Spring Break 2006

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The break started in a big way, as Franklin Middle School presented the musical "Annie, Jr.".  Jake was in the chorus and played a New Yorker.  He used tons of hair gel.  Jake loved doing it - and the musical was great.
We drove to St. Louis for a 3 day visit, staying at a new Marriott Residence Inn.  It was perfect for us: a pool open all day and a "room" with 3 separate rooms.  On our first night we went to a fancy restaurant, Lorenzo's Trattoria on the Hill.  Martha had the best meal, braised ossobuco.  We sat at the table in the kitchen, and the boys watched the chefs prepare their dinner.

The next day was beautiful and perfect for visiting the St. Louis zoo.  Although the zoo is free, we sprung for a package of stuff that included riding the miniature train, a kids petting zoo, a 3-D movie about going underwater, and a seat-moving ride involving dinosaurs.  The conductor on the train told Jake that guys in Cubs gear get thrown to the lions.

Bill announced early that his 5 favorite animals are 1. elephant  2. giraffe 3. zebra  4. monkey  5. yak.  We saw each of these, or a close relative.  The giraffes were a particular favorite, especially their tongues.  We learned that elephants have 6 sets of teeth each of which last about 10 years.

The monkey house was very interesting.  We watched a young chimpanzee throw stuff and otherwise goof on a group of larger chimpanzees, who would sometimes lazily chase after their tormenter.  

We liked The Magic House.  Everyone liked the Rube Goldberg-like ball sculpture that made noise.  Some of us tried out the Van de Graff generator, although not Matt who thought it wouldn't have much effect on his hair.  Bill liked the magnetic fishing, and releasing the fish into the lake through the underground river.  Ben liked Clifford, but slugged the full-sized version in the face when he appeared.  ("I don't like mascots.") We did a zillion things, but didn't get to everything before it was time to go home.