Our first stop was Beaver Dam State Park near Carlinville, IL. While it was an uneventful 2 hour drive we were glad to see that the park restaurant was open since we wanted to treat son, Kyle, and his fiancé, Jenni, to dinner after they got off work but it was a bit chilly to cook outside. Neither Ken nor I were much in the mood for cooking inside.
The park restaurant usually has a great homemade plate lunch special each day and today was no different with country-fried steak.
The weather was nice enough that we were able to eat out on the deck of the restaurant overlooking the lake.
Kyle and Jenni headed back in to town to get in a workout while watching the basketball playoffs. I pulled out the Nordic Track and got in my workout while Ken tinkered with tuning the local channels in on the antennae. Wouldn’t you know it, we could get everything but CBS for basketball.
I’m sure the nasty turn in weather didn’t help. It started raining Wednesday night and kept up steady through the day on Thursday.
We used the time to do some RV cleaning, then met Kyle and Tom, one of the law partners for lunch at the WoodDuck. Kyle asked us to drop by the house to let Staley out. It was good that we dropped by when it was so windy as Ken was able to find an obscure whistling noise on the siding of the house and then drop by the handy nearby Ace hardware to pick up some items to fix it. We then did a Walmart run to grab items for an evening meal.
The weather, once again, deterred our plans to grill out so instead Ken and I took over Kyle and Jenni’s kitchen to do some pan seared salmon, roasted red potatoes and steamed veggies. Kyle and I did much better on our weight watchers points this night!! Again, we split up after dishes for them to go to their workout and us to get back to the RV for me to get in my Nordic Track workout.
I had my annual physical on Wednesday before we left. My weight there showed that I have now lost 21 lbs since the beginning of the year so I really want to be careful to stay on program for this trip. Kyle seems to be fighting a plateau at the 30 lb mark so he is really trying to kick in the exercise as well.
After a full day of rain, the weather turned even worse, cold and blustery for Thursday evening. While we do use Ken’s P20 disability card for $5 off weeknights in Illinois parks, we do not normally take the handicap sites leaving them for folks that have serious mobility issues. However, since there was no one in the park when we pulled in and we knew there was a lot of rain coming we decided to take a handicap site since those sites had lots of asphalt meaning much less mud. We are sure glad we made that decision because by Friday there was a lot of standing water.
In fact, Friday morning, the standing water near our site was all frozen.
By mid-day Friday, the temperatures began to warm a bit in time for the arrival of son, Trevor, his lady, Leah, and their 9 month old Staffordshire bull terrier, King. This is another dog that Trevor ended up ‘fostering’ when a football player received it as a gift and had no place to keep him. Since our dogs are not real keen on other dogs, we had told Trevor that so long as he planned on coming back to our house in Quincy he couldn’t keep a dog. Leah volunteered to take King home over Christmas and King found a way in to the Sobut family over that holiday so he is now officially adopted by Leah’s mom and Leah.
Little 20 lb Sox was not at all happy to have that 60 lb puppy in her territory so we had to put King in his crate while the four of us went down to the park restaurant for the kids to get a late lunch. Since Ken and I had already had lunch we were tempted to pieces of their homemade pies. I had multi-berry and Ken had caramel apple...yumm….ok, not on weight watchers but I had 12 activity points saved up for the splurge!!
We took the dogs for a walk down by the lake after the meal. We’d hoped to walk around the lake but the trails had so much standing water that we decided to head back up to the roadways.
Kyle invited Trev and Leah to join he and Jenni at a local pub at 5pm where there was to be a gathering of various Carlinville judges and lawyers so Ken and I took a break during this time to sit out in the sunshine that had finally shown up and catch up on our reading.
We joined the kids at about 7pm at the Lucky Dog on the Carlinville square.
We then took the kids to the Salsa Grill for dinner. Ken figured Trevor would want to cash in on their Friday night all you can eat rib-eye which he did having 3 steaks. Unfortunately, the service and the food did not live up to our prior experiences so I’m afraid I’ll not be recommending that establishment again.
Leah and Trevor were already yawning and the restaurant so after one more drink at the bar, that foursome headed off to Kyle’s for the night while Ken and I headed back to the RV, for a dog walk, a check of the basketball scores and then bedtime.
On Saturday, with the weather still nippy, we gathered up materials to cook breakfast and headed back to Kyle’s. Ken made everyone a great big breakfast. While he was cooking I checked emails and entered my weightwatchers journaling online to catch up for 3 days without internet. Unfortunately I hadn’t had time to write a post yet so I don’t know when I’ll have internet again so that I can post this!!
After breakfast, Trev, Leah and King then headed off to spend rest of weekend with Leah’s mom in Palos, IL, while we headed back to the motorhome. It was 2pm when we were on the road again, heading for our next stop, Metropolis, IL. Normally we’d like to be stopping at 2pm instead of starting a drive at 2pm but these are roads we know well and we’re glad we got to spend the time with family since it will now be 7 weeks before we see them again.