Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday, June 23

We started today on a little slower pace. We slept in a little, ate breakfast, updated emails and blog, and Brooke went swimming. Around 10:00 a.m. we left the hotel in Mt. Vernon, IL,  and the temperature was already 97 degrees
We arrived at the St. Louis Arch around 11:30, and the temperature was already near 100. The first thing that we did was ride to the top of the arch in this tiny little capsule that had room for 5. The capsule was so tiny that it may have been 4 ft. high and 4 ft. across with 5 chairs. I sat down in this thing, realized how small it was and started to leave, thinking I can't travel in this tiny capsule for 4 mins. to the top. Jerry grabbed me by hand and wouldn't let me out the door. And it wasn't actually too bad. The door had two little windows and I could see that stairs were available if we got stuck. At the top of the arch, we looked out the little windows and we could see 30 miles of the Mississippi River on one side and St. Louis on the other. 

While we were getting ready to board the capsule to the top of the Arch, Jerry walked right past Joe Manchin, who is the governor of West Virginia. Jerry stopped and said, "Joe Manchin. I'm from Maryland and my wife is from West Virginia." So Manchin shook our hands and asked if we got to WV often. While I was talking to him, I didn't realize that I was near a step, so I stumbled down the first step, and Manchin grabbed my arm and told me to watch my step. I always make the best impressions! We got a good laugh that 
even the Governor of WV had to tell me to watch my step!

Then at the top of the arch, Brooke and I got our picture taken with him. So yesterday we were 267 feet under ground and today we were 690 feet about ground. 
After the Arch, we went on a cruise on the Mississippi River. It's as brown and muddy as the stories say. The tour guide on the cruise told us that it's not recommended that people eat the catfish from the river because of all of the pollutants in the river, but if you do, you should eat only one pound a week! I would think that you would have to be pretty hungry to fish in the Mississippi.
It was so hot on the cruise that we stayed in the restaurant part of the boat. It was cooler and you could still see the view of both sides of the river.
After the cruise, we walked back into the bottom of the Arch and went through the museum there about travel to the west, and we bought souvenirs.
Then we went to Dressel's Pub in St. Louis. The owner of the pub was the supervisor of the group of students that Jerry was a part of when he went to school in Wales. Jerry didn't get to see him as he only comes in the pub at 11:30 on Saturday nights. But the food was good. They slice and fry fresh potato chips, and they were really tasty.
Then we headed west again. We got stuck in rush hour traffic outside of St. Louis which wasn't good planning on our part. We didn't even think of it. We drove until about 8:00 p.m. and got a hotel in Boonville, MO. We travelled 232 miles today.
The girls are traveling well so far. Blair stays plugged into her iPod listening to music. Molly has been listening to her books on tape, and Brooke talks to us. Yesterday we made a list of all of the states and she is marking the state off as she sees the license plate. That kept her busy for a while. Around 7:00 last night, I gave them all some yarn and they started playing cat's cradle and such for a while. Knitting comes in handy sometimes. Satellite radio is also helping. Last night I searched the Sirius schedule and wrote down some programs that I thought we may enjoy. But so far, we like the adventure, so the van drive is worth it. 

1 comment:

  1. Lord, woman, the coal mine, the capsule, the heights? It's like a nightmare tour of the US for me. Perhaps a raisin shower later?

    One of my imaginary friends travels around the country in her RV with her six kids and two dogs. You might enjoy reading her while you're out on the road (it'll help count your blessings :O))