We left Thursday morning at the crack of dawn to bring Melissa to St. Louis to be with Ryan.

We arrived in St. Louis at about 4 p.m. We visited for a bit and then went out to dinner at Pi.

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Friday we met for breakfast at a little coffee shop nearby. Afterwards we drove to the St. Louis Museum of Transportation.

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After we wandered around here for a while, we went to a place called Pappy’s Smokehouse for lunch:

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Saturday we went for breakfast and then wandered around an antique store for a while.  Ryan and Melissa went back to their place to do some unpacking while Mike and I went to Grant’s Farm. This farm was bought by Augustus Busch. There are a number of things to see, including the original home of Grant’s wife’s parents.

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It was almost 60 today so it was a great day to wander around outside.

I guess it’s a stretch to call going to St. Paul a vacation, but since I haven’t gone anywhere in forever and this blog hasn’t been updated in that amount of time either, I decided to post here.

Ryan, Melissa and I went to the Science Museum to see Under the Sea at the Omni Theater. That ended up being something of a disappointment since it was super preachy about global warming. I’m reading Climate of Corruption so this junk won’t fly with me!

Since we were there and had plenty of time to kill, we went to the Real Pirates exhibit. Here are a couple photos from that.  Sorry for the quality – the battery was dead in my little camera but I didn’t know that until I tried to turn it on!

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The top photo is a chest of coins found in the shipwreck of the Whydah, which sank in 1746 off the coast of Cape Cod. It was found recently (sorry I don’t recall when!).  The bottom photo is the bell from the same ship.

Unfortunately the rest of my photos aren’t good since they were taken in low light with my phone.

We spent the entire day on the road and got home at about 9 p.m. (about ten minutes shy of Tristan’s estimate!)

This is the first shot I took this morning – the sun rising over the Ohio River:

And here’s a shot of Iowa:

We did a couple more things on the way home, but I’m wiped out so I’ll have to write about that later.  We ended our trip pretty much the same way we started it, with a stop here:

For such a small state, it sure takes a long time to get from one end to the other…   we spent most of today driving across it.

Our first stop was The Little White House in Warm Springs.  Here is a link about it:

http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/presidents/roosevelts_little_white_house.html

And here’s one of the photos I took:

After that stop, we headed up to Stevenson, Alabama.  We were looking for Fort Harker but we couldn’t find it.  We did, however, find the railroad tracks the Fourth Minnesota would have marched down.  Which is also why we wanted to find the Fort.  Unfortunately there were no signs in town and we hadn’t picked up any brochures beforehand.

And here’s Nashville again:

My other photos will be posted on Flickr for now.  I’m still not sure what our plans for tomorrow are.  It will be a surprise for all of us apparently!

This is where I spent most of the day:

And this is how I spent most of the day:

We leave in the morning.  The car is mostly packed so we just have to grab a bag or two and go.  We’re thinking of heading to The Little White House in Warm Springs, Georgia.  There’s also a place near there where the Fourth Minnesota camped that may be on the agenda.  It all depends on how late Mike stays out tonight.  Well, not really out…   he’s just downstairs in the ballroom having dinner with the rest of the conference attendees.  I had a sandwich from Momma Goldberg’s deli.  Don’t feel bad for me though…  last night’s room service meal was fantastic!

This morning we slept in a little.  Unfortunately we had a bunch of noisy neighbors that woke me up a few times during the night.  I think they all checked out this morning (*fingers crossed*). We walked into Auburn and had breakfast, then sat around the hotel pool reading.

Mike left for the first session at about 12:30.  I went for a walk and did a little shopping.  Turns out most of the shopping near the campus consists of shoes, purses and orange t-shirts.  I did manage to find this though:

Here are some random shots I took on my walk:

Mike won’t be back until evening so I’m planning to get some reading in.  Then maybe I can talk him into dinner at a restaurant I found on my walk.  Or maybe it will be room service tonight!

Finally comes to an end here:

We arrived in Auburn at about 6 p.m. tonight.  We crossed the timeline a couple of times but finally determined it’s still central time here.  After we checked out our room we went downstairs to the restaurant on the first floor and had a nice dinner. 

Here are some shots from Nashville:

We spent a little time walking around Nashville.  The rest of the day was spent in the car.  We’re both happy to be spending the next couple of days in one place.

The hotel is right on the Auburn University campus so I will be wandering around with my camera tomorrow.  For now, I plan to kick back and relax (and probably be sound asleep by 9).

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