Looking at America

Hi dear friends and family from Hannibal, Missouri! While we were in Cookeville, Tn, we were looking at a map of Tennessee to try to route our way to Hannibal, and Yoel, 2 1/2 years old, pointed at the map and said, “That’s America!”  “Yes, Yoel, that is America!” I said. I was proud he was able to identify a map, and that he knows “America”.  Maybe we all need to re-know America. So, I recommend a trip “up the Mississippi.” On route 79 out of St. Louis, you will go through Louisiana (I discovered on this trip that the Louisiana purchase was really a 2-parter. The lower part, “Orleans,” took the name of Louisiana, and left the real Louisiana to be just a town name in Missouri. They have local artists’ shops and great views of the river!America is the little town of Hannibal, population of 16,000, in folding chairs in a small town square, listening to country, Gospel, and Bluegrass music celebrating Music Under the Stars. Hannibal celebrates trains and boats (we saw many trains and hear them all night long at our B&B called LulaBelle’s). Grain and coal carried down the Mississippi costs half what carrying it on roads does… uhhh duh folks, let’s use our waterways and trains more. Our flag flies high and proud in Hannibal. We sat in chairs lent to us, and applauded 2 youths who wrote and sang songs about America in a town that is struggling like many American towns to stay alive when so many towns boast way too many “for sale” signs. The featured group in Music Under the Stars celebrated and sang America and I quote: “This is America; it’s awesome.” We all need to get into the car and refind America. Try route 79 north out of St. Louis. Sing the “Highway 40 Blues”, open the car windows, and buy local sweet corn. At Hannibal you will love the local charm and great food at The Abby Rose restaurant and the wine and warmth at The Wine Stoppe. Hannibal celebrates the 4th of July for 5 days! We’re off for Clear Lake Iowa tomorrow. God bless Ameirca! Good night and sweet dreams. Susie 

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