The Show-Me-State

My day job had me in St. Louis last week for a number of meetings.  When I found out that I would be going to St. Louis, I was actually pretty excited (funny, none of my colleagues were nearly as thrilled.)  You see, one of my Bucket List items is to visit every US state.  Prior to this trip I had visited 41 states, but I had not been to Missouri, the Show-Me-State.

So after taking a quick look at a map of the Midwest I discovered that with a little bit of driving, I could actually knock off three other states too!  Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.  So I tacked on two days of vacation and had myself a little roadtrip.  But first up, let’s talk about St. Louis.

I managed to squeeze in a quick half-day of sight-seeing in St. Louis and met up with a colleague for lunch in Forest Park.  I had planned to go up in the famous Arch, but I discovered that only one side of the Arch was actually running and it was a 4.5 hour wait, so I just took lots of nice pictures:

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I must say, this Arch is pretty cool!

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It’s kinda hard to believe that you can actually go up in this thing.

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Old Courthouse in St. Louis
A beautiful tree-lined path near the arch.  The fall colours were in their glory.
A beautiful tree-lined path near the Arch. The fall colours were in their glory.
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This is Red-Bird territory!
The International Pavilion in Forest Park, which was part of the World's Fair in 1904 (And also the host of the 1904 Olympics... which is a little-known fact)
The International Pavilion in Forest Park, which was part of the World’s Fair held in St. Louis in 1904 (And another little-know fact, St. Louis also hosted the 1904 Olympics… of course I’d know that!)

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The Boathouse at Forest Park.  A lovely place for lunch or to rent paddle boats.
The Boathouse at Forest Park. A lovely place for lunch or to rent paddle boats.

Overall I was actually pleasantly surprised by St. Louis.  I had honestly expected a dirtier, more run-down city that was as tough as nails, but what I found was actually a very nice, clean  and welcoming city that was nothing likes its reputation.

Next post: My little road trip to OK, KS & AR!




Kitchen Update 3: Backsplash & Sink are in!

Some progress on the kitchen in my dad’s rental has been made, but he has been side-tracked with the driveway at the moment and trying to get it completed before the snow flies.  Still, the sink is now installed along with the faucet.  The stove is in place and the back-splash tiles are going up.

I did suggest to my dad a nice subway tile backsplash with a nice glass accent tile running through it, but he wasn’t convinced.  He apparently has some aversion to subway tiles.  Ultimately he chose a nice smooth, stone tile that is actually very similar to the floor tiles, so everything actually ties together quite nicely.

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Still waiting on the grout, but it’s looking good.


Love the nice deep sink, the faucet (that dad picked) not so much. Would have preferred one that was brushed nickel vs. shiny chrome. Ya win some, ya lose some.
View of the kitchen from the living room. You can just see a glimpse of the sunken dining room on the right. Wait! Is that a boob light still over the sink?

Would appear that I must remind dad about our talk regarding the presence of the ‘boob’ lights…


Autumn at the Lake

Wow, what a fantastic weekend we had! You couldn’t have asked for better weather for the last weekend in September. And although it was technically autumn, it felt more like the middle of July. In our neck of the woods it was well over 25c on both Friday and Saturday and I’m pretty sure it reached 28c on Sunday. So with weather this good, the lake was calling us.

Charleston Lake, ON
Charleston Lake, ON


We’ve had such a jam-packed summer what with our trip to Newfoundland in June and our usual beach vacation in July; that by the time Labour Day rolled around we realized that this might be the first year in 20 that we didn’t make it up to our favourite lake, Charleston Lake, in Ontario. Hubby and I have camped here, jet-skied here and even brought the girls here for a few nights when they were only three months old. This lake has a special place in our hearts.


So with the weather looking awesome, hubby booked a campsite early Friday morning and we headed out after work with the car loaded.


The marsh
The marsh

It was a little too chilly to go swimming so we took advantage of the great trails to take in the beautiful fall colours. The Boardwalk Trail to the Lookout is by far our favourite. It’s easy for kids and you are pretty much guaranteed to spot bull frogs, snakes and turtles at some point along the boardwalk or trail.


Quiddity Trail at Charleston Lake
Quiddity Trail at Charleston Lake
The family up ahead on the boardwalk
The family up ahead on the boardwalk
The beautiful fall colours along the boardwalk
The beautiful fall colours along the boardwalk
A rare sighting (for this blog anyway...) a picture of me!
A rare sighting (for this blog anyway…) a picture of me!

We’ve never actually camped this late in the season before, so the nights were a little chilly. And another surprise… the small bay near our campsite was filled with Canada geese, which were up honking at 6:00am. Ahh the joys of camping!

And to add to the amount of feather friends we heard and saw this weekend; on the drive home… a flock of wild turkeys, or should I say a ‘rafter’ of turkeys!

I count 11 turkeys!
I count 11 turkeys!