Sunday, September 13, 2009

Moonshine, Wine and Win #2

Thursday evening we hosted eight of the players for dinner. I cooked up a pot of chili, sloppy joes, and of course, nachos. Since they are now having team meals on Friday night (which we think is an excellent idea by-the-way), we had to move to Thursday. Having them wolf down several bowls of chili is ok, too, when its not the night before the game!!

Annie and Karl Rudert joined us. We joked that if you are going to get these linemen together anywhere you better include the team doctor! Of course, as a team ‘Mom’ I don’t find it so funny that the lineman seem to be the ones the most beat up after a game since they are getting hit hard every single play.

Annie contributed lots of plates of cookies and rice krispie treats which were a really big hit with the guys scrambling to take home the leftovers. These guys are so appreciative of homecooked goodies.

My favorite part of the evening proved that maybe these guys aren’t quite as tough in everyday life as they are on the field. With the sun down and the meals finished, the guys were being pretty boisterous around the picnic tables telling stories on one another. Suddenly one of our regular neighborhood coyotes decided to give out a load singular howl from the wooded area behind the motorhome. You talk about move!! Those guys were suddenly all piled on top of one another as far from the woods as possible. The Florida boys suddenly seemed to be having second thoughts about being ‘out in the wilderness’! They move that fast on the field and they’ll have an OVC championship for sure!!

It was the opening night for NFL so the guys came in to watch the game. You really get a different perspective on the game when sitting in a room of football players.

Ken and I have gotten a good shared routine worked out now for the cleanup from these feeds and had everything back in place and were able to call it a night by 10:30pm

On Friday, Karl and Annie invited us for a ride with them to visit the unique Moonshine Store to enjoy one of their famous lunchtime burgers. They had picked up on our love of getting to know the unique ‘flavors’ of the country as we travelled and this definitely fit our idea of the kind of place we love to search out in our travels. In fact, some of you may have already been acquainted with this place from CBS Sunday Morning. You can see that clip here.

It's really good that Karl drove us there since they don’t exactly have easy signage to follow!

Despite being located in the middle of nowhere, and only serving lunch, this place has at least twice in the past year served over 1000 burgers in a single day! Apparently Moonshine, population 2, is now a favorite destination for motorcycle clubs and other folks like ourselves who enjoy finding such unique roadside attractions.

There’s no place to sit in the store but even on a weekday afternoon there were plenty of customers scattered amongst the picnic tables next to the store.

It’s pretty much on the ‘honor system’. You give them your name and the number of burgers you want and then just pick up drinks, chips, etc., to take out to the tables. When you’ve gotten your fill you go in and leave the money at the counter.

Although Annie had to get back to their place for a vet appointment for her horses, they suggested that Ken and I also check our the covered bridge and the winery in Greenup, IL.

Since we didn’t plan to be back in the Charleston area until next month, Ken and I decided to continue our Thursday explorations.

We have mentioned Greenup in prior posts. While Charleston is 7 miles to the north of Fox Ridge State Park, Greenup is an equal 7 miles south of the park.

It’s claim to fame is being the ‘Town of Porches’.

While Ken and I had driven through Greenup before and tried one of the local cafes, we now followed the Ruderts’ suggestions and checked out the covered bridge.

This bridge site has a very interesting history with the story including that Abe Lincoln and his dad took part in building the prior covered bridge that stood at this site.

The current bridge was constructed in 1996. There is enough lumber in this one bridge to build 20 2000 square foot houses.

It is currently the longest covered bridge currently in use in the U.S.

Within a mile of the bridge is the Cameo Winery, which is now our new favorite Illinois Winery.

The lady doing the serving is one of the owners and did a great job of walking us through the variety of wines they offered. She filled us in on the history of how her husband got in to winemaking and how their operation was set up. She also has a son playing junior high football and spent a lot of time talking to us about how tough it is for a Mom to watch her son play football. I had to admit to her that I have the same problem and that it certainly doesn’t get any easier as they get older since the hits just get harder.

Besides great hospitality, we found both a red and a white that we really liked.

We decided to sit and enjoy a couple of glasses and then bought a couple of bottles to take back with us. It seems the winery is the Friday afternoon gathering place for local teachers so we had a lot of company.

It was dinnertime as we made our way back through the center of Greenup so we decided to try another of their local cafes.

Saathoff’s Café is a very small corner café with a blackboard out front announcing the days specials and maybe seating for 24 if you include the bar stools. However, we sensed we’d picked a winner as soon as we walked in and saw an EIU Panther flag flying and an EIU football poster/schedule prominently displayed. And the menu was a welcome surprise. Not your normal café menu, there were separately priced entrees and sides, with local specialties such as the chefs own homegrown garden items featured.

Ken had the ribeye and I had a special pork dish. They were great but the standout item was a grilled corn side dish with peppers, and black beans, sautéed in butter. We are definitely going to experiment at home to try to replicate.

The owner/chef, Michael, came out to talk. He does a lot of catering and had served the Chicago Bear’s during training camp. He had been negotiating with the EIU football admin for their new Friday night meals for the team but apparently they couldn’t come to terms. Too bad, the boys would have loved this guys cooking.

Ken had said the café was in the perfect location since it was right across from the old fashioned ice cream soda shop (for dessert). But, the meal was so great that we had no interest in trying out the ice cream shop after. We can save that for next visit, especially since we needed to make it an early night to head out for the game on Saturday.

Saturday morning we didn’t get on the road until 8:45am. This should not have been an issue since we had a backroad route to Terre Haute that only required about 45 minutes and the game was at 11:00. Problem was that when we got to the city we found that there were no less that 4 different ‘3rd Streets’ in the area and we never could find the ‘Lafayette’ street that Googlemaps had in our directions.

We didn’t arrive until about 10:00 but still were able to get in a little tailgating with the Panther Club.

Unfortunately, I think Trevor’s friend Avery was finding better competition on the bags game at the tailgate than what we faced inside the stadium.

Indiana State has not won a game in 3 seasons. It was the EIU defensive unit's goal to keep them scoreless and they met that goal with a 31-0 win. Unfortunately, even with this lopsided score it was not a very good showing offensively with lots of stupid penalties and 4 sacks.

Kevin Mahoney, having been moved to the Offense coaching staff and off the field after his eighth concussion, looks to be turning up his nose here at what he’s seeing on the field.

Shoot – looks like the cheerleaders weren’t at their best for this game either – or at least they needed a shave!

For the time that he was in, Trevor made a really good showing defensively with several tackles for loss and a sack.

It appears here that if he couldn’t get to the quarterback himself, he’d simply throw the O-lineman at him!!

You can see here an example of the impact on Trev’s shoulders when he and Andre have a 1000 lbs of linemen coming at the two of them every play.

With the lopsided score, Trev spent the 2nd half of the game on the bench watching the second string get lots of playing time. This was probably a good thing.For those of you that have been following, yes, Trevor is favoring his left arm in this picture.

The guys were glad to put win#2 under their belt and came over to the stands to sing us their victory song before leaving the field.

We talked to Doc Rudert briefly and to Trevor after the game. I can’t hardly believe I’m writing this but he has now sublexed his left shoulder. It was his right shoulder that a specialist had to put back together surgically so this is certainly a big worry. The left shoulder had a lot of swelling but was back in place. The hope is that with several days rest Trev will be ok for the SEMO game next weekend.

We’ll update you later in the week.

Until then…

Hugs, C


Snackmaster & Jan said...

Sounds like you are having a great time full-timing:-) Keep those fellas patched up. They have a life after football. I know of what I speak. Our 40 year old daughter is paying for years of soccer games. It's difficult to explain to a high school and college athlete that they still have a lot of life after their sports career. Thankfully, we had excellent team docs:-) Sounds like your boys do too.

Anonymous said...

so what are your plans after your kids are busy with their own lives?