Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mariachi San Pablo - Tour St. Louis - Part 1

The trip started out being a bit easier than usual for a Mariachi tour but, when we counted it all up, the group performed 25 times in 10 days….not exactly relaxing!  But, everyone admitted that it was fun.  It was nice to play at the diversity of locations that they did, and it was clear that everyone enjoyed their music.

Here is a sampling of the week’s activities.

Our first performance at Meramec Bluffs Senior Living Community in Ballwin, MO

We had really no idea what to expect here but were blown away by how many people came!  As you can see by many smiles in the crowd, they were really enjoying it!

Our next stop took us to O’Fallon, IL.  For some reason, I don’t have any pictures while we were there!  Everywhere we went our hosts treated us great and found lots of fun things for us to do.  In O’Fallon one host family that we stayed with had horses and a carriage and they even offered to give us a ride!
It was also Lizette’s birthday so she got to celebrate with all of us!  Of course, she had to share her cake with Donald

The next day we played at the LCMS International Center.  This houses the offices for various church organizations including (among others) the Youth Ministry Department, the World Relief and Human Care Offices, the World Missions Offices, and the Concordia Plan Offices.  There’s more there too, but I don’t remember it all! 

They have a beautiful chapel that overlooks the interstate.  They say that this way as they worship they always have the mission field before their very eyes.
Of course, we had to take advantage of such a beautiful location to take some group pictures.
The group’s two smallest fans were sporting their “Mariachi San Pablo” shirts that day.
Mia & Jaden
Then they decided to be really cute and play peek-a-boo with each other on the different sides of the podium. Of course, once the mommies got out the cameras to take a picture we couldn’t get them to actually stand there!  But, it was still cute
We were invited up to President Kieschnick’s office.  Thankfully, he was a good sport and even let Pablo sit at his desk.

Then the group played at Laclede Groves Retirement Center in St. Louis.  They got to be on a stage and everything!
And the residents really enjoyed talking to them afterward.  You could tell they really appreciated the music.
Here is Pablo, making sure that everyone gets one of our concert programs.

During a little break we got to get frozen custard at a St. Louis hotspot – Ted Drewe’s.  YUMMY!

That night we played for a Spanish worship service at Concordia Seminary.

The next morning we were at the offices of The Lutheran Hour.
Stephen got a strange kind of cold and 100% lost his voice.  You could barely hear him if he would try to talk and there was NO way he could sing.  But, everyone in the group is so talented and so servant hearted, they all pitched in to fill in the gaps.  Ann led this presentation and had everyone laughing and enjoying themselves.  Ann, Miguel and Lizette all pitched in to sing a few extra songs.  And Stephen…well, he was able to play some rarely heard trumpet adornments to several of the songs!

Then we got to visit another St. Louis hotspot, once featured on the show “Man vs. Food”.  Crown Candy Kitchen.  Crazily, we actually waited in line on the street for over an hour before getting in the door to the tiny place.  You could SMELL the chocolate out on the corner and it was TEMPTING.  But, we were starving, so we held out for the food.  They are famous for their milkshakes and have a challenge where you can get your name on a plaque on their wall if you can finish 3 in an hour.  However, they are HUGE and RICH, and I can’t imagine how you could do it.  Stephen and I shared and that was just fine with me!
We ate really good and probably really bad for us food.  Here is my BLT.
They call it the “heart-stopper”.  13 slices of bacon.  WOAH! 
Everyone else in the group had a Turkey bacon melt that they said was really good and had LOTS of bacon on it too.  We ALL finished our food.  Although, I cheated and had a LITTLE help from Jaden who also LOVES bacon!

That afternoon was a free time so we took in another cool St. Louis attraction, the City Museum (  This place is completely impossible to describe, check out their website for better pictures of the whole place.  Their website describes it as “Housed in the 600,000 square-foot former International Shoe Company, the museum is an eclectic mixture of children's playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel made out of unique, found objects. 

Basically, it is a warehouse filled with structures, tunnels, mazes, slides, etc, etc, etc, made almost entirely out of recycled materials that have been torn out of old buildings, streets, etc.
Here are Mia and Lizette following us out of a tunnel made of an old hollowed out tree trunk and re-bar
They also salvage old artwork that would otherwise have been destroyed, like this mosaic,
We also crawled (following Mia and Jaden’s lead) through seriously about ½ mile worth of tubes salvaged from McDonald’s (or other similar) playplaces.
This rebar tunnel suspended over the floor below was a little scary for Jaden, but he made it through.
There was a fun building center – of course, Jaden just liked to knock everyone else’s towers over
There was also this cool little electric train that Jaden was really excited about and just HAD to ride.
But, it was too small for mommy to come with.  Which, was sort of okay with him (and SORT of okay with mommy)…UNTIL the train went in a dark tunnel.
The first time through he came out with his head buried in his hands saying STOP!  But, the train still had 2 times around the track to go.  I met him on the outside of the tunnel each time but, by the end, he could not get out of that train fast enough.  Note to self….CAREFULLY check what the whole experience will be like before putting your 2 year old on a ride by himself.

There was also a huge ball pit.  Jaden thought that would be REALLY fun.
Until he got in.  He couldn’t move very well without sinking and the balls were pretty big.  It was more scary than fun.  Whoops.

The 10 story slide…..well, he had a lot of fun climbing the stairs (although mommy didn’t).  He wasn’t excited about going down though.  Mia went down with Lizette first.  They neared the entrance to the slide and Jaden yelled NO, MIA, NO!!!!!  She laughed all the way down and wanted to go again but Jaden wanted nothing to do with it.  I, however, was not going to WALK DOWN 10 flights of stairs, so we went down the slide.  Slow and easy but BOY was I dizzy!

We redeemed the whole experience with the outdoor section.  Again, this is TOTALLY impossible to explain.  Endless tunnels and staircases that connect to each other in a never ending maze.  Destination points in your journey include a giant tree-house like think, one of two airplanes, an old firetruck, old towers or other strange structures.  We stuck to the stairs.  And Jaden headed for the airplanes.  They are old, crashed, stripped, shells of airplanes but still, they are up in the sky, and to Jaden, they are COOL!
He was also a big fan of getting to drive the fire truck
Needless to say we were POOPED by the time we were done at City Museum.  But, I would recommend it to ANYONE.  It’s most fun if you are willing and able to crawl around, up, down and all over the place.  Oh, and wear pants that you don’t mind getting REALLY dirty, wearing the knees out of, or completely ripping!

Okay – so I think it’s time for a break.  Can you believe I’m only to MONDAY!  That’s right….we’ve only been in St. Louis 3 ½ days at this point!  WHEW!

1 comment:

  1. What a trip! Someone was a great travel agent!