Thursday, May 29, 2014

Southern Illinois, Day 4: Record-Players and Fireflies

Click here for 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.

By our last day of vacation, we had a tradition of Dear Husband playing the pump organ (you work the bellows with your feet) to conjure up another sumptuous breakfast on beautiful place settings. We filled ourselves with good food and then hit the road. Destination: northward!

There was a grand piano in the parlor, but it was out of tune, or he would have played that, too. Here I am enjoying a jaunty tune from the hand-cranked record player outside our room.

For lunch we stopped in Effingham to eat on the shores of Lake Kristie. (I have a hard time typing that without guffawing, as it's just a retention pond, named for the restaurateur's wife, with a fountain in the middle and a bunch of koi.) Firefly grill is a fancy-schmancy farm-to-table restaurant that has made quite a name for itself just off I-57. Neither of us was particularly hungry, so we shared a house salad (big enough for two) and an "oak-fired" chicken sandwich with apple slices and brie on a pretzilla bun. It was tasty enough, as were the fries, which you see DH sampling at left.

On the way back, I read to him from the collection of tourism brochures friends from church had given us. It turns out there is quite a lot to do, and I'm campaigning to change our 10th-anniversary trip from a cruise in the Greek islands to another trip to southernmost Illinois. We can hike in Granite City State Park, go zip-lining, visit wineries, go horseback riding, and canoe in a cypress swamp. (Yes, there are cypress swamps in southernmost Illinois!) Plus there are lots of little town fairs and festivals. And it's probably more in line with our budget.

Once home I left almost immediately for a patient session while DH took a nap. With little to eat in the house, we settled on Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner and Dairy Queen for dessert. We got strawberry-shortcake Blizzards, the ice-cream version of our wedding cake. DH says it would have been more authentic if we had fed each other the first bite. Ah well, maybe next year. From Carbondale, IL.

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