“They’re never going to believe this,” I mumbled to myself, typing my Facebook status with one hand while checking a text message from my sister on my cell phone.
HER TEXT: Just saw your Facebook post. What the heck did you do today?
MY REPLY: Wouldn’t you like to know…
Today I had basically given a tour of the city of Cape Girardeau, promoting new attractions to five members of the Missouri Division of Tourism and their marketing and PR consultants. We started downtown at Renaissance, a specialty boutique, and along the way we visited Jones Heritage Farms, an all-natural farm and marketplace; Lazy L Safari, a walk-thru safari park with more than 20 species of exotic animals; the River Campus of Southeast Missouri State University, featuring the Crisp Museum and state-of-the-art Bedell Performance Hall; the Discovery Playhouse, a children’s museum; Cape Splash, a family-themed water park; and the Nature Center, a free campus devoted to nature complete with trails, auditorium and hands-on exhibits.
Today, I had reconnected with the city of Cape Girardeau, its people and the wild and wacky experiences that can only be offered in the city “where the river turns a thousand tales.” My day had been one of the most memorable I’ve had since that time my old college buddy and I borrowed a car, drove to Michigan and spent the day hunting for octagonal barns based on an old photo I found in the library archives. (We found two—one of which happened to be a working llama farm.) Only this time, I didn’t have to leave home. This time, I petted a piglet, sampled homemade chocolates, watched channel catfish swim lazily, and listened to reenacted monologues of the town’s forefathers without ever having to make a reservation or travel across the country. It was all right here in my own backyard—in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. And, I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. As Kari Kuper, Business Manager of Hoffman|Lewis, the marketing arm of the Missouri Division of Tourism, told me, “Up to this point in my life I have never had the experience to pet a camel, meet a day-old porcupine and watch baby emus run around playing all in one day.”
I shucked my cell phone onto the counter and turned off the lights then took one last look at my Facebook status before clicking “Share.”
MY FACEBOOK STATUS: today I took 5 members from the MO Division of Tourism on a bus tour which ended up including: 1 baby porcupine, a cat asleep on top of a sheep, jambalaya, a high school art exhibit, and turkey calling. pictures to come:-)
Cape Girardeau: www.visitcape.com
Jones Heritage Farms:http://www.jonesheritagefarms.com
Lazy L Safari: www.lazylsafari.com
Nature Center: http://mdc.mo.gov/areas/cnc/cape
Discovery Playhouse: http://www.discoveryplayhouse.org
Stephanie Lynch is the Director of PR and Marketing for the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau and is a syndicated blogger on VisitMOBistro.com. Read her blog at http://www.semissourian.com/blogs/capeCVB.