This past week my family experienced a whirlwind vacation through part of the midwest. Just on a side note...the midwest in mid August is blazing hot. Like inferno hot. Like stick your head in an oven kind of hot. Just sayin'.
We left last Saturday morning (as always, just getting out of the house and on the road is a challenge) heading to Greenup, Illinois... A cute little town in rural Illinois. Picture a mix of Mayberry and the Old West. I was really diggin' the down town area. The old buildings with the second floor balconies were examples of architectural endurance. In amongst the visiting with family and cooking out, and crazy card games, and fluffy cats and a hyper dog......we also had opportunity to eat at this super retro restaurant, the Candy Kitchen. The Candy Kitchen has been around since 1924. It was owned and operated by the Loomis family, who came to the U.S from Greece. Over the years it has changed owners, been boarded up, been renovated, opened, closed and is now doing a thriving business serving up good food mixed in with a hearty helping of nostalgia. If you are ever in the Greenup area you must visit this place. It is worth it.
We also visited a restored, covered Bridge on the National Road. I love covered bridges. There is just something about them. Something rugged. Something old fashioned. Definitely something one doesn't see very often anymore....and that makes it special.
Next, it was off to a suburb of Chicago. I'm sure Chicago is a fun city...but, honestly the traffic leaves a lot to be desired. I much more enjoy having to share the road with the Amish, here in rural Ohio. We were stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, in the heat, with other drivers that were not so very nice. One semi -truck kept honking his horn and I nearly jumped out of my skin. Patience, people, patience!!! While visiting in the Chicago area we had opportunity to eat some real Chicago style pizza, that was very delicious. Probably also a ton of calories...but who cares? When on vacation calories don't count, right?
I had a good time playing with the dogs. Shaggy and Scrappy. Both very smart and a lot of fun. Who wouldn't love dogs that were obviously very intelligent, and yet were not above waking one in the morning with a sloppy, drool filled kiss?
Next stop, Portage, Indiana. Family took us to the Dunes on Lake Michigan. Beautiful. When looking at Lake Michigan it is difficult to believe that it is indeed, a lake. God sure has made a beautiful world. Of course while enjoying His beautiful world I was "lunch" for about a million black flies and am also now sporting a nice sunburn. Such is life.
The family also attended a Rail Cats baseball game on Saturday evening. TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME! It was a lot of fun. I love "the boys of summer". Nothing like hundreds of people packed into a stadium yelling for the home team. It was a close game. The Rail Cats lost but only by one run...and it was exciting all the way through the end of the ninth inning. You can check out the Rail Cats site and if you are in the area, go see them play!
It's been a busy week. Also a glorious week. Monday seems kind of drab after all the fun of visiting and hanging out with family and seeing the sites. Sigh. I knew it would come to an end and I'd be forced back into reality. Sigh, again. It was a great way to spend a week--and memories do last forever.