Today we decided to stash Ethan with Grandma Smith so Laurel could go eagle watching with us. Every year, bald eagles migrate to our rivers to feed on the fish. January is probably the best month for viewing these awesome birds.
Laurel posing beneath the Piasa just north of Alton, Illinois:
Photos taken while crossing the Illinois River on the Brussels Ferry. This was the first time we've taken a car on a ferry, and we were amazed at how well the ferry pilot operated his vessel. Laurel would have been happy to go back and forth all day:
We stopped in Elsah, Illinois to view the architecture and to eat at My Just Desserts. This restaurant is famous for its pies, just like the Blue Owl. The difference is there is nobody at the Elsah location. We had lunch and took pictures of Laurel and of ourselves at My Just Desserts. This was before I got hilariously, inappropriately rage-y because I had chosen a particular pie I wanted, but some lady came in after me, found out there was only 1 piece left, and asked the waitress to hold the last piece of the pie for HER. I mean, c'mon, pie is serious business, but I so overreacted. In my defense, this is a very bad time for somebody to mess with my chocolate pie.
Note: These pictures were clearly taken prior to the pie incident, whereupon things went downhill.
Fortunately, Alton has another location of My Just Desserts, so we headed down there, and lo, they had plenty of the pie I wanted. I'll bet it tasted better, too. So there. Plus, I have the recipe for it now, so I don't even need to drive all that way for it. More pictures at the Alton location. As you can see, Laurel's pie was fork-lickin' good:
Until this point, we hadn't had a lot of luck finding eagles other than a few we spotted in West Alton before crossing the bridge and then a few more just as we were coming back into Alton. However, we knew the Alton Visitor Center had an eagle provided by the World Bird Sanctuary (which is very awesome) so we stopped by there and Laurel got up close and personal with Liberty the eagle:
We made a donation to the World Bird Sanctuary and headed back across the river to Ellis Island where we finally got to see some bald eagles in all their wild glory:
We know the day was successful, because Laurel fell asleep on the way home: