Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 2 of St. Louis!

We had a leisurely morning and met Pastor at the Concordia Seminary Library. He showed us around a bit. Pastor and Jim talked to Mr. Berger. He looked at Jim and said, "You're a Scheuer!" I had to pull them away from their reunion so we could get going with the rest of our day. We found a great street parking spot by Turtle Park for our trip to the St. Louis Zoo. The best part was seeing a lioness napping up in a tree....the tree hugger! I truly thought it was fake, a stuffed lion that a zoo keeper put in the tree, until we saw it move.

I knew that if the kids were going to cooperate the rest of the day, we should feed off to the Olive Garden we went. I don't think Pastor had ever been there. He loved the soup...Chicken & Gnocchi! Our break was a success...everyone was fed, full, and happy!

The St. Louis Cathedral was next on our list. It was not a disappointment. Awesome is such an over-used word, but it definately fits for what we saw on the inside of this church. Brett had many questions for Pastor about various religious and Catholic aspects to the design.

Then we went a little closer to our hotel and stopped at the St. Louis History Museum. The kids had fun playing 'Washers' with Pastor.

Swimming at the Cheshire was next. They have an outdoor pool, and it was very warm. It usually takes me a long time to slowly get myself in a pool...not this time. It was wonderfully refreshing!

After drying off and changing, we piled back into the van and went the couple blocks to Schnuck's Grocery Store. We brought back bags and headed to 'our' round table in the lobby area of The Cheshire. We had rotissiere chicken, wheat dinner rolls, carrots, and apples for a very late supper. It was nice sitting together and enjoying the atmosphere.

It was time to check another site off of my list. Pastor, Brett, Katherine, and I drove to Ted Drewes Custard Stand. What an experience! There was a mass of people standing outside waiting in line or congregating out front eating their treats. It was still so hot that mine and Brett's frozen custard wasn't frozen any more....more like a drippy mess, but it was fun!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Meet Me in St. Louis!

We had a leisurely morning at our hotel in Quincy, IL, stopped at the post office, and started on our next journey...bound for St. Louis. Per our travel agent's recommendation, we took the scenic route along the Mississippi River (via HWY 79). We saw flooding in Louisiana, Missouri and had lunch in Elsberry, Missouri. Although there was a detour on our journey, we made it to the St. Louis Amtrak station with 15 minutes to spare. Uncharacteristically late, the Amtrak arrived 20 minutes past it's arrival time. Katherine and I waited inside for Pastor Wangerin, while Jim and the boys circled the parking lot.
Our first St. Louis site was Union Station. The kids had fun watching 'Paul' make fudge. Jim and Logan bought Milwaukee Brewer t-shirts, Logan looked inside the Hard Rock Cafe, and Katherine fed giant goldfish. Then we took the side streets to our English hotel....The Cheshire Lodge. It is amazing! After relaxing for a bit, we went to Talayna's Pizza. Our waiter was very friendly! We ordered a New York Manhattan-style pizza and a St. Louis-style pizza. The waiter explained how the St. Louis-style thin crust is made. The crust is pressed, not rolled!
There was time left in our evening, so we went to the Delmar Loop...stopping at Blueberry Hill and Fitz's Rootbeer. Surprisingly, Pastor Wangerin had never been to Fitz's. The boys shared a rootbeer float, and the rest of us shared one. We took a drive through the Concordia Seminary grounds before taking the 2 minute drive back to the lodge.
After resting for a bit with the kids, Jim & I joined Pastor down at the pub. The two guys had beers. Jim & I played a game of checkers. Unfortunately, Logan came down to tell us that Brett wasn't feeling well. We got up to the room in time to be with Brett as he got times!
It's 11:32 P.M...Jim & I are in the lobby area on the computer, while our children sleep. I have a busy Thursday so we better head up!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Boyhood home of Mark Twain!

We left Springfield in pouring rain. By 11:00 A.M. we were in Hannibal, Missouri and went straight to the Mark Twain Cave. Upon arriving, we witnessed a lot of damage from the recent (overnight) storm. The three guys read in the van while Katherine and I did the one hour tour of the cave. Towards the end, the guide gave Katherine the flashlight and let her lead the other kids to a part of the cave, all by themselves. She was so excited! It was definately worth the price of the tickets to see her so happy about being there.
From there we drove to the riverfront, parked the van, and watched the Mark Twain Riverboat go down the Mississippi River. We left our van there and walked to all the other sites....Mark Twain's boyhood home and museum, the Becky Thatcher house, Huckleberry Finn's house, and J. M. Clemen's Justice of the Peace Office. We got to see and hear 'Mark Twain' for a half hour.
In between all the fun we stopped by Becky's Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor & Emporium.
We learned that the levies broke this morning right before we arrived. That was why we so much damage. When we walked back to the riverfront, we saw huge cement walls. The flood gates were closed! So to the top of a grassy hill we walked to see. Our van was the only vehicle in the parking lot. We weren't sure how we were going to get out. Thankfully, there were workers who waited for us before closing the other three flood gates. What an experience! The nightly news is on right now, and we are seeing just how bad Hannibal got hit.
With all our sites checked off my list, we drove to Quincy, Illinois to stay for the night. Chinese for supper and swimming before relaxing in our room.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Learning about Mr. Lincoln!

Amazingly enough, the children were up early and ready for breakfast. We were out the door by 8:40 A.M. and headed back to Oak Ridge Cemetery. Being in the tomb of President Lincoln was an experience we will never forget. From there we drove to downtown Springfield, found a great, free parking spot, on the street, a block from our next destination: The Lincoln Home. Jim got timed tickets for us to tour the house within 15 minutes from when we arrived! After our tour we walked to the Presbyterian Church to see the pew where Mrs. Lincoln sat. Unfortunately, Mr. Lincoln was not a church-going man. There was time for us to go to Mr. Lincoln's law office before moving our van from the two hour parking limited spot.
Using the Downtown Springfield map, we found the train depot where Mr. Lincoln and his family boarded to Washington D.C. There was meter parking on the street....25 cents for 30 minutes!! This is huge! During our visit to Philadelphia last summer, we learned that that city is not vehicle friendly. To pay for parking was outrageous, but not in Springfield!
We stayed long enough to learn a few things and take a couple pictures. By the time we were done, we all had lunch on our minds. Unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks at The Olive Garden was what we were after. It was delicious! It wouldn't be a Scheuer vacation without rain, and the Lord did not disapoint us (not like He ever would!): a downpour of rain, followed by the power going out. The generator kicked in almost immediately. Katherine was the only one with a rain jacket. So we had her run to the van to get umbrellas. She loved it!
With food in our stomachs, it was time to go the the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum...WOW! There was so much to see and do!
We made supper in our hotel room: sandwiches, fruit, chips, and cookies. We couldn't wait to enjoy the pool. It was cleaner than last night and there were less children.
We had a wonderful day and look forward to what tomorrow brings!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Springfield, Illinois

Our family vacation started this morning after church. Our first stop is Springfield, Illinois. We got to the Oak Ridge Cemetery just as the caretaker was closing. We'll be back in the morning. Katherine is watching Shrek 3 while the three guys are checking out the weight room. The pool is filled with many loud children (obviously a birthday party). We'll go back in an hour. We always look forward to time in a pool!
I'll post pictures soon!