Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Mark Twain & Hannibal

"You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus" Mark Twain

My mom and I have a couple of days off this week so we are taking some short excursions. Today was Hannibal. We go to Hannibal once a season. Every time we go, we do the same thing, eat at the same place and go to the same stores. It's a pleasure for us. However this time, we did do one thing I've always wanted to do. Climb the hill to the Lighthouse. You'll see the pictures in a minute. It was cloudy, but the temperature was great. We were also able to see how high the Mighty Mississip has risen. If you are from Missouri especially, Hannibal is quite meaningful. We studied Mark Twain all throughout school. I remember my grandma taking me and my cousin Amy to Hannibal when I was in grade school. She made sure we went to the Mark Twain Cave, went through Mark Twain's boyhood home, Becky Thatcher's house, and even took us on a steamboat tour up and down the Mississippi River. Great memories with grandma.

The old brick street which has Mark Twain's boyhood home and museum.The Justice of the Peace. Notice the name, J.M. Clemens. Becky Thatcher's home. Actually it belonged to Laura Hawkins' family. She was the REAL Becky Thatcher.

Mark Twain's boyhood home. The famous white washed fence. Tom Sawyer was quite busy here. Every summer kids compete in the white washing contest dressed in famous Huck Finn attire. Grant's Drug Store. Mark Twain's family lived here for some time. His father passed away on the upper floor of this store/home. The drug store is now a period museum which depicts the drugstore during Mark Twain's era. The upstairs is off limits. The beginning of something I've never done in Hannibal. After having an energizing lunch, we decided to tackle the Lighthouse Hill. Stairs. Lots of Stairs. I believe approximately 200 stairs. Here we go...So far so good. See the two squirrel boys on the third landing? The one that looks a little tipsy had the nerve to say to us, "you guys are gonna love these stairs". I think his brain was lacking oxygen. He was breathing awful heavy.This must be an official rest stop. Nice little butterfly garden beginning to grow. Had a bench or two. We stopped to look at the Mighty Mississippi at this point. The height of the river is frightening.This must be the second official rest area. More steps to get to the Lighthouse. We ended our Lighthouse tour here. Unfortunately the camera didn't capture the Lighthouse as we saw it. I believe the sky was just too light. I was a bit disappointed. From the street, 172 stairs below, the Lighthouse looked quite stunning. However, at this point, for me anyway, it just looked small. But still very pretty. Also at this point, we took 172 stairs back down to the street. I'm getting a 172 step count from a grade school girl who looked like she needed oxygen when we started back down the steps. She was panting.Once we stepped off of the 172nd step going down the hill, we grabbed a Diet Pepsi and went into my favorite store in Hannibal. PuddnHeads. I always find something in here.One thing I found was a scrap book created by Mark Twain. It was printed in 1892, but he started the book in 1842. Pretty neat. $129.95 to purchase, just go to Pudd-n-Heads.You probably know what this is. But I didn't. I love it. It is a cheese keeper. Pretty cool huh? I had to take a picture. I'm sure Mark Twain had one.After going through some more antique stores and fun stores, we got back in the car and drove to Lover's Leap. Legend has it that an Indian Princess and an Indian brave fell in love. They were from tribes that were fighting or "warring" each other. The Princess' father wanted the brave killed. Together they climbed to the top of this bluff after being pursued and jumped to their demise. The Princess didn't want to live life without her brave. I love the picture of this bluff. You can see how far it is to the bottom. Plus you can see how high the water is. The line you see with trees is the train track. There were three barges floating along. You can see one at the peak of the cliff.Another picture taken from the bluff.

After this quick little jaunt to Hannibal, we drove to Perry, Missouri. I learned from my friend Gayla at Oatmeal and Whimsy that there were some cute shops there. We were able to get there in time to go through a couple. I found my bargain of the day at the first shop we went in:

Isn't he cute? He's a vase. I love his crown. $3. That's all I paid. Pretty good huh?Dixie was in the second store. Pretty laid back puss. Mom found a large table runner and put it on the counter to purchase. Dixie jumped up on the counter and laid down on the runner. Her owner asked her what she was doing and kindly picked her up and put her down on the floor. I guess she didn't want mom to buy it.

We ended our excursion at Perry and headed home. My hubby opted to stay home, get a haircut and mow the lawn. He's getting his courage up to head out with us tomorrow. Either the lake or Kansas City. Depends on the weather.

"If you tell the truth you won't have to remember anything" - Mark Twain


justabeachkat said...

Gosh, I enjoyed taking this trip right along with you. Great photos. Hopefully, I can go in person sometime. Thanks.


Gayla said...

These were wonderful shots. I remember that cat in Perry! How wonderful. I can't wait to see your next lap of the journey.... Hugs.

Rue said...

Hi Lisa :)

One day I would love to go see the little town that Mark Twain grew up in. I love your new vase too :)

Thank you for coming by my blog.

Susie Q said...

I loved going to Hannibal with you Lisa! I am so sad that we never made it there during our 3 years near St. Louis. Went many places but not there and it looks amazing.
I know you had fun...thank you for sharing it all with us!