Monday, May 26, 2014

Southern Illinois, Day 1: Sunday Drivers

Click here for Day 2: Garden of the Gods, Pounds Hollow, and Golconda.
Click here for Day 3, Morning: Fort Massac.
Click here for Day 3, Afternoon: Superman.
Click here for Day 4: Record-Players and Fireflies.

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Just before graduation, Dear Husband declared that we needed to get out of town. He pointed out that my clinical rotations schedule will not allow us to take our usual anniversary vacation in August, so we decided to squeeze in a few days over the Memorial Day holiday down in southern(most) Illinois. It's a different world down there, for a number of reasons. "They have this thing called 'topography,'" explained DH to someone at church, "where the ground goes up and down and makes what they call 'hills.'" Indeed, much of the attraction to this otherwise rural, farming area involves its scenery, outdoor sports, camping, the Ohio River, etc. There's a surprising lot to do besides the casinos.

Summers Riverview Mansion
DH and I drove down after church on Sunday afternoon, stopping for a stroll beside a lake, and arriving in Metropolis, IL, just before the rain. Our enthusiastic host gave us a tour of the Victorian mansion he and his wife have converted into a bed and breakfast, complete with quilts, antique furniture, jacuzzi tubs, and a television we couldn't figure out how to work. (Who thought a more-buttons-than-you-know-what-to-do-with universal remote was a good idea??) Although he encouraged us to make ourselves at home, we immediately got gussied up for our anniversary dinner at the steakhouse restaurant at the casino across the street. Although as United Methodists we felt a little odd about indirectly supporting the gaming industry this way, our other options for dinner were Dairy Queen and Edd's shrimp shack. And we were still the best-dressed folks in the steakhouse, as capris and jean shorts are acceptable attire for pulling the slots.

Dinner was steak for him and seafood for me--we're the original surf N turf combo--with a sweet white wine from a local vineyard. We had just decided to skip dessert when our waitress arrived bearing a large platter with a complementary dessert! Thank goodness she offered boxes for whatever we couldn't eat; since we had just packed up the remains of our entrees, we were happy to demolish the creme brulee but take the cakes back to the BnB with us for later.

We didn't bother to correct them about our dual names:
I'm just impressed they spelled mine correctly!
When we left the casino, it was sun-showering outside. And to our great delight, an enormous rainbow appeared in the eastern sky, as if to suggest that we had arrived: vacation!

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