Monday, May 31, 2010

The Japanese Garden

This was my absolute favorite part of the botanical gardens.  I could have spent hours just walking around this lake.

The Japanese Garden is the number one wedding spot in the garden.  We did see the bride walk down the aisle and could have stayed and watched the entire wedding, but I found it a little odd to be crashing a stranger's wedding!

If I were getting married in the botanical garden, this is definitely the view that I would choose!

The Chinese Garden

The entrance to the Chinese garden!

It was such a serene setting.  There was even a lady reading book in the gazebo.  What a great way to spend the day!

Aside from the waterfall, these pebble designs were my favorite part of the Chinese garden.  The path was filled with them.

More from the Climatron

Attached to the Climatron were two smaller domes.  One was a learning center filled with areas for children to play and the other contained a few smaller gardens including this gorgeous Turkish garden.

Beware of the Dinosaurs!

Missouri Botanical Garden

One of the places here in St. Louis that I've really wanted to visit since we moved here is the Missouri Botanical Garden.  Last weekend, the weather was amazing.  Seventy-five degrees and not a cloud in the sky, so I woke Tony up early to spend the day looking at flowers.  He was thrilled.  :)

On the weekends,  the entire park is free for all St. Louis residents if you enter before noon.  The gardens are 150 years old and the oldest continuous operating gardens in the country.

The entrance to the park is pretty spectacular!

We started our trip by first visiting the Climatron which is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary.  In honor of the special event, they are hosting DinoQuest which means that it is currently filled with dinosaur replicas.

Spanning more than a half-acre, the geodesic dome is absolutely gorgeous.  It contains more than 1,400 species of plants and animals in their natural, tropical setting.  It has everything from banana plants to orchids.  My favorite were the waterfalls.

More pictures from inside the Climatron...

I absolutely loved the angel trumpets!  

Tony was fascinated by this tree.

People of

I was so glad that I wasn't with Tony when he decided to go up to this man and ask him to pose for a picture!  He's contemplating submitting the photo to People of Wal-Mart.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Crown Candy

Crown Candy is one of St. Louis' oldest and most popular attractions.  We first learned of it when Tony saw it on Man vs. Food.  The host failed the challenge, but we knew that we had to go.  The first time that we stopped by, the line was out the door and wrapped down the hill for quite a while.  The sign on the door alerted us that the wait was at least 30 minutes from that point.  We decided to try again another day.  Our second trip was more successful.  We were the last people inside the door, but the only two person group.   Our wait was only 15 minutes!

Once inside, it feels like you've stepped by in time by several decades.  The shop was originally opened by two best friends from Greece in 1913.  The third generation of the families now run it.  They are best known for their desserts - mainly ice cream, shakes, and chocolate candy.  All of it homemade right there in the shop.  They also serve lunch and dinner which we didn't realize.  The food looked delicious, so we have plans to return for lunch one day.  Tony also has dreams of conquering their challenge.

The kitchen next to the diner where they make all of the deliciousness.

Tony ordered a strawberry shake since the Crown Candy Challenge involves their shakes.  The shakes are served in a stainless steel container to keep them cold and then you are given an old timey glass to pour it in.  Each shake will fill the glass approximately three times.  The Crown Candy Challenge is to drink five shakes in less than 30 minutes.  So, about 15 glasses.  Tony is determined to get his name on the plaque and a free

We went right before Easter, so the shop was filled with
bunnies and eggs.

No, we were not strong enough to leave all of this behind.  We did purchase a few of the chocolate candies to try later at home.  Yes, they were amazing!

Our First Professional Hockey Game - Geaux Blues!

Despite the Blues losing, we had a great time.  I was able to find some amazing tickets on stubhub for an incredible price.  We were center ice and a little less than halfway up.  Tony definitely enjoyed all of the fights on the ice and enjoyed finally getting to see the one professional sports team in St. Louis that he's allowed to cheer for since cheering for the Rams or Cardinals isn't allowed.

It was the St. Patrick's Day game which is a huge holiday here.  Tony was excited for his free shirt.

Home Sweet Home

Tony needed some Cane's sweet tea to finish the drive down.

We also had our first bite of Chimes in over a year.  It was glorious!

Tony took several photos of his seafood platter from the Chimes before he finally decided to eat it.

Sugar enjoying his favorite place in Sulphur - Grandma and Grandpa's bed.
We joined Tony's family in celebrating his Dad's 70th birthday.
Some of the greatness that is my parent's cooking.  This was seafood night for Tony.
Of course, no trip to Sulphur would be complete without a trip to the snocone stand.  I may have even texted my brother a picture or two from it.  :)

In April, Tony and I made two trips home to Sulphur.  While my favorite part of the trip was spending time with family, Tony was thrilled to get back to cajun cooking!