Sunday. ST LOUIS – MERAMEC CAVERNS (STANTON MO) – FANNING, MO -WAYNESVILLE, MO – KANSAS – CHELSEA, OK
9:00am Wake up. Breakfast in the lobby of the amazing Hyatt Regency at the Arch in St. Louis is just as good as everything else there….and we finally got to meet Keith the concierge who had done so much for us the night before. (We’d gotten in so late from our St. Louis Arch Tour we hadn’t yet met him.) We were getting ready to leave when he happened to walk past us as we were lamenting having missed him…We greeted him with open arms and peels of joy…like I greet a chinese buffet, like Patty T greets a souvenir shop, like Jean greets a kale smoothie.
And Cathy Finch caught this beautiful picture of our departure in Sparky…
First stop. Meramec Caverns in Stanton, MO. It’s the home of the third largest stalagmite in the world. Jesse James and his brother Frank even used the cave for their hideout and some loot from his robberies was even discovered there years later.
A short stop at a convenience store and a fresh tank of gas and, inevitably, a perusal of the calorific choices available yielded happy campers. Janey and Trudi munched on snacks in the third row of seats and corn nuts and chocolates were being passed all around the car.
Jean had some pepper beef jerky to share. Patty and Patti navigated our arrival at the next stop as we wound through Mural City which is also known as Cuba, Missouri. And Patty V made us howl when she asked the back row to let her know when they decided to begin their new diet. Let’s just say we don’t pull over at truck weigh stations due to our concerted effort to ignore the results of really indiscriminate consumption. Patty announced yesterday at breakfast that it was DAY ONE and her shorts still fit! I think we all are in doubt about our own chances come DAY FIVE.
Time for the world’s largest rocking chair in Fanning, MO. That’s Trudi in the picture on the right touching the back rocking arm of the chair….impressed?
We think our kids are starting to pay attention to their traveling moms: Julia (Patty’s daughter) texted Annamaria (Trudi’s daughter) and asked “Is it okay if we’re jealous of our parents?” This made us laugh quite a bit…we say we’re bringing sexy back one mile at a time, but it’s an uphill struggle since we skip lunch each day in favor of Happy Snacker Camp Time.
Next stop was Missouri’s Devil’s Elbow Bridge that was the exact bridge where Trudi had dangled her legs as a teen…(see previous post entitled “Bridges”) It was so much more beautiful than the pictures we’d seen. And Trudi’s excitement caught fire…she pointed out the tree where the rope swing hung out over the river..
and then, rising like an oasis in the desert was the next destination, but instead of arriving thirsty on a camel we arrived giggling in a Suburban…we had arrived in Uranus, Missouri. The gift shop greets every entering customer by yelling, “Welcome to Uranus” from the cash register. It goes downhill from there.
Mugs. T-Shirts. You name it. We bought a crap load of fudge. After that we were pooped. Sorry. The puns are just sitting there, what would you do do? It’s kind of my doodie, right?
Patti drove us out of Missouri, very close to Kansas, and into Oklahoma toward our eventual destination of Chelsea, OK. Finally we would get to meet Trudy and Frank of the Chelsea Motor Inn. As we approached we began to wonder what could possibly compare with our recent Hyatt experience. No Keith? Jean checked Trip Advisor while the road greeted our tires.
And sure enough Trudy and Frank’s passion of eleven years has Five Stars and twenty-six glowing reviews. They are a delightful couple who care a great deal about our comfort, and both chuckle and say that Frank likes to talk a lot, so if we can’t tolerate any more of his chatter it’s perfectly okay to just walk away mid story. They are really cute. Oh, and we had presents on our beds. Quilted Route 66 purses. Trudy’s mom quilts, don’tcha know.
Dinner was our next priority after check-in, but it’s a Sunday night in Chelsea, Oklahoma, and Trudy admits that they “kind of pull the sidewalks up” at this time of night here. Luckily there are good burgers at Jiffy Mart…and seats still available in the beer aisle.
and you know what? Those burgers really ARE good!
We face-timed Momma B as we ate, laughed, and passed the phone around. Tomorrow we will need to ignore the Trucker Weigh Stations once again.