Last night after dinner we went out and helped each other pick out presents. I got the new travel purse I wanted, and Tony selected a new journal and a brimmed hat for wearing in the sun. We ended the night walking along a trail in downtown St. Charles.
Today we spent some time in Alton, just over the river in Illinois, running errands, checking out the farmer's market, and eating lunch at The Old Bakery Beer Company, a craft brewery housed in a converted Colonial Bread plant. I had a Vegetarian Reuben (with juicy tomatoes substituting for the traditional pastrami). Tony chose a Caesar Wrap with chickpeas. We split and shared both dishes equally.
From there we drove back across the Mississippi River and through a naturalized floodplain area (the last ten minutes down a gravel road) to the Edward "Ted" and Pat Jones-Confluence Point State Park where the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers come together and Lewis and Clark began their expedition. We left the car in the parking lot and walked the last half mile to the confluence itself.
|Mississippi on the left, Missouri on the right
We headed south, then turned west towards Florissant, a St. Louis suburb very close to where I grew up. Before we reached the small historical area of the city (settled in the late 1700s) we compared the current storefronts and buildings with what was there back in the day. Eventually we reached the Old St. Ferdinand Shrine, the oldest Catholic Church building in the Louisiana Purchase Territory where St. Rose Philippine Duchesne lived for many years. Although the shrine was closed we walked around the park next to it. Our next to last stop was for mass at the church where we were married. After church we walked around the corner to Hendel's Restaurant. The building had been a general store and grocery for more than 100 years before being turned into an eating establishment.
This time I had a stuffed portobello. The grilled mushroom was stuffed with roasted vegetables and topped with mozzarella and a balsamic glaze. Tony had a huge pork chop, which was topped with blue cheese crumbles and crispy tobacco onions. Once again we split and shared both dishes equally. Marriage has its privileges.
|Portobello with smashed potatoes and cauliflower
Five years ago today: It Was Twenty Years Ago...But Seems Like Just Yesterday