Monday, May 26, 2014

Springfield, IL

We're trying to take advantage of the fact that, even though we live in the "middle of nowhere", we actually live so close to a lot of incredible places! We spent a quick 22 hours over Memorial Day exploring Springfield, IL - the land of Lincoln! 

Our first stop Monday morning was the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. It's the smallest national park in the United States, just a few blocks in diameter, but it is the location of the home Abraham Lincoln lived in with his wife and children for 17 years before he left in 1861 for the White House. A park ranger took us on a tour of the house (where Kate decided to throw a mini temper tantrum at the bottom of the stairs - nothing a few iPhone selfies couldn't fix). And then we wandered the street taking in the historic feel and touring a few other homes that housed artifacts and information galore. 

{check out the wallpaper and carpet surrounding his writing desk!}

Our next stop was the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, which I highly recommend. It was amazing and actually had fun things for all ages and interests. They had a holographic theater show about Lincoln as well as a special effects show about the Civil War. We walked through a replica of Lincoln's childhood farmhouse as well as the White House as it looked in 1860. I was completely impressed with all of the exhibits. There was a powerful 4 minute video showing a map of the United States and it changed, day by day, depending on who had control over each area (the Union or the Confederates) as well as a growing tally of deaths for each party until the war was over. 
{The special effects show was apparently so riveting it put Leah to sleep!}

Kate and Leah had a great time in Mrs. Lincoln's Attic where they could dress up in various uniforms and dresses, play with a dollhouse version of Lincoln's Springfield home, cook in a kitchen typical of the mid 1800s and even play with Lincoln Logs. It was perfect! 

After the museum we drove to Lincoln's tomb. The girls had both fallen asleep in the car (can I get a hallelujah!?) so Ryan and I took turns walking around the grounds and entering the beautiful marble monument to see the 16th president's final resting place. It was a beautiful afternoon and a wonderful place to be to honor our country on Memorial Day. 

After the tomb we drove around town a bit and decided to stop in and see the Illinois State Capital. It's a beautiful building inside and out with an elaborate dome at the top. We climbed up a few flights of stairs...and down a few flights of stairs (anything to keep Kate busy)...and wandered around the fountains and the giant statue out front (best foot picture ever!). Until it started to rain. And then pour. So we ran back to our car and headed home. 

It was a fabulously fun and jam-packed 22 hours perfectly close to the middle of nowhere.

1 comment:

Leslie said...

gah. these girls are just so dang cute. thanks for the fb reminder that i can stalk them through yet another avenue.