I write this today full of wonderful memories from just twenty-four hours ago, when the wife and I took our two grandsons, Jackson and Matthew, on a “field trip” to Springfield to visit the Lincoln Presidential Museum. I had never been there previously, but Carolyn was a year or so ago, so she was familiar with the logistics of our destination. Right up front, I can honestly say that I loved the whole day, even the three-hour drive each way, and would go back again sometime.
We had thought it a good idea to take the boys there during their spring break, and it worked out very well as they stayed overnight with us, and we were able to get up early and get on the road in fine fashion. A quick “detour” to Dunkin’ Donuts for early-morning fortification and nourishment, and then it was on to I-88 to I-39 (southbound) and then to I-55 to Springfield. All went well with only one other stop at a rest area near Funk’s Grove, a very well maintained rest area at that, full of Route 66 memorabilia and artifacts on display.
The weather was warm with all the trappings of late spring the farther south we travelled. The two boys enjoyed passing the time with their game “machines,” and the arguments were held to a minimum throughout the course of the drive. Since I was driving, I really didn’t know what the back seat was like, only aware of the sounds from that area, but all seemed in good shape just the same.
When we arrived shortly after 11 a.m., we had no trouble locating the museum or the parking nearby. Parking turned out to be quite simple and only a short walk over to the entrance to the museum. Before we entered, it was fun kidding with the two grandsons and helping them understand exactly what this part of American history was all about.
Jack, a kindergartner, displayed an amazing interest in many things—particularly the Civil War portion of Lincoln’s life. There were some fabulous movies and presentations that blended modern technology with factual stuff (e.g.-“Ghosts in the Library”) that we all found to be excellent. Matt, just four-years-old, took in things and was very attentive and well behaved. He had the misfortune of having a large cup of Coke spill on him, thanks to a sudden wind gust while we ate outside the Subway restaurant, but he took it well and didn’t mind the wet and sticky condition too much. It could only happen to him!
As it always seems to happen, the time went way too quickly—signs that the day was a happy success. On our way out of Springfield, we found the Oak Ridge Cemetery, where Lincoln’s tomb is located. At this point, Matt was sound asleep in the back, so I stayed in the car and let the wife and Jack go rub Abe’s statue nose for good luck and to see the tomb itself. I think he and Grandma had a fun time doing that.
Soon, we were headed north for our journey back to northern Illinois. It was one of those occasions where one still felt very good about it twenty-four hours later, proof that our little trip must have been good!…MLA