Thursday we started with a hunt for a post office. If only the Pony Express was still around! We then went to the Patee House Museum, which was built as a luxury hotel in St. Joseph, Missouri in 1858. It was the place where the Pony Express started, as well as local headquarters for Union troops during the Civil War. The building has been turned into a museum chock full of artifacts from different time periods, including a train locomotive, antique cars and fire engines, a carousel, shops from the past, and a Victorian house. It was a lot to take in! The kids enjoyed riding the carousel with hand-carved animals, and Lexi did a scavenger hunt through the museum to find items that didn’t belong in the exhibits. She is now the proud owner of some stock in a non-existent railroad for her efforts. Grandma enjoyed the room dedicated to murder weapons used to kill 25 citizens of St. Joseph in the past, as she is a big fan of murder mysteries. On the grounds of the hotel was the house that Jesse James was in when he was fatally shot. We didn’t pay the extra $4 each to see the bullet hole on the inside, but we walked around the outside at least.
After lunch, we followed the Lewis and Clark Trail to Nebraska City to a Lewis and Clark museum. We got to walk on the keelboat that was used to film the IMAX movie about the Corps of Discovery and tried our hands at steering a pirogue with a computer simulation. (We all failed miserably!) We braved the hoard of mosquitoes to take the nature trail to a reconstruction of a Native American earth lodge. It rained off and on most of the day, and we got caught in a downpour on our way to Omaha. We finished the day with dinner at Olive Garden where Emily treated Lexi to ice cream as a reward for straight A’s on her report card. It was our last day with Emily and Caroline, and we are really going to miss them!