We left Tennessee on Wednesday, October 20th, and made the 335 mile drive to Charleston, IL. 6.5 hours is a long travel day for us.
We we happy to get in to Fox Ridge State Park, our home park here at Eastern Illinois University.
Leah is a senior here at school. Trev drove over Thursday afternoon from Quincy. As you can see below, Sox was thrilled to have some more of her people home to spoil her.
We did grilled chicken, potatoes and fresh green beans for dinner and then played ‘Hand n Foot’. The guys just barely beat the girls but Leah and I are ready to take them on again anytime.
Friday, Trevor and Leah came out for breakfast and Leah took a run in the park and then headed back to classes. Trev spent the day studying for his final CPA exam. I did my Nordic Track workout, another Walmart run and dropped by McDonald’s again to do some more internet work to figure out where we’d stay in Springfield next week, send some photos for processing and do some online ‘finance’ work.
Ken put together a double batch of his Italian sausage soup for tailgating (under close supervision by Ditka!)
Late afternoon while walking the dogs, we got a rare opportunity for some pictures of one of the parks owls. One of our favorite things about Fox Ridge State Park are the number of owls that sing you to sleep at night. It’s not often they come out and pose for us during the day!
Trevor had to leave mid-afternoon to coach QND’s tromping of Waterloo Friday evening at Waterloo. Chris Vacarro got in late Friday afternoon so we took, Chris, his girlfriend Courtney and Leah to Greenup, IL for dinner. Our intent was to take them to Saathoff’s. Unfortunately, when we arrived in Greenup, Saathoff’s was closed so instead we ventured in to another restaurant in this small town called Stagecoach Stop. It turned out to be a great choice with great AYCE fish and sweet potato fries and fried okra that everyone really liked.
Saturday was EIU’s Homecoming and the first time we’d tailgated this season. Despite the dismal football season and windy start to the day, there was a good turnout.
We got on to the tailgating parking lot about 10 am with Trevor and Leah’s roommates showing up pretty soon after with Mimosa’s and last years’ OVC championship banner to hang up.
The guys who won that championship and graduated were now able to party outside instead of suit up for the game. They did, however, make a point to go in to the locker room and try to ‘motivate’ the team a bit. Apparently it only helped through the first half since they lost the game, yet again, in the second half.
From left, Chris Vaccaro, Ademola Adiniji, Andre Lima, Luis Cairo, Trev and Jeff Sobul.
About 11am Kyle and Jenni, along with Staley, arrived from Carlinville. It was their two-week anniversary. We are glad they were able to come over and share the day with us since, with the wedding the fall, this was our only chance to have all of us together for tailgating.
Below: Jennifer FRERICKS, Jaimie Dansart, Jeff Sobul, Chris Vaccaro, Kourtney Higgins
The Daily Eastern News dropped by to do some interviews and the band came by to treat us to a song.
From left, Jeff Sobul, Jamie Dansart, Chris Vaccaro, Kourtney Higgins, Leah and Trevor.
As you may recall from prior blogs, one of Trevor’s past roommates and fellow EIU football alumni, Trent Steckel was killed in a motorcycle accident several months ago. We were thrilled to have Trent’s Mom, Heather, come down to join us for homecoming. Here are some of our favorite EIU friends, Doc and Annie Rudert (he volunteers and team doctor) along with Heather.
And, of course, no EIU tailgate would be complete without Scott Robinson introducing us to some new concoction from his liquor store. This time it was a liquor-based whipped cream. You could make some seriously dangerous hot chocolate with this stuff!
It’s important to Ken to have the motorhome parked back in its site by dark so we left the tailgate park at about 5:30 and were set back up at the state park by shortly after 6pm.
We went back to Lincoln Garden for dinner with Kyle and Jenni and then dropped them off at Leah’s house where there was a big homecoming party taking place. Ken went in and picked them up a couple of hours later since this ‘old married couple’ weren’t quite in to the all-night college partying scene they’d left many years ago.
Most motorhome owners, especially fulltimers, will tell you that their rig sleeps 2. Well Saturday night we had a bunking party with 4 adults and 3 dogs. Jenni and Kyle took the sofa bed. It really isn’t too bad except that, with Ditka still recuperating from surgery, we can’t leave him around other dogs unsupervised so there was a lot of juggling of which dogs went where for feeding, walking, sleeping, etc.,
Sunday morning, we set up outside to have a nice breakfast before the kids left to go back to Carlinville. They wanted to get on the road to be sure that Kyle did not miss his beloved Bears game.
It was about 11:30 when the prior night’s revelers started straggling in to our campsite. Trev had told his buds they were welcome to come by the RV to do a late breakfast but should bring some food since he had no idea how many would come or what we’d have available. As it turns out, if you count Jenni and Kyle, we ended up doing breakfast for 14. Of course, they all brought plenty of eggs, bacon, potatoes, donuts, milk and juice so our contribution was primarily the place, the set up and the cooking.
Leah and Kourtney decided to go play on the playground behind the rig.
Soon Trev and Jeff were joining them. Must be one strong swingset to handle these two!!
Most of this crew are from the Chicago area and so about 1:30 they started departing for their 3 hour drive home.
Trevor helped clean up and then he and Leah headed back to her house so Trev could study and she could get in a much needed nap.
Ken is watching the Bears get beat by the Redskins while I write this post. Leah wants to cook for us this evening so as soon as the game is over I’m going to do my workout while Ken does a dog walk and some napping under the awning. We’ll then head in to town for the evening.
It’s been a really nice Homecoming weekend getting to see all the friends we’ve missed here at EIU. We are all hoping this gets to be an annual get-together for this crew.