Posts Tagged ‘St. Louis’

Sunday, July 3, 2011

This was supposed to be just a fun weekend in St. Louis with family and friends, but it turned out to have a powerful restoration right at the beginning of it.  One that I didn’t even know we needed until yesterday morning.

We were heading up the interstate Saturday morning and would be getting to St. Louis around lunch time.  We were going to have lunch as a couple before meeting everyone else there later that afternoon.  We were talking about where we wanted to go to eat.

As we talked, I realized that there was one place on The Hill (St. Louis’ Italian community) that I had a bad association with, Mama Campisi’s.  That was the place where Ceecee had gone with my sister when they went to St. Louis without me.

I hadn’t known it at the time, but I realized later that my wife was going to test out leaving me.  It seemed that now, I still would try to avoid that restaurant and I didn’t want there to be any place on The Hill that bothered me, so I told her how I was feeling.

She immediately agreed that we should go there together, then, when we got to town.  We did, and we had an amazing time.  It was slow, and the waitress took extra time with us and we even got to share our story with her.  I had tears in my eyes when we left, but they were healing tears.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Today was our monthly day trip to St. Louis and we went to the City Museum for the first time.  We’ve often heard about it and people have told us to go for quite some time now, but we never did until today.

It’s unlike any place I’ve ever been and I can’t really even begin to describe it on here.  Let me just say, it’s not a museum.  At least not in any sense of the word that I’ve ever known.  It’s essentially a huge indoor playground for people of all ages in a huge old downtown building.

It’s made out of all sorts of recycled materials and found items.  It has a 10 story slide, a huge man-made cave area that you can literally get lost in, an arts and crafts area, a human hamster wheel, two bars, a vintage clothing store and I could go on and on.

On the roof, which was closed today due to weather, there are climbing areas and I’m not sure what all.  There’s also an aquarium inside that guests can visit for an additional fee.

Today, we had an unexpected snow, and we watched it from inside the museum.  It was beautiful, and it turned St. Louis into a beautiful wonderland just for the day.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The restoration trip to St. Louis has been more than I even hoped for.  Ceecee has been so amazingly sweet and loving and has just said and done everything right to make this an unforgettable and tremendously healing weekend.

When we set out in the car yesterday morning, we had to talk a little bit about we uncovered last Monday, which was OK, but I didn’t want to put a damper on the trip before we even started.  It’s just that we’ve learned through all of this not to let things sit and stew and become a problem later.  We’ve learned that you just say it and talk about it, but you do it in a loving way that puts the marriage first and any personal agendas to the side.

As we approached St. Louis, we had talked about where we would go and what we would do, but there was something that kept bothering me, so right before we got to town, I just asked my wife if she minded if I changed the agenda a little bit.  I told her what I was thinking and feeling, and what I wanted to do and she was more than fine with it.  She said that if it was important to me than we should definitely do it.

That’s how this weekend and how our “new” love has gone.  We communicate, we’re honest and open, and we put each other first.  I’m not sure why we needed to go through so much pain and heartbreak to get here, or even if we needed to, but I’ll never stop being thankful for what we have now.  I’ll also never stop trying to build what we have now into a house that will stand up to the test of time and the storms of life.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The weather was nice enough to take our bikes out today, so we got in 12 miles after work.  Well, let me qualify that.  The weather was nice enough FOR US to take our bikes out.  Of course there are cyclists who ride year round regardless of weather, but we are not those cyclists.  We’re wimps when it comes to riding in the cold.

Anyway, it was a nice ride and the first time we’ve been on two wheels in a while.  This weekend, we’re taking an unscheduled restoration trip to St. Louis.  After what went down  Monday, we need to get to our city and fix some hurts and disappointments.  I’m a little scared of what fallout there might still be, but we’re also really committed to seeing ourselves healed, whole, and as strong as can be, so I suspect this is going to be a blessing on multiple levels.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Back in our beloved St. Louis.  We stopped to eat at Guido’s on The Hill, which we always enjoy.  It brought back so many good memories, but especially of the day while we were separated and we brought my daughter to St. Louis.  That was the day when we sat at Guido’s and Ceecee began to recall good memories from our past, not the painful and difficult ones she had been stuck on for so long before that.

We all laughed a  lot that day and it seemed like something had changed in the dynamics of our relationship.  Ceecee confirmed later that I was right and that she had indeed begun to entertain a little hope that day that maybe things could work out for us.

Tomorrow we hit the road again, going west this time.  We’ll be staying in Dodge City, Ks as the tour continues…

Saturday, November 27, 2010

This morning, we caught the train back to St. Louis. Everything in Chicago was beautiful and we’re living the dream, literally. Although it would be hard to ever top that very first visit back in 2003, and we have so many great memories through the years that followed, I’d say this was our best trip ever. It’s like the old and familiar plus the new and exciting melded into one experience. We had the joy of “new love” in the context of all our past experiences and memories. It really defies description and will simply live in our hearts as a healing and restoring experience that we will always carry.

While we were on the train, we got a call from the furniture manager at Dillard’s, where Ceecee used to work. She had picked out a sofa for us while she was still there, but we were waiting for it to go on sale. Now that she doesn’t have an employee discount anymore, she told the manager that if it ever went on clearance to call us and we would buy it. We didn’t expect that call today, but I told him where we were and he said he’d mark it sold and we could come in tomorrow.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

When we got to Springfield this afternoon, we drove straight to Old Chicago for some football and comfort food. We hadn’t meant to leave St. Louis so early, but my knee is way more messed up than I realized.

We ate breakfast in the hotel with our costumes on, which started some interesting conversation, and we got someone to take a couple of pictures of us. Then we went to the 10K and it was really a neat experience to take in everything from serious runners who were really there to compete, to some really great and even some totally outrageous costumes. The guy who won the costume contest made a huge cage and half a praying mantis sticking up about 3 feet out of the top of it. He made fake human legs hanging over the front, and his legs were praying mantis’ legs running on the bottom. He carried that thing for the entire 6.2 miles.

About 3 miles in, my knee just started killing me. I tried to run through the pain, but I couldn’t. I told my wife to just go on ahead and not let me ruin it for her, but she just kept saying, “We’re together.” She stayed with me while I had to walk most of the last 3 miles and not only didn’t complain, but made me feel like I was the most important thing in the world to her. I jogged a little bit here and there, but never very long because of the pain. When we could see the finish line, we took each other’s hand and ran the last part together. I almost fell because it hurt so much, but I was determined that we wouldn’t walk across the finish line.

After the race, I could barely walk, so after the costume contest was over and the prizes awarded, I hobbled to the car and we went for lunch and then hit the road. It was a shame to be hurt like that, but Ceecee was so wonderful and loving that it almost didn’t matter. I was just a little worried about what the implications were and whether I would end up having to have surgery on my knee.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Beautiful day in St. Louis today. Got here in the morning and went straight to Soulard’s, a huge farmer’s market down by the river in the French district. They serve jello shots, which in and of itself makes it probably the world’s coolest farmer’s market. Of course we went to the zoo and visited the penguins and had lunch on the Hill. The weather has been perfect, and the day has been relaxing and fun. The only thing we had to do today was pick up our race packets and shirts, but we drove up this morning so we could spend the day doing our usual “day in St. Louis” things.

We ate a long leisurely lunch outside at Guido’s and I couldn’t help thinking of the day back in July when we sat at the same table with my daughter and the tide had really begun to turn for us. That day, I was facing the fear of never being able to work things out and the upcoming school year looming before us. Today, we were as relaxed and happy as two people could be and we just basked in the spirit of love and celebration.

In the afternoon, we picked up our race packets and t-shirts. Of course, we’ll be wearing our costumes during the race. We’re staying at a Drury Inn and they have free food and drinks in the evening, so we decided to go for it. Being foodies, it was a pretty funny experience. They had hot dogs and chips, Bud Light (which was ghastly), and a lot of stuff that we normally never eat. Then we spent some time in the hot tub and indoor pool. After a while, we got overrun with kids and my wife offended somebody by calling the kids critters, but we didn’t care. It was all in fun.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Our actual anniversary isn’t until Wednesday, but as of 3:00 today when we left work, anniversary week has begun! We are going all out and this is going to actually be a nine day anniversary celebration, because this is the one that was never going to be until the miracle of our restoration began taking place. It’s really almost 10 days if you count tonight, which I am.

Tomorrow we leave for St. Louis and a week from Sunday, we’ll be coming back from Tennessee. We’ve had some Cat Stevens references going back and forth on Facebook between us today. Ceecee wrote, “The wild world sent me home…where I belong,” and “You found your hard headed woman.” I wrote back, “And I know the rest of my life will be blessed.” We are the only ones who truly know how much that exchange meant, but let’s just say it did my heart a lot of good. On the one hand, I don’t really like it when she plays “wild world” in the car, because I know it represented her leaving me to go see what was out there on the wild side, but on the other hand, that CD was a gift of love that I gave her and there are some other songs on it that have become meaningful to us.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Got our costumes finished today for the Halloween 10K. Not everyone runs in costume, but a lot of people do and we wanted to come up with something that would be fun and also mean something.

We’ve been talking about it off and on for a while now, but it was my wife that came up with the idea that we ended up going with. One day, just out of nowhere, she said, “Why don’t we go as opposite sides of the same coin?” I immediately loved it, because that was the phrase that my friend Adam had used months ago to describe us

We were separated and Ceecee and I had gone to art walk with Adam joining as kind of a third wheel. When I talked to him on the phone soon after and asked him if he was confused about why Ceecee and I weren’t together, he had said, “You guys are one. You’re opposite sides of the same coin.” I had told Ceecee that he had said that, but of course, we weren’t together then, so she didn’t respond and I was very pleasantly surprised to realize now that she still remembered that and still thinks about it.

This is really what the restoration tour is all about. Revisiting the same literal, physical places where things happened while we were breaking apart, and also revisiting those memories, those words that were spoken, those actions that were done that hurt each other and that we would never do now that we are in love again.

So how are we going as opposite sides of the same coin, you may wonder?, We are wearing tight black running pants or shorts with long-sleeved black shirts. We made signs that go on our backs with black on white for one and white on black for the other that say “Opposite sides of” and “the same coin.” Then we used a projector at school to trace and draw the front and back of a Missouri quarter onto cardboard cut-outs painted silver.