Total Solar Eclipse~ St. Louis, Missouri

We had the very fortunate experience of living nearby the path of totality during the Solar Eclipse on August 21st, 2017. I know this isn’t an experience that you can travel to and visit again, but since lots of readers may not have lived close to the path of totality, I thought it would be fun to give you a glimpse at what it was like to experience it. Plus, it’s a great way for me to go back and remember it as well!

The path of totality in the St. Louis area had a very narrow path. Up where we live in Florissant, we still would only have had a partial eclipse. The school where I would later be a long term sub was in totality, but opted to take a field trip to a school further south where they would have about 30 seconds longer.¬† We had thought about joining them, but didn’t know if they would have enough solar eclipse glasses to go around. We had tried to find our own pair to bring along, but everywhere we went they were sold out! The wonderful thing was that the seminary was just inside the path of totality and was going to have a party leading up to it and would provide solar eclipse glasses they had ordered ahead of time free of charge, so that’s where we wound up.

When we arrived, the first thing we did was pick up our super cool looking glasses and check out how the sun looked at that moment. Already a small sliver was disappearing from sight.

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While we waited for the total eclipse to occur, we were provided with a nice lunch of brats and hot dogs. Of course we also had some fun eclipse themed food such as Sun Chips and an option of Moon Pies, Starbursts, and Milky Ways for dessert. It was fun to sit at the table and see the sky get darker and darker. Even those infamous St. Louis cicadas started humming as if it was late in the evening.

The eclipse itself was short lived as we were on the very edge of the path of totality, but it was very neat to catch a glimpse of the crescent shaped shadows we had been told to watch for as we decided to head back for home.

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Overall it was a neat experience, even if it didn’t last long. It is fun to be able to say that I was truly in the path of totality for the eclipse.

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Georgia Bucket List: Plantation Trace

Here is the 8th of 9 installments in the Georgia Bucket List series. Headed into the southern region of the state. Once again these have been taken from the 2017 Georgia Travel Guide.

Albany

  • Albany Civil Rights Institute: A nice history lesson on the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Flint RiverQuarium: How often to you get to check out an aquarium dedicated to river life or mysterious blue-hole springs?
  • Radium Springs Gardens: This is stated to be one of Georgia’s seven natural wonders, so it seems worth checking out.

Homerville

  • Clinch County Honey Trail: While I am allergic to bees, I think this trail of 7 sites showing the honey process sounds fascinating.

Thomasville

  • The Big Oak and Big Oak Cam: It’s a giant oak tree. Enough said.
  • Pebble Hill Plantation: Since this is the Plantation Trace, I figured a plantation tour was in order.
  • Sweet Grass Dairy and Cheese Shop: Growing up in Wisconsin, I figured an award winning cow cheese farm visit just makes sense.

 

Cheeburger Cheeburger ~ Des Peres, Missouri

I had visited Cheeburger Cheeburger in Chesterfield a few years back and knew it was somewhere I wanted to take Andrew before we left the Saint Louis area. When we returned to Cheeburger Cheeburger, we dined at their Des Peres location off of Manchester. It’s in a strip mall-esque area, but is kind of awkward to get to since this particular strip mall sits in the median between the ever busy sides of Manchester.

The decor in Cheeburger Cheeburger is fantastic. It’s set up to take you back to a 50’s diner setting. They are of course known for their burgers, but also have a fantastic list of shakes.

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We both opted to build our own burger and also built our own shake. We both got burgers with pepperjack cheese, and I opted to add some Cajun seasoning to mine as well. I also ordered a chocolate shake with Oreos, which Andrew also ordered.

When your burgers arrive, they are neatly put together with a toothpick garnished with an olive. I’m not an olive person, but it is a nice diner touch!

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The shakes are done really well as the cookie chunks are all ground up enough to fit through the straw. Nothing drives me crazier than a shake with Oreo cookie chunks that clog up the straw when you try to drink it! I also love their glasses that they serve their water (or soda if you choose to order it) in. I just think they are super cute with their logo on them!

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And just so you can see how wonderful my burger was with the Cajun seasoning, I’ve included a picture where you can see that additional deliciousness. I love how juicy and perfect these burgers are!

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If you visit Cheeburger Cheeburger, make sure you go when you are really hungry so that you can have room for both a burger and shake. They also had some delicious sounding sides, but we knew we’d only have room for what we ordered!

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Georgia Bucket List: Magnolia Midlands

This is installment 7 of 9 for the state of Georgia and will be the shortest of them all! This is what happens when a certain regions doesn’t really have bigger cities in it.

Dublin

  • First African Baptist Church: This is the location where MLK Jr. gave his first speech.

Metter

  • Guido Gardens: I want to check this out for the Chapel of the Pines which is open 24 hours. But any garden is always beautiful!

Vidalia

  • ¬†Vidalia Onion Museum: This just certainly sounds like a unique experience!

Mike Duffy’s Pub and Grill ~ Richmond Heights, Missouri

Mike Duffy’s is the first restaurant we went to in St. Louis when we moved here for the first time in 2014 since it’s one of the closest restaurants to the seminary. This past summer we visited again after helping one of Andrew’s friends move his stuff back into his dorm room. Looking online, they have three locations in the St. Louis area, but we’ve only ever been to the Richmond Heights location.

One of the reasons we chose to eat close to campus this time was because there had just been a massive thunderstorm passing through so we didn’t feel like traveling out much further on the roads. Due to this, our waitress informed us right away that they were currently only able to take cash or check as their power had been down and messed up their credit card readers. We were there with Andrew’s friend’s entire family, so between the 6 of us, we had plenty of cash to go around, so we decided to stay.

On our previous visit to Mike Duffy’s, I’d tried their wings and hadn’t been impressed, so this time around, I went for the Pub Pretzels. Andrew and his friend shared a pizza, and several others at our table ordered salads. The salads were quite large so they were satisfied with that for their meal. Andrew also said the pizza was decent.

My pretzels were just okay as far as pub pretzels go. I liked that they were small in size, but the nacho cheese sauce seemed to lack flavor. So once again, Mike Duffy’s didn’t pull through for me by my standards. That being said, I know plenty of other people on campus have raved about their burgers, so maybe if I find myself there again, that would be the way to go. I probably won’t find myself there though, seeing as how there are many other restaurants in the area that I would rather try or revisit.

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The one nice thing was that by the time we finished eating, the card reader was back up and running, so we didn’t have to end up pooling all our cash together to pay for the meal!

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Dogs & Fries ~ Florissant, Missouri

As some of you may know, I am in avid TripAdvisor user. Typically I use it when we are out on trips, but seeing as how we had recently moved to Florissant, and weren’t overly familiar with the north suburbs of St. Louis, I had done some restaurant research on TripAdvisor before moving. This was one restaurant that caught my eye.

Dogs & Fries is not much to look at on the outside. It’s located in a strip mall on the west side of Florissant, sitting just off a side street. Walking in it had kind of a Hispter vibe to it, but there were lots of older grandparents sitting at the table waiting for their food, so clearly it catered to all types of people!

The menu options consist of, you guessed it, hot dogs and fries, however even with only two food options it was very difficult to decide what we wanted to try, as they offer so many different ways you can make both these food options.  They have 24 dogs options alone!

We finally settled on our choices after a very kind, and patient worker helped provide suggestions. Andrew went with the Mac ‘n’ Cheese Dog, while I kind of made my own by getting a Plain Jane with some queso blanco on top. We also shared an order of original cheese fries. Thank goodness we shared as you received a lot of fries in that order.

We opted to just get water to drink, but if you get any fountain soda, they are sodas made specifically in the area, by the people who own Sugarfire BBQ. Going in, I figured the fries would be my favorite part as I can be pretty particular about my hot dogs (I’m not usually a fan of the all beef franks,) however, I surprised myself and loved my dog and was just okay with the fries. They were a little soggy for my liking.

We enjoyed our time at Dogs & Fries, but have a lot of other restaurants we would return to before trying this one out again.

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Georgia Bucket List: Classic South

The 6th of 9 installments in the Georgia Bucket List series, here’s another short and sweet list of attractions I’d love to visit in the Classic South region.

Appling

  • International Disc Golf Center: Andrew and I both love to disc golf (although we don’t make nearly enough time for us to go out and do it on a regular basis.) This facility apparently includes 3 18-hole championship courses. We probably wouldn’t be very good, but that’s a lot of disc golf!

Augusta

  • Augusta Canal National Heritage Area: This sounds like a fun way to spend some time on the water via boat tour, canoe or kayak.
  • Augusta Riverwalk: More time along the water and also probably a great way to see the downtown area
  • Woodrow Wilson Boyhood Home: Another NPS site to check out, and a great chance to learn about one of the lesser known presidents.

Millen

  • Magnolia Springs State Park: This sounds like a fun place to hike and see some beautiful springs, as well as the site of a Civil War prison.

All attractions were found in Georgia’s 2017 Travel Guide.