The Clampett’s Vacation – Leg A

Hello everyone. Now that we’re home and have settled back into our normal routine, I thought I would share some highlights of our vacation.  I thought I’d break it into different legs of the trip, kind of like legs on an airline flight as you connect through different airports about the country.

Leg A – STL-Chicagoland

Leg B – Chicagoland-Michigan

Leg C – Michigan-STL

Leg A started from our home on a Thursday at whenever time. We were not really in a big hurry to get going.  When you have to load up the stuff for all of us to travel, you really cannot be in a hurry anyway.  The 12.0 got loaded up and we headed on our merry way along with some pretzels.

I got two for the road

The children were all certain that they’d take “pontifical naps” in order to make the trip go by much faster.  There are certain grades of these naps, to be discussed under another post some other time.  Of course, that did not happen and so they were awake the entire the 5 or so hour ride.  I don’t know why children are so against taking naps.  We’re in the middle of Illinois.  Pretty much flat farmland. Not too much to see!

We eventually get to Grandma & Grandpas Boss’ house. (That title’s worth of a post some other time).  We settled in and took it easy the rest of the day.

On Friday, my mom hired a really neat photographer to take some candids of Flip.  In prior years at some point in the first few years of age, each of her other grandchildren, she took some B&W shots. In the past, she actually used B&W film (whoa dude…what’s that?) and then would optionally hand paint some highlights to the final prints.  Very talented and her personality got the little ones nicely active which made her job easier.  Of course, Mr. Flip was a total H A M and had no trouble with this after the initial staring point.  His big sister Peanut had no trouble either a couple years back when she had her shoot.

Later on Friday, we visited my mom and dad’s respective businesses in downtown Glen Ellyn, IL.  Mom – a picture framing store and Dad – a guitar store.  The wife also entered a high-end cooking/kitchen store.  She found one of them high-end blenders, too, that some other blogger’s talking about day in and day out.  It’s rubbed of on my wife as well. 🙂  She wants one.

Saturday was the day for which I was most looking forward.  Grandma, the wife and the girls (+Bruiser) went to the Art Institute of Chicago to view the famous Thorne Rooms (Think of taking a nobleman’s dining room, and reducing the scale from one foot to one inch.  Kinda like an uber dollhouse exhibit that has been around for decades)  I think there are about 80 of these tiny rooms.  Grandpa, me and the boys went to the Museum of Science and Industry – my all-time favorite museum…E V E R.  It had been probably 10 years since I had been there.  Much was the same but many parts are even neater now.  I was able to grab a few photos below.  If you (or your children) really like to push buttons (in a non-figurative way but for REAL), this is THE place to go.

Nevermind the Boeing 727 behind us on the wall!  You should’ve seen the video of the landing of this thing at the ‘late’ Meigs Field.  Not one for the textbook, that’s for sure!

Bubba watches the pendulum

Flip looks down towards the monsterous train set.

Of all the neat experiments, exhibits, etc….the one the boys thought to be the neatest was something pretty cheesy….a miniature replication of 2″ men blasting inside a mountain in order to show how they made tunnels in them for all those trains years ago.  A little flash of light, a recorded BOOM and a motor lowering a rock.  That’s. It.  🙂

I guess, once again, you do not always need fancy stuff to entertain little ones!

Lunch later on Saturday was at SMASH BURGER.  Flip was not happy as seen below.  He needed a nap.

Flip was so not happy, I had to take him outside. Poor guy.

I had dinner that evening with my brother and his family along with everyone else. It was a very nice dinner and I had the great honor of trying out a few new local/regional beers…especially the beer cow…that was a favorite

The Famous Beer Cow Beer

All of this was going on this evening and a few miles away, my high school had it’s 20 year class reunion.  I know I had a much better time staying at home with the families.  I saw pictures of the reunion elsewhere.  I don’t think I missed much. Plus all of the COOL kids from my class were there.  I was (and still am) a dork, so I would have not enjoyed it anyway and would have spent too much money on it.

That’s a wrap for Leg A of our trip!



  1. It might be too late but did you know that with a St. Louis Science Center Membership, you can get in to most of great Chicagoland places for FREEEEEEEEE!?!?!?!? Planetarium, Science and Industry, Field Museum just to name a few. Worth it if you go again.

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