Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Saint Charles, Mo

Rising earlier than a bunch of college kids has its positives.  On Sunday morning before our last game at 11:20, I woke up at before 8am and decided to go exploring.  One of the team members had heard that Saint Charles was a sweet little historic town with cobblestone streets.  This was not at all evident around our hotel, which was very close to a huge overlit casino, and many chain stores and restaurants.

Undeterred, I asked at the front desk and was told that I could probably walk to the historic district in under twenty minutes.  It was cold outside, but not too cold, which was lucky, because my parka, hat and gloves were still locked in the trunk of the car.  The walk was well worth it.

Turns out that the old downtown of Saint Charles is a charming town with brick buildings and some cobblestone streets. Nearby Saint Louis is celebrating the 250th anniversary of its founding, although many of the Saint Charles houses and businesses seem to date from the mid-1800s.

I didn't know it before this trip, but St Louis is tucked between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.  Must be why it got its start as a town way back when.  Saint Charles is on the eastern side of the Missouri as it flows north for a few miles before making a hard right to head back down to the Mississippi.

There's an awful lot of history there.  Saint Charles was one of Lewis and Clark's first stops when they went west on the Missouri River.  It was also an early state capital. What I mostly saw were antique shops, old train cars, and one really cool combo bike store and coffee shop.

I got a hot chocolate to warm my hands as I walked back to the hotel in the modern tacky area of Saint Charles.  A pretty good start to an exhausting day.

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