It is a funny place to begin our journey, but Cape Girardeau is where my aunt lives, and we only had a small window in which to visit her. And we sure needed to get out of Michigan, as rain, cold, snow, and every other meteorological abomination was headed to the Great Lakes State.
We said goodbye to my mother and father, watching them wave goodbye through the rain as we backed out of the driveway.
We stopped by my grandpa’s house and had soda and potato chips. It seems all very unceremonious, but I still felt a little sad and I’m sure the story of our departure will become more dramatic when I recount it in the future.
That night we slept in a Walmart parking lot in Fort Wayne, Indiana. A very unglamorous start indeed.
In the morning we drove through Indiana and Illinois, listening to NPR podcasts all the way because T-mobile has this plan where some streaming services don’t count against our data usage. That sort of makes up for spotty coverage.
In the evening we crossed the Mississippi and arrived at my aunt Roxanne’s and Shannon’s in Cape Girardeau. They and their neighbors were partaking in their weekly wine night. It’s no surprise why Southerners get the reputation for being neighborly.
Roxanne works at the university, and her campus is perched on the banks of the Mississippi. She gave us a personal tour. Then we went for a brisk walk through Osage Park, and then downtown to see the colorful murals on the flood wall.
Later, the four of us went to the casino, which they said makes for a pretty good weekend there. They bought us a nice dinner and then we hit the slot machines. After five minutes I had won 85 bucks! Edd said we could do this all across the country, but I’m not usually lucky, and it’s not as exciting when you have to write it on your tax worksheet.
The next morning, Roxanne, Edd and I took the dogs for a long walk, then dropped them off and went for a hilly hike at the Trail of Tears State Park. It was just a short drive from “Cape”, as Roxanne referred to the city. The park was clean and offered different walks for different abilities. We did a “moderate” hike. We walked a lot that weekend.
Later, Shannon helped us reseal the little leaky side window on the van and Edd dumped all the antifreeze from the van. Then we went shopping and used our casino earnings to make pizza and complement it with wine.
We were sad to leave Monday afternoon, but everyone was back at work, and Edd thought Memphis would be a cool next stop. He was right!
Thanks so much Roxanne and Shannon! Love you guys!