Monday, June 8, 2015

Running Away to Join the Circus

We had a great summer weekend, you guys. We took the girls to Shakespeare in the Park (made it to intermission!)

I cannot get over how much Coco eats. She's a boss.
We wore coordinating shades of blue. It may or may not have been intentional.
This kid was obsessed with the wine bottle. Hashtag like mother like daughter.
We also went to a potluck at the home of a biology professor friend of mine who has a clutch of tortoises (twenty-two of them) living in her sunroom (I'm kicking myself for not getting a photo of Zuzu with Gus and Poppy).

And we kicked summer off to its official start at the Tower Grove fountain.

But the highlight of the weekend was taking Zuzu to Circus Flora last night.

Oh. My. Word. If you are in St. Louis, you've got to go to this show. It was so cute and so thrilling and just amazingly fun.

We had planned to get tickets for Zuzu as a birthday present, but as "early birthday gift" doesn't really compute to an almost-three year old, we didn't talk about the birthday part of it much. But she got all dressed up in a sweet little pink eyelet dress (hand-me-down from a cousin) and Coco stayed home with our friend K and her girls (and celebrated her 10-month-birthday)!

It was really sweet for Zuzu to have our undivided attention.

Because, clearly, she doesn't get enough attention.

We were gifted our tickets, so we were thrilled to find ourselves on the front row of a box--literally an arm's reach away from the action. (In fact, when the horses and the daredevil riders came out, the ringmaster instructed us to lean back because they ran so close to the edge of the center ring that we needed to stay out of their way.) The tent was both big and small, so the events were incredibly impressive but also intimate in the sense that we were thisclose to the action.

The tightrope walkers and the trapeze act were so good that my hands were sweating watching them--I seriously had to look away a couple of times. There were no nets! Just sawdust floor! It was the real deal.

Zuzu was completely entranced by the animal acts--all domestic animals, mind you, and all obviously trained with positive reinforcement. 

Later when we asked her what her favorite part of the circus was, she said "Popcorn!" (which she pronounces "quawk-corn" for reasons unknown and adorable) but she kept talking about the kitty-cats when we got home. And the cats were awesome! (As was the fact that their trainer is a lovely Russian woman who looks just like my cousin Angela.) There were miniature horses, and birds, and then the big horses. Honestly, I kept missing some of the acts because it was so much fun for me to watch Zuzu watching the circus.

I loved the kids who did the opening tumbling act--local kids from age 9-17 years old who are in an acrobat troupe that I kind of want to join. Zuzu and I practiced our somersaults and twirls when we got home and I think that we are just about ready to audition.

It was really the most delightful two hours. The acts all hang together with a narrative about a neighborhood called Second Street, and we just had the best time. My favorite was the landlord and his love on the trapeze, but really they were all wonderful. Zuzu got a real kick out of the handy man with his pretend cat, too.

I can't recommend it enough--and if you're not local, come in town and you can stay with us when you go see it. It's that good.


  1. Sounds like so much fun!

    Also, I love that she calls it quawk-corn! My six year old still calls pretzels "print-zels" which is even more adorable since he's talked like an adult since he was two and I've warned my family that they are not allowed to correct him! So darn cute!

  2. I can't believe she sat through and watched it all! I don't know if M can do that yet, even if she found it fascinating. We loved Tower Grove last year when we were there!

  3. I'm so glad you loved it. I knew you would. It's theatre + circus combined. It's the highlight of our year. This might be our 8th year going, I can't really remember. I also love their posters. This is the first print we got and it hangs in E's room:

    Then we got the Merlin one because it's AWESOME. I swore that would be it, but I also love the Second Street one. I'm going to run out of walls.

    Our wedding photographer in KY visited Circus Flora one year (he does mostly equine photography now) and they invited him back to photograph the following year. He has some really amazing photos. My parents gave me one of his signed prints a few years ago.

    Last year's Chess Theme "The Pawn" (tying in with the World Chess event and that great fashion exhibit you tipped us off about) might still be my favorite play.

    I sweat like a crazy lady during the high wire acts.

    Best St. Louis thing, hands down. Just the sight of the tent makes me happy and means summer.

    Before I get the award for longest comment ever, here's the link to a documentary on the founder.

  4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the photo of big girl Zuzu admiring the act! <3 Gorgeous.

  5. I love the picture of her looking up at everything, taking it all in. She looks so little there and just in awe. Such a special event with your Zu, what fun!

  6. I love your coordinated outfits. And the quilt. And how much fun you had at the circus!

  7. Zuzu looks so much like Coco in that profile shot.