When we reached Sullivan, IL we decided to stop by the ‘Old School’ market and 'essenhaus' since it looked like a good place to consider for a stop on the way back when doing roundtrip tailgating Saturdays.
It’s an Amish restaurant with buffet-style service. The food and service were great and reasonably priced, so I made reservations for the next tailgating weekend since they said they are always full on Saturday evenings.
When we reached Fox Ridge State Park, site 12 was ready and waiting. It is perfect for us with plenty of grass for the dogs, 50 amp service and plenty of room for outdoor entertaining.
We took our time setting up, walked the dogs up to the camp office to pay and picked up some ice from the campground hosts.
All 4 d-tackles from the 2-deep chart were there as well as a linebacker and an offensive guard. That crew can really eat. Ken’s brother Michael and sister-in-law Jean pulled in with their 5th wheel in time to join us. We all sat around a bit and enjoyed the fire after. Later that night Trevor came back with Sarah and sat by the fire chatting until about 10:30.
Ken got the grill going for warming his ‘Better-Than-Olive-Garden’ Sausage and Potato soup and my roast and gravy for sandwiches. I had also made up nacho and dip and cheesecake. We had everything pre-cooked just needed to heat up.
Trevor and 5 of his friends came for 6pm dinner and put a good dent in the food.
That’s when we snapped this picture of Sox in her Panther-paw scarf getting a hug from her favorite Panther ,
It was downright chilly by the time we went in and we kicked on the heat for awhile and watched the ending of ‘Streetcar Named Desire’ on late night TV.
We slept really great in the cool evening and enjoyed a lazy Saturday morning, to the point that it was almost 11am before we finished breakfast.
Michael, Jean, Ken and I piled in to the jeep and did a little sightseeing around the state park. We then went to the Student Union where I bought a stuffed Panther, a Panther windsock and banner and a Panther clock all to decorate the motorhome for tailgating. Ken picked up an EIU jersey
Since we were in town we could get cell phone service again, we checked in on the boys. Kyle, along with his roommate, Aaron, along with Luke and Lindsay Henke had made it to Trevor’s house and would be meeting us at the stadium later.
Michael and Ken had found an advertisement for a new RV park being built just east of Charleston by the speedway so we decided to check that place out before we headed back to Fox Ridge.
Lincoln Springs Resort is a work in progress. They have a very nice putt-putt course and game room and soon to open Stovepipe Grill & Restaurant.
They also have the tallest statue of Abe Lincoln in the world! By next summer they should have their RV sites and cabins built around an existing lake. They plan to have a pool as well. We’ll have to try this place out for something different next season.
We all went back to our campsites for leftover soup and roast beef sandwiches, Ken got the VCR set up for recording the game and then packed back up again so we could get to the stadium for tailgating by 4:30.
We were surprised to find lot’s of Quincy folks dropping by our little makeshift tailgating area. We were having such a good time that we actually missed the opening kickoff which is a real first for us.
Here’s Ken, Michael and Jean. I think this level of applauding was probably for the halftime show since the game got them a little more active!
It was a really good game with a really bad outcome. In the last minutes of the game, behind by one field goal, EIU had all the momentum, with the second-string quarterback orchestrating what appeared to be an unstoppable march toward the goal line. In the last minute they were within field goal range and had one more snap to try for the touchdown before settling for a field goal to tie and go in to overtime. Then the quarterback drop the ball on the snap and it was all over, we lost. Having two nationally ranked teams play such a close game was exciting to watch but heartbreaking to lose that way. We felt really bad for the quarterback.
There was one very bright spot during the game. My niece, Sheila, called to tell me that it was in fact good that they cancelled out on joining us ath the game since her sister, my goddaughter, Deanna Venvertloh Twaddle, gave birth to a new baby girl! Girl #2 in the family of Deanna, Justin and now ‘big sister’ Lily.
The turnout of the game didn’t deter some young fans from prodding Trevor for his autograph after the game.
We all drove out to Trev’s house for awhile where the team had a huge post-game party planned.
Trev, with his shoulder iced down, shared his post-game pizza with Kyle and Dad. Luke and Lindsay dropped in at the house for awhile as well but decided they’d best drive back to Lindsey’s parents in Bloomington before it got too late. As the college students started streaming in to the house, Ken, Michael, Jean and I decided we were getting to old for this kind of Satuday night, and after getting assurances from Kyle and Aaron that they would call rather than try to drive that night after drinking, we went back to our RV’s and called it a night.
About 3am the phone rang and Ken drove back to the football guys house to rescue Kyle and Aaron, who slept/passed out for what was left of the night in the motorhome with us.
Surprisingly at 9am Trev called Sunday morning, looking for breakfast. We left Aaron and Kyle sleep as long as possible by cooking breakfast outdoors.
We laughed about calling it our ‘somehow’ breakfast since a lot of the conversation about the prior night's party was prefaced with phrases like ‘Then somehow, I ended up…’
Shortly before noon we loaded up the guys with remaining leftovers and sent them on their way. We packed up and pulled out around 1:30 at that same time as Jean and Michael. Of course, while we were headed back to Quincy and another work week, while they had decided to spend some more time in the area exploring Lake Shelbyville.
On the way home, I called my sister, Kathleen, to congratulate her on her new grand-daughter and get the details. My new great-niece is named Caleigh Joelle Twaddle, and weighed in at 7lbs 14 oz. 2 year old Lily is apparently thrilled with her new baby sister and officially pronounced her a ‘cutie pie’!
I’m finishing this blog entry off as we finish our final hour toward Quincy. It’s a bit windy again and the farmers are all out in the fields kicking up a dusty haze along the interstate. Ken has the Cubs on the radio and they're winning. With the exception of the final score of the EIU football game it has been a great weekend, getting to be with all our boys and sharing fun times with family and friends. As we cross the Eagle Valley bridges, our conversation turns to planning for the next adventure in less than 5 days.
Stay tuned…next week is the last non-conference game for EIU, playing Indiana State at Terre Haute!