The second leg our our journey started with tears and hugs. Leaving our daughter and her family is always so hard. On a positive note we get to see them just after Christmas! My husband had finally gotten a hold of his aunt and we had 8 hours until we could meet up with her. The drive to her home was only 3 hours so my wonderful husband decided we should travel to St. Genevieve Missouri! I think he wanted to kill some time and make me feel better. He can be sweet like that.
I discovered this town driving back from one of my solo trips to Omaha for the birth of my grandsons. It is a very pretty old french town on the banks of the Mississippi river. That right there caught my attention. That word French is like a beacon calling me home. One of the bakeries in town has a recipe in my bread bible too. On that trip I drove into town for a few minutes and then left quickly as I was rushing home. I have learned that as much as I want to see things they just aren’t as much fun unless I “share” them with Chris.
We pulled into town and found the welcome center. Parking was plentiful and the attendant inside was very friendly and helpful. We only had a couple of hours to walk around the town as this was about an hour and a half from our daughter’s home. The first thing we did was walk down the street towards the river. The homes have been updated, but look just as they might have back when they were all built. The historical homes have the names of the builders and the year they were built.
The walk was nice and we soon came upon a very long pole with a sign next to it. This pole had red lines and dates on it. The red lines showed how high the flood waters had been during various floods of the Mississippi River. The dates were the dates of the floods. It was pretty chilling to see the highest red mark. When you looked at that and looked at the homes in that area you had to realize that all of the single story homes were completely covered in water and the 2 story homes were covered up to the attics. This made it very real what it must be like living in a flood prone area.
We did stop and read some of the signs concerning historical places. My favorite was about the bank. The bank was opened by a worker and the manager, I think, ( I really can’t remember his name). As the bank was opened the notorious James gang came in and robbed the bank. The manager got scared and ran out of the bank. He was shot as he ran out. He gave the warning that the bank was being robbed. It was a cool story.
We did not visit any of the stores or cafes of which there were numerous. We were there at 10am cst and there were very few visitors We had ate breakfast just before we left. We also had very little time. The only thing that bothered me was how devoid of tourists they were. We were there at 10 am on a Tuesday, but it was still very quiet. The town was the kind of place that I grew up in. People walking down the street talking to the people they met that they knew. One girl was walking her dog and people were stopping their cars giving well wishes and messages to her family. It was very quaint.
I compare all historical towns like to to St. Augustine. That town has a vibrant old historical part that is hopping 7 days a week from tourists. What I am trying to say is that this town is well worth the visit. Just looking at the homes and such are incredible. They have a museum and they have packages that save you money if you want to visit the historical houses. They are not expensive. Maybe $5 per person. The ticket package makes it much less than the per home ticket. The church and cemetery are free of course. They have many Bed and Breakfasts that were quaint and quiet. They even have wine tours. If you choose not to go on a wine tour than stop in at the local wine shop that sells local wines and beers. I wish we did. In fact I wish we had spent so much more time there.
We then left and headed on to Indiana. The GPS was telling us to go toward the ferry. It didn’t click with me that the ferry carried autos across the Mississippi so that you don’t have to drive an hour plus to St. Louis and then across to Illinois. We ignored the GPS and headed to St. Louis.
Chris was sleeping when we got close to St Louis. I saw the arch hit him on the shoulder saying the arch, the arch. He was not impressed! Oh well who knew? Eventually we got to Indiana, spent a short time with his aunt and uncle. Such wonderful people! But we were soon on our way heading to Michigan as we had promised to get to my parents that night. We got there around 11pm and then stayed up talking until 2am.