August 16, 2013

Today was a first! We were able to relax and do some sightseeing without taking care of anything first, Gem’s eye is almost open fully and the fleas are off Gem and now biting me. Don’t trust homeopathics or natural flea and tick preventive treatments to win in the battle when you’re in the Midwest! I haven’t even gotten to the chiggers! We were told not to walk on wet grass. So what do you do when your dog wants to do his business in the morning and the grass is wet from the morning dew?

All bug battles aside, the day was really it was nice. We went to the Old State Capitol. In 1877 the Illinois State Capitol held its first legislative session in new digs. They had outgrown the Old State Capitol that had served the State up until then. While the outside of the building remained, the interior had been changed into various offices. When the State finally bought the building back from a private party, they tried to restore the interior to its former state.

We toured the inside and it was impressive, not that it was decorated wonderfully, but for its history. I do have a confession; I truly do not remember what all the rooms were used for because they weren’t fully restored to their original state. For instance, I will show you the library, but it wasn’t set up the way the docent explained how the room used to look. I’ll do my best.

The docents were dressed and in character for the time of Lincoln, and they knew their information and were able to answer all questions. The rivalry between Lincoln and Douglas was a topic of long conversation. At tour’s end, we met President Ulysses S. Grant (another docent) who talked about his life. He was reluctant to enter the military, but at the insistence of his father went to West Point and the rest is history! (Sorry I just couldn’t help myself.)

After the Old State Capitol, we went to see the outside of the new State Capitol. It is a beautiful building, but we were not up for an additional tour. Richard’s knees can only last so long. We are still looking for a way to get him cortisone shots.

I have images of both to show you and I’ll break it up into two blog posts.  Meanwhile, our campground is filling up, the corn is cooking, and Richard is about to barbecue the steaks. Enjoy the images, and I hope tomorrow is another first for us. We’re planning to visit a State Park.

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