What a wonderful week
|Missouri Botanical Gardens|
Yep, one more post. I now have had more posts this week than during the whole summer. I think it just feels so good to be back on the road. It doesn’t hurt that the weather has been almost perfect.
Early in the week we got the bikes on the truck and took off to ride the Katy Trail. This is the longest rail trail in the US. I’ve heard a lot about it and wanted to get at least one day on the bikes. I found a good parking lot for us and then we rode both directions for awhile. I wanted us to stop and check out Trailhead Brewing near the St. Charles trail head. We had a hard time figuring out where it was exactly and before we found it we were hungry so we stopped at Hendricks BBQ for a bite to eat and a brew. They had a great selection of craft brews that made it well worthwhile and a good brisket sandwich. Once fortified we finally found Trailhead brewing for just a brew. I have to say we were disappointed in the beers. The part of the trail we rode was very diverse. We road from residential to farm fields, from riverside to industrial and then urban. All in all, a great day.
|John and Father Mark|
We had a couple relaxing days that we used to hike a couple of the park trails and just enjoy the weather. On Wednesday we met John’s brother Mark at the Missouri Botanical Center for the start of a wonderful day together. Mark is an Oblate priest who works at their retreat center in Belleville IL, just across the river. We don’t get to see him very often. He has a membership to the Botanical Center and was excited to show us around. It is definitely a beautiful place and a fun way to spend part of a day. After the gardens we drove to Belleville to visit his house. This is our first time to see this retreat center. We have seen so many photos of this area and it is a wonderful place, definitely a great set up for a special retreat. Mark shares a house on the retreat, they call the stone house and next to it is a wonderful retreat center. There are many little places that face the gardens for people to sit and reflect, it has a peaceful and spiritual feel.
Marks 60th birthday was on Friday so to celebrate we took him out to the Main Street Brewery (imagine that) in Belleville. We had a good meal and the beers here were much better than we had earlier in the week. We always have a good time with Mark, love that guy!
|Dinner at Main Street Brewery|
|Sean and Wags|
As if all that activity wasn’t enough we had more visiting to do. When we lived in a sticks and bricks house one of the privileges we had was to house or as it’s called in hockey circles “billet” young men who came to CR to play junior hockey in the USHL. One of these young men is from Chesterfield, a suburb of St. Louis. Sean and his parents Gary and Sandye are very special people to us and getting to see them was so wonderful. Sean is like a son to me and for a couple years was a son in most ways. I got to see this young man grow up in many ways. He has become just as engaging a man as he was a kid. He had to hang up the skates last winter when he took a slap-shot to the face. This unfortunate incident has resulted in several surgeries, one dental surgery last Monday. His diet is pretty limited so after a fun visit his parents took us to dinner. It was so wonderful to reconnect with these people and to get some hugs from Sean.
|John, Sean and Janie|
So all in all it was a full and fun week. Friday we moved across the river to the Red Barn Rendezvous in Edwardsville IL. We needed to get a drug test for our job at Amazon and do some grocery shopping. Errand done so tomorrow we are going about an hour east of here to a Corps of Engineers Park on Carlyle Lake. We have 3 weeks before we have to be in Campbellsville KY to work at Amazon. I want to enjoy every minute until then.
I'll leave you with a few more photos from the botanical gardens.