Floating the Meramec River

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After much anticipation, we finally dusted off our old kayaks and broke in the new ones this past weekend. On Saturday morning, we made the hour and a half drive down to Sullivan[ish], MO to take our virgin Meramec River float.

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Robby and I have had kayaks for years. They mostly just take up space (that we definitely don’t have right now) in our garage but we keep them in the hopes that the older our kiddos get, the more use the kayaks will get. This year we even went so far as to buy two more to add to the collection, so that we could bring friends along with us.

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We decided on the Meramec River because it’s supposedly an easily kayakable waterway, it’s not too far from home, we had never floated it before, and we were close to Meramec State Park (we wanted to camp in a state park as opposed to the private campgrounds where rambunctious crowds frequent).

Our plan was to leave Jeff City by 7:30am, but because we had to drop off both children that morning, and of course because we’re us, we were late. I don’t think we left until about 8:30 or 9:00ish. You’ll find that this was actually detrimental to the trip. Read on…..

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We took two separate vehicles which I think is just nearly necessary. You will need one vehicle at your put-in access and one vehicle at your take-out point.

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Photo credit to my good friend and kayaking buddy, Zach Paul

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We put in at the Blue Springs Conservation Area in Bourbon, MO. From here, it is a 10-mile trip to Meramec State Park. Literature I’ve read shows a 10-mile float will take 4-6 hours. Unless you’re our crew. Then it takes 8. Prepare accordingly. Also, this was detrimental to the trip. Read on…..

 

Take Highway N, south for 2.5 miles to Blue Springs Rd

At the Bourbon, MO exit, off I-44, take Highway N, south for 2.5 miles to Blue Springs Rd

 

The access point is at the end of Blue Springs Rd

The access point is at the end of Blue Springs Rd

Two of us stayed at the conservation area with the kayaks, while the others took the vehicle with the trailer to leave at the campground. This took them right around an hour to do. Like I mentioned already, having two vehicles really is necessary but the time it took them to go to a check-in and vehicle drop off, and then returning to spot #1, was detrimental to the trip. Read on…

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I agree with the aforementioned literature (I use that term loosely mind you) that this particular river is a great float. The steepest I found it to be was probably about 5-6 feet. There were many gravel bars along the way and it wasn’t crazy busy like you’d find on the Current, Huzzah, or Niangua Rivers.  The views were great, lots of bluffs lining the river and an awesome cave that everybody but me played in (Um, there’s darkness and bats and the unknowing in there!). The river wasn’t dirty but the water wasn’t clear either which was slightly disappointing but not a deal breaker.

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Because we had so many setbacks (and because we goofed around A LOT) we didn’t hit the state park grounds until about 8:00pm. It’s getting a little dark around that time and of course the THUNDERSTORM OF THE CENTURY SHOULD HIT AT THIS EXACT TIME RENDERING YOU HELPLESS TO THE ELEMENTS.

This happened. On us. Photo credit to my good friend and kayaking buddy, Zach Paul

This happened. On us. Photo credit to my good friend and kayaking buddy, Zach Paul

Literally, as soon as we saw the take out access, the clouds opened up and dumped massive amounts of rain on us. We took cover (barely, just barely) under a state park signage post. This kept only our heads a little dry. Standing in the rain, in your swimsuit, freezing, and not being able to do anything about it is a terrible way to end such a great day. My poor, poor Robby had to walk through the pelting rain to seek out our truck. Which was a feat in and of itself since Meramec State Park is so ginormous that he didn’t even know where his truck was in relation to where we were at that time. Thank the good Lord above, he found the truck and came to rescue us. We were a sopping, wet mess and all in quite a mood by this time. We laughed about our misfortune the next morning but there was lots of silence in the truck that night. To top it all off, we obviously couldn’t set up our tents in this nastiness and the closest hotel that wasn’t booked full was 45 minutes away in Rolla! What a drive after all this nonsense we just went through! And we were all so looking forward to camping! But we made it in one piece, it was quite the experience, and we’ve lived to tell about it. Although, I’ll be okay if I never have another one like it.

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Tell me, what’s your favorite stream or river to float on?

Graham Cave State Park

Several weeks ago, I jokingly referred to Sundays as “State Park Sundays” after the hubs and I had spent the past few exploring two of Missouri’s finest. Since then, it’s actually become somewhat of a household (well, our household anyway) term and something that we’ve come to look forward to.

With almost an entire month of having our weekends riddled with chores (we just started building a house), we had been robbed of our Sunday fun days until this past weekend.

Not wanting to haul the kids for too long of a drive, I chose a state park within an hour of home. It’s a place I had been to as a child when we took my oldest niece and nephew, and a place I remembered fondly without actually having much memory of it at all.

Graham Cave State Park is located just off I-70, at the Montgomery City exit. The website boasts features such as hiking, the cave, camp sites, and boating. Robby and I are both water-lovers and so the river attraction attracted me.

Which way to go?

Which way to go?

Of course our excitement all week for this short day drive was muffled down by the overcast skies and certain forecast of rain. We went anyway hoping we could at least get a few hours in.

Mommy (I mean Olivia) came prepared for the impending storm.

Mommy (I mean Olivia) came prepared for the impending storm.

 

Since we were sure we were going to be pressed for time, we started the day with the cave trail. I use the term “trail” loosely as the cave is a mere 0.2-0.3 miles up the path.

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If you've ever taken a pic with a two year old, you know it's rare to get them actually looking toward the camera.

If you’ve ever taken a pic with a two year old, you know it’s rare to get them actually

looking toward the camera.

 

Father and daughter.

Father and daughter.

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After our short cave-viewing party, we moseyed on through a small path in the woods.

 

Which way to grow?

Which way to grow?

 

Just barely into the woods, we came upon this crooked tree. I think he’s confused.

 

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DSC_1873Um, hello cacti. What on earth are you doing here in Missouri? No, seriously. What are these cacti doing in Missouri?

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I’m not really sure what the Missouri State Park authorities are up to, but there was mass chaos in the woods. Fallen trees and purposeful cutting of trees (possibly the result of Big Foot, who knows….) littered the landscape rendering the view ugly. Sorry to say this but it truly was unpleasant to look at.

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Not only were there fallen trees at every glance, they crossed the walking paths as well. No big deal except when you have an infant strapped to your chest. Thankfully, Robby was there to lend a hand.

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We hadn’t been in the woods long when Robby quickly spotted some much-sought-after morel mushrooms. Our sister-in-law gave us plenty the night before but there’s a certain gratification one gets from finding them yourself (or so I gathered from Robby’s reaction). The best part was getting Olivia in on the action.

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Thankfully my mommy instincts told me to haul the giant umbrella on our trip because the rain did come while we were still in the woods.

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At this point, we figured we had exhausted all the “good” (and again, I use that term loosely) weather for the day and better head back to the truck. The storm that was heading in did cut our day short, but I can’t say I was really saddened by such. The little I had seen of the park really hadn’t drawn me in by this point (and we never even got to see the river) so we loaded the little ones up and started back home.

We’ve got many more of Missouri’s beautiful state parks to visit, but I’m crossing this one off the list, probably never to return.

As always, to learn more about Missouri’s State Parks, visit their website at mostateparks.com.

 

 

 

Rock Bridge State Park; Columbia, MO

After visiting Ha Ha Tonka State Park last Sunday and then exploring Rock Bridge State Park this Sunday, I just may have to dub Sunday’s to be “State Park Sunday”. Thankfully, it was another semi-gorgeous weekend. I could have tolerated a little bit warmer temps but after the 18-year-long winter we just had (no, I’m not exaggerating) , I’m not going to complain. At least the sun was sparkling and the wind was down to a bare breeze.

If you’re not familiar with Rock Bridge State Park, it’s located just at the southern edge of Columbia, MO. It sounds to be fairly popular among the locals and I can now understand why. Countless hiking trails, commanding rock formations, soothing sounds of the gentle creek, and a playground are just a few of the awesome features of this park.

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The actual rock bridge is the main feature of the park and of course, it’s namesake.

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The shallow creek flows under the bridge and winds through the park. If you’re equipped to get wet (or even if you’re not), you might as well hop on in. Even with the cool temperatures on Sunday, there were several people sloshing through the creek, daring enough to be under this mega rock bridge.

The second main feature of the park is what’s known as Devil’s Icebox. Many, many feet down (I don’t know how many because I didn’t pay attention), lie the waters of the Devil’s Icebox.

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According to the history given, people actually go “caving” through here. There are pictures showcasing people crouched down in canoes just to maneuver through this area. The cave systems appear to be very lengthy, as the picture shows the cave to cover the entire length of the information board.

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I know it’s hard to tell from a picture but come on! This is how long the cave runs. And people take canoes through it! Insane. Insane. Insane.

DSC_1707If this wouldn’t give you a severe case of claustrophobia, I sure don’t know what would. Interesting as it sounds, no thank you. I’ll just be pleased to enjoy others pictures of this adventure.

There were several things about this park that I noted to be different in comparison to other state parks that I’ve been. Firstly, several of the hiking trails are actually that. Hiking trails. Not paved walkways. Now, there are still some of those but how fantastic to actually get to hike through the woods on the very ground God placed there.

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Secondly, people take advantage of literally, everything this park has to offer. To heck with staying on the trails, I’m just going to climb up this steep hillside.

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Or down it…

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Which I regard as being super awesome. Here’s to truly enjoying all the beauties of nature.

If you read my post from Ha Ha Tonka, you know there’s a trail in which you have to trudge up 316 stairs. So, imagine my surprise when we came upon this…

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Ugh, more stairs. Actually, it was good for me. I’ve got to get this post-partum body back into shape stat!

And the most joyful part of my day was seeing the hard evidence of impending life.

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Wait, wait. I take that back. Seeing the green buds on the trees was the second most joyful part of the day. This was the first.

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And who doesn’t love a daddy that takes his little girl hand in hand to help her explore the world?

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Happy Trails! Pan, The Gravel-Roadin’ Guru

For more information on Rock Bridge State Park, visit their website here.

 

 

Ha Ha Tonka State Park; Lake of the Ozarks, MO

Oh gorgeous day! Yesterday, of course, not today. No, today is a bleak and dreary (yet warmer than it has been) Missouri day. Yesterday. Now, yesterday is where it’s at. The sun was shining and the birds were chirping (Literally. Olivia pointed it out to me first thing in the morning). It was the kind of spring day that nobody spends indoors because we have all been waiting MONTHS for this.

Even though Robby and I have two children now, (Which still seems weird to me-I’m a mom of two. How’d that happen?) we are the people who are bound and determined to have some fun and make the utmost of a beautiful day at all costs.

After my first idea of hitting up Warm Springs Ranch in Booneville got smashed (they were already booked up with their tours the day before), Robby suggested heading to a state park. Ha Ha Tonka is one we’ve been to before and know and love quite well. We even took Olivia there when she was about 6 months old. So, we decided to make the trek up to the lake area and do some exploring at one of Missouri’s finest state parks (in my opinion of course). DSC_1593

Ha Ha Tonka (meaning “laughing waters”) was named such because this area was populated by Native Americans (the Osage Indians). As many know, this beautiful locale sits right on the Lake of the Ozarks. In addition to the stunning lake views, there are castle ruins, an old water tower, remains of the carriage house and post office still in existence on the property. Around 1900, a man named Robert Snyder purchased 5000 acres at this site. Can you imagine? 5000 acres? That’s massive on today’s scale. I can’t believe how much 5000 acres was at that time. (Of course I realize, 5000 acres then is still 5000 acres today but you know what I mean. Right?)

DSC_1575Poor Mr. Snyder didn’t even get to enjoy his monstrosity of a castle. Only one year after the beginning of building, he was killed in a car accident. After many years went by, his children saw fit to continue building the castle only to have it ruined by a devastating fire.

DSC_1561DSC_1562DSC_1564Even Olivia, who knows nothing about castles or the significance of this monument, was so excited to take in the views and hiking here at the park. Her excitement was so contagious that strangers passing us on the trails were even hit with her enthusiasm. Witnessing her pure wonderment at everything new was an amazing feeling as a parent. It was a good reminder to Robby and I (after we had a horrible week with the new baby) why we became parents in the first place.

DSC_1594Most of the structure that was the water tower still exists. Visitors are unable to walk through it although there is a path that leads right up to the entrance.

DSC_1641The grounds of the park are a photographers paradise indeed. From the “mountain top” views of the lake below, to the stately castle remains, to the trails winding through the woods, there are a bounty of opportunities for coveted nature shots. I’m no photographer by any means (although I have been trying to learn more about my fancy SLR camera and how to take “good” pictures), but I could have spent many more hours there. It was a little difficult to get some of the shots I wanted, since I did have a ten pound baby strapped to my chest.

DSC_1634Hiking the trails was what we could call slightly difficult with a two year old but Robby was steadfast in his resolve to not let that stop us. Even when he had to carry 33-lb Olivia up 316 stairs.

DSC_1639That’s right. 316 steps. The Spring Trail (which you have to hike if you go here) connects the castle to the river-turned-lake below. It’s quite the climb by yourself, even more so when carrying kids.

DSC_1613Don’t worry, you can still see each portion of the park without climbing the steps if you’re not up to it. There were several more trails than we were able to explore in the few hours that we were there.

DSC_1589DSC_1659Spending the day with my little Pan-made family (Okay, okay. Robby helped a little), became a day that made my heart happy. The adults got exercise. The baby slept. Olivia smiled, wide-eyed in astonishment, all day.

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At the end of the day, as parents, that’s what it’s all about.

I hope you take the time to visit this gorgeous state park. There is a cave trail and a playground that Olivia would have loved but we didn’t have time for. To find out more about Ha Ha Tonka State Park, visit their website here.

Dillard’s Mill and Upcoming Dillard Days

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I have now been blogging about [mostly] Missouri travel for over one year. When I came up with the idea for this blog, I had one story in particular that rang through the forefront of my mind. Now here we are, an entire year later, and I’ve still not told the story about Dillard Mill.

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I’ve told you before than Robby and I are starstruck by old, historical buildings. Old homes, old, half way falling down buildings, etc.

Several years ago, we were gravel-roadin’ on a cold, winter Sunday afternoon. We had been driving for a couple hours when we stumbled upon a sign that said “Dillard’s Mill. Turn Right.”

Neither of us had heard anything about Dillard’s Mill but we were elated to see the building so well preserved. It also has one of the most gorgeous creeks (complete with a cascading waterfall) running right alongside it.

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We spent an hour or so meandering the property and indulging in the gorgeous views. The mill was locked but a sign on the door told us that it occasionally is open to the public.

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Several months after we found the old grist mill, we returned for a kayaking trip. We put in down from the mill and paddled up towards it. This was the worst part of the trip as the water level was too low through a lot of this part of the creek, therefore leaving us to drag those heavy things about half way up it.

But when we finally got to the large pool of water just beside the mill, we were totally rewarded. This was the clearest water we had kayaked in for a long time.

I’m a horrible judge at distances but I’d say the bottom was about 15-20 feet down and you could see straight to the bottom, just as if you were looking through the window at it.

Robby spent his time fishing and I just propped my feet up to take in some sunshine. It was so relaxing.

So, the point of this story is this. On Saturday, May 11th (that’s this Saturday folks), the state department that runs the property is having a festival aptly named Dillard Days.

I myself will be stuck at my “day” job on Saturday, so I need one of you to go enjoy the festival for me!

Please find more information at the link: Dillard Days Picnic

Tell me all about your trip there!

Pan, The Gravel-Roadin’ Guru

Biking the Katy: From Jeff City to Hartsburg

When I was a young lass, the Katy Trail wasn’t nearly as popular or highly regarded as it is now. As a matter of fact, it’s so “new” that in 2010, they just celebrated the 20th anniversary of the trail. The trail system is made up of the old railway byways, and now is used strictly for recreation by Missourians all year ’round.

Which way? Which way?

Which way? Which way?

Up to this point, I really haven’t spent much time exploring the Katy Trail. In high school, Coach Branham pushed me to run miles and miles on that thing every night after school for track practice. I was the only female long distance runner so I spent many lonely miles on the trail. Long miles. By myself. All by myself.

As I’ve grown older, my friends and colleagues of outdoor enjoyment have told me many-a-story about biking from Jefferson City to Hartsburg. This was always amazing to me, as it seems like such a long way to bicycle. I know when the Hartsburg Winery was down there (RIP. You will never be forgotten), people would stop for a glass of the good stuff before heading back to the capital city.

Several years ago, before I was a Mommy, Robby, myself and some friends took advantage of a nice, spring day and made plans to bike from Jeff City to Hartsburg. This DID NOT HAPPEN. Well, for me it didn’t happen. The April winds were so full of ridiculousness that day that it took all I had just to make it maybe halfway there. Part of the group did make it all the way and caught up with us on the way back but I tell ya I just don’t know how in the world they did it.

A couple weeks ago, when God teased us with that delightful ball of fire in the sky, Robby, Baby O, and I went for a bike ride. We got on at the trailhead in Jeff City and just started biking. I’m happy to announce that I BIKED ALL THE WAY FROM JEFFERSON CITY TO HARTSBURG! Woohoo. Go me!

"Oh sweet Jesus, I made it!"

“Oh sweet Jesus, I made it!”

 

It really did give me a feeling of accomplishment. It’s not that long of a bike ride (20.8 miles roundtrip to be exact) but I felt so proud of myself. All these years of hearing people who biked the Katy from Jeff to Hartsburg and I’d never been able to say that “I did”. But now I can.

The ride was enjoyable and was a good distance to get exercise but not too long that your toosh has worn out. We did take that sweet little Olivia but she didn’t get bored or cranky during the ride. She actually even got a little shut eye.

So happy to be outside!

So happy to be outside!

Father and Daughter. My heart-stealers.

Father and Daughter. My heart-stealers.

Bring your water-the only place to get refreshed in between is the Claysville Store. If you’re a lady and you’re traveling alone, I hate to tell ya this but you really should bring your pepperspray. I remember a story of a woman that got kidnapped (or something along those lines) when she was jogging by herself years ago.

There’s a nice little restroom facility when you get to Hartsburg and Dotty’s Cafe offers free refills for your water bottles. How nice, huh?

Not too shabby.

Not too shabby.

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What’s your favorite section of the Katy?

Pan, The Gravel-Roadin’ Guru

Biking the Katy: Katy Trail State Park

Becoming a Mommy hasn’t been an easy task for me. I envy the women who have a baby and enjoy every second of every day and are just natural born Mommies.

I blame most of it on Olivia’s colic. The child screamed. Every day. Every minute of every day. For 3 solid months. It was terrible. I think that started me off on the wrong foot.

Don’t misunderstand me here. I love her with all my heart and soul. She’s truly the sunshine in my world and has been the biggest blessing to me. But there has been so much that I’ve had to change in myself. Letting go of my selfish ways to make room for all her needs first. Putting all my desires on hold so that my time can be spent with her.

I’ve had a difficult time coming to terms with the fact that I can’t pick up and go at the drop of a hat. I can’t “plan” at the spur of the moment and take off to go shopping or go have a girls night out. Everything has to be thought out and decided.

“Ok, we’re going to be gone for 3 hours. Let me check the diaper bag for diapers, diaper wipes, items of entertainment, medicine, an extra change of clothes, and a sippy cup. How is the weather? Do I need to bring her big jacket or light jacket? Will we need her stroller, food, or booster seat?”

It’s been hard enough in my life trying to keep track of myself and now there are two of me to keep track of! I always tell Robby, I married him so I could have a keeper. Someone’s gotta keep my head attached after all.

I’m so pleasantly surprised that today, albeit getting a late start to the day, but today, we took a bicycle ride on the Katy Trail as a family!

I feel like I’ve conquered the Mommy-dom. We successfully took an adventure with the baby (I use that term loosely. She is definitely not my little baby anymore) and we all enjoyed ourselves. It was great.

The beautiful weather was just what the Winter Blues Doctor ordered for us. Nothing like getting rid of (or biding more time from) the dreary February blahs than by getting out to soak up those sun rays and getting fresh, Missouri air.

The trail is nothing but raw nature waiting to encloak you as you travel down the gravel. Bluff on one side. River on the other. Peace and quiet (except for that lady behind us yelling “Coming on the left!”).

 

Cedar Creek leading to the Mighty Missouri

 

Olivia got to ride in her new WeeRide bicycle attachment with Daddy. Unfortunately, my torso was much too short and I wasn’t able to support the both of us.

 

Except for the time I jumped on scrictly for the photo ops

 

Thank God for Daddies. Especially Daddies who are willing to ride a terribly uncomfortable bicycle bowlegged for miles on end just so his little girl can enjoy!

There were lots of people with the same idea. I think it’s just what all of Missouri needs at this time; a chance to recharge our solar panels to get us through the last of winter.

I couldn’t have asked for more. We got exercise. We had Olivia. We had each other. Robby and I actually had a chance to talk. And listen. To each other. About things we’ve been needing to discuss. But in our crazy, hectic, insane lives we’ve been leading, we haven’t had time to do. We fall asleep on the couch early, we have separate work schedules, and we have a demanding toddler. Once we had found ourselves actually getting to have a great conversation for about an hour, we realized we had really been needing that bonding time.

The Katy Trail runs along the Missouri River through Jefferson City. If you visit the Missouri State Parks website, you can find detailed information including park maps, accessibility sites, and the like. Hopefully, the sun will find it’s way back to us again soon!

Arrow Rock

When I was little, I remember taking a daytrip to Arrow Rock with my mom and my sister. The Arrow Rock I remembered from so long ago was a cobblestone street lined with vintage shops and boutiques, people jaunting in and out with their bags, a whole day full of purusing.

At the end of the summer last year, I was fat. And by fat, I mean I was 8 months pregnant. Robby wanted to do a quick one-night getaway, just as something to do before baby came and our social lives as we knew it was over.

See? Fat.

 

After a little online searching, we came up with taking a drive up to Arrow Rock to cozy in at Bunny’s Bed and Breakfast and stroll through the town, later hitting up some sort of ice cream festival (with live folk music!) at the old schoolhouse downtown.

We packed our bags and headed that way about noon time on a Saturday. When we arrived, first thing we did was make a quick drive through the town. At first glance, it didn’t look like there was a whole heck of a lot to do but we figured we had just missed part of town.

We found Bunny’s, located at the end of a dead end street, and followed the directions (given to Robby over the phone by the husband of Bunny) to just make ourselves at home. We entered the home around back where we found our room just off the main living area. Now, Bunny’s wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill B&B. Bunny’s was also Bunny’s house. She uses the refurbished basement as her rented rooms. We easily found our room and left our stuff inside. Bunny’s room’s are also so cleverly decorated in bunnies……

photo of Bunny's Bed and Breakfast, Arrow Rock, Missouri
Here it is. Bunny’s.

The room was of a decent size for our one night stay, the bathroom, however, was nothing to write home to mom about. A little small, a little old fashioned, a little rundown.

(Please keep in mind that I really don’t like giving bad reviews, I just want to give it to ya straight. That’s what I’m here for after all, right?)

Once we took a quick bathroom break, we set off in the car for some afternoon wasting of time. We headed downtown so Robby could appease me with window shopping (and possibly buying!). Once we parked, we began walking along the streets of olden days (or what looked like) until we got to our first shop.

I can’t remember the name of the first store, probably because it was fairly forgettable. They did have local, hand-crafted items, which is totally my thing. However, they didn’t have anything that was my thing.

The next shop we found did have some neat things but nothing to set the store apart from the next. Also, there were only about 18 neat things, as there was hardly anything stocked in the store.

We kept walking in hopes of finding a shop that intrigued me, but when we got to the end of the street, we realized that was it. Except the ice cream shop. Literally, that was it. There were several stores that looked recently closed and the ice cream shop. And seriously, that was it. We had drove 2 hours for this?!?!

Well, since it didn’t look like there was much else to shop for, we thought we’d at least go to the tavern for an appetizer (and of course Robby was lucky enough to indulge in a much needed brewsky to cool off from the stickiness of the day). There were few people in the tavern and no appetizers on the menu. Luckily, they came up with a grape, cracker, and cheese tray. Hey, at that point, we would’ve taken anything.

This is the tavern. It was just ok.

This part of the day, I remember well, as I busted into a fit of laughter at the sight of my cankles, which were so swollen from the pregnancy and the walking that they looked like water balloons on the verge of busting open. I laughed for 23 minutes, atleast.

I still laugh out loud looking at these things. This picture was taken early on in my pregancy, so you can imagine how huge they were at 8 months pregnant. I’m not proud, just thought you could use a chuckle. I’m ok that it’s at my expense.

 

We did make a point to head down to the schoolhouse for the ice cream festival since that was kind of the reason we had chosen Arrow Rock in the first place. Once again, it left a lot to be desired. Although, I’m pretty sure the whole town did come down for the occasion (probably because there was nothing else to do).

So, after we built up our excitement of getting away for one last small hoorah, it’s safe to tell you that we left Arrow Rock with nothing but disappointment. I was saddened to crush my memory of that quaint town with the cobblestone streets. My only hope is that I have saved you.

(If you’re wondering, we did NOT stay at Bunny’s that night. On our way out of town, I called to tell her such, but had to leave a message, as I’m sure she was at the ice cream festival.)