Posts Tagged ‘vacation’

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Went to St. Louis today and had a really good time. Ceecee and I go to St. Louis about once a month, usually right around payday. Sometimes it’s for the weekend, but a lot of times it’s just a day trip. We “discovered” St. Louis over the 4th of July in 2009 when we spent the weekend there.

I remember passing by on vacations when I was a kid with my family and thinking, “What a horrible place.” It always seemed awful from the car windows going by on I-70.

When we moved to Missouri – and especially when people would find out that my wife is Italian – they would say, “You know about The Hill, right?” As time went by, we came to understand that The Hill was an Italian neighborhood in St. Louis and people would talk about it like it was this wonderful place. I couldn’t imagine anything in St. Louis being nice, but eventually, we decided to go check it out.

Over a Fourth of July weekend, we got a room for two nights and completely fell in love with not only The Hill, but the whole city. We discovered Forest Park, which is bigger than New York City’s Central Park and houses the Zoo, Art Museum, History Museum (which are all free) and much more. We went to Soulard’s, a huge farmer’s market down by the river, and we ate one of the best meals I’ve ever had at Charlie Gitto’s, one of the many Italian restaurants on The Hill.

Anyway, we went today and had a lot of fun. We went to Soulard’s, got orange cream soda at Fitz’s, had a picnic in Forest Park, and spent time at The Hill, of course. We shop for Italian groceries while we’re there, and we always go to one of the bakeries for treats and bread. We’ve talked about maybe living here someday, but we’ll see.

My wife and I recently returned from a trip to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.  We spent three days there, mainly in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park.

While I certainly had no objection to going, it wasn’t me who was motivated to plan and save for this vacation.  Ceecee is a Harry Potter fanatic, and had been excited about this since the day she heard that such a place was being built.

The truth is, my wife is a kid at heart.  She loves to play, and she still experiences the wonder that adults often lose sight of.  Her eyes get wide in toy and candy stores, she loves going to the zoo, blowing bubbles, watching Disney movies, and lots of other things that most people her age have long since given up and forgotten.

It would be easy to look down on that, and some people do.  They don’t always think Ceecee is “acting her age.”

There’s a big difference between being childlike and childish, however.  My wife is not childish.  To be that would mean that she was immature and self-centered.

A person who is childlike can still see the world through the eyes of wonder.  A childlike soul isn’t so jaded that the negative aspects of life have snuffed out the simple joy of living.

Now, before you go thinking she is naive because she’s had it easy, let me assure you that nothing could be farther from the truth.  Not too many people would trade childhoods with her, if they knew what she’d been through.  Her adult life has been no picnic either.  In fact, I dare say that I’ve never known anyone who has overcome as much as she has, and is as healthy and well-adjusted as she is.

Jesus extolled the virtue of becoming like a child.  It’s the idea that you still believe in hopes and dreams, and life still holds excitement and promise, even in little things. As much as life has tried to rob her of her innocence, she stubbornly refuses to let go.

Seeing her face and getting to experience the excitement of Universal Studios with her was a highlight.  She’s already planning our next adventure, and I’ll be blessed to be part of it as well.