Borrowing from a favorite movie quote (and perhaps mangling it), Tulsa is a geographic oddity. It's two days from everywhere. Well, two days from everywhere you would want to go. Of course, with three kids, everything over 5 hours away qualifies as a two day trip. But, anyway... We got a bit of a late start on day one, but ended up in St. Louis, Mo. We stayed at the Drury Inn at the Arch, which I have to say was pretty nice. There were free snacks and drinks (yes!) from 5:30 to 7ish every night and free breakfast as well. I'm sure all of Missouri is thankful that I did not have to drag the kiddos out to an actual restaurant. I was pretty relieved as well. Here are some pics from the great city of St. Louis. Check out the view from our room.
Having survived the night, we loaded up and set our sights on Springfield, Il. Besides being the capital of Illinois, it is the last city that Lincoln and his family lived in before going to the White House. It is also the final resting spot of Lincoln, his wife and three of his children. I had visited Lincoln's home as a child and thought it would be great to see it again. I did wonder though if it would turn out that the site was as impressive as I remembered it. As an adult, I have revisited many places that I saw first as a child and I have found some of them to either be in various states of disrepair or completely different from how I remembered them. But, in this case, I can say that the Home of Lincoln was more impressive that when I first saw it. The park includes a visitor center, Lincoln's Home and the homes of many of his immediate neighbors. Everything in that particular neighborhood has been kept as it would have looked in the year 1860, the last year that Lincoln lived in the home. Here are a few pics and I highly recommend this park!
Springfield is only about 3 hours outside of Chicago, so we thought we would have an easy drive on in to town. Wrong. I can't say what happened exactly, but that three hour drive stretched into much more than that! We didn't end up in Chicago until about 6 o' clock that evening! The good news is that along the way, the rental agent for our apartment in Chicago called and informed us that there had been a bit of a mixup in the rental and we had been upgraded to an apartment with a much better location. So, it worked out well for us and we were excited to get to town!
It turned out that the rental agent knew what she was about. Our apartment was located in the Gold Coast neighborhood and was about a half of a block from the beach and the same distance from the Magnificent Mile. We didn't really even need to use the El to get around since most things were within walking distance from our place. This was a good thing too because we had Penny (and sometimes Vivi) in the stroller and stairs and strollers are bitter enemies. Despite our three little handicaps, we did manage to see a good bit of the town and we even got a little bit of rest. But, on our way home, Blake and I came to the conclusion that maybe next year we could look into some kind of all-inclusive beach vacation!