Another Look at the Air Show

Based on yesterday’s blog post, you might think we just saw the Red Arrows perform (and that was definitely the highlight for me!). But there was a whole airshow besides the Royal Air Force, which included a visit from a Budweiser Clydesdale, a static display, a parachute team, and many other flight demonstrations (an F-22 Raptor and the Aeroshell Aerodynamic Team were highlights)…it was awesome!

Not pictured are the Blue Angels, who also performed, but we left right before they took flight. We did get to see them, however, because we ate dinner at a restaurant not too far from the airport, and we could see them both from the parking lot, and from the restaurant’s windows!

Grant’s Farm Clydesdale Tour

Today, Ladybug and I went on a Clydesdale tour at Grant’s Farm:

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We met several famous horses, including Rudy, who is known for the 9-11 Budweiser commercial, and Pedro and Peewee, who have appeared in the last three Super Bowl commercials (and probably the next one, too). We also learned quite a bit about the differences between these horses. Rudy is a retired hitch horse, and because of his large size, was one of the wheel horses, which is the pair closest to the wagon. There are also body, swing, and lead horses (working from the wagon forward), and they are not all interchangeable…each horse has a specific job! Pedro and Peewee, on the other hand, while having the right look, weren’t big enough for the hitch, so their job is to be Budweiser stars!

We learned a lot about the horses in general, and which ones are chosen for the hitch. In order to pull the wagon, a horse needs to be between 18-20 hands high, have a black mane and tail, a dark brown body, white lower legs, and a white face. Also, the right personality is a must! Ladybug is definitely NOT 18 hands high!

We got to walk through the main barn, which used to be the foaling barn:

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We also saw a sled like the ones used in New Jersey when the horses learn how to pull for the first time:

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Their hooves are huge…we saw evidence of this in their prints on the ground, and in one of the shoes we got to hold…it weighs five pounds!

We also got see the show and practice tack. The show tack weighs a combined total of 130 pounds!

While we were on our tour, Ryan and the rest of the children had fun walking around Grant’s Farm, going to an animal encounter, (where Turkey got to hold a python), and riding the carousel:

And we all enjoyed seeing how beautiful Grant’s Farm is in the fall!

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Today was a very fun day, and we all had a good time at one of our favorite St. Louis area locations!

Grant’s Farm

Yesterday, we finally made it Grant’s Farm for the first time this summer. We usually make it out there much earlier in the year, (and usually multiple times by this point!), but it was a very busy summer, and it just hadn’t happened yet. We did try to get there last month, but when we got there, we discovered that they were closed for the week…note to self: always double-check the website before leaving home, just in case!

Anyway, we went, and the weather was beautiful. Cool, which was a nice change from the hot weather we’ve grown accustomed to encountering when we’re there. As always, it was a unique trip–it doesn’t matter how many times we’ve been there–we always see something new!

We saw an adorable baby buffalo. I wanted to bring it home, but my family vetoed that plan. Hey, I figured it would keep our lawn nice and short!

We also got to see an elk with a very impressive pair of antlers–I wouldn’t want to get too close to that guy in the wild!

We also saw many, many peacocks and peahens wandering around…plus some peachicks, too. I couldn’t get a great picture of the male’s tail feathers, because he kept trying to get away from us, (I wonder why?!?), but they were just as impressive as I’d imagined they would be!

The exotic birds were in rare form, too. Very vocal, and strangely expressive, face-wise. Who knew?

Of course, we had to visit the Clydesdale stable. We didn’t get to see any of them too close this time, but we did see a lot of them eating!

It was another fun family outing. I’m very grateful that we live in a place that has so many interesting, (and often free or inexpensive!), places for us to visit!

Marine Week at Busch Stadium

It’s Marine Week in St. Louis, and that event spilled over into last night’s Cardinals game. Directly across the street from Busch Stadium, there’s an area known, (somewhat sarcastically to those of us who live here), as “Ballpark Village.” As nothing else is on that land, it was the perfect place for the Marines to set up their static aircraft display. We didn’t have a chance to go walk around it, but we did get a good view of it from the bridge connecting the parking garage with the stadium area.

The Marine Band played before the game, including one of my favorites, “Stars and Stripes Forever.” They were very good, and it really added a festive air to the pre-game rituals. There is also something very grand about seeing such precision in a musical performance–just a reminder of the great ceremony that accompanies everything military!

The Marines also present the colors before the game. There was something really cool about seeing them standing at attention in the outfield, in the middle of the players warming up–it was like they were oblivious to everything around them but their task, which, I guess, they actually probably were!

At the end of the National Anthem, there was a Harrier jet flyover. I don’t think I’ve ever been at game with a flyover before, although I’ve certainly seen plenty of military aircraft at all of the air shows we’ve been to. It was really cool to see them go right over the stadium, (although a few of our children thought it was a bit too loud!) and it certainly added a little something to the end of the anthem.

In addition to being Marine Week, the Cardinals were also on ESPN last night. Guess who showed up to be filmed for the filler shots?

In all the times I’ve seen the Clydesdales at Grant’s Farm and the Anheuser-Busch brewery, I’ve never seen them all dressed up in their finery. They attracted quite a crowd–even the police officer assigned to keep people at a respectable distance was taking pictures. They are quite a magnificent sight to see!

It was kind of a spur-of-the-moment decision to go to┬áthe game, and in the end, the Cards lost, but it was still a really cool game to be at–full of unexpected moments and very unique events!