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  • The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
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Travel to Illinois, USA

COMPLETED BY 34

LISTED 66

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum

I confess I haven’t visited many museums, post-college, except for the occasional art museum. When I grew up, my folks took my brother and I to museums during every vacation and I know we’re all the better for it.

I hope you’ll believe me when I say that the Lincoln Museum is worth a visit.

A museum employee will greet you upon entering and offer a minute-long guide to exploring the museum. Our guide highly recommended that, if nothing else, we attend the museum’s two videos presentations Ghosts of the Library and Lincoln’s Eyes. I was not sure what to expect, but found them both engaging.

This replica of the Lincoln family is located in the lobby entrance.

Lincoln Home National Historic Site

In 1887, Lincoln’s son Robert donated the family home to the National Park service as long as they maintained it and allowed the public to visit free of charge. The home is located on a four block stretch that the park service has renovated as closely to Lincoln’s time as possible. It’s the only national parkland in the state.

Washington Park Botanical Gardens

We caught a moment of serenity as we wandered through Washington Park and its botanical gardens. The rose garden reminded me of the Lyndale Park Rose Garden by Lake Harriet in Minneapolis, MN. We arrived at the botanical gardens just in time to take a peek before closing.

There are 150 species of plants growing just within this conservatory. Admission is free.

Lincoln Tomb

The Lincoln Tomb is located in the Oak Ridge Cemetary and is open to visitors free of charge. Abraham, Mary and their three sons Edward, Willie, and Tad rest in this tomb. One of my readers shared that it’s tradition to rub Lincoln’s nose for “luck” while visiting the tomb. Of course, we had to participate. The statue is elevated and I saw adults hoisting up their family members just for this opportunity. Korean War, Vietnam War, and Word War II memorials are also located at the cemetery.

Route 66 Drive In

We ended our road trip on a lighthearted note, by going to the Route 66 Drive In. The Drive In is located next to Knight’s Action Park, so we mini-golfed while we waited for dusk. This drive in features two movie screens on opposite sides of the sprawling parking lot that show a pair of movies, back-to-back. The employee listed our film choices of cars, robots and apes so we chose apes, of course! We brought plenty of treats including Del’s popcorn the Chamber had left in our hotel room and Beth’s addictive Fish Snack Mix.

People trickled in as it got darker and darker.

Sara fully expected to dislike Dawn of the Planet of the Apes but ended up getting a kick out of the film as the plot thickened. I never expected that apes would make me feel so emotional. “Oh no,” I kept thinking, these battling monkeys are going to make me cry and that’s how I’m going to leave Springfield.” Plus, Sara might laugh.

 

Success stories

Sunitha Eswaraiah

Jan 01 at 12:55 pm
University of illinois