Tennessee to Missouri… Water Wheel, Big Wheel, Big Arch

Tennessee to Kentucky to Illinois to Missouri

(each link is to an Instagram photo from @travel_junkie or @alenkadesign)

The journey continues. We left Tennessee, passing through Kentucky and Illinois before resting in St. Louis, Missouri for the night. Along the way we stopped at what appeared to be an interesting roadside destination, Patti’s 1880’s Settlement. A quick google showed it to be one of the top eateries in the state, and I figured if it’s a settlement built in the 1880’s, there should be some cool old buildings to photograph!

Truth be told, it’s a pretty disappointing place. Other than an old water wheel and a creepy restaurant that was so quiet we were afraid to talk, there wasn’t much to see or do. You’re walking around a perfectly manicured path and fake waterfalls, from gift shop to gift shop, on a scavenger hunt for anything more than 30 years old. The food was good, but you know, we could have stuck to a roadside diner and been happier.

Wheel… of… water!!!

Back on the road we saw the biggest wheel ever on the back of a truck (and then ran across a convoy of them), and eventually made our way across the great Mississippi River and were welcomed to St. Louis by the Gateway Arch (where we’re going this morning for a proper tour).

Mahsura… you left the gate open #sc2or

For dinner, we were treated by family in St. Louis to an amazing Italian meal at Mama Campisi’s in an area of town called The Hill. The antipasti was amazing, and the main dishes were all fabulous. Alenka picked the best I think, with a seafood pasta that was to die for. The pasta primavera with a creamy pesto was beautiful as well.

No visit to St. Louis would be complete without a trip to Ted Drewes for frozen custard, where even at 10 o’clock at night, the place is packed.

Today we’ll go up the Arch, drive to Kansas City and stop to see a cousin, then spend the night somewhere in Kansas!

Country Music, Street Style, in Nashville, TN

On the Road Again

(each link is to an Instagram photo from @travel_junkie or @alenkadesign)

The journey began yesterday; driving from South Carolina through North Carolina and into Tennessee. Along the way we stopped at the “Freedom Gun” shop, because that’s not the sort of thing you get outside of the south, and certainly not in Europe. Their sign on the street caught our attention, and the nice folks inside were kind enough to let Alenka feel up some serious American metal. After that we stopped at a beautiful roadside market where I introduced Alenka to hot boiled peanuts, (yummy salty goodness!) and then pretty much drove straight on through to Nashville.

Nashville, Tennessee

We visited with a high school friend and his family, and after dinner wandered downtown on Broadway street, the “honkey tonk” area. There was a free live music Red Cross benefit concert playing in the streets, and of course we sampled a few local bars, each with live music of their own!

At the end of the evening we came across this street performer who was just fantastically into his gig, and didn’t mind my prying lens one bit. Thanks, Mr. Street Performer!

Street Musician, Nashville, TNStreet Musician, Nashville, TN @ June, 2011 | Panasonic Lumix GF-1 & Lumix G 20mm ƒ/1.7 @ ISO 1600, ƒ/2.2, 1/20

This is hand-held with my Lumix GF1, that street camera I’m coming to love more and more. Auto white balance worked reasonably well; the lighting out there is crazy, mixing street lights, neon lights, and whatever is pouring out of the bars themselves. I desaturated the colors and tweaked the curves a bit, but that’s about it.