Carolina: Cruising Past 70: OLA: Making Our Way to Pittsburg, Kansas for Bill's 50th Reunion!

Monday, September 3, 2012

OLA: Making Our Way to Pittsburg, Kansas for Bill's 50th Reunion!

had fun being framed  by the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri!
On September 6-9 Bill’s 50th high school reunion goes  into full swing in Pittsburg, Kansas. That iis why we have driven from our Canadian trip down through Michigan, making our way through Illinois and Missouri. There we had the chance to visit the cities of Springfield and St. Louis, respectively, which we missed the first time!
being welcomed by the Lincolns at the White House
a presidenta museum of the highest order
Tribute to Lincoln: Springfield, Illinois

This is Lincoln world, where he studied to be a lawyer, practiced law, got married, bore children, and became the most beloved president (according to combined surveys) of the USA. It was no surprise, therefore, that the Presidential Library and Museum (his archives and exhibits of his legacy) take up two full city blocks.  The Lincoln National Historic Site (his home and neighborhood) occupy two more blocks , another block is the law office where he studied and worked,  and the Lincoln tomb is enshrined in the Springfield Cemetery.
Bill in front of Lincoln's home which, together with the neighborhood of his time,\
 is a National Historic Site
Lincoln's final resting place
The Presidential Library is the most advanced in the world, using all available technologies to make Lincoln’s story come alive (a hologram theatre for portraying his work life,  a wax museum to display how one may have been welcomed to the White House, multiple flat panels to depict the crucial campaign of 1860, and a 4-D (sight, smell, hearing, and touch) theatre to tell his life story (I jumped every time the cannons fired!), an interactive Q&A with him, etc.   But he deserves no less!
prominent 2-headed sculpture fronting the glass nursery at Meijer
my yellow garden with a huge cactus...sculpture!
Then there is Meijer Sculpture Park and Garden. How beautiful are the sculptures, all 300 0f them!  More beautiful are the plants in 30 acres!  I found my yellow garden with what I thought was the biggest cactus I have ever seen… until Bill told me that it was a sculpture! Nevertheless, I was entranced! You can’t walk this park and garden. Shuttle buses have to move you around!
Tribute to Jefferson: Tribute St. Louis, Missouri
the better shot: the Old Cathedral framed by the Gateway Arch

Scott Joplin National Historic Landmark
I couldn’t stop taking pictures of St. Louis’ iconic Gateway Arch as soon as it loomed on the horizon. Bill’s desire to give me great angles made him take a wrong turn that brought us to the heart of downtown where an RV is not supposed to be! Bill managed to maneuver M’a ‘turn through the city streets and get us back to the interstate.  When we visited the museum under the Arch, we found out that the site’s real name is the Jefferson National Westward Expansion Memorial, dedicated to the doubling of the US after the Lewis and Clark expedition commissioned by Jefferson. But it is the shot of the Arch together with the centuries-old Basilica of King Louis of France which is awesome!

Ulysses S. Grant's White Home
Then we went to two notable homes in the city:  the Scott Joplin National Historic Site and the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site called White Haven (even though it is green). Scott Joplin introduced ragtime music and is best known for his song, The Entertainer, which was popularized by the movie, Sting.  Grant, on the other hand, was the commanding general of the Union forces during the Civil War just as Washington was during the American Revolution. Washington became the first president while Grant became the 18th president after the conclusion of the Civil War.

We are so glad we found the time to visit Springfield and St. Louis!  And now we are in Pittsburg, Kansas, Bill’s hometown, getting ready for his high school class’ 50th reunion. And I am busy choosing the dress to wear for the Saturday Night Gala and helping prepare some write-ups. Next week I will tell you all about it!