I have been meaning to write this post for a couple of weeks now. Internet issues have meant that I have quickly written posts while the internet continuously kicked me off. Usually once I got one post done I ran away from the computer screaming- really! Things seemed to have calmed down once again and our new internet is working once again so here is goes-
Our Trip to Springfield, Illinois
We live about 7 hours away from Springfield. It was a nice road trip for us. I have never been that far west on a road trip and the scenery definitely was different, especially the prairie. I loved seeing the many wind farms along the highway, what a great resource to harness.
It rained most of our drive in Illinois so we didn't stop in and sight see in any of the towns along our route. We ended up in Springfield at about 1 pm (central time). We knew we couldn't get into our hotel room until 4 pm so we drove around a bit. I was honestly surprised at the size of Springfield. I figured the capital of Illinois would be fairly large, I have been to Chicago a few times and was envisioning something like that. Definitely not!
We had to take a drive by the Illinois State Fairgrounds. A boss (friend) of mine who I worked for at our local fair had worked for several years at the Illinois State Fair. We were very impressed by some of the huge buildings (especially the poultry building, it was beautiful!), by the size of their grandstand and how some of the carnival rides seemed to be permanent. I realize this might not be a must see for many, but for someone who had heard a lot about the place, it was really cool to actually see it in person. I would love to see it during the fair all set up.
New Salem Historic Site. It was a fairly long ride from the expressway (but we went back roads on the way back and it really isn't too far from downtown Springfield). Thankfully the rain had stopped and we were able to go and enjoy the village at New Salem. There is no cost to enter this historic site (but the do accept donations). We had to dodge all the school groups that were also visiting, which proved to be challenging occasionally so we didn't see everything. Still we were able to wander and peek in most of the buildings and visit the gift shop. New Salem is where Abraham Lincoln ran a store in the 1830's. It was recreated by the CCC during the 1930's and only one building is an original 1830's building. Even though it is not authentic, it still is a great place to visit and let kids see how people used to live.
After we left New Salem we headed back to downtown Springfield. We had decided that we wanted to stay right downtown Springfield where we could walk to most of the activities we wanted to do. We ended up reserving a room at The President Abraham Lincoln Hotel. It has kind of a faded elegance feel to it. There were a few conventions going on during the weekend so occasionally the wait for the elevator took a bit and on one occasionally we were crowded into an elevator. Otherwise the location was great and the room was nice.