As we left the Grand Ole Opry, we began to think about the long, long trip we had ahead of us. Tennessee to Washington State!! A lot of miles! I was excited, knowing that I would be traveling to new places, seeing new sights, meeting new people, visiting states that I have never been to.
I have never visited any Southern States. I will tell you … my visit to Tennessee and Kentucky will always have a special place in my mind and heart. Most certainly would love to visit again! I found the people to be genuine, friendly, welcoming. I have always heard the term ‘Southern Hospitality’. I have now experienced it firsthand! Loved it!
The town of Lebanon, Tennessee, where we spent our first night, was a wonderful smallish town, gaily decorated for the Holiday Season. Lights strung all about the town, trees and angels displayed on the street lights, cheerful Holiday music playing. The Spirit was alive!
Clark is not always too trusting of my GPS, so he didn’t ‘listen’ to what my GPS had to say, instead going the way he ‘felt’ was the right way to go! Ha! But it worked out perfect, as he brought us right past downtown Nashville! Great looking city. And we were off, heading out to try to put some good many miles behind us.
We stopped at a Rest Area in Kentucky. Super nice!
A center with a lot of information helpful to travelers visiting the surrounding area and states. Two gentlemen were there to assist. After explaining our traveling plans, WOW! I was given printed step-by-step directions to help me with each step of my journey through Kentucky, Indiana and on into Illinois and Missouri. I was given a free map where the gentleman highlighted our route. So very helpful!
I’ve seen pictures of St. Louis with the grand Arch, which creates a unique skyline for the city, and the excitement was building up knowing I was about to see it in person. It was dark and as we drove into the city, it began to pour, and pour, and pour some more! Made driving a bit hard. But we trekked on to get to the Arch.
Clark thought he would see a beautifully lit up Arch, but No! And I just don’t get it – It would be absolutely gorgeous all lit up to greet newcomers to the great city! Not sure why the City doesn’t do this. But There It Was! I finally got to see the City of St. Louis! Beautiful city at night!
Clark wanted to go for a little walk and we parked near the arch. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous at that thought. Walking in any large city at night …. Maybe not the smartest idea, but we did it. It was nice! No problems at all! I kept trying and trying to get pictures of the arch. Kept trying, but it was a ‘No Go’. Disappointed that I have not taken the time to learn what settings to use on my camera for darker night pictures! Shoot! I saw 20-something-year-olds taking great pictures with their phones. Hmm…..
But ……. Now the big question was …… Where will we settle in for the night? Not a clue.
But we found THEE perfect spot! Just after crossing the Mississippi River, there were a ton of bright sparkly lights!!! What was it you ask??? A CASINO! And, I LOVE CASINOS!!! Yes! And was it ever beautiful! We were straight across from downtown St. Louis! City lights … GORGEOUS! Beautiful scenery and a grand casino … what more could you ask for in an overnight stay?!
We were off into the casino to check things out! Got a bite to eat at the Deli. Very good! Gambled a bit. Did okay.
I thought this was so very funny! My husband spotted this sign. We both thought it was a smoking section, so we were going to peak through the door, thinking it was most certainly more slot machines for those folks that want to smoke while playing slots. We peaked through the door, AND IT LED STRAIGHT TO THE PARKING LOT OUTSIDE! We both got a good chuckle from that one! he, he!!!! I wonder how many others got a good laugh like us!!! ha!
We were pooped, so it was off to bed for us. Our traveling hotel (our new cargo van) was right out in the parking lot. We got all snuggled in, comfy as ever in our brand-new sleeping bags. I fell asleep thinking about and excited to see what the next day would bring!