Greg and I couldn't resist the chance to see the birthplace of Mark Twain so we visited the Samuel Clements museum and his childhood home, as well as the homes of Becky Thatcher and Huckleberry Finn. I had required the kids to listen or read at least one of Twain's short stories but other than that they hadn't had much exposure to his work - they still loved it. There were quotes all over the displays in his childhood home and I wish I would have taken pictures of some of them because I was snickering the whole time. Such a gift with words.
Here they are by a river boat and painting the fence ( I told Andrew not to get any ideas).
Tom and a Becky who's eyes were a little sensitive to light.
We also got to go through the Mark Twain caves. Our tour guide was awesome and we had a blast walking through the dark caves. I was horrified to think of little kids playing in those caves with nothing more than candles and lanterns. It was a cool 50 degrees in the caves - a nice break from the stifling humidity.
Greg and I had such a hard time keeping this road trip to only a week - so many cool things to see. We had really wanted to go see Springfield but couldn't fit it in, next time I guess. We had a bit of a drive that night to get to Saint Louis area but as we were driving that I realized we would be going right past the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. I decided I had to see it. I started looking for how to get to the best spot and started using the word confluence in every sentence I possibly could. What a great word. The kids were getting antsy and bickering a lot and it would seam that looking for the confluence (and my silly enthusiasm) was getting on their nerves. However, by the time we got there the silliness had caught on and everyone (except Kate) was super excited to see the now famous confluence. My kids think I'm weird but I love the moments when I can just be silly and get them laughing - need to do it more often.