Thursday, June 5, 2008

Memorial Day Fun

Post by: Beth

So Memorial Day weekend, Raja's parents and brother got to come visit for the long holiday. We had a great time going around the city w/them, despite the fact that the weather was AWFUL. I learned a few things that weekend:

1) Raja's father REAAALLLY likes "MUS-eems"

2) Raja's brother a) will stop at nothing to visit ice cream shoppes
and b) could have a compulsive gambling problem if he wasn't so smart

3) Raja's mom is mighty scared of thunderstorm and flash flood warnings

4) Why Raja was consistently late for every single date we ever had the entire time he lived at
home with his family in Birmingham.

As for the first lesson, Raja's dad has this apparently insatiable love for museum. A lot of the museums in STL are free (read: aka, crappy), and it was quite difficult to drag Raja's dad out of the "Missouri History Museum." (Yes... it's as bad as it sounds.) The Science Center fared a bit better for us.. Think McWane Center and you pretty much have the idea, except the Science Center is older (read: aka, falling apart in some areas). Again, I'm pretty sure it was love at first sight for Mr. G. It basically meant that Rishi and Raja would be up front debating some (unknown and un-understandable to anyone besides themselves) fact they read in the Science Center, Raja's mom and I would be 12 feet behind discussing where she got her hair cut and how she decided to chop 6+ inches off, and Mr. Gupta would be lost somewhere behind us exploring yet another 'fascinating' exhibit the 45 year old museum had to offer. Quite funny.. I kept asking "Hey.. Where's Mr Gupta now??" and Mrs Gupta would respond with "I have no idea this time."

On Saturday night, we decided to take Raja's family to Ted Drewe's, which is a famous custard shoppe in STL. No matter what time of day/night, or what time of year, you will ALWAYS find a line outside this landmark. They have everything you can imagine. Want a brownie w/fudge, caramel, marshmallow cream, AND peanut butter? "Why, yes.. We have that.. It's actually #346 on our menu board." "Oh goody.. Can I please get that, but half the marshmallow cream and twice the fudge?" "Oh of course.. That's actually our special this week.. You can get that in a larger size for 40% less! And where is your accent from, by the way??" You get the picture. So Raja's brother, Rishi, has a serious sweet tooth. The guy chose a brownie for our breakfast at Panera that morning. Raja thought it would be such a great treat for his brother, so after dinner at a yummy Italian restaurant, Zia's on The Hill, we set off on our mission to give his family Ted Drewe's custard. We're happily riding along in the car, and all of a sudden, a terrible thunderstorm sets in. Big huge bolts of lightning start slashing the sky, Raja can't see the road (he says he can but I know he can't), and Mrs. Gupta is starting to look pretty nervous. The rain is coming down super hard, and the windshield wipers are no match for this. It's pretty bad outside... St. Louis has had a time lately with flash flooding and alot of people end up in pretty dangerous situations because 6 inches of water comes out of nowhere during this time of year. The sky is black and we start debating if we should continue on to Ted Drewe's, pull over, or head back to downtown. Raja's vote is to pull over and wait it out.. Mr Gupta seems pretty on-the-fence... Mrs Gupta thinks we should head back towards downtown, and I'm about to side w/her... Rishi, however, thinks we should continue on our way to Ted Drewe's. Yes.. in the lightning storm, flash flooding, and inability to see any part of the road, Rishi still wants ice cream. Finally, Mrs Gupta convinces Rishi that at the very least, we should pull over. So we pull over in a gas station and wait for the storm to pass us.... It's still a bit scary to see the lightning because it streaks across the sky and seriously almost touches the ground, but we do just fine, and eventually we're able to make it back downtown. Yes, Ted Drewe's must wait, but we're all feeling less nervous as we are in a safe area now and the storm has passed.

The next morning, we did brunch at a local restaurant called Roosters. Mr. Gupta ordered chocolate milk which was hilarious only because his rationale was "What?? I saw they had milk on the menu. Then I saw they had chocolate milk and I thought 'Hey.. why have regular milk when I can have chocolate milk?' " Then we were off to the mall because it was, again, raining, and we wanted to wait for it to pass over. Raja's family wanted to see the zoo, and we thought that was a great idea b/c we've heard wonderful things about the zoo here. I had plans to go to a friend's BBQ for the Mem Day Weekend, so I went one way and they went the other towards the zoo. Raja said it was really neat and they saw tigers, elephants, wolves, lepers, penguins, and even an ANTEATER! My BBQ was lots of fun also and I got to hang out with work friends and meet some new people. After that, we met back up for dinner at an Indian restaurant in the area.

After dinner, we went to the casino.. Raja and his brother played roulette and craps, and I promise you that it seemed to be the game plan to not quit playing until they had no money left. Literally, no money left. They'd be up... and it just didn't seem quite as satisfactory to them to walk away with more money than it did to keep playing until they had nothing. I'll never understand, but it was exciting to see them win when they did. :) We finally left the casino that night, and the next morning we went to the Arch area which was really neat. Again, Mr. Gupta disappeared into a casino and we couldn't find him, but hey.. this is just how it goes at this point. ;)

So after the Arch, it was time for the Guptas to start their trip home. We had a great weekend with them, eating out, shopping, sightseeing, and even all the "MUS-eems." We were glad they got to visit.

Later Monday, after they left, Raja and I went over to Sharry's house and had a cookout with her and her family. We have a few pictures from that, luckily. I will say that I didn't have time to dry my hair between the Guptas' departure and the start of the cookout, so excuse the curly hair. ;) We had such a fun time playing with them and their 2 energetic little boy (Holden & Cullen.. I'm not sure who had the most fun with Nerf gun: me of them!) and we also got to play their Wii gaming system! Raja and Vern played some violent shooting game that they seemed to enjoy quite a bit, so you can see photos of that. The video clip is of me playing the Wii on a game that you actually have to simulate hoola-hooping in. The funny part is I'm not sure Sharry actually meant to start recording.. You can hear her say "Oh it's recording!" but I was too far into the game to stop at that point. ;) All in all, the video and pictures are lots fun and we had a great time with them and their kiddos. We hope you all had a great Mem Day Weekend also!


rhonda said...

That video is hilarious. It looks like you have an itch and you just got your nails done and you can't scratch so you are trying to wiggle it out. lol Cute top you have on.

Beth & Raja Gupta said...

heh.. i know.. its so funny b/c you cant see the screen to know that i actually have this little blond-haired avatar vern made of me moving a hoola hoop around her waist. since you can't see that, it looks like i've just lost my mind and gone crazy ;)

Hershbine Family said...

That is too funny... I wish you had some pics of the guptas, too!
It has been so long since I have seen you with curly hair I almost did not recognize you... If raja had not been in the picture I would have thought that it was just some other friend of yours in the pic. I like it by the way... it is not nearly as curly as it used to be. you should wear it like that more often (from one curly head to another)

Beth & Raja Gupta said...

I KNOW!.. we didn't drag out the camera when the Guptas were here because the weather was so ugly and most of the museums don't allow flash photography inside :( We're hoping the next time they visit will bring better weather!