St. Louis Dad Favorites of 2020

What a cluster of a year it has been. With all of the tragedies, pain, and anguish 2020 provided, how about I lighten the mood and tell y’all about some positives from 2020.

A couple of the items on my list did not originally come out in 2020, but when you have a lot of downtime you revisit things you may have missed in years past. So you may see a few things listed that arn’t actually new. But this is my blog so yeah… Let’s get started!

A good portion of this year has been spent in front of the television. We’ve watched so much content. Shows, movies, videos, etc… But the two shows that stood out the most for me this year were, Hell on Wheels and The Mandalorian.

First let’s start with Hell on Wheels. Holy cow! That show was phenomenal. I am kind of happy I skipped it while it was airing because binging it was what I needed at that time. The story, while based on reality is littered with fiction, but that doesn’t make the show any less enthralling.

Next of course is The Mandalorian. My favorite space western. Story telling is what this show does best. Jon Favru has put together this amazing story and unique way of pulling it all together into the entirety of the Star Wars universe.

While we did watch a lot of movies during this pandemic, we only went to the theaters once, and that was before the shutdown began and nobody had even heard of Covid-19. We went and seen Sonic The Hedgehog and let me tell ya, that movie was awesome. Yeah it is for kids but growing up with Sonic, it was for people like me too. It was a great family comedy that definitely deserves a sequel.

Speaking of sequels, Bill and Ted Face the Music also came out this year. My mind was blown with how great that one was. I felt the same spirit from the first two Bill and Ted movies. Face the Music stamped this trilogy as something that will now get a yearly rewatch.

Other honorable mentions for movies this year are Tenet. A great movie by a great director. It’s not as good as Inception, but it is one of the better movies coming out of 2020. I also had time to finally watch the Before trilogy by Richard Linklater. These three movies capture a moment of time between two characters that shape the rest of their lives. All three are very powerful, yet simple films. It would be cool to see a fourth Before movie, but I am happy with how Before Midnight ended, and I think it caps off the story perfectly.

I also found myself getting sucked down Youtube holes, which eventually led me to a very uniquely filmed documentary titled Alan Zweig’s VINYL. Alan meets with several vinyl record collectors and discusses with them their motives and more behind their collections. It looks like it was filmed on an old VHS recorder, but it’s so captivating that you cannot look away.

As we move on from movies and television shows, let’s take a look at my favorite things we did that involved going somewhere. First up is the St. Louis Aquarium & St. Louis Wheel. We were invited to help with the re-opening after some places were allowed to reopen with limitations. Masked up and ready to check out this new St. Louis attraction, we quickly found out how cool it is. Plus a ride on the wheel, it made for a great day out of the house.

We also ventured outside of St. Louis and found dozens of trails for hiking, and we even did some camping! I think 2021 will find us back out on the trails and back in the tent. Sometimes it is just nice to get away from everything and just get a break. Which leads me to my last favorite adventure of 2020, and that was Bull Shoals. We try to visit the lake as often as we can and heading down in 2020 was much needed. Not much has changed where we stay, we just know that it was a break our entire family needed before wrapping up this crazy year.

One of my favorite things we did this year at home was growing a garden! Starting back in late February, early April, we ended the growing season with dozens upon dozens of cucumbers, 1 great looking pumpkin and a few other items. Growing the garden was an accomplishment on it’s own and I am so happy to see the results of several months work.

I used alot of those cucumbers to try my hand at making pickles. Using my grandpa’s recipe I made some delicious bread and butter pickles that my wife could not get enough of. Next year I will need to plan on making even more!

Back when the pandemic started and the kids were forced to stay home. I developed a lesson to make sure my kids knew all about the great East Coast vs West Coast rivalry with Biggie and Tupac. The discussion was fun but also led to some good conversation about respect, bullying, and other important life lessons.

Any moment with my mom was definitely a highlight of 2020. If you’ve been following along you’ll know that she is no longer with us, and I am thankful that during a crazy 2020 I was still able to make a few more memories before she left.

I am sure there is more, but these are just a few of the best moments from this past year. I am more than just a little excited to get this year over with and move on to 2021 with a refreshed focus and outlook on everything.

Richie

My name is Richie and I am a 37 year old father of two. My daughter is ten years old and my son is seven. I am married to a beautiful woman named Destiny. She is the foundation of our family, and without her, none of this would be possible. During the day I work as a network security administrator for a local school district. At night I can be found illustrating books, working on websites, or creating music, but more than likely though I am spending time with my kids.

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