Leaving Iowa, I headed south toward Kansas to spend time with a friend from Hemet. I’ve known Christina since she was a little girl. It was so fun to be with her family for the afternoon, meet her children and say hi to Drew. They are a military family, proudly serving our country! Christina sent me off with a plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies.
Then I drove across Kansas City to Independence, Missouri. I had arranged to meet Twila at the Genealogy Library where she works. Twila and I are 3rd cousins and Facebook friends, but we had never met. She gave me a tour of the amazing Midwest Genealogy Library. This is genealogy Disneyland for anyone interested in family history. The library has city directories, passenger ship lists, microfilm, microfiche, periodicals, state of the art equipment and more. Patrons can digitize an entire carousel of slides at one time, or put microfiche documents onto a flash drive. Much of the library’s collection is Midwest focused, but not all. An example: I found my great grandfather’s name in an 1880 Boston city directory.
Twila and I walked to Square Pizza for dinner. The city was getting ready for “Santa-Cali-Gon Days Festival”. Never heard of it? Me either. It commemorates the origin of the Santa Fe, California and Oregon trails during the great westward expansion of early pioneers. Twila and I drove around Independence, and she showed me more of this interesting city. I definitely need to make a return visit!
The next day was a drive through Missouri farmland, lakes and rivers to my nephew’s house. I passed Missouri’s capitol, Jefferson City, and saw Lake of the Ozarks. My nephew expertly parked the trailer next to his house and welcomed me into their family’s life for the weekend. Great nephew Randy showed me a few chords on his ukulele. A friend in Oregon gave me a ukulele and I’m learning how to play!
The next day, we visited the old courthouse (now a museum) in Waynesville and then stopped at Meramec Springs state park, site of a beautiful spring and trout hatchery. My nephew took us on parts of historic US Route 66, we browsed a specialty gift shop with a giant rocking chair, and chatted with the proprietor of the Wagon Wheel Motel, a vintage Route 66 business, built in 1934.
Cuba, MO (on historic Route 66) features unique murals painted on the sides of city buildings.
Later that weekend, we all got involved making apple pies with apples picked from a friend’s tree. The pies were delicious!
Before sending me off, my nephew helped me with a couple of issues on the trailer. I loved being with my family for Labor Day weekend.