We just returned from a weeklong trip in Illinois and Missouri. We picked up our son in Illinois and went to a wedding in St. Louis. The bride and groom are both ministers and their wedding ceremony was part wedding and part church service and very lovely. The bride's parents belong to a country club where the reception was held and it was elegant and a delight to behold. We felt very honored to be invited and are very fond of the groom and happy to meet his new bride. The photo is a picture of our son's room. He moved into a fraternity this year. His room is a bit small, but he has scrounged around and furnished it pretty well.
We toured Springfield, Ill and visited the Lincoln Museum which was fantastic. They must have had help from Disney in creating it. The mannequins seemed lifelike and the whole thing was laid out so well that it never seemed crowded or was difficult to see the exhibits. They had several films that were excellent. I definitely recommend this if you get to that area. We also toured Lincoln's home and neighborhood and his tomb. Did you know someone tried to steal his body??
Our next stops were towns near Joplin in Missouri and Kansas where my father's family lived. We visited the museums, libraries, cemeteries and historical societies to glean info and take as many photos as possible. It was so neat to try to connect the dots in my family genealogy.
Then we spent a couple of days in Branson, MO. I didn't realize it was so big. Wow are there a lot of theaters and so much to do. We saw a couple of shows and visited the Titanic museum and even managed to visit a quilt shop. It was the biggest shop I have ever seen other than Hancock's of Paducah. I thought I would just pop in and out, but that didn't happen. There was just too much to see. Branson is a beautiful area and very clean and friendly. There were not very many people there and some of the shows had to be cancelled. At breakfast, some of the entertainers stopped by our table to hand out pamphlets advertising their shows. One man told us that their overall visitor level has been down since about 2000 even before the economy went down. It is clearly a tourist dependent area and I would hate to see it disappear. For the time being that doesn't seem likely. The area looked very prosperous. My only surprise was that because the town is built in the Ozark Mountains all the streets and roads are windy and up and down hills. All the buildings are built up and down hills as well. The first time I got out of the car in the parking lot of the theater I almost fell over backwards as the lot was sloped downward in two directions. I thought I was having a spell of vertigo! I felt very clumsy. My husband thinks I am a bit of a klutz anyway, so this just proved him right, I guess.
On our way home we stayed at Hannibal, Mo to look for Mark Twain and ice cream. All the downtown buildings were so quaint. They had a beautiful quilt store that was featured in AP&Q Quilt Sampler last year. The store was lit up, but closed, so I could only look in the windows. What a gorgeous store. We did find ice cream, though.
Time to get busy taking care of all the produce we came home to.