Rural South

Traveling for work is something I never thought I would do as frequently as I do. The down side is obviously being away from home, away from REB, the dog, the bird, my bed (oh how I love my bed) and enjoying weekends there. But a real perk to our job is being able to explore surrounding areas or cities where ever we are. I’ve been fortunate enough to see some amazing places because of this job (The Yukon Territory, Grand Canyon, Eastern Seaboard, etc.). Exploring is a ton of fun and yesterday was incredibly tiring, but we saw some cool places here in the rural south.

We started our day with some breakfast at the local IHOP. Coffee, egg-beaters veggie omelet, and fresh fruit. The perfect start to our busy day!

Then we headed 10 minutes north into Illinois to visit Metropolis. Now, if you haven’t been to Metropolis, it’s a trip! If you haven’t already figured it out, it’s where they have this huge statue of Superman – ha! It’s pretty hilarious. They also have a museum, but we didn’t go through that. We took a bunch of pictures in front of Superman and then visited the statue commemorating Noel Neill, who played Lois Lane. Definitely make a stop in Metropolis if you’re ever in southern Illionis. It’s weird, and kitchy, but that’s what you’ll find in the rural south!

Both my coworker and I love railroads and trains, and we found a track nearby so we decided to go explore that area too….

After we explored Metropolis, we decided to drive an hour west to Cairo, IL. The interesting thing about Cairo, from what my coworker told me, is that it used to be this up and coming town back in the day where very wealthy people lived. However, when African Americans came to the town, they wanted nothing to do with them, so they all packed up and left. The town just sort of deteriorated and literally has become a phantom town.

By the time we were done being super emo hipsters taking pictures of rural decay, we worked up an appetite. As it turns out, we were near some town in Missouri called Sikeston. Another 30 minutes west and we were in Missouri at the famed Lambert’s Cafe – home of the throwed rolls. Down-home, southern comfort food doens’t get much better than this. We waited about 1 1/2 hours (expect to wait that long or longer!) but it was so worth it. To have rolls thrown at you (literally!), all the sides you want (fried okra, black eyed peas, macaroni and tomatoes, pulled pork [none for me though!]…goes on and on!), the most GIANT cups of sweet tea (or unsweetened if you’re my coworker), this place is so much fun. We left completely stuffed. My coworker literally got a skillet of ribs. Unbelievable.

At the end of this excursion, we were so tired. It was well worth it though. The one tip I can give people when traveling: check out all the little treasures nearby! You never know what you’ll find!

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