August 2021

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St. Charles is on the way to St. Louis, sitting along the banks of the Big Muddy itself. Fantastic structures line the historic old town and have been lovingly transformed into charming shops and restaurants of every description. The wooden building was Missouri’s original State Capitol.

We made the Benton Park neighborhood our home this leg of the trip, with gorgeous, mansard topped brick buildings galore, however absent from this photo. The subtle glow of lights emanates from tasty Peacemaker. Top notch cocktails and seafood, stellar hush puppies, too!

This is the old Falstaff Brewery, just around the corner from our digs. It is HUGE and for sale! If you have millions and millions, do please consider making something wonderful with it.

St. Agnes Church – for you, Aunt Mary

How about this to mark your address? The coolest in St. Louis!

steel origami

The Missouri Botanical Garden is probably the largest I’ve visited, and, as one would expect, pretty darn magical! A heaven-scented oasis.

If you’re a peanut lover, as I am, please give a hearty nod of appreciation to George Washington Carver, who, besides Jimmy Carter – maybe, did more for the precious legume than anybody. He was also a thoughtful human being and ahead of his time. He is the genius behind the advent of crop rotation!

the stumpery
Chihuly, of course
More Chihuly

We enjoyed a fabulous lunch at Salt + Smoke BBQ after our botanical wander. Good golly was it great!

Mansard roof & classic bicycle. It’s like someone knew I wanted a photo.

The Gateway Arch is every bit as gorgeous and majestic as I hoped it would be. At 640 feet, it’s a long way up, too! Additionally, the city mandates no structure can rise above it. Very apropos.

Old Courthouse
The 19th Century Eads Bridge – the first Steel Truss in the world, and the Martin Luther King just beyond.

At Cahokia Mounds – a long abandoned Native American City, estimated to have 40-50,000 inhabitants (between 1100 – 1350), and structural marvel, where millions of tons of earth was dug to create more than 50 earthen mounds. The view of St. Louis is from Monk’s Mound, the largest in the complex and the largest mound north of Mexico.

I love thinking on what this place looked like and how the people lived. What rich history can be found just about anywhere!

A slice of summer at Russell’s. Sweet perfection.

The world is your gym, peeps!



What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.

Richard Bach


Good early morning outside Limon, Colorado! I love how each squiggle has a near identical shape; light is such a wonder. The first day of our trip had the longest drive, so we arose at 4:00 in hopes of arriving in Kansas City by the early afternoon.

Sunrise over the clouds!

Breakfast in Hays, Kansas, carefully observed by the neighborhood Mississippi Kite. A first sighting for us!

West Plaza, our Kansas City neighborhood, had a robot mural and Donutology, who had goodness of every stripe and a treat for our favorite four-legger! Walk up and enjoy. There was also Nature’s Own, a fab grocery, where I spied someone who looked an awful lot like one of our favorite produce guys at New Seasons in Portland. And whaddya know, it WAS him. We shared a laugh and an it’s a small world moment before learning he left Portland the same year we did. Good to see you, David!

Kansas City, as you well know, is shared by two states, and West Plaza lies just over the very fluid border. Here I am, taking full advantage on State Line Road, feet firmly planted in Kansas AND Missouri! Just up the road lies the launching point for both the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails. How cool is that?!

Kansas City has a wealth of fabulous murals!

Country Club Plaza is a dazzle of Spanish Inspired architecture, with many a great shop, including Made in KC, where we bought t-shirts, hats, Reunion Rye Whiskey, BBQ sauce, even honey. Such fun!

Roxy Paine, Ferment
framed by
Henry Moore, Large Torso Arch
Ursula von Rydingsvard, Three Bowls

My faithful companions and I enjoyed a crotch-pot cooking hot stroll about the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park. Westerners accustomed to the high desert, we expected some mid-west discomfort in Missouri, but there was a heat wave, and 97 degrees with 65% humidity was, even for locals, a LOT. This gives you a hint at my anxiety about traveling in a tornado prone place. August is traditionally the quietest month for them. Thank the maker for air conditioning, yessir.

Claes Oldenburg, Shuttlecock
Robert Morris, Labyrinth

The Art Course, high class putt-putt in and amongst the sculptures! We did not partake (no pups allowed), but it sure looked fun.

Judith Shea, Storage

World War I Memorial – it is a stunner.

Tall, very tall.

Downtown Kansas City is quite good looking.

Our get up and go before the dog dies of heat stroke walk along Brush Creek was quite pretty. Actually, the whole city is lovely. We didn’t expect it to be so much so, to be honest – tree and flower filled and oh so hilly. Dang America, you really are ALL THAT.

Greg gets up close and personal at the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. I just about lost my marbles when I learned such an institution exists. I mean seriously, the two together!! Oh, and speaking of marbles, they have their own exhibit there. Of course they do.

Just one of the fabulous rooms and my personal favorite because architecture, peeps, architecture. The artistry is simply amazing. Every manner of miniature was on display, including animals, Native American Arts, paintings, dolls, fully electrified chandeliers, and chests of drawers as big as my thumb. Truly awe inspiring!

The toys of my childhood! Eeek….
The giant spinning toy display. Love is not too strong a word. Not at all.

And now, for more adult pursuits. Our time in fabulous Kansas City over, we headed east, with a stop in Hermann, Missouri. There are scads of wineries, but we chose Hermannhof to visit before enjoying a very German lunch at the Wurst House. Fun people, yummy wine, delicious food.

Goodbye Hermann! Off to St. Louis….



Trust in my affection for you. Tho’ I may not display it exactly in the way you like and expect it, it is not therefore less deep and sincere.

Anna Jameson



It is very strange … that the years teach us patience; that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting.

Elizabeth C. Taylor


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