End: Springfield, MO
Most Memorable thing heard on the radio
DN: Drop Kick Me Jesus, or "B, double E, double R, U, N; BEER RUN!"
MM: Under the Sea from "The Little Mermaid"
Most Memorable Thing on the Side of the Road:
MM: "Apache Trading Post" sign with big knife sticking through the middle of sign.
DN: Crazy D's gas station (hellllo, Nick!) I think its logo was supposed to be a sombrero, but it looked more like a red zoot suit hat.
First off, thanks to everyone who has wished MM well during her rehab. Once we got past the toxic waste dump known as St. Louis she started feeling better. However, as we all know, better isn't good enough.
As I've long suspected, St. Louis slowly sucks the life out of the already infirm, explaining the Cubs' record there the past century or so...
We start the day with a decent breakfast and say, "fare thee well" to our new family in New Paris, OH. Before heading out, we take a moment to film a brief on the recharged video camera focusing on the local sprawl. Then we get in the car and surge past Norge, IN and head into Indiana Proper.
Either our route through Indiana (Route 70) was ridiculously corn field intensive or the state has more corn than any other form of life. We're guessing the state has removed all signage to Notre Dame now that the football team is terrible, or we were just unlucky. Its too bad, as we were told that it was around there that Mr. Ruth was spawned, and MM and I were looking forward to a mini-trip.
Also, Spiceland, IN, has nothing to do with either spices or Spice Girls.
Yeah, thats it for Indiana. That exciting.
I had high expectations for Illinois. Ill. is home to both Abraham Lincoln, and the greatest type of food ever invented. As has so often been the case in my life, Illinois dissapointed.
First, we didn't see one place to get a good deep-dish pizza along the entire 100+ miles we were in the state. We cut right through the southern part of the state and didn't see one pizza place that wasn't a Pizza Hut or something worse.
Second, Illinois is home to several parks, hiking trails and landmarks dedicated to Lincoln, but they apparently don't want anyone to visit them. Twice we took an exit to check out a cool sounding park, and twice we were unable to find said park becauase the signage promoting the local attractions vanishes once you clear the off ramp.
Marybeth was equally kind to Ill., writing "Ill. looks like IN but with knives through their signs."
Being let down by Ill., we turned our attention to St. Louis for a possible lunch stop. St. Louis was described to us by Genevieve as "a nice little city." Hrmph.
We do a second filming of the day noting that every society has their low points. Waterloo...the fall of the Roman Empire, the 2006 World Series. Finnishing the video, we explore St. Louis without gas masks or anything.
Ok, in truth St. Louis' downtown are was pretty cool. We got to see the Arc, the stadiums, and even check out some mass transit at a light rail station. MM got to show me a classically designed wrought iron bridge and explain to me how they work and are different than steel bridges and we had lunch at a nice place, Hannegans.
Hannegans was founded by FDR's campaign manager (Robert Hannegan), so I suppose I can forgive his being part owner of the Cards in the latter part of his life. Of course, there's no proof that owning them isn't what killed him.
We did meet an unabashed Cardinals fan while in the city. He added credence to a theory of mine that it wasn't being in St. Louis that makes one a Cardinals fan, but some sort of reaction to nuclear radiation. When asked where he would eat lunch if he were only in town for a day, CardsFan (I could tell because he was wearing a 2006 World Champs shirt) told us:
1) all the places in the downtown are the same
2) Hannegan's is the best place
3) He would go to the burger joint he was standing next to
At least, I think thats what he said. It all sounded like, "ALSDJFSLKDNG."
One last clearly slanted statement on St. Louis, the people there are clearly liars. We were unable to find the so-called "St. Louis BBQ Ribs" anywhere. Contrastly, we were able to find some grammar/spelling errors on the "history of the restaraunt" section of the menu at Hannegan's (one of which caused a debate on whether "drowed" was supposed to be "drowned" or "growed"). To have some genuine local cuisine, we had to split some toasted beef ravioli which were pretty good.
Moving away from StL through the rest of the state we noticed that a lot of exit signs just had big letters instead of Route numbers or towns on them. For example, a sign would say "exit 53" then there would be a D in a square. (that would be a BIG D, not a crazy one). Is that how MO does county roads? Feel free to drop us a line in the comments section if you know. I've opened comments do you don't have to have a google login anymore.
There were three contenders for the "Most Memorable Thing Seen on the Road" in the 170 miles between StL. and our stop of Springfield. They were:
1) A billboard with three babies and the Virgen Mary that read "Love Your Babies Born And Unborn", a message about as subtle as the immigration episode of Smallville when Clark turns to Ma Kent and hisses, "Good thing you didn't feel that way about aliens 17 years ago!"
2) A strip mall that took its title seriously featuring "Big Louie's Strip club" along with a place to play pool, a convenience store, a pizza parlor and a tattoo joint.
PS - Yes, the links about St. Louis are supposed to be that immature since the only thing I have against the city is a stupid baseball rivalry. Our side trip to the downtown was perfectly pleasant considering the rash should go away in a couple days and if we can't get the stench off our clothes with bleach we can always burn them.
Secondly, the we continue to make news, even while on vacation. The Baltimore Messenger captures the real essance of what makes a winning campaign. Just check out the picture, here: http://news.mywebpal.com/news_tool_v2.cfm?pnpID=574&NewsID=837384&CategoryID=8012&show=localnews&om=1