Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library
Presidential Museum
Presidential Museum
Replica of  Lincoln's childhood home
Lincoln Family Home

Our first stop in Illinois was Springfield, the capital of the state but its real claim to fame is that President Lincoln lived, worked and is
buried here. 

The magnificent Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library opened in 2004 and houses an unbelievable amount of Lincoln papers and artifacts. Steven Spielberg spent months here researching Lincoln so that his movie would be as accurate a portrayal of the 16th  president as possible. 

As nice as the museum is, it is especially moving to walk down the street where Lincoln ands family lived before he was elected president. The entire street has been preserved as a National Historic site. Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd bought their home here in 1844 and lived there until moving to Washington in 1861. Homes on the block appear as they did when Lincoln lived there.

Lincoln, his wife and 3 of their 4 sons are buried in Springfield. This year marked the 150th anniversary of the assassination. 

We spent some time in the Chicago area to visit our good friends Anne and Scott and see my niece Caroline, her husband Nick and their 6 year old daughter Clare. Seeing people you love is always the best part of our travels.

We are now in Wisconsin and will be moving around the state for the next 3 plus months. 

If you would like to read interesting things about Lincoln's funeral click this link or paste in browser: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-singh/8-things-you-didnt-know-abraham-lincoln_b_7062044.html

Sunday, May 10, 2015


Jefferson City Capitol Building
Jefferson City Capitol Building
About a month was spent traveling through Missouri as we did not want to get to the Chicago area until mid-May. Our weather has not been great but considering what much of the country has been going through, we cannot complain.
Missouri State Penitentiary

We stopped in Branson, self proclaimed Music Capital of the World. With over 100 live shows and countless tourist attractions, Branson attracts over 7 million visitors a year. We were told  the roads are one giant parking lot in summer. 

Missouri State Penitentiary
Joplin has recovered from the EF5 multi-vortex tornado that demolished much of the town in 2011 and killed 158 people. There are still many empty blocks in the wake of the nearly mile wide tornado. With 2.8 billion dollars in damages, it was the costliest tornado in U.S. history.
The historic town of Hermann

Stone Hill Winery Hermann
We also spent some time in a town on The Lake of The Ozarks. The lake is a man made reservoir with over 1,150 miles of winding shoreline. The main 
channel is 92 miles long. The state of Missouri was acquired as part of the Louisiana Purchase and became the 24th state in 1821. The Capitol Building in Jefferson City was completed in 1917 and stands in the center of town beside the Missouri River.  The infamous Missouri State Penitentiary opened in Jefferson City 1836 and closed in 2004.  It was known as the bloodiest 47 acres in America. Over the years, it housed bank robber Pretty Boy Floyd, assassin James Earl Ray and former heavyweight champion Sonny Liston.

Winery overlooking Missouri River
We continued working our way north to Columbia, home of the University of Missouri. We had lunch at a winery overlooking the Missouri River and finally managed to walk the Katy Trail. At 240 miles, it is one of the longest rails to trails projects in the United States. We visited the charming town of Hermann, settled by Germans and famous for wineries, sausage and 150 historic buildings. We spent our final days in Missouri in a suburb of St. Louis.