Monday, March 23, 2009

I'm back

As I stated in my last post I was on vacation last week. My grandmother’s 80th birthday was March 13th so we went back there to surprise her. My parents had flown out earlier in the week to give her a party but no one knew we were coming too. We drove through the night and got to Oshkosh, Wisconsin in time for the party and gave everyone a surprise they won’t soon forget. That weekend we also saw many of my cousins on my father’s side. They had met my wife and son last year at my grandfather’s funeral but this was a much better reunion.

Saturday we went to the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay. My son loves trains so he was in hog heaven. He got to climb on many old trains. There were not any trains from the Civil War but there were some interesting things to see anyway. Later that day we stopped at one of Oshkosh’s Civil War monuments, this one is for Camp Bragg that gave soldiers of the 21st and 32nd Wisconsin Infantry their first brush with the realities of being a soldier.

Later in the week we started to head home but had decided we would not drive straight through. Somehow I convinced my family to detour through Springfield, Illinois so I could soak up some Lincoln history. Time was of the essence so I decided to just see the new Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (I would only do the museum part). It’s a great place. You follow the life of Lincoln from boy to death. Springfield is amazing. It was a last minute addition to our trip so I hadn’t planned for it at all. I had no list of things to see. After the museum I ran through a few sites downtown like his law office and the Old State Capitol where he gave his House Divided speech. It was obvious that there is a ton to do in Springfield but I didn’t have the time so I grabbed brochures and hope to get back when I can devote 2 or 3 days as that’s what I think it will really require to do a good tour of Springfield.

Then we headed down the road towards home. We passed around St. Louis, which is an accomplishment as the last time I went through St. Louis I had to get a different car to complete the journey. The next morning I convinced everyone to stop at Lecompton, Kansas. There we saw Constitution Hall and the Territorial Capital Museum. These were both neat to see. I’m glad I went to Lecompton but I doubt I’d go back unless I heard about some new exhibits or something similar.

Some shots from the road:

Grandpa driving Big Boy (world's largest steam engine)

A big boy driving something not as big as the Big Boy

Stuck in the top of the caboose
"Trains and cannons in the same day?! Wow!"

Lincoln showing the way to his museum

Constitutional Hall

1 comment:

Chris Evans said...

Sounds like a great trip! A book that has a pretty humorous look at some of the Lincoln spots in Springfield is provided in -Land of Lincoln: Adventures in Abe's America
by Andrew Ferguson-I recommend it, if you haven't read it already. I hope to visit Springfield some day.
Thanks for the post,