Wednesday, September 13, 2017

St. Charles, Missouri

My husband and I just returned home from an 11 day road trip to Missouri.  He has family there that he hasn't seen in about five years, so that was the main reason for the trip;  but as always, we made an adventure out of a single occasion!

We started our trip Labour Day weekend.  We went to Chicago on Saturday to spend the weekend with our children and new grand baby!  You will all be happy to know that Alethea has outgrown her colic phase and is doing much better.  And yes, we did another "Grandma and Me" photo shoot which I plan on showing you next month.

On Sunday afternoon, after church and lunch we drove to St. Charles, Missouri.  We arrived around 5:30 p.m. as it was only a four and a half hour drive.   We had a disastrous time checking into our hotel (it's too long of a story and I don't want to bore you with the details), so there wasn't much time left in the evening to do anything other than to get dinner and then go to bed.  

The next morning was a new day, so we put the problems of the hotel check-in behind us and set off for St. Charles!  It was a gorgeous, though hot and sunny day.

St. Charles was founded in 1789 by a French Fur Trader.  It is the third oldest city in Missouri and the historic area still retains it's old world charm with brick sidewalks and roads, and gorgeous historic buildings.

The majority of the historic village is housed on main street which comprises about 15 city blocks.  Because everything is on one straight street, it makes navigation pretty twists or turns to get lost or confused.  Behind Main Street is Frontier Park and the Missouri River.  You can see it from Main Street when you look in-between the buildings.  It looked so pretty, but unfortunately, it took us all day just to walk the shops on Main Street, so we never made it over to the river.  But no worries:  I loved St. Charles so much, and it's so close to where my children live, that I hope to get back and explore more.

The charm and beauty of St. Charles was over-whelming.   The historic buildings and homes, the brick lined side walks and roads, and the lanterns all made the area so beautiful to behold.  I was smitten.  My favorite part was that many of the stores were actually old homes, so when I went inside I wasn't just looking at products, but the interior of a gorgeous old home as well!

We were there on Labor Day so some of the businesses were closed.  At first I was disappointed, but honestly, there were so many stores, we wouldn't have had time to visit them all anyway.  We were upset that the First State Capitol Museums and Foundry Art Centre were closed...but now we have a good excuse to go back!

A sweet lady offered to take our picture.  I love it when people do that!  My husband is the photographer in our family, so most of our vacation photos are just of me.  It's nice to get a picture of the both of us once in awhile.

This picture was taken outside a antique store.  I'm not interested in antiques anymore, as my taste has grown more modern as I age, but I loved this store because it was a large old house.  I loved looking at the old house more than the antiques.  They even had another store in the basement.

My husband snapped this picture of me checking out one of these old homes.  See...isn't the architecture more interesting than the stuff inside?  

My husband was so excited to go to Grandma's Cookies when he saw it on the map.  But we both were actually very disappointed in the cookies.  They were o.k., but nothing exceptional.  We only ate one of the three cookies we purchased. They only cost 70 cents each, so it's not like we wasted a lot of money.  The peanut butter chocolate chip was our favorite if you decide to try it anyway!  It is a cute shop, and it's worth stepping in and checking it out!

This is the peanut butter cookie on the left and the chocolate chip on the right.  I never got a picture of our favorite cookie...the peanut butter chocolate we devoured it too quickly.  These two we took one or two bites of, then tossed them.

This is St. Charles Borromeo Church.  It has been reconstructed. It was originally built on this site in 1789.

There was such an eclectic mix of old buildings...all different types of stones and bricks, and many log ones as well.

There were many restaurants to choose from, most of them offered outdoor seating like the rooftop seating in this one.  Sorry, but I can't recommend a restaurant.  We never ate lunch because we had a huge breakfast and just kept snacking on other things (like cookies!) through out the day.

This Dry Goods and Hardware Store was the first State Capitol of Missouri.  The downstairs was the store, but the Senate and House of Representatives met upstairs.  It was closed when we were there, but we walked behind the building and up the stairs and peeked in the windows!

This is the back of the building.  We were able to see quite a lot by just peeking in the windows!

Behind the State Capitol was a large fenced-in yard that looks like it is used as an educational space with a garden, water cistern, and a log building.  We walked around the yard and checked out the garden getting some tips for our yard.  We were unable to go into the log building structure so I'm not quite sure what that was.  Do any of my readers know?  If so, tell me in the comment section below.

This is the garden.  We liked the raised beds and how they put chicken wire on the lower portion to keep the bunnies out.  Not sure how well it would work for deer though!

There were so many beautiful homes and gardens in St. Charles.  I will be doing a special post on the flowers of St. Charles on Sunday's Gardening Post.

This store use to be an old garage and I think either a stable or an old blacksmith shop?  I asked, but I don't remember what the sales clerk said.  We just found the store so interesting because it had garage doors, brick floors, and open beams.  I do remember she said the floors use to be earth and they added the bricks when it was turned into a garage.

There is a free trolley that you can pick up at the Visitor's Center.  We didn't take the ride this time due to lack of time...but maybe if we visit again we will!

Another cute house turned into a store.

There were so many outdoor cafes to choose from!

I don't know if it was because my husband and I are not use to Missouri heat what, but I couldn't get enough to drink that day!  I bought a bottle water, bottled tea, and I enjoyed a raspberry phosphate at this old Soda Fountain!  I love phosphates!  Why do they taste so much better than regular bottled soda?

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen this picture.  Oh, this drink was so delicious!

I thought this sign was so cute and interesting I had to check it out.  However, I didn't find the shop that cute or interesting...but the sign certainly was!

How fun to spot this old car in front of this cute little old house.  It's not that much bigger than the car!

This little courtyard in-between shops was so cute...and hysterical!  Look at all the husbands napping in the rocking chairs while their wives shopped.  Ha-ha!  And my hubby was one of them!

Like I said earlier, there was quite the assortment of structures in St. Charles.  I love this little wooden house.

If you love historic towns and homes, you will love St. Charles!  I can't wait to go back and see everything I missed...but this time I will choose a different hotel!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

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  1. Sorry to hear you had trouble with the hotel, that's always so frustrating but it looks like it turned into a great trip.
    Love these photos, what a cute town, and brick paved roads are my favorite. The soda fountain shop looks so cute, like something from the past. We need more of those places in the world.

    1. Thanks Elli! The next day was much was just sad that our trip had to start off on such a negative note. I agree, we need more of these places in the world!

  2. Ok I need to go here! I love historic towns and I have never heard of St Charles! Its so cute!

    <3 Shannon 
    Upbeat Soles

    1. I never knew this place existed either. My husband discovered it, and I'm glad he did!

  3. I go to St. Charles every fall with my friends for a day of shopping and we pick a different place for lunch each fall. We are going next month and I can't wait! I love the Flower Petaler shop, not sure if you went in there. I do love the peanut butter cookies at Grandma's Cookies! Riverside Sweets is also a favorite sweet spot. I also really like Magpies for a quick lunch and last time we were there a lady had her little pet pot belly pig outside on the patio while she was dining. It was so cute.


    1. I'm sure St. Charles is gorgeous in the fall. I think we went into the Flower Petaler shop, but there were so many stores I honestly can't remember. Sorry, but we didn't like Grandma's Cookies at all. Just the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip was good of the three we tried. We really liked Mary's Mountain Cookies in Fort Collins, Colorado and for some reason we were expecting that type of quality cookie from this shop too. We also recently had a Giradelli Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Cookie from Arby's that was AMAZING, so those cookies kind of spoiled us! I didn't see a Magpies restaurant. If I go back, I will have to look for it!

  4. No wonder my friends love this town so much!! The streets and shops are so unique!!

  5. Beautiful photos and town! It looks like you had a fun visit.

  6. That does look like a fun place to visit! I live so close to Missouri and yet I've never been to that city. Sounds like you had a blast. Bummer about the not so great cookies though.


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