Storytime: My Accidental Trip to an Author’s Hometown

Hey guys! Ariel here with another blog post. This one is a little different from the kinds of things I normally post because today, I’m going to be writing about a trip I took back in May! Before you click away, though, don’t worry, this is still a bookish post, and I’m going to try to make it as interesting as possible.

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You guys may or may not know this, but I have had the same best friend since the third grade, and this year, she graduated from high school. She and I don’t live in the same area, or even in the same state, anymore, so naturally, when she had her graduation, I had to go to it, and so I drove with my parents across the country for it. That’s just what you do for a best friend, you know?

It was a very long drive, from where I live in Texas all the way up to where she lived in Indiana, so to break it up a bit, we stopped about halfway up to her house, in a little town called Hannibal, Missouri, thinking nothing of it.

Until we got there, and we discovered that that town was where the famous American author Mark Twain had grown up.  

If you saw my post a few weeks ago about the required reading books I disliked (if you didn’t, you can go check it out here), you may remember that in that post, one of the books I mentioned was The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by none other than Mark Twain. So you can probably guess that this was not the kind of place that I would actively search out.

Since we were staying the night there, anyway, though, we figured that we might as well spend some time there, like half a day, touring the Mark Twain historic sites that they kept preserved in the town. And so we did. We went and ate food at a place named the Huckleberry Bakery & Bistro, we saw his house, walked through a little museum that told us about his life and books, and, of course, bought some things at the museum gift shop. I bought myself a copy of Tom Sawyer, which I have never read.

And since we were in a place that was all about literature, you can bet that there were a lot of books to be found, and not just Mark Twain’s. I decided that, in honor of the literary tradition of this place, I needed to buy a book (do you see the types of excuses we readers use to justify buying a book?), so we searched up some bookstores in the area (there were a lot, for such a small town), and set out in search of a book.

Eventually, I did buy a non-Mark Twain related book. I believe it was The Innocent by David Baldacci. I read a book by him for class back in elementary school and liked it well enough. Would I have bought it if it hadn’t been for my inexplicable desire to buy books in an author’s hometown? Probably not. But who knows, maybe someday I’ll read it.

After this little escapade, we left and went on our way up to my friend’s house for her graduation.

This isn’t a review of the place by any means, I was just struck by the randomness of the situation and felt that I should share the story. It isn’t every day that you stumble upon a historic landmark while on a trip to do something else. In fact, I’m quite sure that the vast majority of tourists in Hannibal, Missouri are there specifically for the Mark Twain stuff and not just passing by like my family and I were.

If you want to look at a few very bad pictures of the trip and some of the stuff I got there, here is a little photo gallery. 

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That’s all I have for this post today, guys! I know it was kind of a weird one, and maybe not the most interesting thing ever, but let me know down below if you liked it! Also, have you ever had any random discoveries like this while you were on a trip? Let me know!

Thanks for reading! I’ll see you soon!

-Ariel

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