St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is the keynote speaker for the first annual Arrow Leadership and Success Summit at the Show Me Center on November 17 in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

The event, sponsored by Saint Francis Medical Center is part of the Arrow Leadership and Success Series, a 20-week series of interviews with leaders and individuals with success stories. It is an opportunity for students and others to hear from a successful leader about what it takes to lead winning teams and organizations.

Matheny’s speech was the perfect reason for a “Rains Road Trip" so we hit the road and headed to Cape Girardeau.

STLSportsPage.com has a Travel/Food page with the majority of stories posted by our Travel/Food editor Suzanne Corbett. We know sports fans are active people who like to eat and they like to travel so we provide travel information. When we take the many “Road Trips” involved in the life of a sportswriter in pursuit of a story, we like to share our findings with our readers. 

On a snowy day, this trip was just what the doctor ordered-- get some work in and get some relaxation. We recommend the short trip if you are looking for a quick getaway from St. Louis. The Drury Inn & Suites we stayed at had an indoor pool and hot tub, and while the rest of the world was scraping the snow off their window we were relaxing for a bit in the hot tub. 

Cape Girardeau is located off Interstate 55 (Exits 93-102). It’s an easy 1 ½ hour drive from St. Louis, going south on 55. To St. Louisans it is probably best known as the home of SEMO (Southeast Missouri State University), but it's a nice town in itself and there is a lot to do on a visit.

"There are a of great outdoor destinations here in Cape," said one of the workers here at the hotel. "We have a lot to do, you just picked a bad day to do them."

A snowy day does prohibit some outdoor activities, but we were able to see that Cape is centered around the Mississippi river, with Downtown being on the river. The town features the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge that spans the Mississippi River, connecting Southeast Missouri with Southern Illinois.

Cape Girardeau offers old historic buildings which have been preserved for the history buff. There is a neat mural downtown on the riverwalk at the floodwall. From Harry S. Truman, to the outlaw James brothers, to Mark Twain, and Hall of Fame broadcastsr Jack Buck, this cast of famous Missourians adorns the "Missouri Wall of Fame." This outdoor mural includes 47 famous individuals who were either born in this state or achieved fame while living in Missouri. Two famous people on that wall who were from Cape Girardeau are Rush Limbaugh and NASA astronaut Linda Godwin.

There are other murals including the Mississippi River Tales Mural, which is the largest.

The fact that Downtown is at the river is no surprise as the Mississippi River has always played an big role in Cape Girardeau's history.  The area was home to Native Americans before the Europeans settled there. The name Cape Girardeau came from French settler Jean Baptiste de Girardot. Lewis & Clark made a stop through Cape and there was even a Battle of Cape Girardeau fought there during the Civil War. Many old homes, a fort, and memorials exist in Cape Girardeau for visitors to see and learn about the rich history of this region.

The town also has many modern destinations that families would love such as the Cape Splash Family Aquatic Center, Discover Playhouse Childrens Museum,the Lazy Safari Park, Melaina's Magical Playland for special needs children, and more.

There are also outdoor destinations nearby, including many parks, the Conservation Nature Center, Old Mississippi River Bridge Scenic Overlook Park, Cape Rock Scenic Overlook and the Trail of Tears Park in nearby Jackson, Mo.

The Trail of Tears park commemorates a sad time in history and according to the site trailoftears.org: This historic park is one of the few documented sites of actual trail and campsites used during the forced removal of the Cherokee people to "Indian Territory". It was used as an encampment in 1838 and 1839. This park is the burial site for two Cherokee Chiefs who died during the removal - Fly Smith and Whitepath. This long, cruel relocation has become known as the "Trail Of Tears" and by Native Americans as "The Trail Where They Cried".

It features some of Missouri's most breathtaking scenery.

But during the cold, dreary winter, what is there to do? Well if you stay at one of the Drury properties you can actually enjoy being inside-- yet in a "vacation setting." 

There are three Drury Hotels properties in Cape Girardeau:
1. Cape Girardeau - Drury Suites
2. Cape Girardeau - Drury Lodge
3. Cape Girardeau - Pear Tree Inn

We chose the Drury Suites, which is easily accessed and centrally located. We loved the large, modern lobby. They have the "Quick Start Breakfast" so it was sausage and eggs at our leisurely breakfast, while gazing out at the beautiful snow. You don't even have to leave the hotel if you don't want to because they serve dinner and drinks, including the alcoholic beverage of your choice at their daily Kickback Dinner starting at 5:30.

You could choose to stay in your room and watch a movie, walk down the hall for breakfast or dinner, and sit by the pool or go in the hot tub.

Sometimes in the hectic hubbub it’s just nice to take a weekend getaway, and a short trip to Cape Girardeau could be just what you need.

The Movie Gone Girl was filmed in Cape Girardeau 

​Recently a Hollywood movie has become a new "history" for the area. Cape Girardeau played the role of North Carthage, Missouri in the film, "Gone Girl" directed by David Fincher that stars Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, Rosamund Pike and Tyler Perry. According to visitcape.com "Filming took place all over town in about 30 locations for around 6 weeks." 

The movie was described by IMDb.com: With his wife's disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it's suspected that he may not be innocent.

There is even a Gone Girl Movie Tour. For more information on how to download the free driving tour and get information about the tour click here: http://www.visitcape.com/gonegirl

Some upcoming holiday events in Cape Girardeau are:

Fall for Dance
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Location: Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall
Cost: $16
An exquisite evening of dance featuring the work of Southeast Dance faculty, students and guest artists guaranteed to dazzle and amaze! Fall for Dance runs November 20 - 22 with shows at 7:30 p.m., and November 23 with a 2 p.m. show.

19th Annual Crafts, Gifts & Collectible Show
Friday, November 21, Saturday 22, and Sunday 23, 2014
Location: Notre Dame Regional High School
Cost: $1.00
Proceeds for: Notre Dame Performing and Visual Arts Program, Soldier Packages, Toys for Tots, Toy Box, Christmas for the Elderly. November 21st 5pm-9pm November 22nd 9am-6pm November 23rd 9am-3pm

A Christmas Concert Experience: The Music of Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Friday, November 21, 2014
Location: Isle Casino Cape Girardeau Event Center
Cost: $15
A Christmas Concert Experience: The Music of Trans-Siberian Orchestra Friday, November 21, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. Isle Casino Cape Girardeau Event Center Tickets on sale starting Monday, October 13 at 8:00am Tickets on sale $15 Show doors open at 6:00pm Must be 21 or older to attend. Make sure to stay after the show for your chance to win a share of $1000 in our Encore Drawing at 10:00pm. Pick up your tickets on the day of the show starting at 3:00pm at will-call (located in Valet). A limited number of accessible seat tickets may be purchased for use by patrons with mobility disabilities. Persons requiring accessible seats may purchase up to three adjacent companion seat tickets. Terms and conditions for these purchases apply*.

Holiday Shopping Bazaar
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Location: Cape Armory 2626 Independence
Cost: Free
Proceeds to benefit Heroes Way and local National Guard family functions.

44th Annual Christmas Arts and Crafts Extravaganza
Saturday, November 22 and Sunday Nov. 23, 2014
Location: Show Me Center & Osage Centre
Cost: $5 Sat & Sun, $3 Sun only
Join us (with Christmas shopping list in tow) for the 44th Annual Christmas Arts & Crafts Extravaganza, November 22nd from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and November 23rd from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. This is one of the largest craft fairs in the region with over 300 different booths selling unique handmade items-perfect for the gift-giving spirit of the season. The show takes place at the Show Me Center and the Osage Centre, and entry prices are valid for both locations so you only pay admission once. The 44th Annual Christmas Arts & Crafts Extravaganza is part of a city-wide weekend of craft fairs, so bring your friends and your comfiest shopping shoes and get ready to find one-of-a-kind items!

River Valley Craft Club Christmas Expo
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Location: Arena Building and 4H Building in Arena Park
Cost: $5 for Saturday and Sunday / $3 for Sunday
Enjoy crafts galore at 2 different locations.

A Christmas Concert Experience: The Music of Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Location: Isle Casino Cape Girardeau Event Center
Cost: $15
Friday, November 21, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. Isle Casino Cape Girardeau Event Center Tickets on sale starting Monday, October 13 at 8:00am Tickets on sale $15 Show doors open at 6:00pm Must be 21 or older to attend. Make sure to stay after the show for your chance to win a share of $1000 in our Encore Drawing at 10:00pm. Pick up your tickets on the day of the show starting at 3:00pm at will-call (located in Valet). A limited number of accessible seat tickets may be purchased for use by patrons with mobility disabilities. Persons requiring accessible seats may purchase up to three adjacent companion seat tickets. Terms and conditions for these purchases apply*.

Fall for Dance
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Location: Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall
Cost: $16
An exquisite evening of dance featuring the work of Southeast Dance faculty, students and guest artists guaranteed to dazzle and amaze! Fall for Dance runs November 20 - 22 with shows at 7:30 p.m., and November 23 with a 2 p.m. show.
River Valley Craft Club Christmas Expo
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Location: Arena Building and 4H Building in Arena Park
Cost: $5 for Saturday and Sunday / $3 for Sunday
Enjoy crafts galore at 2 different locations.

Christmas at the Glenn House
Friday, November 28, Saturday 29, Sunday 30, 2014
Location: Glenn House
Cost: $2/$4/$5
Christmas is coming to the Glenn House! This handsomely restored Victorian home will be festively decorated for Christmas. The halls are decked in the Carriage House too, and there you'll find Christmas cookies, coffee and cider. Christmas at the Glenn House is open for tours November 28, 29 and 30 and every Saturday and Sunday in December (December 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28) from 1 - 4 p.m.

The Historic Byrd House presents Christmas in 1820
Friday, November 28, Saturday 29, Friday December 5, Saturday Dec. 6, 2014
Location: The Historic Byrd House, 10 miles Northwest of Cape Girardeau
Cost: $75
Let the lantern lit walk beckon you to step back to a simpler era...listen as we tell you a true tale of Christmas long ago. Be welcomed into the parlor of Stephen and Polly Byrd where the fire crackles and the candles flicker with a cheery glow. Enjoy a delectable 5 course feast including offerings such as Thomas Jefferson's sweet potato biscuits and Martha Washington's chocolate cake. Actors portraying life in the Byrd home in the territory of Missouri in the year 1820 will transport you back in time. After the dinner presentation you are welcome to browse festive displays featuring unique American made wares in our holiday gift shop. Dinner theatre will be held every Friday and Saturday evening beginning November 28 through December 20 (November 28th and 29th, December 5th and 6th, December 12th and 13th, December 19th and 20th) with 2 seatings per evening at 5 and at 8 p.m. Seatings are limited to groups of 12. Advanced ticket sales only.

Small Business Holiday Shopping Saturday
Saturday, November 29, 2014
Location: Various
Cost: Various
Head downtown on November 29 to #ShopSmall, shop local and support Small Business Saturday. Purchases made at the following designated downtown Small Business Saturday retailers award you stamps in your Downtown Passport (only one stamp allowed per retailer). American Family Insurance Kody Thompson Annie-Em's at Home Annie Laurie's Antiques Artisan Gifts Broadway Prescription C.P. McGinty Jewelers Cup 'n Cork DazSpell Creations Hotshots Sports Bar & Grill Hutson's Fine Furniture Jayson Jewelers Lattitudes, LLC Main Street Station Mississippi Mutts Muriel's Garden Ophelia Philanthropy Renaissance Shoppe La La Sloan + Themis Social's Café & Catering Somewhere in Time Antiques Stash Sweet Designs Boutique The Artist Studio The Arts Council of Southeast Missouri The Corner Grocery Store The Tangled Yarn Zickfield's Jewelry Each stamp equates to one entry into a gift basket giveaway filled with downtown gift cards and merchandise valued at over $700. The more places you shop, the more chances you have to win. Help support our local economy and downtown this holiday season and remember to #ShopSmall on Small Business Saturday, November 29. 21


Parade of Lights & Kim's Toy Box Run

Sunday, November 30, 2014
Location:
Cost:
Location: Along Broadway from Capaha Park to Main St. Cost: Free Description: Run down the parade route at 4:55 p.m. in Kim's Toy Box Run! $10 to enter or bring an unwrapped present for a child, all proceeds go to the Jaycees Toybox. Course starts at Broadway and West End and ends at Broadway and Main. Learn more here. Bring some hot chocolate and a cozy blanket to watch the Holiday Parade of Lights! All floats will be lit up and playing Christmas music. Contact: 573-334-8085 or Website

Schubert, Mass in G Major
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
Location: Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall
Cost: $14/$17
The Southeast Missouri Choral Union, University Choir and Symphony Orchestra combine to perform the glorious Mass in G Major by the Romantic composer Franz Schubert. Also on the program will be the evocative London Symphony by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Art Cuisine available: For $21 per person, which includes the meal, tax and gratuity along with preferred parking, patrons will receive a choice of three entrées, some related to the show theme. Each meal will also include a gourmet salad, dessert, tea and coffee. Beer and wine will be available for purchase at an additional charge. Dinner will begin promptly at 5:30 p.m., with the performance to follow at 7:30 p.m. St. Vincent Commons is a two-minute walk from the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall. Reservations must be made at least 4 days in advance. Learn more about Art Cuisine here.

Around Town Artwalk & First Friday with the Arts
Friday, December 05, 2014
Location: Various
Cost: Free
Art Around Town is an association of galleries and studios dedicated to promoting and showcasing the visual arts; discover art venues in Cape Girardeau open from 5 - 9 p.m. the first Friday of every month. Many of the galleries will have a new show opening on the First Friday of each month with local, regional and national artists displaying their artistic and diverse mediums. Several galleries provide light refreshments for the added enjoyment of visitors. Participating galleries and exhibit information can be found here. Numerous downtown businesses stay open on the First Friday of every month from 5 - 9 p.m. and often feature special demonstrations and events.

Downtown Open House

Friday, December 05, 2014
Location:
Cost:
Location: Downtown Cape Girardeau Cost: Free Description: Bring your Christmas shopping list to the Downtown Christmas Open House! Many downtown merchants will be open later into the evening and many run specials and fun events for the occasion. Contact: Website or 573-334-8085

For more information on Cape Girardeau visit: http://www.visitcape.com