I grew up outside St Louis. Here, in my current hometown, I simply call it “the St Louis Area.” This gets them to the great state of Missouri….and that’s about it. Though, on the rare, awesome occasion, I do meet people who are familiar with my hometown. Even though I am not from St Louis, I still claim it. It’s home. Given the exponential rate of McMansions and Super Ultra Walmarts in my hometown, I’m just as comfortable in the city as I am in town. I’m just as likely to come up with a great place to eat in Kirkwood, The Hill, or the Central West End as I am to find a place ten minutes from my home. Crazy, but true.
When I was a kid, I looked forward to the week every summer when my out-of-state cousins would visit – we’d spend the entire week visiting the Family Friendly Staples of a St Louis Summer – the zoo – grant’s farm – baseball games – you name it. It was my favorite.
Now, as an adult, I find that MY family is the catalyst for getting to these awesome places. When Evelyn and I made a quick trip in to visit my sisters, we sandwiched our road trip to Mizzou with a tour up the arch – Grant’s Farm – the zoo – Lone Elk Park – some only-in-the-area food, and even a catch-up with two sweet friends from high school. There’s something so heart warming about taking my daughter to places were my fondest childhood memories were made. I wonder if people who live in the same places where they grew up feel the same way? It’s a privilege, and I don’t take it lightly, that my parents are around and so eager to teach Evelyn about catching fish and wander through the zoo with her. It’s the epitome of having “roots” and “wings” – I have followed where my life led me, but I can always go home, too.