Mission Choir Tour 15 continues! After our night in Tulsa we loaded the bus early to head for the beautiful Ozarks of southern Missouri. We were again greeted by rain…and lots of it. For more than two hours of our journey it was a constant companion, and considering our first destination was a canoeing trip, this seemed rather daunting. The rain did at last stop, and we visited one of my favorite childhood places, the Current River. This, along with several other small rivers make up the Ozark Scenic Riverways. The setting is pristine and the water is cold. We were led in devotion by two of our students along the banks of the river and then were able to float down part of the river, but not before testing our courage by swimming in the frigid Welch Spring. It was a welcome break from the bus ride.
We then ventured into the St. Louis metro area and our base of operations for the week, Collinsville, Illinois. On a clear day you can look west from our hotel and see the Arch and the gateway to the West. This will do just fine.
The next few days were spent primarily exploring the wonderful city of St. Louis. We spent some time in the zoo. We went at just the right time, it was cool and all the animals were out and active. It was quite a treat. Just across the highway from the zoo is the St. Louis Science Center. This is an interactive type of museum that had lots those and do. We had lunch at the historic Union Station. This imposing former train station now serves as a hotel and mall. The architecture alone is worth the trip. We the made our way down to the river and went up the Arch. I may have neglected to mention that the capsule ride is pretty confined, but everyone made it up and got some spectacular views of the city.
The seniors were then treated to the most amazing Italian meal of their lives on The Hill at Charlie Gitto’s. I’m still full from it. The underclassmen went to a Food Truck Park and enjoyed jumping into ditches and holes….I wasn’t there.
We rested again and began the next day at the Basilica Cathedral of St. Louis. This has long been one of my favorite destinations in the city. The beauty of the church is truly breathtaking. It contains the largest collection of mosaic art in the Western Hemisphere, and every picture tells a story. We were treated to a wonderful tour and allowed an impromptu concert. It was a great experience.
Next, we toured the Fabulous Fox Theatre. This was where I discovered my love for the theatre. It is a richly ornate complex and we were able to tour it all. There was also a demonstration on the old Wurlitzer Theatre Organ, and they even let Dr. Seth give it a whirl.
We then went to the home of Cardinal Nation where we ate, toured the stadium, and the Cardinal’s Museum. I was very pleased with this part of the tour.
So much to see, and the group is having a wonderful time. Thanks for your prayers.