Thursday, August 29, 2013

Governor Dunklin's Grave

A couple weekends ago when we were headed for points south to play with the Pocket Ranger app, we did a quick detour through Pevely and Herculaneum to check out Governor Dunklin's Grave. First of all, let me just say how jealous I am of the Mississippi River views the residents of Dunklin Drive have. I live three blocks from the Mississippi and can see it from my house, but I won't be happy until I am literally living on the bluffs overlooking the river.

But I digress. Here, at the end of secluded Dunklin Drive, is a tiny Missouri State Historic Site. Governor Daniel Dunklin was the fifth governor of Missouri, serving from 1832-1836, and essentially responsible for what became the State Board of Education. This family plot was established on the bluff when Dunklin's kids had to sell the family farm, and now it is maintained as a State Historic Site. If you are playing with the Pocket Ranger app, you need to stand in the vicinity of the sign near the parking area for it to register!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

World Aquarium Extreme Tour

Happy Tuesday! I am shamelessly using this picture of a two-toed sloth eating a green bean at the World Aquarium to get your attention. Did you know sloths do almost everything upside down, even drink water? The come out of the tree about once a week to go to the bathroom and that's it!

Second runner up for cute goes to the honey bears who live with the sloth. They are very shy and like bananas. Look how he holds your hand while taking the slice!

This adorable puffer fish was raised in captivity and doesn't know the stress or danger that would cause him to puff up. If he did, he would kill all the other fish in the tank with his poison, even other puffer fish. All he cares about is the red bowl that the tour guide carries.

This is the red bowl, full of shrimp, sardines, tilapia, and other assorted tidbits that make aquarium animals happy. When you do a private tour at the World Aquarium, you don't need to pay to get into the City Museum. Our guide met us near the entrance with the bowl of fish goodies.

Here's a happy stingray begging for a snack. The World Aquarium has several species of stingray. Some are small and more docile while others are pretty big and like to splash.

These are doctor fish, which you may have seen at a nail salon, especially if you have traveled in Asia. Doctor fish don't have teeth, but they like to nom your dead skin. The Extreme Tour is very hands-on.

Except when it's not. The moray eel has two mouths, and the one inside its throat has teeth. You don't want to stick your hands in an eel tank, ever, which is why we fed the eel with tongs.

This guy had a tumor on his face and had surgery, and now his bite is weak. Sea turtles can only be kept in captivity if they have a serious injury that would prevent them from getting enough to eat on their own. If they heal from the injury, back to sea they go. Sea turtles can't be bred in captivity because they have to return to the beach where they were born to lay their eggs!

This is not me holding the scorpion. I'm not big on touching bugs and fishes, but worse, you can kill a scorpion by dropping it. I didn't want to be that klutz.

I held a ball of bull snakes, though! Bull snakes get their name from pretending to be rattlesnakes. Full of bull, get it? Holding a ball of snakes is way creepier than just one snake because you can't see the far side to know where all the heads are.

Of course, I don't want to give you the WHOLE tour. You'll have to go to the City Museum for that. Admission to the World Aquarium is $8, $6 for members of the military, and $6 for groups of 10 or more. They have several private tour options, and you can often find them on Groupon. Check out their website for all the details!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Beverly - What's Not Good

At Epcot's Club Cool, you can try Coca Cola products from around the world, and Beverly, the non-alcoholic aperitif from Italy, is infamous. There are reaction photos and videos all over the internet of people trying Beverly for the first time, and a non-scientific estimate from a Cast Member says that 1 in 200 people like the taste (Wikipedia has an uncited quote from a World of Coca Cola employee in Atlanta who says 5 out of 2,000 people). Of course, I had to try it.

I have eaten bugs, haggis, things I couldn't identify in foreign countries, and I consider tentacles to be the best part of calamari. I have yet to find a food I would classify as "disgusting". UNTIL BEVERLY. It's literally the worst thing I've ever tasted, and it lingers!  Francis said that Beverly is only considered an aperitif because anything that follows will taste good. Indeed, I followed it up with an avocado margarita in the Mexico pavilion and it was the best margarita I ever had.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Missouri Mines State Historic Site

On Saturday we took off to the south to see how many state park points we could pick up for the Pocket Ranger Passport Challenge. Unfortunately, the app is still a bit buggy and we never were able to get credit for this one. Still, without playing with the app, we never would have ended up here, and it is way cool!

I'm not a serious photographer, but it seems to me that this is a great site for people who really want to explore and take pictures of "abandoned" stuff without being lawbreakers. I know you. You are the people who dare your friends to do dangerous things while you act as "lookout".

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Windsor Harbor Road Bridge

We happened across this bridge last year when we were in Kimmswick, and it turned out to be a bridge from Carondelet, where we live! The sign says:

Carondelet, Missouri, 1874-1928 
Moved to this site 1930 

The County Commission of Jefferson County, Missouri, transferred ownership of this bridge to the Kimmswick Historical Society following its placement on the National Register of Historic Places

Since the Construction of the adjacent modern bridge, this historic bridge has been closed to all but pedestrian and non-motorized traffic.

I wish I could have seen what it looked like to move a bridge in 1930!

Update on Tuesday's post about the Old St Marcus Park flag: Francis and Rev Darrel Curtis from American Legion Post 341 talked to KSDK about the flag last night, and it should be replaced by 5pm today. You can see the video from the news at

Also! I just got Instagram and love it! Follow me @bethylou78 and you will see all the stuff we do that doesn't make it to the website (plus dogs, cats, and food, of course).

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Old St Marcus Cemetery Flag Emergency

We need to talk about this flag. I took Francis to Old St Marcus Park & Cemetery for the first time this past weekend, and the state of this flag is embarrassing. Had there been a rope to lower it, I think he would have pulled it down and buried it on the spot. This marker says, "This flag is dedicated to those that died for our country - Lester C Schlueter [edit: we think this may say Schlueter rather than Schmieter] Post 341 American Legion". We can't find a local post 341, but whoever is in charge of this flag should be ashamed. I pointed this out on the Great Rivers Greenway Facebook page, but I'm hoping someone who reads this blog may know how we can get this taken care of. This park may not see much traffic, but there is no excuse for this.

UPDATE: We got in touch with American Legion Post 341 here in St Louis and they said that the City of St Louis is responsible for flag maintenance. We are following a lead and will keep you posted!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Cookin' From Scratch Chicken Car

I love this website, but some weeks I get behind and have to write Tuesday's blog on a Monday night. I'm writing this on one of those Mondays, and I've done just about everything to procrastinate. This is when I usually turn on the TV and hope for Bizarre Foods, DD&D, Man Vs Food, or No Reservations. Jackpot! Bizarre Foods America: The Ozarks. Does that go with the Cookin' From Scratch Chicken Car, or what?

Cookin' From Scratch in Doolittle, MO is famous for their pan friend chicken and the Route 66 King of the Road Burger Challenge. The King of the Road Burger is 66 oz on a 9" bun and comes with one and a half pounds of french fries. Eat it by yourself in 66 minutes and it's free. If you're willing to wait an hour or so, you can always get the King of the Road burger to share with a group of 5-7.

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that there's no way I could be a restaurant critic. I don't like to give negative reviews, but worse, I can't order anything else if there is fried catfish or fried pickles on the menu. Cookin' from Scratch may be famous for their pan fried chicken, but in my book, they SHOULD be famous for the best fried pickles in the universe. The catfish nuggets were pretty good, and better if you take into account that it was all you can eat catfish night.

Cookin' From Scratch is located next to the Phillips 66 station in Doolittle, MO, which is just west of Rolla.