June 25, 2016
We had considered staying a few more days in Illinois but the camp host came by and said we had to leave on Monday. Well, what he actually said was that they were going to turn off the water to the park. It seems that the State Of Illinois hasn't paid the water bill since last December and the local water company decided to cut off the supply. They also hadn't paid for the diesel fuel, repairs, and a host of other bills that are overdue.
The park isn't alone in this problem since rest areas have been closed for nonpayment of water, electric and other bills. The Republican Governor refuses to sign the budget bill as the Democrat controlled house and senate presented to him. Illinois hasn't had a budget since 2015 and this has created many problems. I don't presume to know what all the fighting is about but I do know Illinois is deep in debt and it sounds like the budget bill delay will push them deeper.
We had a great time visiting family and managed to see all of my brother's 7 children and their families while we were there. They had a big party on Father's Day to honor their dad and Gerry and I attended the party. There were his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren there and it was a madhouse. In other words, we loved it and got to talk to everyone.
A caved in bridge made us late getting there, but we finally arrived. It seems a truck with 25 tons tried to cross over a 5 ton bridge and it caved in. This happened a couple years ago and the bridge hasn't been replaced and maybe won't be in the future. Once we went an alternate route we made good time traveling the country roads.
My brother Dick was there for almost all of the party and finally the heat and long day wore everyone out and the party broke up. I must have drank 5-6 bottles of water and still couldn't seem to drink enough.
We had dinner with Dick and Sue numerous times during the week and tried out a number of local restaurants. One in particular stood out since it was called The Full Throttle bar and grill. If you know anything about motorcycles you can tie the name in with cyclists. At one time it was a rowdy place with a pole dancer and was mostly frequented by bikers. A few incidents caused changes to be made to the place and it is nice enough now. My niece Sheryl and her husband joined Gerry and me, along with Dick and Sue for dinner there one evening. Good food, company and cold beer. Great combination.
During one of our outings I made my required journey to Jubelt's Bakery in Litchfield, IL to pick up some of their great pastries. We bought enough for three days and would have gone again if it wasn't so far out of the way. If you are in the area it is located between Old Rt 66 and New Rt 66 and next to the Ariston Cafe. Try it, you will like it.
Gerry met three of her high school classmates for a looooooong lunch one day. They had a great time bringing each other up on their happenings this past year and managed to tie up a table for almost 4 hours. I picked Gerry up and talked to Mary Elaine for a part of this time.
We took some drives checking out old stomping grounds, houses and taking in all the changes to the area. It sure isn't like it used to be when we were kids. Instead of 18 bars in Gerry's hometown, they are down to 1. I guess the tough Illinois drinking and driving laws have had quite an effect on the area. My hometown is down to 2 bars and even they close up early.
Gerry got her DQ fix a couple times in Gillespie and loved it, while her one trip to the DQ in nearby Carlinville wasn't up to snuff. Their blizzards were more like milkshakes and runny.