Friday, July 3, 2009

Springfield, Ill and Omaha, NE

Our trip to Springfield did not allow us to meet the T.V. Simpson’s but we did visit Abraham Lincoln’s museum and historical home. Before I get to the hi-lights, let me cover the low lights. First off, Springfield is a somewhat dreary town and everything in downtown closes at 3:00pm. We had our first mediocre meal and I wont even cover the details because it was not noteworthy, and our KOA was definitely on the below average variety. (They proudly displayed the Presidential Award for 2004, yeah that is right. Not since 2004 did they get an award. There is no wondering by me as to why it has been so long.) Luckily we were only there for one night and I think as a whole we were ready to get out of Springfield. But we all enjoyed the Lincoln Museum and his historical home. The museum is truly a multi-media experience, probably the best we have seen on our trip. They show two movies about Lincoln and both movies are very well done and both reminded me of what you would see if Disney was in charge of making films on Lincoln. I mean that in a positive way; the movies hit all of your senses and it’s hard to put into words what they do. Since this is the 200 year anniversary of his birth, the museum brought out some special items which the public had never seen. The hi-light for me was one of only three stove top hats Lincoln wore. It actually had his finger marks on the brim from where he used to grab it to tip his cap when people approached him. The girls were more interested in his historical home where he and his wife Mary started their family, his political career and where he lost his first son to typhoid fever. The girls were surprised that they had no indoor plumbing, (although Mary had a wooden commode in her room that adjoined Lincoln and there was a three seat outhouse in the back. Talk about pooping in style.) and that Mary Lincoln cooked on a big black wood burning stove or over the hearth in the fireplace.

We left Springfield early yesterday morning to drive to Omaha, Nebraska. We drove across Iowa and saw more corn fields than I want to remember or could. I wanted to see the “Field of Dreams” field used in the movie but it was way off the beaten path of Interstate 80. We did find the hometown of Nile Kinnick and Bob Feller. Nile Kinnich played pro football in the late 1930’s into the 1940’s and was elected to the Pro football Hall of Fame in the 1950’s. Bob Feller was one of the greatest right handed pitchers ever who played for the Cleveland Indians. Feller gave up some of his prime years to serve in WW2 but still finish his career in the top ten in wins, ERA, shutouts and strikeouts. Okay so what Mark did not say is that we were on a mission to wine taste when we found the little town of Adel, which is where these two sports heroes were from. Mark has stopped at every rest stop in the beginning of each state to get maps and other paper pamphlets on the state. When I went in I found the one on wineries. Two were close to I80, so we thought we would break our 8 hour trip by taking a look. The one in Adel was closed only on the weekend, but the nice lady who answered the phone said they were having a meeting right then and we could stop by if we wanted, seeing as how we would not be able to make it back. We declined the invite. The second one we could not find. So no tasting for us!!

We arrived in Omaha, Nebraska early afternoon; checked into our KOA and have to say, this was the BEST KOA we stayed at on this trip. The outstanding KOAs separate themselves from the other KOAs but their customer service and how they treat my kids. My kids loved all of the FREE activities available at this KOA. Mini golf, and badminton, and the fact that they made fresh pizza and would delivered to our cabin site was all an added bonus. Needless the say the kids DID NOT want to leave the KOA that night so the minor league baseball game we had planned to attend was canceled and we enjoyed a great evening of family fun. As for Kim, the KOA was right near an outlet mall, and since she was just about at her wits end, shopping was in order. Plus since at the wonderful Springfield KOA she was crapped on by a bird, a new shirt was much needed!!!!! So she left for an hour and only $100.00 later came back with a smile on her face. We had another long trip to South Dakota the next day so, it was early to bed.

South Dakota next….Corn Palace, Wall Drug and Mt. Rushmore to name of view of the upcoming topics.

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