In August, my husband and I took a riverboat cruise up the Mississippi River beginning in St. Louis, Missouri and ending in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We’d done the lower Mississippi on the same paddle boat last year starting in New Orleans and ending in Memphis, and it sparked the desire to travel the rest of the way up north.
I’m setting my writer’s life aside for a bit to share some of our vacation photos.
We couldn’t go to St. Louis without taking a walking tour of the city and visiting the Gateway Arch, the 630-foot stainless steel monument also known as the gateway to the west during the westward expansion.
And Cardinal Stadium. We love visiting ballparks. View from our hotel room.
We loved the diverse neighborhoods, especially what we saw of the oldest and liveliest Soulard district, known for having the biggest Mardi Gras celebrations outside of New Orleans but also for preserving the historic homes and shops. We also loved the abundance of beautiful parks inside and outside St. Louis.
Later, after visiting the Louis and Clark State historic site and much more, we embarked on our old-fashioned steamboat for the rest of our trip.
Traveling on a steamboat on the Mississippi River took us back in time, and our first big stop was in Hannibal, childhood home of Mark Twain. What could be more fitting!
Along the walls in this museum in Hannibal were posters of the original paintings done by Saturday Evening Post master artist Norman Rockwell of illustrations from Tom Sawyer. They were wonderful!
The next official port of call was Clinton, Iowa, but we popped over into Fulton, Illinois to see the Windmill Cultural Center, first. The cities are so close one storefront was called Illowa. My husband is half Dutch and it was interesting to note that 40% of the residents in Fulton were also of Dutch heritage. Cute town!
Later we caught a van driven by a local man who was a lineman for the county, to share the beautiful Eagle Point Park with its very own castle.
My husband spent a lot of time as we cruised watching for Eagles and we saw many of them along the banks, high up in the trees.
Every night the dinners were grand, and the entertainment was topnotch with the occasional lecture dedicated to Samuel Clemens, a most amazing and forward-thinking man we’ve come to know as Mark Twain – who was once a riverboat captain on The Big Muddy himself. Follow the link to find out the significance of this phrase and how he got his pseudonym. 1 – twain, 2 – twain, mark – twain…
For fear of boring you to tears, I’ll blog part two next week.
Until next time, make it a great one!