Illinois Family


We camped at the Carl Spindler campground near Peoria, and it worked out really well, although the first night we arrived too late and had to sleep in their parking lot.  It was near town and mostly full of longtime residents, but it was quiet and we were comfortable there.


The view from our site.



We enjoyed a steak dinner and baseball by the lake out in the country with the cousins.


Illinois has pretty sunsets!





You can’t tell it here, but Annie the Beagle has quite the entertaining personality…


Chad made a fine jungle gym.



I celebrated my birthday (these are my bday flowers) while we were here, and on the actual day, I took the kids to Springfield to visit the Abraham Lincoln Home and Museum. We first took a tour of the home where the family lived before Lincoln left for Washington; where he raised his children and got his start in politics.



Many of the items in the home are original, including this sofa—Lincoln actually sat here!


Mary’s bedroom. Many visitors on our tour seemed to think the carpet and wallpaper in the different rooms were gaudy, but I kind of liked it! Better than plain white, for sure!


Mary did her own cooking and was thrilled to get this stove. Sadly for her, they bought it only a short time before the move to Washington, so she didn’t get much use out of it.


We got in on a very interesting talk by a “real” Civil War soldier! He asked Sweet Pea to help him set up.


He went through his whole bag of goodies, item by item, explaining what the soldiers would have carried and why.


We then toured the museum, which is one of our favorite places we’ve been. They don’t allow pictures, except in these few areas below.


You almost can’t tell which are my kids and which are the Lincoln’s! Well, maybe the tie-dye gives it away… Watch out for John Wilkes Booth back there on the left!


The museum’s exhibits are extremely well-done, from Lincoln’s time as a boy in Kentucky, all the way through the tragic way his life ended. Two multimedia presentations are included in the admission and use amazing special effects—very entertaining as well as educational.



My favorite part of the museum is their special collections area, where they rotate exhibit items. The last time we were there several years ago, we got to see one of Lincoln’s beaver pelt top hats, complete with two worn spots his fingers had made from all the times he tipped his hat. Love that! This time, we saw an original manuscript of the Gettysburg Address.


This little friend set up her home near our passenger side mirror and stayed the whole time we were there. When we drove away, I thought I saw her flying off, but then when we got to our next destination, she was back! Strange….