Tag Archives: vacation

St. Louis Wandering

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The sunrise brought a weather surprise that made the day much better than we expected…And made the anticipated “birdwatching” that evening look better than we had hoped.

From the hotel room this is what greeted me when I rolled out of bed…

A cool front was moving through the area as I watched that morning. The day promised to be pleasantly warm and not as uncomfortably hot as it had been all week.

After a late breakfast, we wandered across the Interstate behind the hotel to enjoy the park surrounding the Arch. Of course there were photo opportunities to be had.

Taken from the middle of the intersection, the photo above just had to be snapped.

Then, once we were across the street, another shot presented of the same steeple…

We then wandered into the park and headed for the Arch itself.

I must admit standing at the base of the Arch left you with a feeling of smallness…Quite impressive.


Blue skies and blue steel…Man and nature…History and today…It all comes together at this point.

Tomorrow we will go “Birdwatching”

Traveling Mid America

I haven’t dropped of the face of the Earth this week…Just cruised off the face of Texas for a few days. The heat and humidity of summer along with a week of vacation for the wife and the chance to go “bird watching” on the Mississippi screamed Road Trip…

A Mini Mountain Fix

We headed north out of Houston on Tuesday before the sun came up and hit Oklahoma soon after noon. I had routed our trip to take advantage of the Arkansas Mountains…We had reservations at Queen Wilhelmena State Park for the first night of our travels. Taking the Talimena Scenic Drive into the park brought back memories of the Blue Ridge Parkway just with higher temperatures.


We had reservations at the Lodge in one of the two Queen’s Rooms. The four-poster bed and the huge fireplace made the room feel comfy. As we sat on the overlook that evening watching the shadows gather in the valleys below the breeze was a welcome relief from the 95° weather we had experienced all day long.

Watching the hummingbirds feed through the window wall of the restaurant as we had supper was an added bonus.

Day Two – Arkansas and Missouri

It was leaving the Mena area that brought us into some of the nicest driving we have ever done. The interstate heading north out of Fort Smith Arkansas is one of the most picturesque Interstate traveling we have every done…I’ll grant you that that isn’t saying too much, as I hate driving on the interstate system unless I just have to cover a lot of ground in a hurry…And that isn’t the reason I travel…Usually.

Anyway, once we hit Missouri it was time to put the pedal to the metal and cross the state as we had a date with an Arch on the Mississippi for that evening.

Playing hopscotch with a few hundred 18 wheelers for the day wasn’t what I had in mind when I planned this trip, but it’s what the trip became as we crossed the breadth of Missouri in an afternoon.

The evening view of the arch was the redeeming feature of our room. Watching night fall on the Mississippi River was how we spent our first night in St. Louis.

As it’s now time to check out and hit the road, I’ll try to post our “bird watching” story tomorrow.

June the Four Twenty O’Eight

Tis a hell of a note when the temperature that greets you upon walking out of the house at 6am feels like 85°. Not a good sign for early June. And so starts my day.

I see this unseasonable warmth has moved all the way to the Blue Ridge Mountains I love. I recall our first vacation there in August of 2004…We left Texas with 100 degree plus temperatures and arrived in Valle Crucis to find mid 80’s. We were in heaven, we hadn’t seen temperatures like that for months. But, my oh my, the folks that live and work there along the Watauga River wern’t happy with those temperatures. They were wilted. What are they thinking this year?

I see Obama has now claimed enough delegates to become the Democratic Presidential nominee. I also see the Senator Clinton still doesn’t see it quite the same way as the rest of America…She evidently plans to hang on for that June surprise she is sure is going to put her in the White House. I suppose if the surprise doesn’t come in June she can hold out till July…or August…or September……Maybe she’ll just wait till February 2009…

I think the following headline says it all…

Dana Milbank – In Defeat, Clinton Graciously Pretends to Win – washingtonpost.com
Clinton congratulated Obama — not for winning the nomination, but for running an “extraordinary race.” She recognized Obama and his supporters “for all they accomplished.”

It was an extraordinary performance by a woman who had been counted out of the race even when she still had a legitimate chance. Now she had been mathematically eliminated — and she spoke as if she had won.

It almost sounds Bushonian…