Time flies when you're having fun roaming the country! This time around, it's Jersey, to Falling Water, to St. Louis, to the Gateway Burn event, and finally, to Minneapolis. And once again… it's Karen here. Someone's gotta keep up with this guy. For me, it's kinda hard not to, bein' co-pilot and all.
So the last time we checked in, we were heading out of Jersey, MINI in tow, en route to the Gateway City. We did make a stop on the way, however. I had never seen Falling Water, the Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece… the grand-daddy of modern architecture. We took the 90-minute tour, and man, this place is nothing short of stunning. Organic architecture at its finest. Ben had been there before, but enjoyed it just as much the second time around.
After leaving PA, we headed to St. Louis for a nomadic rendezvous, and precursor to the Gateway Burn. We did make one more stop on the way there though, in Columbus, Ohio. Ben's buddy, Mike, a fellow "bus nut" has recently started restoring an old Flxible, the same brand as Ben's vintage bus. It was nice to see where he was in the project, and hear about his plans for it.
So finally, it was smooth sailing to St. Louis. Waiting for us there were Chris and Cherie of Technomadia, the ZenNomads, Sam and Tracy, and Barb and Wendy, former nautical nomads. So what do you do in St. Louis?? See the arch, for one! We started the day climbing into the tiny little pods that would carry us to the top of the arch, and at the top, well, we did the normal tourist thing.
Next stop was the wild and crazy city museum, a massive playground full of jungle gyms that spark every sense. Everywhere you turn, there is something to climb on, crawl through, slide down, etc. And everything inside this museum came directly from the city. Basically, if you grew up thinking that an awesome playground was one akin to the McDonalds Playland, you've been SERIOUSLY deprived.
The best way to describe our time in St. Louis, and especially the City Museum, is with a slide show. I hope this gives a better idea!
So with the Gateway Burn Fast approaching, the nomadic gang created a caravan and drove the 3+ hours to the event's campground. This was a regional burn, a Burning Man event. Smaller, but keeping with the same open-minded, giving mentality. For four days, we were technologically disconnected (not an easy thing for us) but connected in a different way. We spent the time in an open, camp-site type of atmosphere, enjoying each others' company, swimming in the river during the day, and celebrating with the rest of the campers by night. The only negative was that driving out at the end of the event was a bit of a challenge. Watching Ben (in the bus) and Sam (in his RV) driving out of there was something that could have been out of the movie "RV." The massive hill leading out, mixed with the mud from some of the downpours, meant they had to literally gun it out of there. In my Mini, no big deal… in a bus… well I cringed as I watched them fly up that crazy hill. Seriously… it was movie-worthy.
Next stop: Minneapolis
Ben grew up in Minneapolis, so we had to make a longer visit there. He got to catch up with a lot of friends, and there were some great events going on while we were in town. First off, was the "Back to the Fifties" car show, and if I told you it was gigantic, it would be an understatement. We've never seen so many old cars in our lives. This is definitely an event to see if you're ever in the area in June. One of the highlights, for Ben, was the GM Futureliner bus, one of the few ever made. (he even waited in line to get behind the wheel)
Ben had his birthday while we were in town, and one of my presents for him was VIP tickets to the St. Paul Beer Fest. Literally dozens of breweries showed up for this, manning their tents and pouring their finest brews. Luckily, there were many hoppy IPAs to be tasted and lots of great music as well!
So again, the best way to describe a place… is with pictures! Here's another video, summing up our time in the twin cities:
So from here, we're on our way back to Ohio, for a vintage bus rally. Ben is psyched about this, to say the least. These bus guys will contribute a wealth of knowledge to his current project. So I'm sure we'll learn a lot, and have some fun to boot!
Will check in from Ohio….