Sunday, July 25, 2010

Down on the Prairie (State)

                Many of you don't realize that this born-n-bred Texas gal has not lived here all her life.

what???  No!!!

                Yes, I know, I can hardly believe it myself.  In fact, I am very well traveled, living in 4 different states, 13 different homes and attending 9 different schools all before I graduated from high school (but that's a story for another time).  Back to Illinois.....

                From 1995 to 1998, my hubby whisked me away to the great state of Illinois, where I attended the University of Illinois Springfield, eventually graduating from there May of '98.  My very dear in-laws (and family) live there and we have great memories of living in Springfield.  Now, each summer, my 2 older kiddos go to visit their grandparents for a week or two.  This summer, we decided to drive up to meet them with the baby and stay for a while.

                My kids were already sufficiently spoiled by the time we got there, but we had so much more still to do......

Like eating traditional Illinois foods such as thin crust pizza, Mellow Creme Donuts, and horseshoes.  Huh?

           A Horseshoe is a plate that originates in Springfield, IL and everyone from here loves these "heart-attacks-on-a-plate".  Matt & I tend to like them, so we thought it would be great to introduce Sis to her first.  So what is it?  2 slices of texas toast (ironic, isn't it?) piled high with your choice of meat (I like ham, Matt likes corned beef).  Cover that with crinkle-cut french fries and smother it with a white-cheddar cheese sauce.  Mmmm. Mmmm. Mmmm.  You can't even imagine how delicious this is.  I even had a taste of a gourmet one as well with cornbread, pulled-pork BBQ, sweet potato fries and pepper jack sauce.  Ummmmmmm.
         And did she like it?
what do you think?

              All of the brothers & sisters were home for the fourth and it was great to see everyone!  We had so much fun over the 4th, celebrating the nation's birthday along with a certain sister's birthday.  We may have even gotten to go out as adults one evening.  It was a very eventful night complete with a donkey, 2 am Steak n Shake, and tons of laughter.  I felt like a kid again. Just sayin' Bradley

            With everyone home, we were able to really get to know our sweet niece & nephew:

          And sweet Bubba really learned how to walk while we were in Illinois.  By the end of the trip, he was toddling around everywhere.

            And we did plently of touristy things too, like spending the day in St. Louis and an overnight trip to Chicago (posts coming soon).  And visiting New Salem, where President Lincoln spent his young adult years.

            While here, we introduced PaPa to geo-cacheing and had so much fun.  Turns out, he was better at it then we were.  I'll tell ya'll about that soon too.

             We crammed so much into our 2 1/2 weeks there, that is has taken me a week to recover to finally get this post up.  It was one of the best times I have ever spent with my kids.  So incredibly relaxing, yet we were on the go every minute!  It was great quality time spent with our extended family and that was the best part about it.  No matter where you live, you always feel at home when you are with family.


Shawn said...

What a wonderful trip! Growing up about 3 hours north of Springfield I have to say I've never heard of a horseshoe. Somethings are better left unknown, I'm not sure I could handle one more thing {food related} to love!

You look incredible! You're like the incredible shrining woman!

WAiting for those Chicago pictures and stories.

Rhonda said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip. When you first mentioned geo-cacheing, I had no clue. (Michael knew) So, I looked it up. It sounds like so much fun and I know the boys would love it. Cannot wait to hear more about it.

I can't believe little Ian is walking everywhere! :o) Have a great Monday!

Kelli said...

The pictures and description of your trip make me wish I was there. I did have to laugh at the texas toast in the Look at your Bubba good sweet.

Connie W said...

That meals sounds amazing....simple but so good!

I loved following your trip on twitter!

He & Me + 3 said...

How fun...that plate of food sounds amazingly yummy! I love me some fries and cheese:)
you all did so much in the 2.5 weeks. Can't wait to read more about it. Your niece and nephew are adorable.

Anonymous said...

The food looks tasty! The trip sounds amazing! Ahhh he is walking!! Look out world :-) Can't wait to hear about the rest of the trip! Yay for great trips and family time!

Darling's said...

What a quick and fun couple of weeks we had with everyone! A fun opportunity for these kiddos to get to know each other better. I hope for many more summers just the same! Great post and of course, great pictures!

Jen said...

That sounds like a fabulous, fabulous trip! And can I say - I'm hungry now and nothing will do but a horseshoe! Reminds me of college and ordering french fries with cheese and gravy at Perkins at 2am with my best friend :) Yum.

Good luck with your little walker! Won't be long before he's talking your ear off :)

Anonymous said...

YEAH for summer vacations in Illinois! Same time next year!
Papa and Grandma

Liz @ Sugarplum Creations said...

What a fun trip! So memorable. Good food, family, and Bubba WALKING! Wow!

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