I had a new adventure over the weekend. I met my college roommate in Springfield, Illinois and we did the tour thing. We had wanted to do this last fall but with the new dog I was afraid to leave her for two days. She did not do well. The hubster said she ate very little and stayed upstairs most of the time. Oh well, she has to learn to get along.
My trip down was pretty uneventful until I reached Springfield. I drove the hubster’s Acura and used the GPS to navigate. I really knew the drive to Bloomington since I’ve done that one a million times heading back to Ohio. I drove by the World’s Largest Grill. It had Johnsonville on the side of it. I gave the driver the peace sign as I went by. He waved back.
I got close to Springfield and my GPS told me I was three minutes from my destination. I kept driving and driving. Three minutes turned into about ten. Finally, the nice lady told me to take the next right off the highway and as I was doing such she told me to take the next left. I veered left as I knew there were no lefts off the highway. I realized that I had done a very bad thing. The nice lady advised me to take the next left and I did and got back on the highway going the other way. Then she turned me back around and I knew where I was. I kept expecting to turn right and then left but she didn’t take me the same route.
I called Pat and let her know I was lost and would be a little bit late. By this time I could hardly wait to be there and out of this car.
This is the thing with computers and technology stuff and me. I have this magnetic body thing going and I mess these things up. My new I-phone doesn’t recognize me half the time. My computer goes kerflooey at a glance. I could never wear a watch because they quit on me.
And so, my friends, the GPS screwed with me. I came in and found Adams Street but I was at the wrong end. And two blocks down there was no street at all. I called Pat and she told me she had come in on Second and it was at the corner of Adams and Second. I had seen Eighth Street a while back and so I backtracked to Eighth and sauntered over to Second. Sure enough, the hotel was right there.
Pat called and told me to let her know when I got there and she would come down and help me with my stuff. My impatient self had to hurry without her. I grabbed my suitcase, pillow, cooler, purse and a bottle of water and headed to the front door.
I got inside and the lady at the desk hurried over to help me. My knees were shaking I was so nervous. It seems as though I get lost everywhere I go. I dumped the stuff and asked about Pat. Desk lady said she would call her as she couldn’t give out her room number. About this time Pat comes in the door and says, “Look what I found in the parking lot?” She had my phone in her hand.
We hugged and laughed and I about cried. I told her I just wanted to go sit down, I was so shaky. We made it to our room and I collapsed onto the bed. (We have this friend, Joe Clark, who used to travel with us and he always jumped on the bed when we arrived.)
I had brought my cooler and I had made myself a stiff drink, just in case, and I drank it. Half an hour later I felt much better.
We decided to go have dinner as we had two $10.00 off your meal tickets for Arlington’s which was just around the corner.
Pat got this wonderful package from Travel something. It was two nights’ stay, two tickets to the Lincoln Museum, two $10.00 off your dinner coupons and two free drinks downstairs at the No Name Bar.
Arlington’s turned out to be a very festive place. It had a very interesting horse statue and people hanging on the wall. The menu wasn’t much but a bunch of sandwiches. I ordered the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich on a Waffle. It came with Buffalo and bleu cheese dipping sauces and I must say it was great. I’d order it again. With our coupon, our dinner came to a rousing $12.00.
We had a terrible night’s sleep. The couple next door decided to get romantic around 2:00. At 2:30 I thought the wall would collapse from their banging. They finally shut up around 4 but I couldn’t get back to sleep. We also had a train about two blocks away and it kept it up all night.
We drove to Lincoln’s neighborhood at 7:45 to get there when it opened at 8. The was a massive group of Girl Scouts and we tried very hard not to get into their group but it couldn’t be avoided. They turned out to be very nice young ladies. The Girl Scouts were having a huge jamboree. We got to see their parade.
Not only was the town packed with Girl Scouts, the Gay folks were having a big convention also. There was also a large number of bikers (Harley) in town for a Viet Nam dedication of some sort. Everyone we met were just so friendly. Springfield is a nice little burg.
We toured Lincoln’s home and it was lovely. I took a picture of his bed. He and his lovely wife, Mary, had separate bedrooms but that was a sign of importance in those days. I became very fond of old Mary on our trip. She was really given a bad reputation by the press and everyone around her.
Pat is reading the bio of Mary Todd Lincoln and is passing it on to me when she finishes.
We toured a couple of other homes in the neighborhood but decided we would rather go tour the Frank Lloyd Wright home in Springfield. It is the Dana-Thomas house. It has like 36 rooms. The tour guide was so knowledgeable and had a good sense of humor. Of course, we toured with the Girl Scouts. I’d highly recommend this tour if you are ever in Springfield.
The next day we hit the Lincoln Museum. What at joy! The figures are so realistic. The display of ladies’ dresses in the White House was very impressive. The movie they showed had lots of sound effects and I was jumping out of my skin. It wasn’t nearly as crowded as I feared it would be and I really enjoyed myself.
We had lunch at a very cute restaurant in town and I had French Onion Soup and a salad with walnuts and bleu cheese. I suggested the waiter serve the soup with a pair of scissors. It was so wonderful but I fought a hard battle against that cheese.
We had dinner again at Arlington’s and for the life of me, I cannot remember what I ate. I believe I had onion rings. Old age!
Our breakfast the next day was an adventure. The room was full of Girls Scouts, bikers, gay people and Pat and me. The poor lady who was working the room, clearing plates and garbage and stuff, was in a frenzy. She had been so kind the day before and even called me “baby”. When I left, I handed her a ten because I really felt sorry for her. I think her co-worker had copped out on her that day.
We drove out to the monument area. I wanted to see the Lincoln Memorial and rub old Abe’s nose for good luck. It is so shiny from people rubbing it. We then ventured to see the Viet Nam Memorial before all the bikers arrived. I cried just walking up to it. Very heavy moment for me.
And so, Pat and I said our “goodbyes”. I climbed back into the Acura to head home. I did type in my address just to see how the nice lady would mess with me. She did when we got to Lake Summerset because it is a private residential area and the GPS people do not have the correct information about us. So there!
Peace be with you.