Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Springfield, IL to St. Louis, MO

We spent the morning swimming, playing and doing laundry at our KOA in Springfield, IL. From there, we made our way to a local joint known as Charlie Parker's Diner. My MIL had seen an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives which had featured this restaurant and it's specialty dish called "Shoe." The place was super-fun and the "shoe" was delicious, if not pretty. When we left Charlie Parker's, we got on Historic Route 66--the really, really old part of it. There were actually sections of the original road--some paved with brick and some paved with concrete slabs. In one of the concrete slabs, some long-ago turkeys left their mark, so we had fun taking pictures of the turkey tracks in the middle of the road. The old highway wound us around through some beautiful farmland and some quaint little towns, and ultimately popped us out in St. Louis, MO. Here, we detoured off the Mother Road for a tour of the Gateway Arch and Western Expansion Museum. From there, we visited another Triple D recommendation--Sweetie Pie's--for some good old southern comfort food. When we walked in, we noticed a film crew, and we soon found out that the Oprah Network is filming a reality TV show called "Welcome to Sweetie Pie's," due to air in the fall. Towards the end of our meal, my MIL asked to have a picture with the owner/head cook/former Ikette (the backup singers for Ike and Tina Turner). Next thing we know, she is posing with our whole group and the TV crew is right on her heals. She visited with us for a few minutes, and then we were all signing releases for the Oprah Network to show our faces on TV. Ruth is convinced we are all going to be famous! Finally, we arrived at our KOA just outside of St. Louis, where we had reserved a special cabin for our little train lover. As I type, Max is dreaming of trains from the inside of an old, red caboose! I wish you all could have seen how excited he was! I had a nice slideshow of these adventures prepared to post, but through some computer glitch, I couldn't get it to save. So, I will just share a few pictures of some of the highlights.

Charlie Parker's


Brick-paved road

A special Route 66 attraction

Turkey tracks

Gateway Arch

Looking up at the arch


...and Clark

She made it to the top!

Cardinals' Stadium

The Old Courthouse

Sweetie Pie's

Sweetie Pie's Stupid Stick

Posing with Sweetie Pie's owner

Max's train

One happy little boy


The official start of our Route 66 adventure

Stretching our legs in Chicago at Lake Michigan
Just a boy and his dad
Photo op
Route 66 landmark outside of Chicago
A nod to some of my relatives
KOA fun
Swim lessons 
Happy Camper

Monday, June 27, 2011


Card-carrying member of The Insider's Club


Living room and music room

TV room

Elvis' biggest fan

Ruth and The King

Pool house

Grandparents and Graceland

Car museum

Ruth's pick of the cars

Pink Cadillac

Big fun

Guitar Man

The "Lisa Marie"

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Where are we now?

We left the lake this morning at 6:00, stopped briefly in Belton to pick up Ruth, and then headed northeast. We arrived in Memphis just in time to see the ducks march at the Peabody Hotel. Then we walked around Beale Street until we were ready for dinner. We had some delicious BBQ at The Pig, and then we went out for ice cream to reward the kids for their wonderful behavior in the car today. And where are we now? Well, we're down at the end of Lonely Heartbreak Hotel. And tomorrow? We're going to Graceland, Graceland--Memphis Tennessee.

The Peabody Hotel fountain

Playful ducks

Ducky Lucky

The Duck Master giving the ducks the signal to get out

Ruthie Pop

Weston Wayne


The Pig

View from our hotel room