On Sunday evening, Oct. 24th, our last evening in Charleston,IL. Trevor’s girlfriend, Leah invited us over for a meal. She and her roommates cooked a wonderful Italian dinner complete with Chicken Alfredo, Bruschetta, Insalata Caprese and Garlic bread. The proof it was awesome was Ken have two heaping plates of everything! Great job, ladies!!
On morning, Trev and Leah came out for breakfast and then said their good-byes since Trev needed to head to Springfield, IL with us for his last CPA exam. I drove his car so he could study in the RV during the 2 hour trip.
Since the weather forecast was predicting nasty weather for Monday night and Tuesday, Ken was particularly picking about the site we chose at the Illinois State Fairgrounds campground. We decided to go with a parking lot site with full hookups that had an embankment sheltering us from some of the winds.
There were also few trees overhead so less likelihood of damage from falling branches. While a parking lot definitely does not have the “it” factor, we were here for Trev’s CPA exam so the setting really wasn’t an issue. And $20 for full hookups and wifi close to his test site was just the ticket for this trip.
After set up we did a late lunch at D’Arcy’s Pint, great pub food and good service at mid-range prices.
Late afternoon and evening, Ken did some basic maintenance on the RV and then we relaxed, read and watched TV while Trev considered his last minute studies.
As Trev was ready for breaks we made supper and then later played “Hand n Foot”….ok, this was his night to win.
Unfortunately the overnight hours were not much fun. About 4am the weather radio started going off and it went off about every 15 minutes after that until about 5:30 am. The weather radio was Ken’s compromise to help ease my fears of sleeping in an RV during threatening weather. He hates them but I do better feeling I know what’s developing around us. I figure it would take a lot to cause harm in a 30,000 lb motorhome built for highway speed winds so I don’t get too concerned about watches or thunderstorm warnings with winds under 60mph. If the storm is expected to have dangerous lightening Ken might go out and unhook from the pedestal before it hits just as an extra precaution. This weather had tornado warnings to the county above us and the county below us, then a thunderstorm warning for us with winds that could exceed 70mph. That had me a bit jittery and I considered a move to the concrete block shower houses nearby but Ken was already really growly about the number of times the radio had gone off so I decided since no other RVers seemed to be vacating I could stick it out too, especially since we were sheltered from the direction of the winds.
I can’t say I’ve felt much movement from the wind when we are sitting in this rig but definitely felt it Monday night. It was raining hard for awhile and seemed to be going horizontal instead of falling. Luckily the storm line moved through in about 1/2 hour. I saw on TV that we had wind gusts in the 60 mph range during the worst of it but after the system passed the winds slowed to gusts of 40-45. At that point we were all able to get back to sleep for a few hours.
Lesson learned: I think we will look in to upgrading the weather radio to a version that can be more precisely programmed to the specific county we are in and to only go off for tornado warnings and severe thunderstorm warnings in that county. That would have meant the radio would have only woke us once instead of six times. There would have been a lot less grumpiness the next day!!
Trevor took a break from studying in the morning and fixed us breakfast on Tuesday. Early afternoon he took another break and we drove in to the historic downtown area where his office is located.
The McGladrey and Pullen offices are easy to find since they are right next to the old State Capitol Building.
We decided to try Willy P’s Tap and Grill which is right across from the office and a place he will likely frequent once on the job. They have daily specials for $7 including drink. Ken and I did the mostacolli with garlic bread. Not bad but not worth a special trip. Trev really liked the sandwich and homemade chips he’d ordered.
Since the wind was continuing to batter us, and we had a bad night for sleep we decided to put off our Lincoln Museum visit for another time when we could spend more time and be more awake. Instead we went back to the rig for a nap, dog walks and more studying for Trevor.
He took a break again a supper time and we drove out to the apartment complex where he would soon be living. Luckily we found a recently completed road that will cut some time off his daily drive. We also found a really good restaurant next door called the Lake Pointe Grille. While their specialty is brick-oven pizza, they do an excellent job on pasta. We decided to each try something different and share. You are going to spend $15-$18 a piece at this restaurant and the ambience doesn’t seem to be up to the price tag but the food is worth it. I love to do these kinds of restaurants with Trev and Ken because they both love to cook and we had a good time sampling each others entrees and talking about how we might try to reproduce at home. It’s also always fun to check out new ingredients we don’t normally have line crimmini mushrooms, and a walnut/squash combination in a pasta.
After a little more studying it was time for a ‘Hand n Foot’ rematch—a yes, finally, I creamed ‘em this time.
I’m headed off to bed with my Kindle, enjoying yet another highly reviewed ‘freebie’ novel from Amazon called the ‘Sari Shop
Widow’—a nice ‘no brain’ romance break compared to the twelve volume science fantasy ‘Sword of Truth’ series I just finished.
On Wednesday morning, Trev was up early to be to the test site by 7:30 pm. Ken and I took our time with showers, dog walks, breakfast and breaking camp after that. Ken was apprehensive about the drive with the 40-45 mph wind gusts predicted to continue through the day. We got on the road about 10am, as usual. Trev has called and said that he’s completed his test and is also on the way home.
As I write these last paragraphs we are about 20 minutes from Quincy where we will be switching gears to get Trev packed up for him move to Springfield.
Unfortunately, he will now have to change those weekend plans since Leah’s grandmother passed away and he will be boarding a train tomorrow to head up to Chicago for services on Friday. Our thoughts and prayers are with Leah, her mother, and family on their loss.
Depending on the temperatures, we may or may not take the rig back to Springfield when moving Trevor in 2 weeks. The fairgrounds campground shuts off their water/sewer hookups but does continue to make one nice shower house available upon request and does have some electric sites that are still available. The only charge $10 a night once water is no longer available so we figure unless its forecast to be really cold or bad driving it will work well as a place for us to stay while helping Trev get set up.
I’ll leave you with some final autumn pictures of the glorious old oak trees in the Illinois State Fairgrounds campground.