Wednesday the 8th of July
After packing up and leaving Windmill State Park in Kearney, Nebraska we passed through Lincoln and went to Zipline Brewing Company. Great Beer! Our favorites out of the flight we tried were the Peach Pale Ale (can’t seem to find the info online), NZ IPA at 6.8% New Zealand Hops with tropical fruit, blackberry and tangerine aromas and the Double IPA (also couldn’t find on their site!). After chatting with the locals and enjoying our brews we hit the road yet again.
We saw signs at one point for Omaha, Nebraska and Phillip had me put on the infamous Counting Crows song that we belted out as we drove on.
Our next stop was Weston Bend State Park in Weston, Missouri. Another really cute park. I made us dinner as we set up camp. That night we heard something messing with our stuff, looking out of the tent we saw a raccoon trying to open one of our bins! Phillip had to ask it to leave a couple of times before it got the hint! Asking it the first time it just stands there. “Oh, hey, you want me to leave?! Come on man, I’m just rummaging through your stuff, its cool, right?”
The next morning Phillip worked for a few hours while I read and packed up camp. We took showers before we headed off for Graham Cave State Park in Montgomery City, MO. When we arrived the ground was muddy and the forest damp. We immediately set up the EZ Up over our tent in anticipation of rain for the evening. The camp host came by on a golf cart with his wife and we chatted a bit while he checked us in. Our site was close to an RV were the people were outside playing acoustic guitar and singing, very soothing! We had bought some firewood from the camp host and because of the dampness of the last couple days, starting fires had been difficult. Pinterest to the rescue! I took a piece of cardboard and curled it into the shape of a toilet paper roll. I then filled it with cotton balls and dumped a bit of wax over them. After taping the cardboard into a tube around the waxy cotton balls and letting it dry, voila! You have a fire starter! Worked like a charm! Also on Pinterest (yes, I use it for everything!) I’d found a recipe for Baileys and toasted marshmallow. We’d had it before, but this time after dipping it in the Baileys we smooshed it in between graham crackers….So yummy, and sticky, Phillip had a field day!
As we were getting ready to call it a night we had encounters with some pretty big daddy long legs, the biggest I’ve ever seen! Then as I was sitting in the tent I felt something damp on my leg, it made me jump and when I looked on the sleeping bag, it was a little frog! After freeing the frog we hit the hay in the pouring rain.
The next morning after packing up we went to go check out Graham Cave. There was archeological evidence found that proved people were living in the cave 10,000 years ago. It was fenced off when we were there because they are planning another dig to see what else they can find!
After a short drive at about an hour and a half, we arrived in St. Louis, MO! Due to construction it took us a bit to find parking. They are apparently spiffing up the perimeter of the arch by putting in biking and running trails, space for outdoor concerts, art installations and a new museum commemorating westward expansion. This being my second time up in the arch I was excited watching Phillip enjoy it for the first time.
Once we finished up at the arch we went to a restaurant called 360. We ordered a spinach salad with strawberries, goat cheese and pecans first, an order of three small fish tacos and a veggie pizza along with a local IPA.
Next we drove 2 and a half hours to the Pere Marquette Marriott in Peoria where we had a luxurious room for the evening. We met up with our friends Fred and Bekah at Bekah’s sisters bar called the Basket Case, which included chatting, drinking, being merry and singing karaoke! Good times!
After a nice hot shower in the morning we packed up and went to breakfast at One World Cafe. Missed that place! Phillip had a breakfast pizza and I had a blackened tilapia sandwich, YUM!
Next we went for a drive to check out our old house on 2626 Eugenia Ave. Looks the same! Boy do we miss that yard!
We then drove to our friends Traci and Alan’s house to stay for a night. We finally got to meet their adorable little girl Hayden! Such a cutie that one! Drama got to meet their dog Ginny who after an excited jump around and mohawking, got along famously. And terrible me, I forgot to get any photos of them! Too busy enjoying the conversations! We had pizza and salad that night and did lots of catching up. The next morning we all met up with Fred, Bekah and two of their munchkins for breakfast before taking off again. So good to see them! Miss those guys!
About 30 min down the road I realized that I’d left my camera at Traci and Alan’s house! Phillip was not impressed, to put it mildly! Thankfully Allan offered to meet us half way which greatly simmered Phillips exasperation! Thanks again Alan!