Midwest trip: July 1, Day 13

We left Springfield this morning, dropping a goodie/thank you bag by Gammy & Pa’s on our way out of town.

Our destination for today was Chicago’s Hilton Suites Oakbrook Terrace, 499.92 miles away – 8 hours 1 minute driving time. (It was kind of funny that the hotel was located on Drury Lane. Made us think of Shrek: Do you know the Muffin Man? The Muffin Man? Who lives on Drury Lane?)

Willie & the kids head toward the Arch

Willie & the kids head toward the Arch

Attraction for the day was the St. Louis Arch – Gateway to the West. I couldn’t wait to see this sight; what a piece of history! It was gorgeous. Once we were into St. Louis, trying to follow the GPS’s directions to the parking was more than a little challenging! Roads were closed all over the place due to flooding of the riverfront streets themselves. It was neat to drive along the cobblestone streets. Finally, we found a parking lot and walked through a park, along a lake and near the Mississippi River to reach the base of the Arch. There was a big, slow line for the security checkpoint before we entered the Museum of Western Expansion. Bekah threw a nice little fit while we were in there, tossing her sunglasses on the ground – then forgetting them. I have come to the point that I will not clean up her messes when she chooses to throw a fit!

Arch of Westward Expansion

Arch of Westward Expansion

The museum was very beautiful; full of stuffed replicas and interactive displays. It was particularly interesting to me that there were no labels on actual artifacts so they could be viewed for what they were.

Covered wagon within Museum

Covered wagon within Museum

Wow...

Wow...

It was very evident that the Mississippi was very high and my curiosity led me to ask a park ranger just how high the River was… TWELVE feet above normal, just a couple feet below the “Hundred Year Flood” of 1993.

“No Parking” signs were just barely visible, and street lights lined what must typically have been a pretty riverwalk.

The Mighty Miss...

The Mighty Miss...

No Parking?!

No Parking?!

On to Chicago – which I was super excited to reach!! I had an idealistic view of Chicago and couldn’t wait to get there. (Although I very rarely watch Oprah, there was something about her show that made Chicago seem very appealing to me.)

One of the purposes for our trip was to visit our friends, the Ellises, who had moved to Chicago 2 years ago after being the music ministers at our ‘old’ church – Aurora Nazarene. What a fun reunion at Giordano’s Pizzeria! It was so good to see Wayne, Heidi and the kids. We all went back to the hotel so the adults could chat and the kids could swim. Yay! Jordan was very brave and went into the water without an adult.

Caitlyn, Cole, Jeremy & Ashley

Caitlyn, Cole, Jeremy & Ashley

Bekah jumps at her comfort level

Bekah jumps at her comfort level

Go Jordan!

Go Jordan!

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Preplerat
    Sep 24, 2008 @ 13:24:52

    first time i have read your blog i have RSS bkd you, please post more.

    cheers

    Reply

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