Surely I jest. Day one of our travel experiment is behind us. Too soon to say we have survived, but it went well. We had made a decision to stop in Springfield Illinois, and having grabbed a hotel room at the Hilton Gardens, we decided to take in the Lincoln experience.
We arrived downtown around 4:30 and after pretending to know exactly where we were, one of my built in flaws, we reached the Lincoln sites just in time to miss the final tour. But, that was okay. Plenty to see anyway and a really enjoyable dinner at an 1860’s restored house / microbrewery. I had what they call the Horseshoe, better known as a cardiac arrest on a plate and since I am writing this, I obviously survived. A few micro-brews later and we headed back to enjoy some of the amenities of our hotel.
This morning, after a luxurious sleep in, we headed back downtown to complete the Lincoln Experience. The tour, offered by a skillful and humorous guide, took us through several restored homes in the intricately restored Lincoln neighborhood and ended with a very complete tour of Lincoln’s Springfield home. The fact that most of the furnishings actually had belonged to the Lincolns and that the restoration was authenticated by illustrations from the period, brought history to life. Having been a Civil War Era buff all my life only added to the experience. We concluded the tour with a private half hour conversation with the guide, who having learned we were former teachers, was eager to share more of the history. Salt of the earth I believe is the term he used for teachers. Of course we knew that. I have always managed to be a little salty.
We had expected the tour would be interesting but the detail the preservation society has put into the re-creation of the area by restoring the 1860’s style buildings as well as the removal of anything from any other period, allows you to take a walk back in history. We are scoring this as our first whimsical surprise.
We are in the St Louis area tonight and our travel experiment will continue as we explore this area for the next several days. We will stay with friends, eat great food, share stories over drinks and enjoy great company. With that said, I need to get back to the party. Give me a few days off and I will bring my readers up to date.