Ted Drewes Frozen Custard

Ted Drewes 11-04-2013_0027Brother Mark introduced me to Ted Drewes Frozen Custard on the old Route 66 in St. Louis many years ago. It was only natural that I drag Curator Jessica there before she had to fly back to Ohio. (You can click on the photos to make them larger.)

The official Ted Drewes website says that Drewes has been making frozen custard since 1929, after getting his start in Florida. The Chippewa location where we ate opened in 1941. With St. Louis’ westward expansion and changes in dining habits, this store is open all year except January.

Something I didn’t know was that Ted Jr. (his dad died three decades ago) goes to Nova Scotia every fall to personally select the best Canadian balsam fir Christmas trees to bring back to St. Louis for sale.

“What’s a Concrete?”

Ted Drewes 11-04-2013_0032“What’s a Concrete?” she asked.

“Think ‘Better Blizzard.”

She wisely suggested we order “mini” sized Concretes. A “regular” would have been too much and a “large” would have killed me. I don’t remember what she had, but I enjoyed the Hawaiian.

She couldn’t understand why the server inverted the cup when she handed them to us.

“That’s to demonstrate how thick the custard is and why it is called a Concrete. Try that with a DQ Blizzard some time and see what happens.”

St. Louis City Museum


I made it back to Florida Monday night, but I’m too pooped to post anything from the last day. In fact, it was such an uneventful drive I didn’t shoot anything through the whole state of Florida. So, like I threatened, I’m going to fill in a day or two with things Son Matt shot on his vacation that took him back to Missouri.

One of the cool places Son Matt and Family went was to the St. Louis City Museum. I had never heard of it, but it looks REALLY neat. It must have been cool, because I wasn’t invited to go.

If you want more info – and pass the Cool Test – go to the St Louis City Museum’s website.

St. Louis City Museum photo gallery

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the sides to move through the gallery.


Snow in St. Louis

St. Louis Snow 01-31-2013I decided to stay over in St. Louis Tuesday night because it was snowing a little and I didn’t want to run into icy conditions on the way south. Ironically enough, it was snowing harder Wednesday afternoon than it had the night before.

I was running low on gas, so I stopped to fill up before getting on the road. While watching dollars get sucked into my tank, I noticed white pellets on my dark coat. This isn’t too bad, I thought.

It was coming down a little harder when I spotted the store on the right. Wife Lila has a birthday, Valentine’s Day and the anniversary of our first date coming up in February, and I saw something that might get me off the hook for being in Missouri all of February. It’ll be our secret, though. Don’t tell her.

Snow filled my mirrors

St. Louis Snow 01-31-2013While I was parked at the store, the wind and snow were blowing up from behind the car. I came out to find my rearview mirrors packed with snow and the snow starting to stick on the ground. It was also clinging to the sides of the trees. (Like always, click on the photos to make them larger.)

Hoping school would be called off

St. Louis Snow 01-31-2013Seeing the school bus pass made me remember the old days.

Many a night I’d get up to look at the sky against the streetlight outside the bedroom window to see if a predicted snow had arrived. School officials back then, knowing that most of the students walked to school uphill and barefooted, figured we were tough enough to handle two or three feet of snow, so classes were rarely cancelled.

Of course, that would set me to stomping around the house railing, “What are they trying to do, kill us?”

Not quite sticking to road

St. Louis Snow 01-31-2013Even though the snow Wednesday was wetter than Tuesday’s, it wasn’t sticking on the road yet. I saw salt trucks out later, but they may have already made a pass.

Swirling snow

St. Louis Snow 01-31-2013The strong side wind and the rush of traffic made the snow slither and swirl making me think of a ghostly white snake running in front of me.

Gee, no kidding

St. Louis Snow 01-31-2013The helpful highway sign suggests that we “Watch for Changing Road Conditions.” Like we’d never have thought of that on our own.

The snow stopped at Pevely, just like someone had thrown a switch.  There was quite a bit on the ground around St. Genevieve, but the middle of the trip was precipitation free. About 35 miles north of Cape, around Perryville, it started coming down hard again and continued all the way into Cape. That’s funny because Perryville was always the weather system dividing line: if there was snow in the region, it usually STOPPED at Perryville.

I’d have shot more pictures, but I had forgotten how cold weather will drain camera batteries. I can usually shoot 500 or 600 pictures between charges, but not on this trip.





Storm Is Jan’s Fault

Lightning storm c 1966My road trip partner, Jan, a native Floridian, wanted to experience all the things she’s never seen in the Sunshine State. She got to shiver through sub-zero wind chills, freezing rain, snow and ice. Somebody joked that maybe she’d get to hear tornado sirens before she flew out of St. Louis on Wednesday.

They didn’t know how right they were. She and Mother went on a pecan search, then we dropped by Annie Laurie’s, planned to eat at the Pie Safe in Pocahontas (but they were closed), stopped in at the Altenburg museum where Carla and Gerard convinced us to go to the Mississippi Mud for the best cheeseburger around. It was.

On the way north, Brother Mark encouraged us to stop at the St. Mary’s Antique Mall. After about 30 minutes, I told Jan I’d take a nap in the car and she could take as long as she wanted. She said a group of women came back into the mall to report “there’s a man sleeping in a car with Florida tags with the lights on.”

They were right on all counts. My car battery was tested and passed.

Rain as bad as as a hurricane

Twenty-five miles south of St. Louis, the sky turned dead black, the winds booted us all around and we hit a wall of water. I’ve covered 13 hurricanes and had four pass over our house, so I’m a pretty good judge of rain. This was as bad as any hurricane I ever drove through. On top of that, when I was covering tropical storms, I was the only dumb fool on the road. Today’s rain caught us at evening rush hour.

When I called Cape to tell Mother we had arrived safely, she said she was hunkered down in the basement after telling our neighbors who don’t have a basement that she was going to leave the front door unlocked. “I’ve never heard the wind roar like that,” she said.

When I checked with her later, she said the wind had passed, but there was still thunder and lightning in the area. She heard a loud thump on the roof, but she won’t know what broke off the maple trees on the side of the house until morning.

Please, Jan, don’t ask to experience an earthquake before you get on the plane.

[Note: that’s a file photo of lightning. I was trying too hard to keep us alive to think about shooting pictures.]