Following our visit to Chester, the American Queen Steamboat paddle wheeler steamed on down to the sleepy river town of Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  Founded in 1733 by a French soldier as a trading post, it is now home to around 38,000 residents.



The American Queen is on the right.

As we had typically done previously during the cruise, we took American Queen’s included hop on-hop off bus for a narrated tour of the town to get a good overview, before hoofing it around on foot.

The historic Glenn House was located in a lovely neighborhood situated on a hill overlooking the river, so we opted to head back up to take the included tour of the lovely 1800’s home.


Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the home was built in 1883.  I especially liked these beautiful stained-glass windows in the foyer:


Across from the home, we thought this was quite the curious sight:


This was the original bridge that crossed the river; however, it was ultimately replaced by a new, modern one.  Instead of completely tearing the old bridge down, they kept the beginning of the bridge intact as a river and riverfront park viewpoint.  Clever!

Back in town, the downtown streets were pleasant to meander and photograph.






One of my favorite buildings that added a bit of charm to the town was this Spanish-style home to Southern Missourian, the local newspaper.  These murals on the side of the building depict the history of the town and newspaper print:




The highlights of Cape Girardeau, in my opinion, were the fabulous river wall murals.  What started as a necessary—but ugly—barrier to protect the town from flooding, was morphed into attractive and informative works of art.


“Mississippi River Tales” is an 18,000 square feet mural that covers the 15-foot high wall with 24 panels of history, beginning with the Native Americans who inhabited the area between 900 and 1200, long before our “founding fathers” stepped foot on American soil.  Informative plaques describe each panel that tells the history of the area in chronological order.  Painted by Chicago artist Thomas Melvin, in collaboration with several local artists, the mural has graced Cape Girardeau’s flood wall since 2005.

These were some of the panels of interest to me:









Immediately following “Mississippi River Tales” was the “Missouri Wall of Fame,” spanning 500 feet of the flood wall.  Depicting 45 people who were born in the state or achieved fame while living in Missouri, this mural included some of our baseball favorites, including Yogi Berra, the New York Yankees Hall of Fame catcher who had, let’s say, an interesting way with words!



Unfortunately, the mural also included Cape Girardeau’s very own Rush Limbaugh, who also has a way with words…









On a rainy day (and 20 degrees below normal temperature for June 1), what better way to spend the day than staying dry indoors sampling Vermont’s foodie favorites?

We actually did get a fair bit of walking in outdoors before the rain settled in for the afternoon. Burlington is a nice, walkable city in the historic downtown center. The 4-block long outdoor pedestrian street is lined with historic buildings on each side with shops and restaurants. “Homeport” was our favorite store– 4 levels of EVERYTHING you could possibly want for your home all loaded in a historic building. At the end of the year, it must be an inventory nightmare for them, because they have such a huge selection. From sink strainers to interesting decorative wall hooks, they had dozens to choose from. It was a very cool store.

Working up an appetite from our walk along Church St. and along Waterfront Park and back, it was time to sample Vermont.


While walking along Church St. we came across this 124-foot mural entitled, “Everyone Loves a Parade!”  It was custom-designed by renowned Canadian muralist, Pierre Hardy, wide-known for his inventive and meticulously-detailed, large-scale pieces.  Grand Master Samuel de Champlain leads the charge as the scene depicts an evolution in time along Church St.  Notable and everyday Bulingtonians, downtown businesses, and iconic images of the past 400 years are distinguished through overflowing illustrations.


Follow this panorama photo, and the next three photos from left to right.




First up for sampling: Lake Champlain Chocolates. Unfortunately, there were no tours today (or tomorrow) because of new flooring being installed, but we went anyway to check out the factory and hunt for factory seconds to purchase. (Hey, they’re just going to be eaten anyway, so why purchase at full price?)



Our next stop: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. Photos weren’t allowed on the factory tour, but I did get a few shots where cameras were allowed.




New flavors- YUM!

Bruce and I felt right at home at the factory, because Ben and Jerry’s hearts are in the right place as far we are concerned. Their company philosophy is spot-on, and they value social justice and the environment. They even had free hook-up stations in the parking lot for electric vehicles to get juiced while they’re owners get a fill of ice cream!



AMEN to this!

Recycling is also huge there and everywhere here in Vermont. The state’s goal is to reach a 40% recycle rate, and the businesses we have encountered are enthusiastically in support of that goal. Our motel is on board as was the restaurant we ate at this evening.

This is my kind of place; such a cool vibe. Georgia (and most of the rest of the world), GET WITH THE PROGRAM if you have any hope of leaving Planet Earth habitable for future generations!

The sampling portion of our day concluded with a stop at Cabot Cheeses where they had samples out of every variety of cheese they make as well as selections of maple syrup, dips, and other delicious foods. Fabulous!

While there we picked up a small bottle of Mannaz Mead from Groennfell Meadery, and just popped it open to sip as I type. Strange. It’s made with 100% single-source honey, something we have never tasted (or heard of) before. I think it’s an acquired taste, and I’m not sure I want to acquire it.

Earlier, after all the sampling in Burlington and Waterbuy, we made our way north on one of Vermont’s most scenic byways to Stowe. The Stowe Motel and Snowdrift is ourTrip Advisor-recommended home for a couple of nights, and it’s a beautiful, spacious property with large expanses of grass in between the buildings.

Upon arrival, we were greated by “Remy”, the owner’s gorgeous German Short-haired Pointer. We were also upgraded to a larger room without even asking! NICE!

Dinner in town was at a casual little 5-table place, “Bender’s Burritos.” Check this out: A sweet potato and black bean burrito with Spanish rice, minced ginger, mild cheddar cheese, chipotle mayo, and salsa verde. De-LISH, all one pound of it!