Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I Didn't Just Have Fun. I Learned Some Things, Too! or Dyanne and I Take St. Charles

As you may or may not know, I went on a little jaunt to visit my friend, Dyanne, in a little town near St. Louis a week and a half ago. (It is the only city between Joplin and Indy, and good for us, it's almost exactly halfway.) We had a roaring good time, and if you want to read the details of what we did, you're going to have to read Dyanne's post about it. I'm only going to reveal the things I learned while on the trip.

1. I am absolutely the WORST selfie-taker on the planet.

When Dyanne was about to leave her house, she took a cute photo of herself buckled into her car and sent it to me. When I was leaving my house 20 minutes later, I did the same.

Minus the cute.

I even counted to three before I took it.

Still blinked.

A pity the selfie-taking couldn't end there...

 Dyanne is a pro at selfies and takes bunches of them. Unfortunately, she kept including me.

While she poses, confident in her gorgeous selfie ability, I sit there resembling Long Duk Dong after his first teenage drinking party. For the love of all, I could be tried and convicted of public intoxication by that photo alone.

Seriously, not once the entire weekend did I look AT the camera.

Only one solution for such selfie ineptness...

No, not strangle the selfie-taker! Wear sunglasses!

2. There are many, many creepy places around the northwest side of St. Louis, made creepier by the fact we were always the sole visitors to the locations. 

Everywhere we went, my first thought was "How pretty!" but that thought was quickly followed by "This would be a great setting for a horror movie!"

We were constantly on the lookout for dead bodies.

For example...

It started out as a lovely walk on a curving path through native Illinois plant life. It ended on the top of a hill overlooking the dam and lock on the Mississippi River.

But when I took that photo, this was behind me...

Pretty sure there were mole people living underneath our feet.

How about another example...

The signs led us to believe we'd be seeing some turtles and other wildlife if we just took the short little walk down the path.

But then the path looked like this...

and the view looked like this...

All around, as far as we could see. No water. No turtles. Just this vine covering EVERYTHING. And it was silent. Not even bird sounds.

Creepy to the nth degree.

I was afraid if we stood there much longer, the vines would overtake us and we'd be trapped forever.

But! That wasn't as creepy as the nuclear waste dump.

OK, we probably could have expected this one to be creepy, but seriously, when you see that on the list of things to do in or around St. Charles, MO, how can you not go take a look??

Once again, they tried to make it look pretty...

but that is one GIGANTIC pile of rocks behind the flower.

The museum at the bottom of the hill claims that there is less radiation on the top of the hill than there is in our own backyards, but I don't know if I buy it.

Majorly creepy.

But still not as creepy as this last one...

We struck up a conversation with the park ranger lady at the museum and she said, "If you like to visit odd things, you need to go down the road and have a look at the bunkers!"

Yup. That nuclear waste dump used to be the site of the world's largest explosive plant, and they needed safe places to store all of that TNT. Hidden bunkers. Dozens of them scattered around a nature preserve.

Of course we had to go see them for ourselves!

We found lots of them. One was actually open, so we parked the car on the side of the road and had a look-see.

Well, I had a look-see. Scaredy cat Dyanne stayed back and took a photo (which she put on her post).

Unfortunately, when I stuck my head in, there were noises coming from the inside. I wasn't about to stick around long enough to find out what was making them. So, no photo of the inside.

3. When given the chance, I will eat my weight in desserts.

And by given the chance, I mean any time without my kids. I hate being a bad example when they're standing right there watching me.

But I outdid myself this time.

Gigantic ice cream cones after our Saturday creepy adventures? Sure!

Use Dyanne's casino winnings ($12!) to have pie at almost midnight? Count me in!

After lunch dessert? Of course! We're kind of full, shall we split one? Heck NO!

Really, if you were there, no way you could have resisted. They had creme brulee cheesecake for Pete's sake!

No exaggeration, I gained 5 pounds in those two days.

It's all the fault of the restaurantuers. If you ever go to St. Louis, have we got some recommendations for you!

4. Surprisingly, I really do know people everywhere I go.

The kids claim that it's true, mostly because every time we leave the house I run into someone I know, and I usually stop and chat for a while and the kids hate that.

I just chalk it up to me knowing a lot of people and the south side of Indy being a relatively small place.

But then...

After pie at the casino, as we were standing up to leave, I heard, "CHRISTINE!" I instinctively turned  around and there, walking towards us, was a woman from our old neighborhood. She has a son the same age as Buttercup, and back in the day, we hung out all the time. I hadn't seen her in years.

So of course I had to stop and chat.

Dyanne took it way better than my kids do.

To those of you waiting patiently for a new post *cough* Kris's mom *cough* or not so impatiently (Dad, you can stop texting me the number of days since my last post now!), I'm sorry it took so long.

See you on the weekend!

Have a lovely day!


  1. Frist!!

    Glad to see your post, I missed you :)

    1. It sounds like an awsome, but creepy, weekend. And as good as they sound I could definitely resist the desserts - my willpower has willpower! lol

    2. I have missed you, too. By the looks of the posts I've been catching up on, you've been keeping yourself busy!

      I have willpower when needed, but I'm all about indulging and enjoying for special events, even if that event lasts 2 days. :)

    3. I'm off again tomorrow, back to the place I went to at Easter. It's a bank holiday too so a good long weekend and hopefully lots more photos on my blog next week :)

  2. Such a great adventure you had. That crème brulee cheesecake sounds amazing!

    1. That cheesecake was fabulous. As was the gigantic brownie sundae. We ordered both and shared. :)

  3. Looks like you had a great time although you did go to some creepy places. It's wonderful to have a buddy go with you though. Looks like the two highlights were your buddy and all the desserts. Excellent.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    1. We didn't start out intending to have such a creepy day, but it's the way things rolled. :)
      They most certainly were the highlights! :)

  4. *snorks* It looks like you had a BRILLIANT time and I'm so happy you both got to spend some time having a lovely jaunt together. Buuuut the creepy stuff was VERY creepy and I'm glad you didn't get eaten by vines or radiated to death! Also, SARAH saw a blimp while you both were away!

    1. NO SHE DIDN'T!!!! That is hilarious! Where was it? (and don't say "the air")

  5. Love the reference to Long Duk Dong. YOu're not that bad! Except for the first one...
    I have loved reading about your trip, and thinking about the two of you together. Seriously, it's somewhat odd, but I had so much fun thinking of you together that weekend.

    1. Whatever. They're all horrid. I laughed when I thought of that reference, too. :)

      Ha! I'm glad you got so much joy just thinking about us having fun. Next time, you need to fly your butt out and join us!

  6. I have no words; you crack me up! I have to say, though, those are the best kinds of trips. Odd, yes, but having fun with great friends, no matter where you end up, even if it's places NO ONE else would ever go. (For a reason!!)

    1. Ha! We're blaming the weather for lack of other people. :)

      It is the best kind of trip, for sure.

  7. wow I read Dyanne's but my stupid computer at work won't allow to comment only on her blog - because apparently I can on yours.

    what a wonderful adventure-

    This was funny and you both were so brave - bunkers, pies, vines, gigantic ice cream cones, selfies yes sounds like a horror movie to me too; not!

    Dyanne I can't comment on your blog from this dumb computer but hands down you rock the flip flops. :)

    1. The flip flops were a medical necessity because of my heel injury. I swear I'm not usually THAT prissy!

  8. We really need to work on your selfie skills, but then we also need to work on my wild hair, as it was in your face in most of the ones we took.
    We found SO, SO MANY places to dump a body. Everyone better remember that!
    I had a place on my ankle for over a week where that Virginia creeper grabbed me while on that scary bridge.
    I'm still convinced they were producing soylent green in that building with the tubes.
    I've never eaten so many desserts in under 48 hours in my life.
    I was SURE something was going to grab you inside that one bunker and yank you inside and I was going to be left standing in a muddy road in flip flops.
    Actually, on more than one occasion, I took a picture of you to (a) use to identify your body or (b) use as an obituary picture when you (a) walked across a mountain of nuclear waste, although the sign strictly prohibited it, (b) climbed down the rock bank of the Missouri River until you got to the water, (c) disappeared into some woods near the confluence and (d) stuck your head inside that first bunker.
    You were INCREDIBLY PATIENT about the flip flops, but you also knew I would have worn tennis shoes if I could have, and hopefully, next time we do something like this, I will have taken care of my heel injury and be able to wear real shoes.

  9. I can't believe you guys got together! What a blast it appears you were having. Missouri has some very lovely sites by the way that don't involve hazardous radiation, but maybe next time!!!!

  10. This sounds like a truly wonderful adventure! Both of you will be savoring the memories and laughing about them forever more. I really would like to know what was inside that bunker, maybe you need to schedule a return trip!

  11. Most excellent adventure! You two totally need to consider a podcast (or net vid or whatever the hell they call shows that run on the internet but not on real TV), 'Dyanne and Christine's Tours deForce!' or something.
    no, serially! I betcha you'd discover an audience and a following for travel vids.


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