Category Archives: Illinois


Today we decided to see the Lincoln Museum. At first it didn’t look promising but it turned out to be an exceptional museum. I would recommend it as a destination. The exhibits were engaging. They even has First Lady dresses the still had some of the original material.

We had to leave because we were short on time. It seems everywhere we went we could have stayed longer.

On the road to do a drive by of the St Louis Arch. We decided not to stop and see the Arch, but to go to Memphis to see Graceland.


We got to Dorothy and David’s (Marsha’s brother) house for lunch. We had a nice lunch and enjoyable visit. Both Dorothy and David are very creative. But alas on the road again to Springfield Illinois. On the was to Springfield we stopped in Artur, town with a large Amish population

We saw the Amish in their buggies and stopped in at an Amish restaurant and store. After this short detour on to Springfield, Land of Lincoln. We checked into the hotel and then headed for dinner.

A local food item that appears on many menus is called the Horseshoe. It is a slice of Texas toast covered with your choice of meat or vegetables, then covered with fries and finally smothered in cheese. Below is a picture of a Pony since it is smaller than the Horseshoe.

Then off to the hotel so we can be rested for touring Springfield.

Chicago continued

Day 2 in Chicago was just as wonderful as the first day. We got on the hop-on hop-off bus and went to the Navy Pier. We had lunch on the Pier and then ride the Centennial Wheel (a smaller version of the London Eye. The pics below were taken from the wheel.

Then we did a lot more sightseeing including the water tower and Magnificent Mile. Eventually we made our way to the John Hancock building and the 360 Chicago for more bird’s eye views.

While at the 360 we had a drink and the ceiling was mirrored. See picture below.

Dinner that night was at the Berghoff a well known German restaurant.

After dinner we returned to the hotel. Tomorrow we will take the bus back to Rockford, retrieve the car and drive to Madison WI. So tomorrow is a driving day with no sightseeing.


We got up and headed to the bus station for the over an hour ride to Chicago. We went to our hotel which was located in the center of the city. Our room wasn’t ready so we checked our luggage and headed out sightseeing. We bought 2 day tickets for the hop-on hop-off bus.

We went first to the Adler Planetarium. It is a great place but time is always short when there is so much to see. There is a great view of the Chicago skyline from the front of the planetarium.

Adler Planetarium

Next we went to the park that contains many landmarks. First was the Bean a large reflective metal structure where you can take pictures being reflected by the Bean.

The above picture is the center of the Bean and below are pictures taken of the reflections in the Bean.

Then Marsha and I walked to Buckingham Fountain with beautiful sights along the wa.

Below are pictures of Buckingham Fountain. It also goes a water show for 20 minutes and is lit with a rainbow of colors at night.

We boarded the bus and went to a different section of the city. The streets have various forms of artwork that is really neat. Below is a pic of one.

Of course we drove by Soldier Field.

And of course the day would not be complete without pictures of Chicago at night.

Then back to the hotel so we can do more touristing tomorrow.

Rockford Illinois

Today we went to visit Marsha’s brother, Wally, and sister-in-law EJ. They have the most beautiful garden in their backyard and they raise butterflies. Wally is a docent for a nearby Conservatory. Wally and EJ took us to the Conservatory where Wally gave us his tour. The tour was extremely interesting and Wally does a great job as docent. The Conservatory has a Corpse Flower (titan arum plant) that smells like rotting flesh and burnt sugar when it opens.

From the Conservatory we went to a Japanese garden where we had lunch. After lunch we toured the extremely beautiful gardens.

We had to leave the gardens because we were invited to Wally and EJ’s neighbor for happy hour. Again it would have been nice to spend more time at both locations but we couldn’t.

Wally’s neighbor has a bar in his basement.

He is very much into craft beer and has 8 or 9 on tap that he goes to Chicago to get. We had a really fun time. After happy hour we went back to Wally and EJ’s for dinner.

I should mention EJ is very much into fiber arts. She spins her own yarn. Of course we have much in common and we went off to the yarn store that EJ frequents. Great store and of course I got more yarn.

But I digressed. After dinner we returned to the hotel since we will go to Chicago in the morning.