Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Whole lot of Mark Twain

Last weekend, my mom and sister took the train out to visit me for a little roadtrip before my sister had to go back to high school.  We were in the mood for a mini adventure and so we decided to drive to Hannibal, Missouri, the hometown of Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain.  It was about an hour and a half drive through the countryside and a long bridge over the mighty Mississippi and then we arrived in a small, riverside town that revolves around Mark Twain.

They had really good root beer here.
And the smallest sink I have ever seen in the bathroom.

Our first stop, of course, was the Mark Twain Cave, where Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher got lost and ran into the illustrious Injun' Joe.  Our experience was a little less exciting, but pretty fun nevertheless.  Since January is kind of a random time to go sight-seeing, we were the only ones there and had our own private tour with a young guy named Logan.  Logan knew all of his corny lines like the back of his hand, and luckily, the way out of the cave.  The cave was pretty amazing and had some amazing history as well, fictional and historical.  The weird thing was that we kept hearing so much about Tom Sawyer that I almost forgot he was a fictional character, created by Mark Twain...The town even chooses two grade school students every year to represent Tom and Becky.  

I knew that I had been to the cave when I was younger, but the only thing I could remember about the experience is that they turn off the lights and you can't see.  The tour guide told us that if you stayed in the pitch blackness you would go blind in 6-8 weeks because your eyes would be searching for light that wasn't there.  Although we saw some old evidence of bats, we didn't encounter any until we sat down on the cave "sofa" and a small brown bat came out and zoomed around our heads.  We held really still and watched as the little guy flew closer and closer around us.  We thought it was pretty cool, and then we thought we were pretty special when the tour guide told us that he had never seen a bat get that close in the cave before.  I named him Huckleberry.

After surviving the cave without going blind, falling into a deep underground hole, or having a bat nest in our hair, as well as surviving the corny dialogue and Tom Sawyer jokes, we had to take the obligatory "Tom and Becky" photoshoot.  

Then we decided not to jump from "Lovers Leap."  I took a picture of Hannibal and the Mississippi River instead.

Even the taxis have Mark Twain's face on them.  And the coffee shops, gas stations, hotels, and antique stores do too.  Of course, being with my mom, we had to investigate every last inch of every last antique store we happened upon.  Except for the one filled with mannequins and dolls.  I got out of that one as quick as I could.  My mom said it got creepier as she went farther back into the store.  She turned around to say how creepy they were to my sister and me...and we had disappeared.  More like abandoned her in that twilight zone.  Sorry Mom.

After making our way from one overly potpourri-ed store to the next, we settled into our hotel (across from the giant rotating root beer mug (our room had an excellent view) and watched some cable television (yes, I am a nine-year old girl and find i-Carly hilarious) and then went out for pizza and ice cream.  After pigging out, we squeezed into our swimsuits and scalded ourselves in the hot tub, doggy paddled around the pool and capped off the night with some House-Hunters International (in Paris!)  I love that show.

All in all, it was a good little weekend with my mom and sis.  Now my sister is back to the dredges of public high school and I'm back at the li-berry (<- how a surprisingly high percentage of people pronounce "library" around here.)

P.S. Joey and I discovered the tv show Portlandia last night on Netflix...absolutely hilarious.  Earlier in the week we immersed ourselves in the entire season of The Walking Dead.  Yes, it is about zombies, and yes, it is awesome.  Mom, I would not recommend it to you.  Stick with Downton Abbey.  

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