In the past, I have been called an “Arch Conservative who would be more comfortable in the 1800s.” So needless to say it didn’t take me long to get my sea legs when we went for an Arch riverboat cruise down the Mississippi. Now, I know what you are saying, that’s so touristy! There’s nothing historic about those boats down by the arch, why would you waste your money on one of those? Well I have two answers for you:
1. We didn’t, we wasted my parent’s money because they got us a couple of tickets for a Sunday Brunch Cruise hoping we would give them a shout out on the blog. Thanks Dad! Thanks Mom! It was great and not at all a waste!
2. So what? Just because you can’t prove that Abraham Lincoln did something to, with, in, on, or near something doesn’t mean you can’t use it to dig up some history. (Which by the way, Ole Abe was known for traveling on Riverboats.)
Using that as a Ham handed Segue
I’m going to talk about how cool riverboats are. (You of course would already know this if you had watched Drive By History Ep. 4 – Riverboats on the Mississippi)
Riverboats during the 19th century were powered by steam and usually built with wood. And as you can imagine, these boats would often catch fire. There is a good story right there, people would race these riverboats and people on the shore would place bets on which boat was the fastest. Engineers would get these boilers pumping red hot and eventually the whole thing would explode! After a few of these explosions, they figured they were safer if they didn’t race them and in the end decided to just run casino’s on them because none of the states had jurisdiction on the interstate waterways and they could get away with it. But then some slick card shark would come in and try to slip a few extra aces into the game and… let’s just say, the Mississippi Catfish had some good meals. In fact, so much happened on board them that Mark Twain wrote an entire book about his experiences piloting one. His book chronicles everything from the first settlers to the civil war in that great Mark Twain style.
Well, thankfully there were no flaming explosions, card game induced shoot-outs, or man eating catfish on our cruise and we got to enjoy a taste of the high life on board the Becky Thatcher. The band was already warmed up when we got on board. Dan and Dave played all the old standards and got Clarence’s feet moving. (He recently learned about tap dancing and can’t get enough of that rhythm.) But all that dancing got our appetites worked up and we eagerly awaited permission to dig into the all you can eat buffet. They served french toast and eggs, cheese blintzes, roast beef, mashed potatoes, pastas, salads, fruit salads, and several different kinds of desserts. I definitely went back for
fifths seconds. Unfortunately we didn’t have long to eat because Clarence had heard about the upper decks and wanted to see for him self. So we climbed the stairs up to the Hurricane Deck (watch the video and you’ll know what I’m talking about.) We couldn’t have picked a better day to go, the sun was shining, there was a slight breeze, it wasn’t too hot or too cold and you’ll rarely get a better view of the St. Louis Skyline. The whole day was a fantastic experience and one I won’t soon forget. And thankfully no one else will because apparently our boys were the cutest ones on the boat and their photographers hoped to cash in on that for their next line of brochures. So do us a favor, if you see our boys on a brochure for a Riverboat Cruise, take a sharpie and right #drivingonsunday.
Now I know, we don’t typically travel by boat anymore, but I want to hear from you, what are some of your favorite memories on board a boat? Did you ever go on a Cruise in the Caribbean? Or take a ferry late at night to catch a concert in the town across the bay? Tell us about it! I’m sure we can dig up some stories.
Until next time Thanks for driving with us!