This past week we traveled to St. Louis to watch the Panthers play in the MVC basketball tournament. Cody's parents watched the boys for a couple of days while we watched some basketball. It was a whirlwind trip, but this weekend is always one of my favorites, a tradition since I was young. It's fun to stay at the same hotel every year, reminisce on past memories of the same trip and visit with friends and fans all weekend long. I'm not sure that St. Louis would ever be a destination of choice for me if it wasn't to watch basketball... but it's the perfect city to watch basketball in. Probably because there's so much tradition here, and so many memories.
Just a few images of the trip... I didn't get any shots inside the arena because they don't allow cameras with removal lenses into the games without photo media credentials.
We love this hotel we've been staying at for several years, and so does Coach Jake. It's very family friendly... all rooms and balconies visible from the lobby, making it easy to spot everyone from wherever you're at. Kids can run around without ever being out of view of their parents, and there's a bar right in the middle, making it the perfect gathering spot.
Our room was at the top.
Hanging our flag upon arrival...
The alumni department does a great job decorating the hotel, and the hotel staff all wear UNI tshirts the entire time.
It's fun to see the Panther flags hanging outside of everyone's rooms.
The gathering spot. We said several times that we felt bad for any hotel guests that didn't have anything to do with UNI. We literally took over the place. In fact, the bartenders were so excited to have so much good business that they didn't even make my dad pay for his drink right before the pep rally. ;)
They changed their colors just for us...
The view from our room... the Edward Jones Dome and Kurt Warner memories. We had the opportunity of seeing Kurt play there his first year with the Rams... just a couple of months before he won the Super Bowl.
We returned home to our boys... who were just as tired as we were from our time away! Our first night home we took Brandon shopping with one of his birthday gift cards (thanks Aunt Sally!) and then stopped at the new Culver's for some ice cream.
The cones were a little bigger than we thought they would be! ;)
A few more images from our weekend...
Lucy missed us and was desperate for some attention. ;)
We took the boys to paint some pottery on Sunday. This had been on my bucket list for a long time, and they loved it. Brandon made me a flower vase, and Jaden made me a coffee cup. I get to pick the pieces up this coming weekend -- dishwasher safe and all!
We spent the rest of our weekend stocking up our fridge, doing laundry, and treating Cody's dad to a good meal at our house Sunday night while his mom was gone. And now that all things winter are behind us -- birthdays and basketball and holidays -- we are so ready to look towards Spring. I'm ready for flip flops and soccer practice, potted flowers and the smell of fresh cut grass, Easter baskets and bike rides. I'm so anxious to clean up our outdoor space and organize our garage again with all the new stuff we collected in the winter months. I started bringing touches of spring to our home yesterday, and have so many more ideas collecting. I just need the weather to cooperate with me!
Okay Spring... come out, come out wherever you are!