Vacation so far has been a pretty relaxing time though it feels like we have been driving non-stop for days. Since my last post, we have spent time in St. Louis, Missouri before moving on to Lebanon, Highland, Carmi, Flora and Pana, all in Illinois. Now, we have settled down at my mother’s house in Flora where we will spend the next two days before beginning our trip back to Virginia.
A little bit of a recap of the highlights:
The Old Spaghetti Factory in St. Louis, MO
The Old Spaghetti Factory is one of my sister-in-law, Dawnita’s favorite places to eat and is generally considered to be one of the favorite places of anyone who has ever eaten there. It is an Italian-style restaurant that sits about two blocks off of the Mississippi River near the Arch on Laclede’s Landing.
We met up with Dawnita and two of her children for dinner. The plate of garlic shrimp fettuccine pictured above was what I ordered and it was absolutely amazing. They also bring out a loaf of fresh baked bread before you eat. Good times.
Baptist Children’s Home in Carmi, IL
It was nice to get back to BCH‘s campus to visit with friends. We got to catch up with the majority of the staff and our kids were able to catch up with their friends as well. Scott Kiser and his wife, Vanessa, live on the campus and we stayed two nights with them. It was definately good to catch up with all of our friends in Carmi while we were in town.
Sunday morning gave us an opportunity to attend worship at Carmi First Baptist Church which was our church when we lived there. It was a blessing to be able to participate in the service and catch up with friends after the service was over.
After meeting up with Ronda Karroll and Debbie Bunting for dinner at Tequilas, we got on the road for Flora and my mother’s house.
Charley Brown Park in Flora, IL
Charley Brown Park was one of my favorite places to go as a child. Summer trips to the pool as well as the annual fireworks display on the 4th of July made this place a fun park to be at. They have done a tremendous amount of upgrading to the park in the last ten years or so and it was nice to get out there so that the kids could play.
However, is was nasty hot out today and we wore out pretty quickly. Caleb found mud somewhere that he felt needed to be combined with his face and hair which made for a picture moment. We were here for about an hour before we gave in to the heat and went back to mom’s house.
The Rosebud Cafe in Pana, IL
Our last trip of the day was up to Pana to visit with my sister and her family. We took my Grandma Strange with us and met the Kerns’ at the Rosebud Cafe to eat. I had been told that this was a great place to eat. I cannot say that my experience here was that outstanding. The food was decent but not spectacular. However, it was very welcoming and the staff did not seem to mind the fact that we just sort of hung out there for a couple of hours to visit.
Trip so far: It was been great to just relax and visit with friends, family and loved ones.
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