Wentzville: Six whole months have flown by since we moved cross-country to this quiet, bustling town west of St. Louis. Moving mid-pandemic was one thing, but finding the groove in getting settled has been another. At first, I didn’t think there was enough accomplished on my part to even fill in the blanks when people asked me how we like it here. Or when they asked if we knew where this town or that store was. Slowly, I feel like my bearings are coming together. Some spots sound familiar. My list of things to do is growing as fast as the weather is warming.
I wish we had family nearby. It’s been the hardest being the farthest ones away from both sides of our families. Phone calls and video calls are fewer and far less frequent now that we are in a different time zone than everyone else. Feeling lonely and isolated happens to me in sudden flashes, more so now than a year ago when everything shut down in California. But thank goodness for the sunshine and the friends of mine who send messages on random days – they always come right when I need them the most.
On those sunny days, I’ll sit out on my back deck with my dog and read a book or listen to calming music and just breathe. On days when I’m feeling more motivated, I walk a couple of miles with my fave playlist. A mental reset does the body good. Then I get back to work, power through my afternoon, and find my motivation to try a simple Pinterest recipe for dinner.
My husband works super close to home, so we get to have lunch dates once a week. Sometimes we try new local spots, just us. Sometimes he comes home, and we get to eat through the pantry together. It’s a nice break in the day to have those 30 minutes together. Also, a mood-booster. 🙂
Wentzville has a good selection of big box stores and familiar chain eateries to keep me entertained when I need to get something for the house or do a quick grocery pick-up for random dinner items.
We loved being able to book an egg delivery and visit with the Easter Bunny straight to our front lawn (Thanks Wentzville Parks and Rec!). Affordable and social distance-friendly. See a snippet of our quick visit with the Easter Bunny here. I’m adding this visit to the top of our Easter traditions list for next year. 😉
Our list of go-to food spots so far: 54th Street Bar & Grill was the first place we went to eat out when we got to town. It took us five months, but we made it to Grotto Grill, and it did not disappoint! The margaritas are delish, and so are the fried ravioli. And Duke’s BBQ in old town Wentzville might just get more of my business sooner rather than later. Culver’s has won over my ice cream cravings for now, but the local seasonal ice cream stand just re-opened, so I bet I’ll have made a trip or two there by the time this blog goes live.
I’ve been to St. Louis for IKEA, a coffee shop, airport drop-off and pick-up, and driven past the arch once. But we are definitely ready for baseball season to pick up to catch a game under the stadium lights. The zoo is on our list too!
We’ve been bowling and trampoline jumping in O’Fallon, did a couple of rounds at the mall in St. Peters, and browsed the shopping center in Lake St. Louis. But we spend most of our time going back and forth at the Wentzville Crossings shopping center because it has pretty much everything we could need.
Our neighbors have been good to us – the kids play all day, every day, we all fire up our grills on the weekends and do family-style dining together, and we check in on each other every day or two. My husband and I ask them all the time for their reviews and opinions on places we want to see and go eat. They hold no details back!
When I was asked what I had done right about the move/exploring, the first thing that came to mind was: I asked a lot of questions.When we enrolled my daughter in a school, I ensured that I had the rundown of everything from cleaning, routines, extracurriculars, and holidays— from the principal herself. My OCD in planning also helped to coordinate our arrival time, key pick-up, furniture, and appliance delivery, and planning for funds to keep on hand for the initial grocery run and incidentals. Not to mention packing (or sometimes overpacking) the “first-night” box. Really, it was a giant tub, but it had plenty of what we needed before our POD was delivered. (Pots, pans, cooking utensils, eating utensils, paper plates, napkins, plastic cups, Tupperware, cleaning supplies, bedding, towels, etc.)
Being open and willing to get to know my neighbors, and my husband’s coworkers and their spouses, has helped tremendously. Especially since we are a bit far from family members. I visit my friends for coffee on quiet mornings when our kids are off to school. We shop together on weekends. They come over and hang with us and our neighbors. It is like having extended family around and it’s always a good time. [You know who you are, and I’m grateful for you!]
Staying involved with my blogging and volunteering for St. Louis Mom has also been a huge plus! It’s a community of very welcoming women who have nothing but positive feedback and even more intel on everything STL. We have a great book club started. Trivia night for Galentines was so fun. Secret Santa virtual gift exchange was a blast and my first initial event as part of this group of ladies. I’m so ready to do more for this organization and with this ever-growing blogger fam.
Send me a list of your favorite STL hidden gems! I’m up for some exploring fun!