Our next stop on our Ohio trip was in Hannibal, where the idea of Backroad Buddies came to life last August. This time we used AirBnb to find us a nice, old Queen Anne house in a quiet neighborhood. Our host Alissa made us feel right at home.
We arrived in Hannibal in early afternoon so we went for a walk before sitting down to enjoy a pastry and work in the local coffee shop Java Jive. Our walk took us along the Mississippi River, under I-72 and over to Riverview Park. We didn’t get very far into the park before we needed to turn around, as we needed time to work and Right Buddy’s foot began hurting more. However, we did spot a pileated woodpecker right before we turned around. Does anyone remember Woody Woodpecker? Left Buddy (LB) remembers a grade school assignment to research what type of woodpecker Woody was. Yup, that's right, Woody is a pileated woodpecker.
The Mississippi River was running high while we were there in April. The Hannibal flood gates were up and the water had partially covered the railroad tracks that ran along side the river. There were some railroad workers out looking at the tracks. We assume they were looking for damage to the tracks. However, we were surprised when a train went by a little while later, right through the water.
Java Jive was really hopping that afternoon. It seemed to be the place to go to hang out and take advantage of the free Wifi. There was an eclectic collection of tables inside the spacious coffee shop, but almost all of them were filled with people on their laptops, sipping their cup of Joe or snacking on their pastry and ice cream. Right Buddy (RB) had a mixed berry pie with ice cream while LB had an apple fritter, which seemed backwards because LB is usually the one who wants pie and ice cream. The consensus on the pastries is a big thumbs up for both them. However, there were mixed reviews on the Wifi. Perhaps the Wifi was reaching its limit of connections because RB kept being dropped from the network. However, RB had plenty of work to do that didn’t require an internet connection, so all was not lost.
From there we headed over to the charming Queen Anne house where Alissa gave us a tour of where we will be staying for the night. She did a wonderful job of furnishing and decorating the house to preserve its historic style. Many of the details of the house reminded RB of her grandmother’s house, from the four corner post bed, to the transoms above the doors with their skeleton key holes, to the beautiful wooden banister that curved its way up the stairs to the second floor. The small suit of armor on the stair landing added a nice whimsical touch. We had one of the bedrooms to ourselves, but everything else in the home was shared living space, which made us feel more like a friend spending the night than a paying guest. Even Alissa’s friendly cat Sammy made us feel at home, trying to beg for attention while we were busy on our laptops in the dining room, rubbing his head against us, just like our cats used to do at home.
For dinner, we walked down the street to a restaurant that Alissa recommended. The restaurant, LaBinnah Bistro (Hannibal spelled backwards), is in an old restored house near Central Park. We were trying to avoid going out to eat in order to save money, but it was cool and damp outside so, as a result, the cold beet salad that we originally planned for dinner didn’t have much appeal. LaBinnah Bistro was a bit of a splurge, but the food was excellent and the atmosphere was wonderful.
Before leaving town the next morning, we followed another recommendation by Alissa and drove up to Lover’s Leap. Although there is quite a bit of doubt about the legend surrounding Lover’s Leap, the panoramic views of the town, river and surrounding area are worth the short drive up to the small park.
As usual, RB put together an album for you: Little Glimpses of Hannibal 2019