2008 Missouri Trip: Day Five: More Sightseeing!

This is the fifth post in a series of our trip to Columbia Missouri.  To read what Padre, Panda Bear, and Meerkat were up to in our absence, check out the Furry Bambinos blog. 

Friday, August 1, we woke up and started uploading pictures to Flickr for people to look at. Patty called around 11:00 am and we drove over to the house to meet up for a day of more sightseeing in Columbia.

Once we arrived, Sue had to snuggle Ms. Toast. Cinnamon was out and about as well. Patty’s cats were still hiding.


We thought this would be a good time to present our housewarming gifts to the happy couple. Sue had prepared a “back to school” pack for Patty since she will be attending graduate school in just a few weeks. She’s now fully equipped with her ‘Hello Kitty’ notebook and crayons! 🙂


We also gave them a cat hair roller to lift up all the animal fur that’s sure to coat everything within a short time. Four cats and a dog are going to make it one furry place to live!


We also gave Patty & Chris a set of nice picture frames for their wedding pictures.


After checking up on the animals one last time, we headed out for lunch at a nearby Culver’s restaurant. Culver’s is a chain restaurant currently only in 17 states, primarily in the center of the U.S., in most of the states between Ohio and Arizona.

This was our first time there (Sue and I, that is). It’s basically a fast-food hamburger joint, with a special twist in how they butter the burger rolls, and use fresh (not frozen) beef. They also have good fries and creamy fresh frozen custard. Good and greasy. It screams out for a Homer-Simpson-type tribute(“mmmmm, butterburgers”), and it’s one of Chris’s favorite places to eat.

Culver's Butterburgers

After lunch, we were off for more sightseeing. Our plan involved two major stopping points: a local park, and shopping the galleries of downtown Columbia.

The local park we chose is on the southern edge of Columbia, just west of the Mizzou campus. The park was called the “Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial at Baffle Gardens”, and featured access to a former-railbed-turned-recreation-trail.


We started by walking up and down a small portion of the recreation trail, called “The MKT Trail”. The MKT is Columbia’s premiere trail. It’s a 10-foot wide trail built on the old railbed of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad. It’s an all-weather surface that provides opportunities for walking, jogging, running, and bicycling.


We saw some very pretty flowers on the trail. Not sure what these are!



The MKT trail features a lot of bridges. It was really humid this day so we only went about one mile down the trail before turning back. Here’s Patty and Chris mimicking one of their wedding photos.


A Lizard! Our cats would have had a great time chasing this little reptile! We think his name was George.


After walking back to the parking area, we stopped to take in the site of the Martin Luther King Memorial Gardens. It’s a very pretty site when all the flowers are in bloom. These flowers are on the way to the actual memorial.





The memorial itself is a set of 8 pillars of increasing height, each inscribed with a quote from Dr. King’s speeches or writings. The tallest pillar at the left was about 6 feet tall. The lowest at the right was only about 2-1/2 feet tall. It was amazingly hot and humid out in the exposed sun. Sue and I were sweating profusely after these photos. Chris and Patty stayed in the shade. Smart move!



That was it for the Dr. King Memorial. We were hot and tired from only a couple of hours outside, so we decided to head back to downtown Columbia to browse the art galleries and shop for souvenirs.

We visit several interesting shops in the area. I bought Sue a version of a metal sculpture that can be seen regularly in the garden of Paul James, ‘The Gardener Guy’, on HGTV’s Gardening by the Yard. It’s a cute sculpture of a girl holding a flower.

Along the way of our travels, we happened by the Democratic Party headquarters for the area, so Patty & Chris picked up voter registration cards. Patty was gung-ho to fill out the card right then, but Sue advised Patty to make sure she gets all her married-name-change-arrangements taken care of with the Social Security Administration first.

voter registration

In the late afternoon, we decided to stop for a drink before heading off to dinner. Since Columbia is basically a college-town at its core, we ended up stopping in one of the “watering establishments” (bars) by the name of Harpo’s. Nachos and alcohol satisfied our gnawing hunger.

Finally we walked the three or four blocks to dinner at Bambino’s Italian Cafe! We chose this place simply on the fact that it was named “Bambinos”. We call our three cats “The Furry Bambinos“, so we figured we HAD to eat a place named after them (wink, wink).

Bambinos Italian Cafe, Columbia Missouri


Bambino’s is basically a crowded little college-town Italian restaurant. Casual dining at small tables, pasta and pizza, and a couple of middle-aged guys in the corner performing Jimmy Buffet tunes on their electric guitars … rather loudly.

And since “we went”, and “we ate”, we also “bought the t-shirt(s)” like any good tourists would do. Plus, they let us have four of their plastic tumblers to take home to the kitties!

We waddled back to Chris’s car and headed back to their house for some final photos before the sun set on another day.

Here’s the happy couple near their front entrance.


And, the four intrepid traveler’s at the doorstep!


Goofing around at the mailbox at the end of the driveway.


And one more shot of the newlyweds before heading back inside!


To round out the day, Bruiser was taken out for a walk, and we settled down to play with whatever animals would join us.

Cinnamon was pretty responsive to some head scratching …


Oh, what a pretty cat posing for the camera!


Bruiser got into his photo session with Patty …


While Toast hid downstairs in the laundry room …


Rainbow and Muse kept themselves huddled in a corner of the cedar closet of the most distant bedroom in the house.

Rainbow and Muse

We said our goodbyes and headed back to the Hampton for our final night in Columbia.

Tomorrow … back on the road, headed home!






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