recipes is Pumpkin bread pudding .  Give it a try – you won’t regret it.

Oktoberfest(s) and fall adult beverages

Fall = best beer season.  It just is.  And pair delicious beer with a fun Oktoberfest celebration and, well, I’m sold.  This weekend I’m going to Oktoberfest at Frankford Hall in Philadelphia.

Frankford Hall is one of my favorite places anyway, and the fact that they are celebrating fall all month long just puts them that much higher on my list.

If you’re not into beer, here are a few recipes for other fun fall drinks.

So what are your favorite things about fall?   Do you have a favorite fall recipe to share with us?  Any “go-to” sites for your cities?  We’d love to hear them all!

–          Erin