Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The River City

Wedding Weekend: Part II

When we arrived at Ann and Dan's on Friday night,
Jason and Lisa and the kids were already there.
Karen and Robb and their kids Garret and Malea were there too.

The kids were having a great old time playing in the sprinkling worm.
and lounging in lawn chairs.

Is this not the ultimate picture of summer???

It was the perfect thing.
All wet and cold
and summery.

Annalie decided that she did not
like the feel of the wet grass
on her feet.
Plus it was sticking to her feet.
Plus it was wet.

So she decided to chill
in the big lawn chair.
All that is missing in this picture
is the sunglasses.

One of her favorite discoveries
was the fun 
of dipping her pacifier
into Grandpa's lemonade.

She would dip it in,
take a big long slurp
and make this 
hmmmmmmmming sound
as she got every last drop
of lemonade
before dipping again.

We were all very captivated by this.

Then on Saturday morning,
we went with Ann and Dan
on a little tour of Alton.

I am embarrased to say that I got lost
at least three times
in my own hometown.

Dan drove us downtown and then
through some of the older neighborhoods
shady brick streets, beautiful old homes
built up on the bluffs 
overlooking the Mississippi River.
Ann had discovered that her either her 
dad's parents or grandparents  ( I can't remember now)
 had lived on the street
overlooking the river 
near the park we were visiting.
Here is the view looking down
a long stairway that leads to the next street over.

Here is a view of the River from the park.
It is just so big, the pictures dont give you the 
feeling of how vast it is.

Then we took a drive up the River Road.
We saw the Piasa Bird, a legendary bird painted  on the bluffs
overlooking the river.
Then we drove on to Elsah,
my favorite little river town.
My grandmother was a schoolmate
of Alice Conditt...she was the post mistress years ago.
She had a wonderful house up in Elsah
and we both had great memories
of visiting Alice at her home.

Next stop: Pierre Marquette State Park

Here are Ann and Dan in front of the lodge.

The lodge reminded me of the one at the Grand Canyon ,
huge, old and beautiful.

They had commissioned an artist
to create these fabric panels and they hang from the ceiling beams.
They are constructed of thousands of individual,
hand dyed and stitched pieces of cloth shaped like leaves, bugs, fish, birds...all of the nature of the river.


After the park, we drove north to Grafton in search of some antique stores.  I think we must have missed some main street shops, because along the river road it was pretty much eateries and bars and just a handful of shops.  I have heard that Grafton is an antiquer's paradise, but we did not find what we were looking for.  We did find a wonderful place to eat lunch, and then decided it was too hot to look for antiques anyway.  

We headed for home, ice cream and a nap before evening activities beckoned us out again.
It's good to go home, even after a long time away.
Lots of things have changed.  I have changed.
But there is something grounding about going back to the place where you were born,
where you grew up, where your loved ones are buried.

I'm glad I got to go.

Tomorrow, a beautiful wedding.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, MIL. You're right...sprinkler, lawn chairs, happy cousins running about...it was a perfect summer evening. I just loved those three together. I hope they get to do it again before they're teenagers :)


"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." Ralph Waldo Emerson

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