TODAY WE ARE THANKFUL FORA few days off work to spend time with family exploring midwestern tourist stops, in often overlooked parts of Illinois, Missouri and Iowa.The 99-year-old proprietor of the oldest souvenir shop in Mo. who shared her stockroom of deadstock with us.The proprietors of the Nauvoo Hotel for keeping it a time capsule you can sleep in.The extra whipped cream on the hot cocoa at the landmark Starved Rock Lodge.The owner of art/thrift resale shop shop that sold us an 1850s oil landscape (for less than the cost of a family dinner). Having our daughter explore the same caves that Samuel Langhorne Clemens did when he was her age.