We have been traveling one full week, (and an hour, really) at this point. Tonight we are staying @ Sleep Inn, where the customer service is non-existent, and there’s a beeping noise two rooms down (that they are refusing to do anything about, since “someone is in that room”). I imagine that the LAST thing I will be doing here is SLEEPing. The front desk clerk is absolutely accommodating, but none to happy about it. Well, not accommodating entirely, since that beeping noise is still going on! (at 9:50 at night)
This morning had us leaving St Joseph, Missouri after a long night of NO tornadoes (despite what was promised on the radio) in a slightly questionable Motel6. I knew lunch would be big (BBQ in St Louis), so I told the kids we’d just grab a doughnut @ the local gas station (it was next door to a Dunkin’ Donuts). Bad choice, there were flies and other bugs flying around inside the doughnut container, so I told them to grab something SEALED and we’d get moving down the road. In fact, Kylen (quite loudly) proclaimed ” EEEEWWWW GROSS, THERE’S BUGS IN THERE! WHO WOULD EAT THAT?” Ahh, kids. We had over 600 miles to log today, and a big stop in the middle, so we needed to get moving.
We got to St Louis about 4 1/2 hours later because there was lots of Kansas City to get through, tons of road work, and retarded drivers (according to my aggressive chauffeur). St Louis was looking like it would be much of the same, until we saw the Gateway Arch in the distance, and then everyone got a little excited. We had no expectations since we knew NO ONE who had gone up in it, but were looking forward to getting to walk around downtown. We parked, left the dogs in the kennels in the truck bed. It was an overcast morning, so we thought they’d be okay. Right out of the parking lot was 2nd street, and it was full of restaurants. We ate at the first one we come across, and it was WONDERFUL and CHEAP (compared to Alaska).
From there we walked the 1/2 mile or so to the Arch (omg, it was HOT by then and the sun was OUT for a bit). There’s sooooo much more than that I had thought. There’s a museum under neath the middle of the arch, the Westward Expansion Museum (with a baseball section in the back). We bought our tickets ($30 total) and went to catch a ride up to the top (I only found out last night that you could ride up to the top). You have to go downstairs a flight, then wait to ride in this little space pod elevator that seats 5 (tightly). There are 8 pods or so that rotate up and down every 10 minutes. There are rides from the North and South sides of the Arch. Then you pile in, and wait for the 4 minute ride up. You are welcome to stay as long as you want up there, but one can only handle so much I imagine. We looked around from both sides of the Arch. And even found our DIRTY blue truck in the parking lot (at the bottom of the “lot” picture). This was the highlight of our trip. It was wonderful, and definitely something I would recommend to others, and we completed it in an hour and a half :) . We didn’t see much of the museum (worried about the dogs in the heat).
Then we traveled south, through the Bootheel of Missouri, and then into Arkansas for the worst hour of this trip. Ar-kansas bites. Eventually we crossed the Mississippi River into Tennessee, through Memphis (past the Graceland Exit) and into Mississippi to stop in Horn Lake. Tomorrow there are only 350 (or so) miles to go, and we’ll be able to STOP DRIVING.. :) Heck, I should be able to take a nap and wake up in my mom’s driveway? Haha.
I took 166 pictures, so only a few are below, the rest are worth seeing (although some crappy ones are there too).
You’ll see *A billboard I found funny, *Blue/Red Tongues, *Dogs @ the Rest stop outside of St Louis, *bad weather pano, and *My own Arch photos (which I love). ENJOY!!!
So – to close up.
We went to go to eat (across the parking lot), and shut the curtains so the dogs could feel the FULL benefit of the air conditioner, and it turned the room pitch black. In the darkness Rickie says, “That must be why they call it SLEEP INN.”
We walk across the parking lot to Cracker Barrel, (where I drank 40 glasses of REAL sweet tea). I order Apple Butter with the cornbread, and made Rickie try some. His eyes get realllllllly big, and he says, “WOW, it feels like I just skipped to Thanksgiving or something!” He loved that apple butter (it is yummmmmy!). From there we hit up Chuck E Cheese, where we all blew through 100 coins in no time at all. The kids are playing cards in the bed, and its almost time for me to get the clothes from the dryer.
Hate to dissappoint you all, but tomorrow will be the last installment of our little trip for a few weeks. Don’t worry, I will have smaller posts of what we are doing in LA, and then will pick back up again when we travel to Georgia, then to PA for a wedding, then to NY for a few weeks, and back home to LA. I will post on FB when the time comes, and I hope you will continue to read along.
Cheers for now…..BE SURE to check out the rest of the photos!!!!