Monday, October 8, 2012

Frost on the Roof
Missouri to Indiana

Kauffman Memorial Garden
Kansas City, Missouri
Jefferson City, Missouri
Magnificent state capitol
John with Robert at Robert's apartment in
Knob Noster, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri
Gateway Arch, Old Courthouse, pink fountain (for breast cancer awareness)
Woke up this morning (Oct. 8, 2012)  in Bloomington, IN to  frost on our car. Last two days we wore our light jackets. Things are definitely cooling down.

We had a 4 day visit with Robert in Knob Noster, Missouri. He had to work, so it was mostly “hi” between his work and sleep. His apartment is nice and I was impressed that he had pots and pans, dishes, micro, spices. We bought him a little kitchen table and 4 chairs, but other than that he seemed to have all he needed. Seems happy enough. I do pity that he is stuck there for his military career. 

While in Knob Noster we met with two couch surfers who live there. Austin is in the Air Force and he and his wife, Christina, have lived in Spain and Japan. We probably had the first and only couch surfer gathering in KN. Such a small town with really nothing to do.  We had a nice dinner together and enjoyed talking about travel.

We drove to the next city over, Sedalia, and looked around the downtown. They had some beautiful old buildings and churches. The building were mostly constructed with brick and they each had their own look/design. While in Sedalia we had our first custard.   It is like ice cream, but smoother, creamier and very good. I had seen it on the Food Channel and was happy to get to try it.

While in Missouri we drove to Jefferson City to see the State Capitol. I've seen many capitol buildings but I think this was the most impressive one. It is as grand as any building in Washington, DC. I took so many pictures. It was just a great place to see and we really enjoyed it.

We left Robert's Friday morning (Oct. 5) and drove to St. Louis, Missouri. We had rain along the way so we did not stop on Friday to see the Arch as visibility would have been poor. We couch surfed with David and Sherri for two nights. They have two dogs – an American pit bull and a Yorkie – quite a combination. They were fun dogs. Friday night David took us around his area of St. Louis and it was really interesting. In that city you get a feel for neighborhoods – we went through “the Hill” which is all Italian, restaurants, bakeries (I had a cannoli).

We stopped by the International Store that was full of foods from every country.  I bought a can of rubatan (tropical fruit) that I tasted later and it was great. David bought “durian” popsicles and I ate one of those and thought it was OK.   Durian fruit is the only thing that Andrew Zimmerman of the Food Channel says that he has now tried it twice and will never eat it again.   I guess it stinks to high heaven and tastes totally horrible. The popsicle was sweet and tasted a bit like garlic, but David and John said the car stank. I could not smell it.

John and I went to the St. Louis Gateway Arch on Saturday, toured the museum at the bottom and got tickets to go to the top. What an amazing view. A beautiful monument to the westward movement.   We walked to the Old Courthouse and saw where they held the Dred Scott state trial and had a nice lunch in an Italian restaurant downtown.   I think I was a little surprised at how much I liked St. Louis. It is a vibrant and interesting city full of fun activities.  The streets are horrible in that they are very narrow, lots of one ways, and they have the most stop signs of any city in America.  Despite the roads, the drivers are very good and courteous.

We are getting into the colder, wetter weather now and feel a need to to rush to get to New Hampshire and Maine.  We have one week reserved in NH, and one week in Maine, leaving on October 26th to head South toward Daytona Beach, Florida.  We do not want any of that white stuff falling on us.  We're not prepared for any real winter weather.   Keep in touch with us (e-mail, Facebook).  Thinking warm thoughts........................