50 Before 40 – Missouri

When I moved back to the States this past September I decided to give myself the goal of visiting all 50 states before I turn 40 (in November 2029). I am collecting magnets from each state I visit as momentos. This past weeked my dogs and I visited a new state – Missouri! I believe it’ll be fun to document my trips with a travel journal! So I created a template and filled it out at the end of the day. I’ll share my travel journals here. 🙂

State(s) Visited: Missouri, Illinois
State(s) Traveled Through: Ohio, Indiana
Trip Dates: March 27 – 30, 2021
Traveled With: Fred and George
Magnet(s) Acquired: Missouri (Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, Route 66)


I ate…

  • Breakfast – McDonalds drive thru in Michigan (egg and cheese biscuit, hashbrown, iced vanilla coffee – ate all of the ice cubes)
  • Lunch – Picked up chicken pot pie and cornbread from Cracker Barrel in Gas City, Indiana and ate at a park in Muncie, Indiana
  • Dinner – Chips (Cheese Ruffles) and pop (Cherry Coke and Dr. Pepper) in the car, pop tart (chocolate churro – not great) upon arrival because of a thunderstorm and a headache

I went to… a gas station in Hicksville, Indiana (or was it Ohio?), Cracker Barrel to see if I could find an Indiana magnet (I could not), a park in Muncie

I saw… a F**K BIDEN flag and a house with two confederate flags, lots more BLM flags and signs, oil drills, the St. Louis Arch, the Mississippi River

I stayed… in a really nice Airbnb

I watched… Moxie (amazing!) on Netflix, then Community

I listened to… True Crime Obsessed, All the Songs Spotify playlist, Crazy Ex Girlfriend Seasons 1-2

I read… nothing


  • When I first saw the arch I shouted, “I can see the arch!” but the excitement quickly wore off. It doesn’t look that cool and just kind of blended in with the tall buildings. The Mississippi River was so wide! I also didn’t realize St. Louis and the arch were just right over the river and right in Missouri. So far St. Louis just looks like any other city, but I am excited tomorrow to see the Laumeier Sculpture Park and maybe some more St. Louis – specific things.
  • My change oil alert came up when I was about 3 hours from the Airbnb. I called my mom and she said that it’s okay and there’s no rush. I’ll get it changed Monday morning before heading towards Chicago.
  • Traveling with the dogs is going really well. They are so great in the car. Fred actually laid down for the last hour or so. He loves to look out the window. I brought Fred’s favorite bed and he’s currently laying on it. George didn’t eat or drink all day but once we got to the Airbnb he ate two bowls of food and drank a bunch of water.
Day 2 breakfast


I ate…

  • Breakfast – Chris’ Pancakes and Dining pickup: green pepper, onion, and cheese omelette with a side of fruit and pancakes – I ate almost all of it! I made a cup of coffee here at the Airbnb.
  • Lunch – The Pasta House pickup: Caesar salad and cheese ravioli – toasted ravioli is a St. Louis thing and Google said that this restaurant had it, but I didn’t see it on the menu so I thought maybe ravioli is automatically toasted. It wasn’t, and the pasta was mediocre, but it was a great lunch / dinner.
  • Dinner – Ted Drewes Frozen Custard (I ate the rest of my Caesar salad first). I got a banana concrete (actual banana blended into the custard) and Fred and George each got a cup of their own. Right next to the custard shop was a gift shop! So I got a magnet from there. The custard was amazing. If I were to do it again I might get strawberry on top, instead of blended.

I went to… Laumeier Sculpture Park. We walked around some nature trails and some sculptures. It was a beautiful sunny day (some cold wind, but still nice). We were there for over an hour. I was hoping for a gift store to buy a magnet, but they didn’t have one.

I saw… Bison! I drove past Grant’s Farm Animal Reserve St. Louis and saw their bison! It was a nice surprise. Driving back from Ted Drewes I saw a giant windmill on a busy corner. I looked it up when I got back and this is what Roadside America says: “The 100-foot-tall Bevo Windmill, which is actually a beer hall, was built in 1916 by Adolphus Busch, halfway between his brewery and his house south of town, supposedly so he could stop and have a brewski on his way home from work. Currently closed and for sale for $1.5 million.” (Source)

I stayed… in a lovely Airbnb

I watched… Jeopardy, America’s Next Top Model Season 20 (with lots of skipping), Community 

I listened to… Crazy Ex Girlfriend Season 2, All the Songs

I read… The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen


  • What I’ve seen of St. Louis is established neighborhoods with modest brick homes. Everything looks like it belongs and has been here for a while, even Target. Some of the traffic lights are in “weird” spots – on the side like stop signs, or there is just one stoplight for the intersection (in the one direction) so my green arrow is all the way over to the right. 
  • St. Louis Bread Company is Panera. (Google confirmed)
  • The sculpture park was in a suburb where lots and houses were bigger.
  • The asphalt here is red!
  • George had to get a bath after going to the Sculpture Park because he rolled around on the ground more than once.
From the sculpture park


I ate…

  • Breakfast – leftover ravioli from yesterday and I made coffee in the Airbnb but didn’t drink most of it
  • Lunch – Chick Fil A – my first time getting Chick Fil A in YEARS and in general I don’t support them, but there were not a lot of options and I wanted a chicken sandwich
  • Dinner – Chipotle in Cicero with Tracy!

I went to… a Valvoline Drive Thru Oil Change place in St. Louis! 

I saw… windmills and my friend Tracy!

I stayed… in an Airbnb. There is a really nice fenced in backyard for the dogs. Fred goes up and down the stairs very carefully and George refuses to walk up the stairs so I have to carry him. Good thing it’s just for one night! Tracy came and hung out and it was awesome. The owner (or manager?) Daniel was super cute and helpful, if not very informative on the front end of things.

I watched… America’s Next Top Model Season 20 (with lots of skipping – finished it!), Community

I listened to… Crazy Ex Girlfriend Seasons 2-3, True Crime Obsessed

I read… The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen


  • The point of this stop was to hang out with Tracy and we did! We got to sit and chat for almost four hours and it was so nice reconnecting.
Day 2 lunch / Day 3 breakfast


I ate…

  • Breakfast – Dunkin Donuts drive thru: everything bagel with cream cheese and a vanilla latte
  • Lunch – Plain Ruffles chips with Ranch dip and a Cherry Coke on the road
  • Dinner – Taco Tuesday with the family

I went to… my parents’ house for Taco Tuesday with the family before heading home.

I saw… a lot of dead deer on the side of the road. 😦 Also a few more windmills and bison. And a glimpse of Lake Michigan!

I stayed… back in my own bed. 🙂

I watched… Jeopardy and The Good Place in the AM.

I listened to… Crazy Ex Girlfriend Seasons 3-4, True Crime Obsessed

I read… The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen


  • It actually was so windy in the Chicago area! It also was warmer in Michigan on the day I left and the day I returned than it was in any of the other States I visited.
  • I want to go back to the Indiana Dunes area in the future and stay near Lake Michigan.
  • Traffic in the Chicago suburbs was hectic. I came within INCHES of hitting someone who pulled out in front of me on two separate occasions.
  • Tim Hortons is better (quality and price) than Dunkin Donuts.
  • There are a lot of small town areas in Michigan I might like to live in. I’d like to start another spreadsheet to keep track of my options (for the future – not any time soon).
From the sculpture park

My next trip will be to Wisconsin (another new state for me!) for a wedding reception in June. 🙂

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