Sunday, September 16, 2007

Small steps, big steps, good friends

Hello again, all: We haven't traveled very far along the Mississippi River. For the last week or so, the Winnie W. has been docked in the St. Louis area while we visited & played tourist. First we stayed in Alton, Illinois, a few miles north of St. Louis, and then we traveled down the river about 40 miles to Kimmswick, where have been tied up over the weekend. Here are some photos of friends and family.

The first photo is cousin Pam with Kathie in front of the Monk's Mound at the Cahokia historic site on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River.

Kathie and sailing friend Jane, whom we met in North Carolina and who now lives in the St. Louis area, under the Gateway Arch.

There are many interesting things to do & see in the St. Louis area. Friends Russ and Deb from North Carolina flew in to visit us; Russ is from Sainte Genevieve, a beautiful historic French town south of the city. We were glad to see Russ and Deb, and meet his friends and family. The first stop was his home town, Sainte Genevieve. Here's a photo of us with Russ and Deb.

Here is a photo of the whole gang (L to R): Doug, Sherry, Deb, Joan, Russ, Kathy, and Kathie. Front and center (of course) is Hank.

Russ and Sherry's grandmother had a restaurant in Sainte Genvieve, and Russ had many interesting stories about his family and growing up in this wonderful town. He and his family have many friends and connections in the area.

Later,we visited the Chaumette winery about 40 miles south of the city; the next day, a Farmer's Market and the St. Louis Zoo (which was great); and today, the botanical garden (pictured).
St. Louis is organized around neighborhoods and we toured many; the architecture is spectacular and many areas are restored or in the process of restoration. Russ and Sherry know many recent and remote historical details about the neighborhoods and the people who built St. Louis. We would come back in a minute!

Here is a photo of us enjoying a superb meal in one of the many excellent local restaurants.

We went to the Piper Palm House for brunch this morning, which was elegant!

Recently we have taken small steps in traveling along the Great Loop, but large steps in meeting new friends and renewing old friendships & in learning about people & places along the way. We are grateful for Russ and Deb's visit and the kindness of Sherry, Joan, and Kathy in hosting us in St. Louis.

Our best to you all, Doug and Kathie

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