I've spent a lot of time on Google maps, picking various towns and mapping to our parents, dance studio, Costco, all the important places. We visited a couple areas but nothing really clicked. At some point, I mentioned Alton, where I spent a lot of my 20s and 30s, and Francis said something silly like, "I always figured Alton was your destiny." Hmm... Maybe it is?
Alton was truly love at first ghost hunt for me. I love the history, the historic preservation, the spooky weirdos it attracts, the fact that it's a small town but is so eclectic. It's about the size of Webster Groves, where I grew up, but so much more diverse, and with such a wide variety of businesses. Plus, I have wanted to live on the Great River Road since I first discovered it! Looking at water is one of the only things that gives my brain any peace.
We drove up to Alton this weekend to see what is new, what has changed, and if we still feel like we vibe with it. I am happy to say, yes, if anything it has improved. There are great new businesses on Broadway like Brown Bag Bistro and Funky Planet Toys & Gifts. One of our favorite "haunts" from back in the day, the Mineral Springs, is under new management with several offbeat new businesses and an expanded museum called the Soul Asylum. Someday I hope Lilly finds a little spookiness so we can check it out, but she's not there yet. Maybe next time Francis and I will take turns.
We're planning to visit once a month for the next year to see if we enjoy it year round, but I suspect we will. We're already talking about this as "when" and not "if".
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