I had no idea that an entire museum lay beneath the ground between the two "legs" of the arch. The Museum of Westward Expansion is worth taking several hours to see. I was disappointed that I didn't plan more time there. It covers the entire history of our country's westward expansion and has some lively exhibits about St. Louis history. There are several dioramas with life-like robotic characters that each tell their story in history.
We took a final spin around the city, catching a glimpse of the stadium where the St. Louis Rams play, and then took I-72 up to Springfield, Illinois, to see the Lincoln Museum and Library.
The exhibits in the Lincoln Museum were stunning and we were informed and entertained by two presentations in the theaters there, each incorporating holograms and special effects. One exhibit room is filled with artifacts from significant events in the Lincolns' lives. To see the very hat that Lincoln wore, impressions from his own fingers worn in the brim, from 'tipping' his hat to people, was indescribable. The gloves that were in his pocket the night he was shot, stained with his blood. The dishes Mary Todd Lincoln ordered for the White House. It brought to life this couple who had previously been distant historical figures in my mind.
Today was definitely a long day and probably the busiest of our road trip. It was nice to get to our hotel, have some supper at the Applebee's next door, and the kids took a dip in the pool. Tomorrow is a light travel day, so we'll sleep in a bit in the morning!