Day Four. I woke in the guestroom of Leah’s twin, Rayne, in central Illinois. I’d slept with the window open and the air carried the rain smell from the night before. Lovely. Yawn. Stretch.
I coffee’d myself, pet a couple of kittens, and with permissions granted the night before to allow Leah’s nephew, Henry, play hooky from school, the three of us set off to Springfield to the Abe Lincoln Museum.
In the car, to keep little Henry occupied, I explain GPS to him using Star Wars references, I made “ooooommph!” gobbling noises when he ate grapes, and insisted that was a noise that all grapes make when being eaten, I explained swirlies to him, which delighted him and caused him for the remainder of the afternoon to pull me aside and whisper, “Amy, can we put Aunt Leah’s head in the toilet yet?” The toilet conversation referenced the GPS conversation and we, Henry and I, began to discuss the differences between space toilets and regular toilets. And then, we asked Henry what he thought about for a name for his new little brother in a few months. “Poopy Racer Pants” he quipped. Then, “Blah Blah Ya Ya” then “Fart Mouth” then “Booty Store” and the like. but the Booty Store conversation continued for a while. In fact, he took it from the Booty Store to “The Penis Store” and then insisted he woudl go to the Booty Store, buy himself a new booty, and stapel it to his penis. I caught osme of this on video. I’ll post shortly. Forgive the camera jiggling; I was howling with laugher, especially when he broke into song: “the penis store/the penis store/ let’s all go to the penis store!”
Now, Leah visited the Lincoln Museumplace before, and I, admittedly, was surprised to see her level of enthusiasm back them. I mean, a Presidential museum? Interesting, yes, but exciting? Really? Really. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library is absolutely beautiful. And interesting. And exciting. And kind of spooky, in places, even. Don’t miss the Ghosts in the Library show, in particular.
Then, we walked across the square to Robbie’s for lunch with photographerMatt Penning and Springfield PBSproducer and local programming and production director, Scott Troehler. Both great guys, and we had a wonderful lunch together, all laughing and talking, as seen here.
Then, Leah and Henry and I pressed on to Flesor’s Candy Kitchen. I’ve written about it before, when traveling last summer, and I love knowing about this place. I love knowing that places lke this still exist. There’s a still-busy soda fountain, homemade everything, it’s a family run business, it’s the kind of place from which you feel good about buying, and it’s tucked away into a quiet downtown area of Tuscola, Illinois. It’s perfect. And so are their honey-caramels with milk chocolate and sea salt. Yowza. Rayne met up with us to pick up Henry, we got him jacked up on a ton of sugar, and we parted ways.
We drove through dangerously pretty prairie storm clouds, which gave way to dangerously pretty storms, finally stopping off for dinner to wait out the weather in Bradley, Illinois. The rain cleared a bit, and by ten pm, we were in Chicago. Ignoring the GPS, we took Lake Shore Drive, because there is something about seeing the skyline from there after a roadtrip that is like a welcome mat.
I slept like the dead that night.