Monday, August 9, 2010

A Presidential Experience

It seems I've been so busy, I've had little time to do any posting. So I may just have to post several things in the next couple of days.

My first cousins on my dad's side (Gisel's) have been getting together every summer for a few days. We had decided not to have a reunion this summer, but just couldn't break the habit. So we decided to go to Springfield Illinois for a couple days.

We arrived on a Tuesday afternoon and after checking into our hotel, decided to go downtown to eat. Somehow I failed to get a picture of the restaurant; It was called "Augie's" and was quite different. Each entree had specific sides that came with that entree. I finally chose Salmon--I'm not usually crazy about it--but it was very good.

The next morning after a very good (and free) breakfast at the hotel we headed downtown for sightseeing. Our first stop was at the Lincoln Home. While we waited for our tour, we browsed in the gift shop at the welcome center and watched a couple very interesting videos. Then we were able to take a tour of the home Lincoln lived in while he was in Springfield, with his wife Mary, and their boys.

Eating is one of our main events, so to build up our strength we ate at a little cafe and had delicious salads and sandwiches.

We were headed to the Lincoln Presidential Museum, but this railway station was across the street. It is where Lincoln made his farewell speech before leaving for Washington D.C. for the presidency. As it turned out, he never made it back to Springfield.

The Presidential Museum was absolutely amazing and enlightening. There were many things I didn't know about Lincoln. I was particularly impressed with his courage and ability to stand up for what he believed in spite of fierce opposition. I also didn't realize that the Civil War went on for several years. When the war was finally ended, he and Mary were relaxing in a theatre when his life was taken. So he really have a very difficult presidency the entire time he served.

We, of course, had to have the traditional picture taken with Lincoln and his family. We fit right in, don't you think?

That evening, they were having a special tour of the Governor's Mansion. It was to start at 5:30 pm with a tour and then there was to be a musical presentation by the "Lincoln Troubadors".

The tour was very interesting--the furnishings were beautiful and many things had been preserved or restored as they were when it was lived in by the governors.
President-elect Lincoln and Governor-elect Yates joined us at the mansion. We couldn't pass up the opportunity to go back in history and have our pics taken with them.

The Lincoln Troubadors were SO good! They sang acapella and sang songs of the era. One of the guys came down to aisle to our row, and enlisted sister Lou to go join the singers. He seranaded her with the song "Aura Lee". We were laughing so hard, because she truly did not want to be there! Fortunately, we were able to capture it on camara.

The trip was great fun and was actually somewhat educational as well. I would certainly recommend the Lincoln Presidential Museum. It was well worth the time spent to go through it.


Rebecca said...

Well done, Donna! It was good to see all your faces. I liked the line "eating is one of our main events" :)

Everything I've heard about this place is good. My "bucket list" is getting quite full, but this probably ought to be on it!

Blu-I'd-Blonde said...

Years ago we visited the Lincoln home in Springfield on our way to visit my brother in Chicago. It looks like they've made it more interesting, like adding the family. They look so like the real characters we see in pictures from the past. Well, I have to be honest, except for that group of "tourists." :)

Diana said...

Jake and I have taken that trip twice Donna and we both loved it!
We want to go again. We also had a personal tour of the state capitol building. No one else was there but the guards, my daughter worked there when she wrote for the AP. That was such a fun trip, I know how much you must have enjoyed this. I only wish that I could remember where we ate, the food was great! Love Di ♥

Brenda said...

Quite educational might be an understatement for me. For me the experience was at the same time sad and encouraging and challenging. I love the cousin tradition and we must keep it going as long as we can. Love to you, sis.

Dee said...

I am glad you cousins decided to get really have something special going on. I will have to let my best friend know that this is a good place worth visitng, she is a big Lincoln fan.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

A place I would find so interesting. I've always had a great fascination for Mr. Lincoln.


Kristen said...

Looks like so much fun! I love visits to historical locations!!!