After visiting my family in Oregon, we got on another plane to Missouri to visit my husband's family. We spent some time at a family reunion and then off to the house he grew up in, in Mack's Creek, MO.; population 235.
Above is a photo of a neat little old house they have on the property. The property is across the street from the K-12 school, this little old house used to house the teacher of the school when it was a one-room school house.
This is the view from the driveway looking into downtown Mack's Creek. That's a church at the bottom of the hill and about the only thing aside from homes and the school that is still inhabited. Not that I'm trying to bash Wal Mart, but this is one little town that died when Wal Mart was built in the next town over, 15 minutes away.
We took some time to walk around the old school my husband went to. This is a photo of the outside door that leads to what I think is the basement. This is from the original structure and I found it to be very interesting. The school is the original stone structure with numerous add ons to accommodate the increase in students.
I also came across some really pretty flora in Missouri. I have a "thing" for flowers and thought these were really pretty. Anyone who knows what these are, please feel free to let me know in the comment section. :)
Baby Boy spent a lot of time with Grandma playing on her mother's piano, circa 1896. Grandma always plays this piano in the evening and the sound, though the piano is out-of-tune, is very relaxing and brings an air of calm and simpler times into the home. It will be moments like this I won't forget.
Of course, it's moments like this that I won't soon forget either... Handsome Hubby and Not-So-Little Man made an afternoon of BBQ'ing chicken and setting off bottle rockets. I can always count on my Handsome Hubby to share his knowledge of explosives with our children... Yes, I married Bart Simpson.
After the visit home, we visited Branson, MO, the "Entertainment Capital of the Midwest." It was like Vegas meets the Hatfields and McCoys. From there we spent a couple of days at Silver Dollar City. It's a neat little amusement park with roller coasters (we are roller coaster junkies) and other fun little rides. The whole place has a Pioneer / Ozark feel. Very nifty, and very patriotic if I might add. They begin each day with an opening ceremony where all the visiting veterans form up for the raising of the flag, where the national anthem is sung and the pledge of allegiance is recited. It was really special to be in that formation with my Handsome Hubby and his father. All of us are very proud of our military service. We were given ribbons in thanks for our service and any employee of the park whom we came in contact with thanked us for our service with a smile and a handshake. This means a lot to us and especially to my father in-law, the Vietnam Vet who had to wait too long for that sentiment.
Once the park opens, it's a fun, wholesome time for the whole family. But of all the attractions and rides, Baby Boy found this sprinkler his personal favorite. Needless to say, I will be investing the $2 in one at home very soon. I couldn't get him away from this sprinkler.
This is Baby Boy and I at the entrance to his first real amusement park ride, The Flooded Mine. He loved it.
After Branson, we drove up to St. Louis to visit more family there. They took us to Forest Park on the way to the St. Louis Arch, The Gateway to the West!
Being from Oregon, and the end of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and having just visited there, I thought it was really neat to be at the site where it all began. This arch is a staggering 630 feet high and an engineering marvel.
But even with all that cool engineering stuff and amazing museum, I have to say the most fascinating thing about this arch was the method to get to the top. It is a train made up of these little cars that resemble large industrial dryers. Very cool!
After the arch, our family took us to Union Station. It is primarily a mall and hotel, but was originally a huge train depot. They have preserved and maintained the Grand Hall. It is such an amazing space that I can only sit and imagine what it must have been like filled with travelers all dressed in fedoras and hat and glove sets. It has arches like this below at both ends of the enormous hall.
The detail is just amazing. I love these beautiful ladies.
Another impressive feature of the Grand Hall is this stained glass window. It's called the "Allegorical Window," a hand-made stained glass window with hand-cut Tiffany glass strategically positioned above the Station's main entryway. The window features three women representing the main U.S. train stations during the 1890s -- New York, St. Louis and San Francisco.
After a great visit in St. Louis, it was back in the car to drive to Kansas City and catch our plane back to Phoenix. Though it was a wonderful trip filled with family and fond memories, we were very glad to be home and in our own beds.
Thank you so much for allowing me to share our wonderful vacation with you!
Shared At: Domestically Divine, Teach Me Tuesdays, Show Me What Ya Got