Dear Reader,

A recent trip to New Orleans brought me to all the classic sights, sounds and tastes of the Crescent City. I admired the storybook beauty of the St. Louis Cathedral, tasted the muffaletta sandwiches, sipped on Bloody Marys and ventured into the mysterious voodoo shops — a typical New Orleans trip, to say the least.

Upon returning home to St. Louis, my parents surprised me by pulling out photos of trips they took to The Big Easy many moons ago. We shuffled through prints of them exploring many of the same locations I explored and reminisced in the overlap of the experiences we shared. We might have traveled during different times, but we shared so much of the experience together

The best stories, the best advice and the best adventures are shared and passed down through generations. This issue of Detours highlights the best of Midwestern traditions, familial and beyond. At Arris’ Pizza in Jefferson City, the Pardalos family has been passing down their Greek pizza recipes, providing a cultural mix of Midwestern and Mediterranean. The Valenza family of Blues City Deli has not only kept their music venue tradition strong, but one Valenza son is expanding to a pizza kitchen, strengthening their restaurant legacy. 

But traditions have to start somewhere, and they are popping up all around the Midwest alongside their time-honored counterparts. The world of beer in St. Louis is taking that to heart with its recent crop of craft breweries in the last five years. The owners of the Victorian Inn bring new bed and breakfast charm to Camp Point, Illinois, and the Fountain on Locust infuses a new spin into their milkshakes with boozy ice cream cocktails.

Traditions old and new can be built on every new trip, whether they come from family, friends or a sudden burst of inspiration of your own. I hope this issue encourages you to embrace the travel traditions all around you, and to embrace life’s detours along the way.

Mary Tomlinson