Bass Pro Shops, Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum, Missouri. September 25, 2015

French Toast with syrup for me for breakfast. Don’t they look like pancakes?

Steve ordered the Ham and Cheese Omelette at The Order in the lobby of The Hotel Vandivort.

This is the view of the modern lobby side view of the hotel. On our way out we told the front desk that they needed additional info in the rooms on how to control the lighted art work, and electric window shades. If you go there let me know if they listened to our constructive criticism!

Here is the dreaded parking lot that Steve had so much difficutly with!

Then it was off to The Promised Land. The Mothership of all fishing stores! Just follow the bass boat!

How could we not go in to this place?

Doesn’t Steve look happy?

Alligators!

Big fish alert! This fish is called a a gar. Steve says they can be six feet long!

Lots of taxidermy.

Steve in a Tracker boat. His boat in Lake George is much prettier! In fact Steve’s boat probably cost as much as my Jaguar!

Steve was so excited! “Oh my God! There are three aisles of soft plastics here!”

Are you in the market for a fancy pistol?

Perhaps a fancy shot gun would be what you are looking for?

Steve loves his fish! There are many types of trout here. The yellow ones are Palomino, They are from the crossing of a Golden Rainbow trout and a rainbow trout. There are rainbow, brown and brook trout here. They had Palomino Trout at Cow Creek. I finally remembered our cook’s name. She was Sofia and specialized in traditional New Mexican cuisine. Too bad I like traditional regular food like that cooked in Upstate New York!

Always a crowd pleaser, the fish feeding show!

There were scuba divers feeding the fish.

The NRA museum. Lots of guns and ammunition here.

There were lots of guns to look at!

This was not a happy outcome. If you don’t want to read the story, the bottom line is that his head popped off when he was hung.

Her is Steve posing in front of a very large gar.

This is Ethel. 27.5 inch long and 24.5 inch girth. She was caught in Lake Fork Texas in November 1986. She was brought to this Bass Pro Shops store and millions of people visited her until she died in 1994. A thousand people attended her funeral!

The results of Steve’s shopping. I think I will have the total cost be one of your guesses at the end of the blog post! Can you believe that he only spent 30 minutes shopping?

Golden Rod along the Missouri highway. Lower Missouri has lots of trees and rolling hills.

First signage for The Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home.

Me in the parking lot. Could you tell? I was so verklempt. (Yiddish for overcome with emotion). I read all of the Little House series of books when I was a young girl. Many times in fact. My kids read the Harry Potter Books, well the Little House Series books were my favorites. I wasn’t crazy about the television show, but still watched it anyway. They didn’t allow any pictures inside the house, but I discovered a pamphlet about the house. Here is a picture of what Laura, Rose, Almanzo looked like. Also a picture of the inside of the house!

I could hardly speak to Steve I was so emotional.

Laura and her husband Almanzo were such lovebirds. The house started as a log cabin and gradually more rooms were added and the original log cabin was torn down. The rooms were added on as they had more money. The house was built specifically to Laura’s stature. The counter tops were really low as Laura was a tiny woman.

This is the fancy entry of the house. The lady nearest you is crying. I could hardly talk to Steve at all as I was trying to hold back my tears.

Laura first started writing her Little House Books when she was 65 at her daughter’s suggestion. I guess I still have time to be famous! I never thought that I would come here as Mansfield , Missouri is nowhere near anyplace I thought that Steve and I would visit. But if Steve could get his Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve I could get the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home!

Getting tired near the end of our journey, not too many days left so I am even counting a Walmart as a grocery store! With that big smile on my face I seem to have recovered from the experience at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Homestead.

Here is a picture of a cotton field in Missouri. The Ozarks were very hilly with pine trees and many other trees.

The Mississippi Valley is very flat!

We left Missouri and crossed the Mississippi River and were into Illinois. It was a blue day!

Then we crossed the next bridge and we saw the mighty Ohio River join in.

Here you can see all the barges on the Ohio River. You can see where the rivers join together just past the barges.

Once you cross the Ohio River you are in Kentucky. The Ohio River is much bigger than the Mississippi before they join. The Lower Mississippi begins in Cairo, Illinois where the Upper Mississippi joins the Ohio River. The Lower Mississippi flows into the Gulf of Mexico. You will have to go on your own Excellent Adventure to go to see the Gulf of Mexico!

Three states in 15 minutes!

The highway is built on a levee!

Then we crossed the Tennessee River.

We traveled on through Kentucky to the Land Between the Lakes. The area is a large inland peninsula between Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. Steve was quite excited to be here as you can well imagine. Too bad we really couldn’t see anything as it was dark by the time we got here!

We looked for a restaurant on Yelp and Patti’s in Green River was suggested.

The plan was to eat at Patti’s 1880 Restaurant. However they had an hour wait for a table so we ate at the sibling restaurant, “Bill’s” next door! Same menu, same price, but only a ten minute wait to be seated. I still don’t understand!

They are famous for their flower pot bread and strawberry butter. You can make strawberry butter yourself if you want to, by adding strawberry jam to whipped butter! To make flower pot bread you just put the dough in a clean flower pot and then bake!

Steve was so happy to be surrounded by all the glitz!

I had prime rib.

Steve had the 2 inch pork chop. Two inch pork chops are a joke with Steve and myself. I only like the very skinny pork chops that I like Steve to overcook. I love them with applesauce too. If I am making them I cook them at 425 degrees for about an hour. Then they are dry as dust, but super crunchy!I really only like them with Kellogg’s corn flake crumbs on them. Sometimes Steve runs out and uses Italian bread crumbs. I don’t like those at all. Do you think he knew that yet?

We must not have had dessert, as I usually take pictures of the food that we eat. But here is a bonus photo of Steve!

We stayed overnight at the Hampton Inn Kuttawa. Have you ever been to Kuttawa before? Well neither had I!

How much did Steve spend at Bass Pro Shops?

If notified, would you have attended Ethel’s funeral?

Did you read any of the Little House on the Prairie Books? Upon rereading them, they were incredibly racist. I am in the process of reading the Landmark series of books for children. Those were incredibly narrow minded also.

Tallgrass Prairie and Harry Truman Home. September 24, 2015

Breakfast in the Homewood Suites at the Waterfront in Wichita was not very exciting.

How I miss the Five star lodging!

We never even saw any of the waterfront in Wichita at all. It turns out that the waterfront is a development on Beech Lake, an impoundment.

We made a stop at a grocery store in Kansas before our next stop. We bought some cookies.

8lWhen we were planning our trip, Steve was really excited about making sure that we would stop here. Have I mentioned before how Steve is interested in this type of stuff? Me not so much, but if it makes Steve happy, then I am happy.

Look how big these sunflowers were! Speaking of big, Steve’s beard was quite big by this point. Steve doesn’t have the beard anymore.

These sunflowers had really tiny heads.

Long long ago, this was the range of the Prairie. We saw an interesting movie about the prairie.

Prairie as far as you can see!

Here I am, big hat, no cattle!

Beautiful wild flowers.

We walked a little past this “Beware of Bison” sign. There wasn’t a gate here. The bison are afraid of the grate and won’t go past it. As we were not in a vehicle I decided that this should be the end of the trail. Steve unsurprisingly obeyed.

The grass was taller than I am!

Good bye Kansas! Hello Missouri!

A view of Kansas City from Independence Missouri.

We went to the Harry S. Truman visitor center in Independence Missouri. There was a short orientation film but not many exhibits. We really weren’t impressed. I think that maybe we should have gone to the Presidential Library. We did no research about this at all. Next time, we will be better prepared. I think if you paid money you could go for a ride on the mule driven wagon.

This was the Harry Truman house. We did not go in. We would have had to wait too long to get a slot for the tour. So we just did a drive by. This was really Bess’s Mom’s house. Harry never had much money.

We are staying at the Hotel Vandivort in Springfield Missouri. It was a former Masonic Temple. There is no relation to Harry Potter and he who must not be named.

The hotel had a really funky vibe that I liked. They had self parking with a magnetic card that operated the gate to enter and exit. Steve did not like this at all. He has problems figuring which way to insert the card. Does it go right side up? Down? Front of card? Now did I flip it and turn it the right way or not? Eventually he got it all straightened out and parked the van.

The room was quite pleasant, and very modern. The screen on the wall had different slides of old time Springfield. The room also had hard to figure out blinds. Just not as hard to figure out as the parking lot gate!

Don’t you just love these Do Not Disturb signs for the door?

I wanted to take them all home, but really what do I need with them?

Since Steve was mad and the hotel looked like some kind of Chamber of Commerce Get Together was going on we didn’t eat at the hotel. The restaurant was just off the hotel lobby and there was a lot of noise. By now you should remember that Steve hates NOISE! So we walked down the street to a restaurant that Steve thought looked good.

8The Aviary.

The restaurant was also noisy but since it was only 1/4 the size of the hotel restaurant it was not quite as noisy as the Vandivort Restaurant would have been.

We shared a Caesar Salad.

I had salmon with lots of vegetables and rice.

Steve had steak frites.

No dessert for us as I ate too many cookies in the car today.

There were lots of sorority sisters in the restaurant. Why do all these gals looks so pulled together and pretty? They appeared to be very tanned, had on lots of foundation, mascara, and styled hair, which for most of them in various shades of blonde tones. I wish I had the energy to spend that much time on myself. Steve is laughing because he knows that I am pretending to take a picture of him, but in reality I am taking a picture of the sorority sisters!

I remember one time asking a lady that I knew who served on a board with me how much time it took her to get ready in the morning. She told me 30 minutes on her hair and 30 minutes on her face. I told her that she looked wonderful, but that I would never be able to look so good. I may be “lemme lemme upgrade Linda”, but high maintenance I am not. I just take a shower, comb my hair, throw some clothes on and if I really want to impress someone I may add some lipstick. Although now I don’t even put on lipstick as if I go to a store I wear a mask. Some people think high maintenance means liking nice stuff, which I do. I think it means requiring lots of time and money to look a certain way.

Steve found out that the Bass Pro Shop store is less than 2 miles from the hotel. They are supposed to have many fish in aquariums in the store. When we were at Cow Creek Steve also got a recipe for beef jerky from his guide. We may be buying lots of supplies and fishing equipment tomorrow. Oh My Land!

Back to the Hotel Vandivort and a good night to all!

Did you pledge a sorority in college?

Are you decent?

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?