As is often the case with nerdly parents like us, we decided to take Laurel to Springfield, Illinois for Presidents Day for Lincoln immersion. We only stayed one night but had a great time and are nearly Lincolned out. Ethan stayed home with Grandma Smith because, well, he’s two — which means he is not very enjoyable when subjected to grownup ideas of fun.
We started off Saturday morning with the drive, of course, followed by cozy dogs at the Cozy Dog Drive In on Route 66. Laurel had her first of several weekend root beers while there.
Mm. Corn dogs and dippin’ utensils:
Cozy dogs and Laurel with “Route” Beer:
The next stop was the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Wow. This was a really great museum. We couldn’t take photos inside other than in the lobby area itself, but I recommend it to anyone who hasn’t been.
Laurel received a lesson on the dulcimer, wherein she learned to play ‘Are you Sleeping?’. The nice gentleman, in an effort to impress, told Laurel he was on an episode of Hannah Montana. Laurel responded, ‘Yeah…I hate Hannah Montana.’ So much for that. Boys, take heed — if you want to impress Laurel you’ll have to come up with something better than appearing on a TV show most pre-teen girls love.
After the museum, we stopped at the Old State Capitol. Very cool, lots of history, sweet old architecture, smelled like a library, took a photo of Laurel under the rotunda. Later, we stopped to pick up popcorn and candy for the evening and went to the Lincoln-Herndon Law Office, where we viewed a desk upon which Lincoln is supposed to have written his inauguration speech:
That evening, we ate at D’Arcy’s Pint. Greg and I have a family history of being overlooked when on a waiting list, and sure enough it happened yet again. I put our name in, I SAW the girl write it down, and they just skipped us. Or marked us off without calling us, or something. We were eventually seated and treated ourselves to a cornucopia of the most artery-clogging food I’ve eaten in a long time. We had chili-cheese dip and buffalo chicken horseshoes. My god. It was soooooooo good. By the way, don’t tell Laurel I just linked to a Wikipedia page, lest I incur her scorn.
Back at the hotel, we went swimming (indoor pool, thankyouverymuch, no polar bear plunges for me). I sat in the hot tub until I became convinced I would succumb to a nasty bacterial infection, whereupon I fled back to the main pool.
After breakfast the next morning, we went to Lincoln’s home and tomb. Greg was enthralled over the strange parking meter and the five-step process to pay for parking at the home. We took several photos of it, but in the interest of brevity (which is lost at this po
int anyway), I’ll only post one of them — if he wants to say more about it, he can. We also noted that those of the 19th century had a very different idea of interior design than we do:
For good luck, we rubbed Lincoln’s nose at his tomb:
Exhausted and ready for home, we hopped in the car and immediately ran into train. Torrential rain:
I don’t know about the rest of the family, but I had a great time. I thought it was all very interesting, but when I asked Laurel which part she found the most interesting, she didn’t mention the original artifacts, nor walking on the same flooring as a great president, nor viewing Mary Todd Lincoln’s jewelry, or Abraham Lincoln’s own handwriting. No, Laurel said, “When Lincoln got kicked in the head by a horse.”
Well, there you go.