Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Harleys, Busch beer, and the 700 Club
After winding our way through the Illinois country side, we found ourselves in the quaint southwestern Illinois town of Okawville, home to the Original Okawville Springs Hotel and Bath House.
We had heard of this place for years, but had never been. We walked the front steps of the 100 year old hotel, up to the covered wraparound porch, and went inside the lobby.
The friendly staff gave us a guided tour of the place, including the bath house, the massage area, and one of the restored guestrooms in the original hotel. Less than an hour away on Interstate 64, mark this place on the "to-do" list for short getaways from St. Louis.
Having never visited a professional massage studio, or taken a mineral bath, the whole scene was very interesting. I was especially curious about the healing powers of mineral water. My skeptical nature was being tested. The tour guide invited me to dip my hand into the swirling mineral waters.
It didn't feel anything like our fine St. Louis city tap water. Instead, it had a smooth, silky feel. Very soft. No question, it would be a luxurious treat to bathe in these waters. Someday.
We were too early for dinner, and too hungry and thirsty to start driving back to St. Louis, so we walked across the street to a corner bar across from the spa. Outside, a row of Harleys was parked in front.
Inside, the place was spotless clean, friendly, with ice cold beer and bar food. There were two televisions above the bar, one tuned to Cardinal baseball, the other to the "700 Club". We took two seats at the end of the bar, ordered a couple of beers, a chicken tender plate, and a fried shrimp basket. The food was served in generous portions. Total bill, lunch for two (including 2 beers apiece): $14.