For the last 6 days my husband and I have been the guests of Village Tours on their Autumn River Cruise https://villagetours.net/tours/. Another adventure cleared from my list. We started in Oklahoma City and drove north by way of Hannibal, MO to the Mark Twain boyhood home and museum on the Mississippi River. I could imagine Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer’s escapades when I climbed the berm to the river. It was less than two blocks to the river from his bedroom window. I even found the Becky Thatcher house. Being a reader and writer, I roamed the gift store afterwards looking over a multitude of volumes of America’s greatest storyteller.
We continued north to the Presidential Museum and Library of Abraham Lincoln. We didn’t actually get to see the library, but the museum could have kept me captive all day. The wax statues themselves were worth the visit. I have never seen such detail.
At our northern-most destination of Peoria, Illinois we boarded the Spirit of Peoria paddleboat for the next three days https://spiritofpeoria.com/. The three-story boat is powered by its paddle which is not just for decoration. The boat was comfortable and spacious, but the food was to die for! The chef would come by daily telling you to be sure to save room for her grandmother’s sweet potato casserole and the deck hand smoked the brisket on board for 7 hours prior to dinner. There was entertainment daily with musicians and storytellers and you could always sit on a deck chair and watch the river go by. I was fascinated by the bald eagles, herons and the monarch butterfly migration we saw as we idly watched the world from the point of view of a major river. If you could secure a rocking chair in the shade, you could spend your retirement there. We spent three days on the Illinois and then the Mississippi Rivers going through locks along the way and seeing cities from an entirely different view than you would by car. Each night the bus would pick us up and take us to another lodge for the evening and we were stuffed with food along the way.
Finally, in St Louis we visited the Arch – the Gateway to the West – and we took the elevator to the top to take pictures, then headed home to Oklahoma the next morning. Our bus driver and tour guide, David and Pam Harms, were fabulous professionals with an eye to detail. We may have been over fed, but not neglected.
If you need a vacation and don’t want to drive, I highly recommend Village Tours. They have all levels of tours for every person and every pocket book. Check them out!
I’m ready for my next adventure.