Branson, MO to Vandalia, IL
Jun 9, 2005
|June 9, 2005 (Thursday)
Today we drove from Branson, MO to Vandalia, IL. On the way we saw a lot of beautiful scenery and passed through St. Louis, MO. I got my first look at the St. Louis Arch. It is quite impressive. Our next time through here we need to stop and spend some time in St. Louis.
Vandalia is a small town with a population of about 6,000. Vandalia is most noted for being the original capitol of Illinois (until Abraham Lincoln signed legislation to move it to Springfield). It is also notable for the fact that Nancy's Uncle Rob and Aunt Glenda live there. Up until a few months ago they shared their beautiful home (built in 1860) as the Beau-Meade Bed & Breakfast (see photos).
We called ahead to see if we could stop for a visit and were made to feel welcome. After settling the Bus for the night at a local campground we went to meet with Rob and Glenda. It was easy to spot their home because of the 4 US Flags they fly from the front porch (see photo). Nancy has fond memories of her Uncle Rob and Aunt Glenda from childhood, but I had never met Rob or Glenda. I am sure glad I did! What a great evening we had.
After taking a tour of their beautiful home and getting a little background of the house and their lives in Vandalia we went to the Depot for dinner. The Depot was converted to a restaurant & bar from the original train depot. The trains no longer stop there, but half-way through dinner we found that they still pass by on the tracks (about 10' from the restaurant). While enjoying a delicious grilled salmon I was able to watch the Zephyr speed by just outside. During dinner we discussed water divining, a talent that Rob has. Nancy asked Rob to show her how and was eager to see if she had the touch.
After dinner we drove through downtown Vandalia to see the original Illinois capitol building. We took several photos of the former capitol and the recent statue of Abraham Lincoln. Uncle Rob thinks it is interesting that the statue of Lincoln was placed so that his back is to the old capitol building (since he "turned his back" on the Vandalia capitol by being part of the move to Springfield).
We returned to Rob & Glenda's home for some water witching (see photos). Nancy & I both tried our hand at finding water. We both were amazed to find that we "had the gift". What fun! After finding water we went inside for some story telling and banana splits. We were shown a newspaper photo and article showing Rob and Glenda dressed up as "Uncle Sam" and "Mrs. Sam". I am going to try to get a copy to post on the web-site. While eating dessert we sat at a beautiful antique table with matching cabinets that were brought over from Italy and first used in the US by Rob and Glenda in their B&B.
Rob showed us a great party trick (using a #2 pencil, needle and thread) to either predict how many children a woman will have or how many she has had in her lifetime. Then we went upstairs to watch the DVD that we made for Nancy's mom & dad for their 80th birthdays (see May 8th). No mater how many times I see the DVD, I still enjoy it!
I was getting really tired and had a long drive the next day, so I finally dragged Nancy away about 10:30. We had a great visit and plan to come back the next time we are anywhere near Vandalia.