Saturday, July 21, 2012

Back to Life

Well, after spending the week with 2,000 teens in Panama City Beach at Big Stuf, it's time to get back to life (and in my head I'm singing....'back to reality'...... which you will only get if you're as old as me - ha!)  I had an awesome, fun time at Big Stuf, but don't want to miss the opportunity to blog about the rest of our road trip, so we'll head back to Route 66 and southern Illinois.

We spent the night in Collinsville, Illinois at the Doubletree Inn.  It was a HUGE hotel (ballrooms, etc. size) and very nice.  Warm cookies on demand for every guest.  I'd highly recommend it.

The next morning we were on our way to St. Louis!  Crossing the Mighty Mississippi:
It was fun talking to our kids about the important role rivers, especially the Mississippi, had played in our country's history.  The day before at the Lincoln Museum we had seen a digital map that showed Federal vs. Confederate troop controlled land (as it changed throughout the war/ after different battles) and we pointed out to the kids how the Federal troops had immediately seized (and never let go of) control of the the Mississippi.

 Now it was time to talk about the Louisiana purchase and how the Mississippi River had once divided the United States of America from 'the rest' of the continent.

The St. Louis Arch sits on a beautiful national park:

There had been some kind of festival at the Arch the night before we arrived, so they were still cleaning up.

The museum is actually underground, under the arch, so we headed down.  The museum is free, but you do have to pay a small fee to go up into the arch in an elevator to the observation deck or to see one of the Imax movies.

It was a great time.  There were lots of interesting displays that taught kids about the Westward expansion of our country.

After the museum, we headed to the Rams stadium to take JR's picture.  He loves to see different professional stadiums.

And then we reluctantly left Route 66 and headed home!  It was a great trip, full of memories.  I'd do it again in a heartbeat!