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Happy January 2016 Genki Friends!  Today I’m so thrilled to share the start of our trip across the United States of America.  As I look back through these photos, I am reminded of the landscape transformations that shifted with each state.  Prior to leaving the Michigan/Indiana area, our bags were filled with items for entertainment such as knitting supplies, Nintendo DS, PSP, loads of music, books and so on.  Funny enough, most of those items never even saw light on the trip.  It seemed every 10 minutes or so the landscape would change or something of interest would appear and our attention would be directed to the breathtaking views in front of us.  Hence, I would like to share this experience with all of you whom may not be given this once-in-a-lifetime chance.

Places of Interest Shown in the Video:

Below are all of the locations we visited, shown in the video, plus a few we missed due to the heavy rainfall creating dangerous driving conditions.  We drove Route 66 from Illinois to California.

  1. Illinois contains a lot of roadside attractions but as we used to live in the Chicago Metropolitan area, we did not stop by any of these locations.
  2. World’s Largest Wagon & Big Lincoln: 1750 5th St, Lincoln, IL (free)
  3. Grave of Mother Jones (memorial): Mt. Olive, IL  (Must get exit Route 66)- Labor activists buried in a miners’ cemetery.
  4. St. Louis Arch: St. Louis, MO (No need to exit as this can be seen from all over the city)  We drove up to it but seeing as there is construction at the moment, there are no tours.
  5. Busch Stadium: 700 Clark Ave, St. Louis, MO 63102
  6. Mile-Long Graffiti Wall: Chateau Ave, just south of the arch
  7. Budweiser Brewery: 1 Busch pl, St. Louis, MO I-55, exit 206c
  8. Lemp Mansion-Haunted Tours (beer baron): 3322 Demenil Pl, St. Louis, MO
  9. Big Eyeball Sculpture: Laumaier Sculpture Park: 12580 Rott RD, St. Louis, MO (free)
  10. World’s Largest Rocking Chair: 5957 HWY ZZ, Fanning, MO exit 203
  11. Stubby Stonehenge: State St, Rolla, MO
  12. Totem Pole Trading Post: 1413 Marting Springs DR, Rolla, MO


Seasoned travelers we are so we have very specific foods we like to take along for the ride.  It is common for us to take a cooler with prepared vegan meals just in case we can not find anything along the path.  This time around was no different, our little Prius was packed to the brim.  I’m surprised the tires made with through without bursting.  Foods Taken: Sausage wraps (similar to this recipe only I use Tofurky halved sausages and wrapped completely without slicing), raw mixed nuts from Trader Joes, unsweetened dried fruit, bagels, peanut butter, a few pieces of vegan chocolate from Christmas, tea, and some peanut butter filled pretzels from Trader Joe’s.

  1. Headwest Subs Stop: 2432 Denver RD, Springfield, IL
  2. Cafe Natasha: 3200 S. Grand, St. Louis, MO

This was our first day of adventures.  There are millions of tourist attractions but seeing as we have lived in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, there was not much new to see. If you are new to the area, I might also suggest visiting the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana and some of the museums in Chicago, Illinois.  For us, the heavy rainfall put a damper on our adventures so many sites were left untouched this time around.  Our families live in Michigan so I intend on visiting some of these other locations on a later date.  (Always leave something for next time so you can have a reason for another trip.)

Do you have any other locations to add to the list? Leave your comments below.