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For those of you who have been nice enough to follow my adventures on our Midwest road trip, this will be my last post.


Our last two places that we visited were Hannibal, Missouri where Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) grew up and lastly, Carthage, Missouri, which is located on Route 66 and was the home of my great-great grandparents.

Our first night in Hannibal was cold and rainy.  Thankfully, we woke up to a beautiful, sunny day.

Viewing the Mississippi River from our hotel room.
The Mississippi River was beautiful to see.
Can you see the riverboat?
The levee that protected the town from flooding were quite tall.
The town was very charming.
They had a master garden, which consisted of a vegetable garden.
They also had a butterfly garden.
Isn’t this a cute border made up of small terra-cotta pots?
I enjoyed walking through this garden and it was obvious that a lot of time and care had been spent on it.
Statue of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn
Getting ready to whitewash the fence, just like Tom Sawyer.
Our unexpected stop was in Kansas.  We were only about 10 miles from the border, so we decided to venture into Kansas and see what there was to see.  It turns out there is a famous Union Civil War fort in Ft. Scott.  It is a national park and we enjoyed exploring.

Behind the fort, there was a small garden.  Most of what was growing was a variety of herbs.  But, it was the blooming irises that caught my eye…

Aren’t they beautiful?
You know what?  I really like iris and I think I will grow some in my own garden next spring.

Okay, you may be wondering what I am doing in a cemetery.  Well, this is where my great-great grandparents are buried.  They settled in a town on Route 66 called Carthage.  We were able to find their grave and it was a really wonderful way to end our Midwest road trip.

At the cemetery, I noticed a gravestone that had a Peony bush planted next to it.  Believe it or not, I have never seen a real Peony bush before.  They do not grow in the desert.  The flowers were so beautiful and fragrant.

Well, by the time you read this, I will soon be on my way to the Springfield, Missouri airport.  I had a fabulous time traveling with my mother and discovering  all sorts of neat things about the Midwest.  One thing that I discovered, is how much that I don’t know – but I do love learning about new things.


Thank you for ‘traveling’ along with me.  I cannot wait to see my husband and kids when I arrive home tomorrow 🙂

…of Michigan.

You know what?  I was raised on the West Coast – of California, that is.  I had never visited any of the Great Lakes before.  It has been a wonderful treat visiting the West Coast of Michigan.
My mother and I are in the midst of a Midwest road trip.  We have not really spent any time in this area and want to get to know it better.  So on Friday, we boarded an airplane from Phoenix to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

As we got off the plane, it was a bit of a shock because the trees were leafless and the weather was cold.  It was like winter back home.

We spent our first two nights in Holland, Michigan, which is a Dutch settlement and home to Hope College.  

Our first full day was spent going to a tulip farm, visiting the coastal town of South Haven and then back to Holland to explore the downtown area.


The tulips, daffodils and hyacinths were just beautiful.

I don’t see many (okay any) tulips where I live and I just love their vibrant colors.
I do love daffodils, and they do grow where I live, thankfully.
The fragrance of the Hyacinths was just intoxicating and I just love the color blue in the garden, don’t you?


The gardens were just beautiful.  They also had bison on the property, which I thought was kind of unusual.  They sold bison meat in the garden store (I passed on the meat).
There was a Dutch shop next to the garden that we explored…



There was a huge display of Delft porcelain as well as wooden shoes…
They aren’t as comfortable as my mother’s regular shoes.
Our next stop was about 25 miles south at the town of South Haven.  It was a lovely sort of beach town and the downtown was a great place to shop.  



It was a very blustery day and a storm was blowing in.  But, the beach was beautiful.


The store owners were more then ready for spring to arrive and it has been unusually cold for this time of year.
They had quite a few chocolate shops and we walked into three of them, smelled the delicious fragrance of chocolate and then left before we were tempted to buy anything.
That is until we walked into the Chocolate Cafe…



We were ready to leave without buying anything until we saw this…


A six-layer chocolate cake.

Now believe it or not, we didn’t eat a slice of this cake, but it certainly made us want to give into our craving for sweets.  So we bought a large muffin and split it between the two of us 😉
We had a lovely day of shopping, but the storm clouds started to approach so we decided to leave and head back for Holland.
Once back in Holland, we made a stop at the Holland Museum, which was having a Dr. Seuss exhibition.
The walls were painted in red and white stripes like the “Cat in the Hat’s” hat.

We had a lovely time in Holland and the surrounding area.  Our next stop will be in Amish country in Indiana, which we will reach by driving through small towns in lower Michigan.


Our fun was just beginning.  Our next stop…Amish Country.