|The Silver Tree on Art Hill in St. Louis|
First of all, I have to say that as much as I love my Wisconsin (GO PACK GO) and Lake Superior and all, I do very much enjoy being in different parts of the country and I really have to get into more southern states. The weather up here has turned to it's glorious late summer pattern of highs in the 70's, lows in the 50's- the humidity has diminished (and yes it DOES get humid up here) and the sunsets are stunning. In fact I am sure the my biker buddies from the south could undoubtedly bike 80 or 90 miles up here with no problem, since it is more like winter temperatures for them. hehe. ANY WHO, as much as I am reveling in this, Missouri is SUCH a gorgeous place to visit. I will say that their rivers are a little sketchy looking, so I will stick to kayaking up here in flowing waters, but wow the scenery. And while it was freaking hot down there, I just didn't care because it was so much fun. By the time I finished in Janesville, I will say that I was so sick of sweating through a set of clothes and then freezing in the air conditioning 4 or 5 times a day.... I am a northern girl for sure....
I don't mind the drive to Cheri's place, but Illinois gets to be a bit much sometimes. I am always wishing for another windmill thing to show up. I don't mind corn fields, heaven knows that is quite familiar to me, since I grew up in the middle of one. But it is pretty cool to get across the Mississippi into the St. Louis area. The land is different (i.e.: not flat) and I sort of like driving on the big freeways too. Of course this is all timed to NOT be during rush hours, so I can enjoy the drive.
I arrived at Cheri's the day after the culmination of a very VERY busy month or so, and I know she was glad that I was there to provide distraction and my usual comic relief. We went and picked up her grandson Charlie almost immediately after I arrived and we got to sit and catch up while he played in the swimming pool at a local establishment.... and we had a little light supper and refreshments and had a wonderful time chit chatting our afternoon away.
|Pickle Springs stream|
|Love this mini waterfall, that was probably 8 - 12 inches tall lol|
We ate a late lunch at a really cool restaurant in Farmington called 12 West. The air-conditioning and nourishment were very much appreciated, and it was very good. It was easy to find vegetarian options everywhere we went! We had to pick up Mr. Charlie from daycare again that afternoon, which gave us a chance to hang out at her place and just relax. Our plan was to go to a covered bridge when Amanda got home, but she got stuck in traffic. We later got part of the way there when I remembered that the park that it is in closed at sunset..... so we cut our losses and had supper at Lix- an ice cream shop. Because everyone should have ice cream for supper sometimes. AND we stopped for a few moments at the very cute train depot in Farmington as well. Night pictures anyone?
|Train Depot in Farmington|
|Oh look- columns! :)|
|Crazy big lily pads at the Botanical gardens|
Saturday was a little different day, as Cheri was involved in a crossfit event. We squeezed breakfast in between events and when that was all done, we went a bit of a drive north to the Katy trail. The Katy trail is an old railroad right of way that has a really nice packed gravel surface for biking. It also has places to stop along the way, including a really yummy brewery that gave us some nice rehydration! YES we drank a dark beer and it was fabulous. We biked 18 miles when we ran out of daylight and energy- A late night stop at "Crackle Barrel" was our food for the night (I think we only ate twice that day??) and it was a pretty yummy blueberry french toast.
|Biking and beer- perfect companions and perfect company|
|Part of the Katy Trail|
|Getting darker- on the Katy Trail|
|Fancy bird at the zoo!|
|This enclosure was really cool! Ibis, egrets, ducks, etc.|
|The tiger was hot!|
|Part of the basin (many of these pix are taken with the phone)- you can see the museum in the background|
|Dining with a really good wine|
|A very dark photo of the covered bridge|
|part of the Chihuli installation|
|Giraffe and friend|
|The corpse flower almost ready to bloom- apparently a smelly thing.|
Summer has been good to me again, but this one seemed to go faster. I am not at all ready to give in to it, but there isn't much I can do to stop it.... I am however ready to see what the next journey, adventure or encounter might be- no matter what it will have some joy.
** Btw, as usual I always underestimate the amount of time it takes me to write, post pictures, rearrange, review and rewrite.... lunch has long since been eaten, boxes unpacked at school, groceries bought, and a few people have been talked to.... So here we are at almost 10 pm and I will be publishing- I should know by now, don't you think?