After eating the local version of a continental breakfast – Bagels with cream cheese and coffee, we refilled the esky’s with ice, topped up our thermal coffee mugs and got on the road again.
Our destination today was Bloomington in Illinois. I spent some time on google last night just researching what there is to see and do on the way. The major thing we found to see today is in St Louis. I have been singing that tune “Show me the way to St Louis, show me the way…” all day. The kids think I am funny!
Bet you are singing it now too.
The Gateway Arch is situated in St Louis on the banks of the Mississippi. It is the Thomas Jefferson memorial and was completed in 1965. At 630 feet high it is the tallest national monument in the USA. It is an amazing structure and went through a lot of technical and engineering issues before it finally came into being. The guy who designed it died before it was even finished. You can read more about it here at The Gateway Arch
We parked a little way away and walked along the banks of the Mississippi catching glimpses of it through the trees. It rises majestically above the city and reflections of it are everywhere in the ponds scattered through the pretty gardens surrounding the place.
As you ride up inside these little round tram things, going up and changing direction gradually over these cog type changes you have no idea of how high you are. All of your trip is inside the tower structures themselves. There is a little window so you actually get to see the inside of the tower arch as you are going up.
Then the view from the tip is incredible. A storm cloud had made its way over during the morning but it was still an amazing sight. It is amazing how far over you hang up there.
The base of the support towers you ride up in can actually be seen from the top.
Out the one side you can see all of the city of St Louis. The other side is the view up and down the Mississippi. Watching the barges and looking from Missouri across the river at the State of Illinois was a lot of fun.
The highlight was for Jarred in being able to view the home grounds of his favourite baseball team. He has always been a Cardinals fan since his team out here when he played baseball, was “The Cardinals”. He still has his baseball hat and jersey from then too.
Then it was back on the road and onto our destination of Bloomington in Illinois.
This state is so different to drive through than Missouri. It is a corn state. At least that’s the way it looked from our car.
Everywhere corn corn corn. Beautiful and green this time of year. Driving past gently undulating fields, pretty farmhouses, silver grain silo’s and big red barns was actually a really nice day. The skies were so blue with gently puffy clouds. Perfect for enjoying as we drove the highway.
We are listening to a lot of audio’s this trip. Some kind friends lent us their Focus on the Family ‘Adventures in Odyssey’ tapes. These kept us entertained and also raised a lot of character building conversations. Who says time spent in the car can be boring? What an opportunity to share and get to know each other more.
We had decided to limit the amount of DS Lite (Brain Game) time to half an hour each day – and no dvd’s in the laptop. We only have the Game Boy things when we travel as a general rule rather than something we do all the time. They tend to be such an anti-social thing when used all the time, and we wanted this trip to be special. This was our time to be together and build some wonderful memories with each other.
And it was!