|Jelly Belly Factory Shop|
We left Milwaukee Friday morning and traveled about half an hour to our final tour of the trip. The big, purple bus pulled up in front of the Jelly Belly Factory! We rode in a tram through the factory and ended up in the Jelly Belly Shop, pictured above. I had no idea that they made more than jelly beans. Almost everyone left with a Jelly Belly bag filled with goodies.
We traveled south and crossed the border into Illinois, which is our home state. As we traveled south, Ken and I had many memories triggered as we went by the area where we met in the northwestern suburbs of Chicago, then the western suburbs where I grew up. We passed right by the cemetery where family members are buried, then on farther south to the area where I went to college in Normal, Il, home of Il State University.
Before we left the Chicago area, we stopped in Joliet at another mansion where we were served a sumptuous lunch and took a self-guided tour of the 40 room home. Closets were unique in the late 1800's and when the owner added a closet to each bedroom, he was taxed for each one as the tax was figured on the number of rooms in a home. The assessor saw those closets as more dollars!
|The St. Louis Arch|
We didn't know our destination for Friday night but with traveling all the way down the state of IL, how could it be anywhere else but St. Louis? The Arch welcomed us to that city on the Mississippi. Our next bit of nostalgia came when we pulled up to a Marriott Hotel in Chesterfield, MO which is the suburb where our first grandchild was born 21 years ago.
Dinner was on our own that evening and having no car, most of us opted for the Marriott restaurant. Off we went the next morning for the last leg of our Mystery Trip. Our lunch stop was a nice surprise. We pulled up in front of Jack Stack Barbecue in downtown Kansas City. The famed restaurant lived up to its reputation for good barbecue.
Two hours after we finished eating, we arrived at Meadowlark, the Senior Living place where most of the travelers on the trip live. After the pleasant temps in Milwaukee, the 107 degrees we stepped into from the bus felt like an oven!
Now, we have memories of the Mystery Trip that two staff members at Meadowlark planned so very well, down to the last detail. Would I take another Mystery Trip? Yes, I would. Now, it's back to our everyday routine and my writing world once again.