Another End-of-Year List

It seems December of every year brings with it an onslaught of “best of” lists spotlighting everything from the best movies and songs, to moments and news-making events of the past 12 months.

Here in Missouri, we’re blessed with so many wonderful people, places and events, we could do a “best of” list every day. But this year has been an especially fun one for MoTravelGuy. Working at the Missouri Division of Tourism and helping to promote travel in Missouri means getting to see a variety of the great tourism assets we have in the Show-Me State. So, I’d like to share with you my favorite 5 Missouri Travel Moments from 2011.

5. Floating the Courtois River near Steelville. Beautiful weather and one of Missouri’s prettiest waterways were on full display during a late-summer trek to Bass’ River Resort. We (MoTravelGuy and our staff photographer, Ben) also got to see our friends Paul Stone and Kenny Rector, from S.S. Guide Service, take a group of anglers out for a trip. Nature’s beauty made the trip memorable; flipping the canoe and losing nearly all of our belongings made it impossible to forget.

4. Standing under the Gateway Arch during a massive thunderstorm. While others were running for cover, I couldn’t help but hold my ground — directly under the 630-foot-tall monument — to see just how close lightning might get. Was that an intelligent, move? Not by any means. Was it exhilarating and remarkable? You betcha. Seeing Mother Nature’s fireworks around one of mankind’s greatest engineering marvels truly was amazing.

3. Spending time at The Lake. During a summer outing to The Lake of the Ozarks area, our traveling party (including MoTravelMama and the artist formerly known as CapeWoman) was treated to a sightseeing tour aboard the 80-foot Celebration Cruise yacht, spent time at Ha Ha Tonka State Park, saw all the offerings at Big Surf Waterpark, had great meals in the Lake Area, and took in a wonderful performance at the Main Street Music Hall.

2. Playing croquet in Platte County. If I hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t have believed it. A professional croquet player (who knew?) outside of Parkville has turned his backyard into a professional croquet course, called Kactus Creek Croquet Club. The course is open to the public. Our group had the opportunity to play a real game (with actual rules in place, as opposed to how most of us probably played growing up) that was so much fun, I didn’t want to leave. Oh, and my team beat MoTravelMama’s. Not that I’m competitive or anything, but I do believe the phrase “nah-nah-na-boo-boo” was uttered in her direction.

1. Opening Day at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. As a lifelong Cardinals fan (except for that rebellious period when it was cool to like the Mets only because mom hated them so much), it was an amazing experience for KatiesTrail and I to see the Cardinals play on Opening Day. Clydesdales. A flyover. Lots of good food. Stan the Man. More food. Shook hands and said hello to former Cardinals center fielder Jimmy Edmonds. Who knew, on that day, what October would hold? Rally squirrels. Twittering Tortoises. And #11in11. And now, Albert Pujols is an Angel. Wow. What a year.

Just a note to the Cardinals front office, and I’m not trying to score free tickets for life or anything,this is just FYI: Every year I attend opening day, your team wins the World Series. Just saying.

I am hopeful you and your family have had a safe and enjoyable 2011 and I wish you all the best for 2012 and beyond. Safe travels to All!

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