Summer Vacation - June 2017

Once again, time for a Lawrence family trip and this time is was to "home" for some of the time. We started our married life in St. Louis, bought our first house there, so it became home. This trip was a two week jaunt that took us to see home, family, friends and a whole lot of sights that we have missed for a long time. Enjoy the pictures!

After one night in St. Louis after arrival, we headed to Independence, MO to see some good friend. While there, we got a chance to see some interesting things, including President Harry Truman's house and his courthouse.

After leaving Independence, MO and a good 10 hour drive, we ended up in Amarillo, TX - the home city of Deb for most of her life, but more importantly, the home of Octavious' sister Sedraya and the rest of our grandchildren. While we hadn't expected to see them all, we were greatly surprised to see all of them over the weekend that we were there as well as taking in some other sights in the city.

The second largest canyon in the world can be found about a 30 minute driver south of Amarillo just outside a town surprising called Canyon. That town is also where Mark and Deb were first married back in 1998. However, it was a spectacular but incredibly hot day when we went to visit the canyon. At one point, the temperature at the rim of the canyon was 107 degrees F, while in the bottom of the canyon rose to 115 degrees F.

One of the more unique sights around Amarillo lies on the road to Albuquerque, NM called Cadillac Ranch. Many years ago, on the propery of a wealthy Amarillo resident, Stanley Marsh III, a public art display was created that consisted of old Cadillac cars that are buried with their noses in the ground. In this day and age, it is possible to walk to the display and as many people are apt to do, "tag" the cars with cans of spray paint. If you don't have one, there are plenty lying around in the field. We spent some wonderful time there enjoying the display and "tagging" some of the cars.

After a wonderful weekend in Amarillo, we started to head back to St Louis for the rest of the vacation. The first stop on the way back, apart from a night in a hotel in Joplin, MO was at a set of caverns that are not far from the Meremac River southwest of the city of St Louis called Meremac Caverns. There is quite some history to the caverns, apart from the incredible rock formations, and one spectacular sheet wall formation that the site uses to display the "Greatest Show Under The Earth" to the rousing song "America The Beautiful".

A trip to St. Louis cannot be complete without a trip to the famous St. Louis Zoo. Still to this day free of charge for entry, it is one of the most spectacluar zoos around and has a large number of displays and sights to see.

Another local tourist spot to take in while in St Louis is Grants Farm. The estate is owned by the Busch family, famously of Anheuser-Busch Breweries, but contains the once home of President Ulysses S. Grant. There are some very interesting things to see while riding around the estate, including a fence made of rifles melted down from the Civil War and large number of animals. Grant's Farm is also home to the St Louis branch of the famous Clydesdale horses.

While we were in St. Louis, the History Museum had a large display on the Civil Rights movement that had a lot to take in, but was certainly interesting. There are also statis displays on the World's Fair which was hosted by St. Louis in 1904 and the trans-Atlantic flight of Charles Lindburgh.

A very unique sight in St. Louis is Bellefontaine Cemetery on the north side of the city. This is the burial place of many famous St. Louis families and is just very interesting to drive around. One of the more famous grave sites that we were able to find and see is of William Clark, one of the members of the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition that set out to discover the western portion of the United States.

Finally, just some general shots of other locations that we visited while in the area.