Plans change and that’s o.k. We were going to Florida this winter but the kids and grand-kids had something different in mind and, of course, kids rule! “We vote Vegas for Christmas they shouted!” But, we were just there last winter – we’re not going…
In an inspiring wine moment I said to Chuck “why can’t we go to Vegas? In fact, we can stop in Poplar Buff, MO and pick up Kathryn, Jagger, Mollie & Katie. We’ll do a road trip! Oh, the memories we can make, the things we’ll see, the places we’ll go…”
As it turns out we’ll be watching the weather and burning 1600 miles of pavement. We can’t leave Poplar Bluff until the 19th and then we have to be in Vegas by the 22nd – 23rd at the very latest. You see all the ladies will be putting on their ‘fancies’ and heading to the strip for Thunder Down Under on the 23rd. Yes, the 23rd at the latest…
In the meantime, until the 19th of December, we’re just killin’ time…
The 1st 165 mile stop after Chicago was Springfield, IL. We’ve often talked about visiting each and every Presidential Library and this was the 1st one on the list – The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. With more than 120 original artifacts – including original versions of Lincoln’s most famous speeches, the family carriage, his death bed – the exhibition makes a powerful and sombre impact. The Museum uses life-like figures and scenes to bring Abe Lincoln’s legacy to life. And what an impact he made from 1858 to his last speech, assassination and funeral in 1865.
Across the street from the Museum sits the historic and grand Union Station opened in 1898. In 1985, under threat of demolition, Union Station was rehabilitated and the restoration was completed in March 2007 at the cost of $12.5 million. Today, it houses the film sets, costumes and props from Steven Spielberg’s movie on display in an exhibit entitled Lincoln: History to Hollywood. The sets for Lincoln won the Academy Award for Production Design and the costumes received an Academy nomination. Unfortunately, no pictures were allowed.
We didn’t visit the Library side of the complex which contains more than 12 million items pertaining to all aspects of Illinois history, including the world’s largest collection of original Lincoln materials.
This capital city of Illinois is full of all things Lincoln and history – its everywhere! One day just doesn’t cut it…
Leaving Springfield we headed 100 miles to St. Louis, MO. We arrived in St. Louis to find construction, roads closed and detours – and we’re lost! Time to find a large spot to pull-over; check the i-phone, get our bearings and make a new plan… Whew! That u-turn was easy!
We had plans to stay at an RV park in St. Louis and as we drove slowly by the entrance Chuck said “I don’t think I want to stay here”. OK – time to find another large spot to pull-over; check the i-phone, get our bearings and make a new plan… Whew! No u-turn this time but we’re heading across the Mississippi river to Saint Charles, MO.
We knew nothing about Saint Charles – but were more than pleasantly surprised! What an historic, quaint town, full of unique shops and restaurants – and all dressed in its finest Christmas garb! Greenery and red bows and thousands of white lights everywhere! It was beautiful! This town was founded in 1769 as Les Petites Côtes, “The Little Hills”, by Louis Blanchette, a French-Canadian fur trader. Today old inns, buildings and cobble stoned streets still stand as if time stood still. Once a hub for westward expansion and river travel, Saint Charles is the third-oldest city in Missouri.
The area also became the home of Daniel Boone in 1799 and there’s plenty of evidence of his legacy with places like Boone’s Colonial Inn, Boone’s Lick Trail Cottage, Boone’s Lick Trail Inn – and his statue:
In keeping with all things old we couldn’t pass up the chance to visit Fast Lane Classic Cars. Great old car memorabilia; die cast collectors editions; and beautiful classic cars and motor cycles on display – and for sale. $100,000 for a Cadillac Eldorado anyone?
Just waiting over the river was a free tour of the historic Anheuser-Busch Brewery (opened 1852), the Budweiser Clydesdales and beautiful horse barns. The brewhouse with its dominant clocktower is the heart of the St. Louis brewery.
Some useful facts:
. all employees receive 2 cases of beer each month…
Time to move 160 miles to Poplar Bluff to share Thanksgiving with Kathryn and the grand-kids Jagger, Molly and Katie. While we did get in a visit with the grand-kids they spent Thanksgiving with their Dad. Nonetheless – we shared Kathryn’s very 1st turkey! She did a fine job and it was delicious!
Nashville and Charleston are a couple of target destinations on this route that are – and will be – worthy of their own post. We’ve already been to the amazing Music City so more to follow. We’ll be in Charleston next week – and absolutely everyone we talk to says “its our favourite place”. Other destinations on the route are visits with family – some of whom we haven’t seen in years – oh my!
In the meantime we’re covering 2,160 miles just killin’ time!