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Day 5: Springfied (Illinois)

After a nice breakfast we left for a day full of American history. Springfield is the hometown of President Lincoln. He lived here untill he was elected President and moved to the White House.

First we visited Lincoln’s Tomb State Historic Site. This impressive monument is the tombe of President Abraham Lincoln. Many people come here to honor Lincoln.

We then visited the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. This small but interesting museum lets you relive all the important phases in the life of Lincoln, with emphasis on his presidency and his role in the Civil War. In 2 great shows his story is told. In the museum we also saw an Amish family in traditional clothing, but with fancy Nike shoes.

Route66 Illinois 11 LincolnPresidentialMuseamAndLibrary

From the museum we drove to the Lincoln Home National Historic District. The area around the home of Lincoln is managed by the National Park Service en is traffic-free. The environment makes you feel like walking in the 1860’s.

Meanwhile it was already passed noon so we were getting hungry. The ideal time to drive to the Cozy Dog Drive-In! The Cozy Dog Drive-in is home to the one and only ‘Cozy Dog’. A Cozy Dog is actually a corndog. Delicious! In the Cozy Dog we met the same couple from London we saw yesterday.

Route66 Illinois 10 CozyDogDriveIn

The rest of the day we relaxed at White Oaks Mall.

Day 6: Springfield (Illinois) – St. Louis (Missouri)

Today we had planned a short drive, only 150km. The first stop was the Ariston Café, the oldest restaurant along Route 66. The first meals were cooked here in 1935. On the heydays of the Mother Road there was also a gas station and a shop. The restaurant is now know for its good quality. We didn’t eat here since it was too early to have lunch.

We drove passed the Soulby Shell Station, and old gas station, on our way to Chain of Rocks Bridge. This bridge crosses the Mississippi and is famous for the 30° bend in the middle. The bridge is now closed for car traffic, but you can cross it by bike or on foot. We walked to the middle of the bridge and then went back to our car to continue our drive to St. Louis.

Route66 Missouri 1 ChainOfRocksBridge

Our hotel, the Omni Majestic Hotel, is in the center of St. Louis. It’s a beautiful hotel with very nice rooms. We walked to the Gateway Arch for a ride to the top of the monument. The 192 meter high arch is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, in honor of the expansion of the USA to the West. A special tram with tiny carts for 5 persons each is taking passengers to the top of the arch. The view was magnificent!

Route66 Missouri 3 GatewayArch

From the arch we walked to the St. Louis Union station. This once was the world’s largest and busiest train terminal, but due to the rise of airtravel the station was decommissioned because it became too expensive to maintain. It was converted to a Double Tree hotel, a shopping mall and an entertainment location. We still had 2 hours before we were having dinner, so we spent some time at the St. Louis Galleria Mall.

We ate at Sweetie Pie’s. The food here is Real Mississippi Style Cooking. The restaurant is owned by a former backingvocal of Ike & Tina Turner. There was no table service. We had to stand in line at the buffet where we could choose from all the dishes. The food didn’t look very good, but appearances can be deceptive! Everything tasted great! Especially the sweet potatoes with cinnamon!

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