Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Day 2

*vacation story continued*
October 11, 2008
Waking up in a strange part of Missouri I had never been to before, I discovered that I loved the breakfast at the Fairfield Inn and decided right then and there I wanted to live there. Ok, maybe not live there- but I wanted their breakfast every morning from then on. They have a waffle maker- where you fill the cup with the waffle batter and put it in the waffle iron and wait until it beeps then flip it and wait until it beeps and throw it on your plate! I did not have waffles however. I was drawn to the blueberry muffins. I have to admit, I loaded my plate with more carbs than one can ingest in one meal, so I took most of it with me. I still have the box of raisin bran I picked up.
Anyway. We decided to get going with this whole "vacation" thing around 10am that day. While I had been napping in the car the night before I had missed several road signs that would have peeked my interest- Good thing Gonzo had been awake. About 20 minutes after we hit the highway, Gonzo was exiting to a strange road that wasn't on our path and I was like "dude, where are we going?" and he just points to a sign.
One of the best parts of the trip happened on day 2. Gonzo was driving me on Route 66. Something I had been wanting to do since High School.

We drove on it for a good while, saw that one entire town in Missouri turns into a massive yard sale on Saturdays and then continued on our way.
We kept pulling off the road to see little campsites and explore the gorgeousness that actually lives in Missouri (I'm sorry if I'm offending people by saying that, but I grew up in a home that made it sound like hillbillies were the only thing that lived in Missouri, and it was probably a barren waste-land. It is not, and they are normal folks, just like anyone else. Missouri is beautiful- especially with the falls colors). We pulled off the road in time for lunch at the Meramec Caverns.

These Caverns just so happen to be the hideout of Jesse James- however they will only spend about 5 minutes of the tour telling you about him...the tour is over an hour long (walking tour, bring your walking shoes, and a's cold!). I have to admit, I was pretty excited to get out of the car and walk...especially in the caverns. In Wisconsin they have the Cave of the Mounds, which can pretty much compare to the Meramec Caverns- with no tight spaces to crawl thru (Cave of the Mounds is a field trip spot elementary kids go to- grown adults don't enjoy the tight spaces as much...especially if you have a fear of enclosed spaces). But I found myself thinking about the time when I was a kid and wandering Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico and thinking about how much bigger that was.

But it was fun! Gonzo took a crap ton of pictures (my camera hates the dark and far distances...his thrives in it)

We got back on the road after the tour and headed North...East...northeast? To hit our next destination- St. Louis.

I have to admit, I did not want to stop and see the arch. I was like "it's an arch, big woopie". But when you start to see it and you're still 10 miles away from it, it's kind of impressive. So we stopped. They were having some big hippie art festival where they were going to be burning some stuff later that night, but we didn't stay for it. It was good to get to stop and chat with the local artists and find out about the festival, and watch them build their pieces along the river. We have so many pictures of St. Louis I'm only going to post a few:

I've heard tales of the locals asking people who are taking pictures if they can see the wad of gum stuck to the top of the arch and I actually met one of them...not as funny since I've heard the stories. But it still made me laugh.
I wanted to go on a horse carriage ride but Gonzo's response was "Sorry man, we're heading to Wisconsin, we don't have time".
Next time we're in St. Louis we'll make the time.
We got lost trying to leave the downtown area- and I'm glad we did.

They have some beautiful architecture and some gorgeous fountains. Apparently the day we were there 18 couples had gotten hitched and were all taking their wedding photos in the fountains- it was really pretty.
We hit the Illinois/Missouri border just before sun down and made it thru the state in about 2 hours (thank you radar detector!).
By about 8:45pm we made it to Wisconsin. We took the back way of getting to my friend Jessica's house, via Beloit, Janesville, Evansville, and Brooklyn- but we got there by 10pm.
We were pretty wiped out but managed to stay up and chat with Jess and her mom Helen.
Thus concludes day 2 of our trip.

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