Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ste. Genevieve Adventure

This morning we got up early and played tennis. We came home and I was getting ready to head out to some garage sales when the hub asked me what our plans for the day were.

It's never good for us when Saturday is already upon us and we haven't figured out how we are going to spend the weekend. My plans didn't go beyond "play tennis" then "hit some garage sales" - so we checked out 2009 Plans For The Year - nothing there looked too interesting.

So I checked my planning/idea binder under "travel" to see if anything sounded doable...

Mastadon State Historic Site popped up - a place about an hour from us that I have wanted to visit for the past few years. While researching it on the internet I came up with another park - Hawn State Park, which led me to the village of St. Genevieve.

St. Genevieve is the only original French Colonial Village left in the United States.

"The village of Ste. Genevieve was established somewhere between 1722 and 1749. The first permanent European settlement in what now is the state of Missouri, the community was established as a trading outpost and was later settled by lead miners, farmers and fur traders. Before the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the dominant architecture was French Creole with wooden homes built in several styles. Most of these homes feature galeries, or porches, surrounding the homes. These homes were gradually replaced by brick buildings as the American influence on the city took hold. Most of the earlier French structures are gone, but Ste. Genevieve holds the distinction of the having the largest concentration of French Colonial buildings in the country."

As it just so happened - today was the French Heritage Festival. I'm glad we did not visit St. G specifically for the festival or we would have been greatly disappointed.

St. G itself is a charming little village that we enjoying strolling around in. The old homes - some restored - were great fun to see.

While we were strolling we were invited to join the "promenade" down to the village square for what appeared to be the opening ceremonies for the festival. There was a little speech, singing of the French National Anthem by some costumed singers and then some candy was thrown down for the kids (it was kind of funny b/c first of all there were only a handful of kids and there was only one type of candy - salt water taffy - which no one seemed too thrilled about - so there were pieces left for the adults to pick up).

We heard that there was to be some "Indian Dancing" at 11:00 AM - but I think they made a mistake b/c they were still practicing around 11:30. We watched the practice - the best part was the costumes - and figured we'd seen enough.

While the hub and son rested and listened to some music on the street corner - the girl and I visited a couple of antique stores. We then had a picnic lunch while listening to the music - then headed to an old drug store - now an ice-cream shop for some ice-cream. The kids had regular cones while the hub and I had something very delicious...I think it was called a "mint dip cooler" was some mint ice-cream sandwiched between two small wafer cookies and then dipped in chocolate - yum (it would be fun to try and make my own).

Mint Dip Cooler

Overall the festival was a big disappointment - maybe things pick up towards the evening when there was going to be some Cajun dancing and some gumbo eating. But since we didn't go specifically for the festival - the trip was a success.

After lunch we drove around town looking at some more cool old houses and then took the kids to see the ferry. It would have been fun for the kids to experience a ferry ride (and would be a first for me as well!) - but we didn't know what was on the other side and a return ferry ride would be $20.

A couple of parks came next - but I'll save that for another post :)


CanadianGrandma said...

I'm sure the kids had fun...frankly, tennis and hitting the garage sales would be more than ample for me!