Well, it seems a bit strange to be writing more about this trip so long after the fact, and when I am sitting in a casa in Mexico, but I resized these photos, so by golly, I am going to post them for your enjoyment, I hope.
We had imagined that this trip might include much of Route 66, but when we changed our plans, it seemed like a good idea to seek out a bit of the route. Just outside of St Louis, we found Route 66 State Park, with a fabulous small museum and lots of information and interesting tidbits. It made us want to renew our commitment to drive the route someday. One man at the museum said his goal it to ride the whole route on his bike.
An interesting stop along the way was in Eminence , Missouri,a wide spot in the road . I would have loved to see inside of this antique store, or gone canoeing in the Ozarks, which is what everyone seemed to be doing. We passed hundreds of canoes for rent and of course wished that we had more time to stop for a leisurely day. We did see Alley Springs, though, which was the site of a former town, now long gone, but the old mill and one room schoolhouse are still there.
And it is a National Park, so we got one more stamp in our park passport. I guess we really are retired!
A new rule of travel for us is "If you see a guy selling watermelons from the back of a truck, stop and buy one". We did, and it was delicious!
Another National Park we stopped at was Hot Springs, Arkansas.This was the very first National Park, in fact and an interesting place to see. We especially liked the bathouse row, which has been in existence for over 100 years. There used to be many places where visitors could soak in the hotsprings, now there are only two in use. This is the beautiful original ceiling in one of the bathhouses that has been turned into the headquarters for the park. Tours are very interesting, and you should take the time to go for a HOT soak!
I can hardly believe that we made it all the way to Cafe du Monde, er, New Orleans on this trip, but we were sort of determined to try to see how NOLA looks 5 years after Katrina. We were there 4 years ago and were very discouraged to see the slow progress in rebuilding. This time,we felt very encouraged by what we saw. Everything looked pretty spiffy, though many buildings will never recover. Happy to see that our favorite Cafe du Monde is always the same, though. You always know what you are getting, and you are always happy, as the workers seem to be.
This was my favorite door in the 9th Ward. Yes, it is slowly coming back, but probably will be populated by new tenants and the face of the neighborhood will change. At least the changes seemed to be encouraging.
On the way to visit the cemetery (yes, I know it is sort of strange, but we both like cemeteries) we happened upon Longuevue Gardens, a historical home. Jim encouraged me to take the tour, so I did and it was very beautiful. It is NOT a plantation home, but a city estate, owned by the former heiress of the Sears fortune. Even though it was not a plantation, they included a traditional oak alley, and most of these are the original trees from the 1930's.
Every window in the house has a beautiful view of a different garden, and the interior was also quite unique. I enjoyed everything about the tour, especially the air conditioning!
This is just one of the many lovely angles at Metarie, a very famous cemetery, which is on the list of national landmarks. It is hard to find, but worth the trip.
In fact, everything we saw was worth the trip, and made us want to see lots more of this big and varied country. Who knows where the next "discover America" trip will take us?