There’s No Place Like Home


Like a cobra that refuses to relinquish its grip, unrelenting heat waves are squeezing the breath from folks across the United States.  My escapes outside are limited to essential missions.  I find myself planted in front of the computer, browsing through blogs, dreaming of faraway places that I long to visit.

Going Dutch, by Malou, http://malouprestado.files.wordpress.com offers the reader to escape to picturesque fields of tulips and poppies.  Recently, she shared stunningly beautiful pictures from a family vacation in Tuscany.  The breathtaking photos captivated me and made me long to journey to such romantic places.

It is a dream for another day and while I lingered a little longer than I had anticipated, the time spent was not wasted.  It inspired me to write about the delightful opportunities that are offered here in Missouri.  For the next few weeks, I will revisit some of my most favorite locations and invite readers to ponder the possibilities of vacationing in Missouri.

The historic downtown St. Charles is one of my favorite places to spend the day.  The 16 acre Frontier Park boarders the Missouri River and hosts many events throughout the year.  The Festival of the Little Hills, to be held August 17-19, 2012, attracts 300,000 visitors each year and provides a stage front for the 300 craft booths, food, live music and entertainment that line the streets of the Historic St. Charles Downtown District.  The great thing about this event is that I can get an early start on my Christmas shopping then grab a funnel cake or roasted ear of corn and sit a while in the park listening to the wide variety of music.

Speaking of music, Music on Mainstreet fills the Jaycee’s Stage on the third Wednesday from May through September at 5:00 p.m.  The St. Charles Municipal Band Free Concerts invite everyone to bring their lawn chairs on Thursdays June through August at 8:00 p.m. to tap their toes in the grass.  Some of my fondest memories came from watching my mother’s face light up when she recognized a song from her era.  Somehow, the music transcended her from the struggles of Alzheimer’s disease to another time.  She knew every word and sang along softly, all the while keeping a beat with her frail hands.

History buffs will enjoy the wonderful statues found throughout the park and along Main Street.  The Lewis and Clark Boat House and Nature Center is a great place to start.  The county was established in 1812 and played a significant role in the westward expansion of our country when the Lewis and Clark Expedition departed from the banks of St. Charles.

Wear comfortable shoes because there is much to see and do.  The 240-mile Katy Trail, a paved biking and hiking path borders the park along with the MKT Depot.  If this peaks your interest, check out the website at http://www.stcharlescountywebsite.com

The quaint shops and delectable restaurants provide for a leisurely stroll down Main Street.  If you make it all the way to the end, you can visit the Foundry Art Center and some of the pubs that offer reprieve to summer’s strain.

My journey will continue through other delightful parks and attractions.  I hope you join along and share a story or two with me about your home town vacation.

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2 thoughts on “There’s No Place Like Home

  1. The past two summers my sister and I have went to the Shawnee National Forest (http://www.theshawneenationalforest.com/) located within an hour of where we live in southern Illinois. We typically pack a cooler full of drinks and sandwiches, and head to Pounds Hollow, a good old fashioned swimming hole, where we play in the water and have lunch. Next, we hike at Garden of the Gods and take pictures from the majestic bluffs. Finally, we travel a little further south to Cave in Rock, a large cave located on the Ohio River, just a stone’s throw away from Kentucky. While we’re in the town of Cave in Rock, we spend time in the cave and admire the view of the river, afterward we head off to dinner. There’s a wonderful little restaurant (Rose’s Kountry Kitchen) that serves the best southern-style home cooking. They specialize in things like fried green tomatoes, fried catfish, meatloaf, mashed potatoes and homemade pies.
    It’s nothing fancy, but it’s so fun, to just be outdoors, spending time together and enjoying nature. Best of all, it’s an ultra cheap day.
    P.S. We plan on visiting Shawnee National Forest again this summer.

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