A Travellerspoint blog


A great week, condensed into ten minutes! (OK, eleven). Enjoy!

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Posted by swendl 18:48 Comments (1)

Home Again

Safe and sound in Anamosa

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Posted by swendl 15:19 Comments (2)

Saint Louis

Our long journey ends with a bang!

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We began our "pilgrimage" in Memphis, an old river town with a rich blues history, and were privileged to hear great performances there from the likes of Preston Shannon and Ms. Zeno. Last night, we ended our blues quest in another old river town with a rich blues history, and we once again hit paydirt, as we happened to find a performer of exceptional talent in Randy McAllister, who was playing at BB's Blues & Soups downtown, across from Busch Stadium. We had just spent the early evening milling around Laclede's Landing (nightclub/restaurant district) with thousands of other blues fans, moving from one stage to another (there were three). The talent was OK - in fact, the headliner act was John Mayall, known as the "Father of British Blues" (what do the Brits have to be blue about anyway?). However, the crowds were a bit much, and we decided to walk down to BB's to get away from the madness.

What a great decision! Randy McAllister and his band have several Grammy nominations, and you can quickly tell why. Those guys are superb performers, and McAllister himself is especially wonderful. He's a Texas lad, can play drums, harmonica, and washboard (yes, washboard) with equal ease, and does much of his own songwriting. He had the place hopping in no time! We met a couple from the St. Louis suburbs who sat by us and we quickly became friends. They really helped make the night special. Thank you guys! Hope to see you back at BB's again soon.

It was impossible to leave until the end - you wanted to see what other interesting musical creations this group could deliver. We shut them down, then walked back to our hotel around 1:30. Late? Yes. Happy? Yes.

To all of you who followed our little journey, thank you. We couldn't wait to get into our hotel each night to see if anyone had posted any comments for us. It really made our day, knowing that you were out there and participating in the trip with us. And, to our wives, we thank you for letting us fly the coop for a few days and take this memorable trip. However, get ready - we're coming home today, and will soon be underfoot again.

Love to all,

Steve & Dennie

Posted by swendl 07:22 Comments (3)

Journey to Saint Louis

Home of the Cardinals!

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Our four-hour drive from West Memphis to Saint Louis was uneventful. We had the top down all the way, enjoying the heat and sun, knowing that in a few short weeks Old Man Winter will be peeking around the corner. But today, even though the calendar says September, it's still summertime in our book!

Up through the Missouri Bootheel, as cotton fields gave way to corn and beans, and the land switched from board-flat to the hilly terrain of Eastern Missouri. Past Cape Girardeau, past the Ste. Genevieve wine country, toward Saint Louis and the Big Muddy Blues Festival tonight. We're now on the 5th floor of the Drury Inn - Convention Center, with a view east, down the street from Busch Stadium, where the Cardinals are playing the Reds as we speak. In fact, we're watching the game on TV as we type busily on our computers.

Go Cardinals!

Posted by swendl 12:29 Comments (0)

Memphis (Revisited)

Street Party!

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We drove across the river into Memphis this evening and ran smack dab into a huge street party in and around Beale Street. They were having a music festival downtown, with a different band playing every half-block or so. Everyone was having a good time. They even had some street performers, and a number of Elvis look-alikes, one of whom agreed to pose with us.

We then headed across town to Wild Bill's, one of the best-known Memphis juke joints. Had a hell of a time finding the place, largely due to Steve ignoring the advice of his own GPS unit! Navigating around the sprawling St. Jude's Children's Hospital (on Danny Thomas Boulevard, of course), didn't help matters. But, eventually, we found it. It was in a seedy section of town but, then again, most juke joints are. We got there around 9, but were told we were too early -- party doesn't start until 11! Too late for our blood, but we did go in and order a beer apiece. They started hauling out 40-ouncers (pretty common in juke joints) so we cut the order down to just one and shared it. When you drink beer down here, it's always served with a napkin or paper towel to wrap around it. A cheap cozy!

Back at the hotel we tried to use the pool again - it was a wonderful pool we had enjoyed shortly after our arrival. However, we had just gotten wet when we got kicked out, as 10 pm was closing time. The evening was so pleasant and balmy that we decided to stay outside, hauling our room chairs outside our room and watching the world go by. We put our wet swim trunks on the hood of the car to dry.

Eventually we had to go back inside, as a crew of volunteers from Greenpeace showed up and started running around us, trying to keep us moist and coaxing us back towards the water. :-)

I'm sure our wives are mortified by this picture and will disown us forever. Our apologies ladies, but we couldn't resist posting it. Once you reach a certain age, you apparently lose all shame.

Tomorrow, Saint Louis!


Posted by swendl 06:53 Comments (2)

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