Two and a half weeks ago, Hans and I buckled our seat belts and drove to Hannibal, Missouri, the hometown of southern author Mark Twain. We spent the weekend there, and rendezvoused with my dad, who had driven down from Iowa. My dad graciously paid for everything, and even set Hans and I up in a fabulous bed and breakfast. (We'd like to re-visit said bed and breakfast someday.) The trip was short, but relaxing and exploratory. We drove around the small-ish town, photographing historic buildings and marveling at the low selling costs of such constructions. We drove down to the river, up to the lighthouse, around the steeply-winding streets. It was quaint, in one way; touristy, of course, in the other. You could tell there were two parts of town: the historic part, the entrapped part, the part where the ice cream stores are named after Becky Thatcher and the hotels are named after the legendary author and the antique stores are named after Huck Finn. And then there's the other parts of town, the forgotten parts: the empty historic buildings, the shaken sidewalks, the parts that encouraged a local to describe Hannibal as "a dirty little town." But, dirty or not, we wanted to see the city. We wanted to know what it it was like; we wanted to explore more than what the average tourist experiences. And so, we strolled the streets, hit up a dive bar, purchased local cheese and local beer. And, of course, we mapped out places to go and people to see and things to do the next time we visit. Because there will be a next time. But, until then, I've these Instagram photos to remember it by.

the Mark Twain boyhood home

Hans, my dad, and I went to see "Mark Twain himself." The theater at which he performed was empty  ... save for the three of us. Even though no one else showed that evening (the stormy weather may have drive the other reservations away), the impersonator took the stage and performed and talked to just the three of us, who sat, enamored, in the front row. Witty fellow, he was.

Reagan's Queen Anne Bed & Breakfast

I now know why the woman in "The Yellow Wallpaper" went crazy.

 details in the entryway of the bed and breakfast

 downtown Hannibal, during a thunderstorm (which we got caught in)

Flowers and sunlight in the room across the hall from us. While we were there, a British couple was staying in the room. 

decorations in our room, which was named the "Victorian Rose" room, if I recall

The Rockcliffe Mansion was actually abandoned for forty years! You can now take tours of the inside, and some of it is a bed and breakfast as well. However, the exterior still needs some work; it's been in need of money and rehabilitation for decades. The 13,500-square foot mansion was built between 1898 and 1900 by John Cruikshank, Jr., whose fortune was based in lumber.


  1. oh wow, these are stunning, what amazing details! I want to go

  2. What an adventure! I love how old these buildings look. The first pictures is fantastic, all that color - clashing, but classy.

  3. These shots are fantastic! I love the light and the colours! Really great, Dawn! Hannibal sounds and looks like a wonderful place - if I am in the States some day... :)

  4. Wow! Looks like an absolutely wonderful time! :)

  5. what a fun trip
    your photos are so lovely


  6. Love these photos and I think I'd like to go there some day. :)

  7. I need to live there right now! As I age the more and more I want to vacation in small towns.


  8. I would love to live in a town named "Hannibal". It would feel surreal to be surrounded by so much history. To be so close to where a legend once was. That bed and breakfast is gorgeous. I'd like to kick them out, close up shop, and live there myself. That wallpaper is beautiful to me. It makes you feel kinda trippy if you stare at it too long, but I think that's part of the appeal. That mansion is spooky pretty too. I would love to travel back in town and see this town alive as it was back then. See these buildings in their prime and youth. I would love to touch the buildings in hopes that I would feel something. Some sort of energy or connection. That's the best thing about links to the past like this. Sometimes if feels like you can travel back with them if you just try hard enough.


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