Monday, June 24, 2013

Eastern Illinois University Campus, Charleston, IL

I recently decided to take my dad on a road trip to revisit the town he (and my mom) grew up in - Charleston, Ilinois. He was born there and lived there until the mid-1960's when he and my mom relocated to the Chicago area.

First we visited the house Dad was born in. Next we had lunch with two cousins who still live there. Then we hit the EIU campus. At the time my dad lived there, EIU had a grammar school and high school on campus and it was a teaching college. He attended grades 1 - 8 in what is now Blair Hall. High School classes were on the second floor of "Old Main" the big building close to the road on Lincoln St. that resembles a castle. Then he went to college on the campus, too, to earn his accounting degree.

We had fun checking out Old Main, which is mostly offices now. There were a few classrooms at one end of the second floor where my dad once attended classes. I'm not sure what the rooms are used for now, but one peek and you felt like you were back in 1955. Not a hint of technology in the room. No computers. There were desks, a clock, blackboards and a pencil sharpener that was probably 60 years old. However, the place was SPOTLESS!! It didn't look like a classroom that was over 110 years old.

I love the woodwork in Old Main. Isn't it beautiful. And look at the door on the right...see "Grammar" etched in the glass.

Old Main from the outside.

Call me crazy, but I had to take a pic in the bathroom. One of the cleanest public bathrooms I have ever seen. Looks at that tile -- probably original to the building.

Napoleon, a stray dog that became a school mascot is buried on the campus grounds. He was around when my dad was a student there and dad remembered him.

The campus is beautiful and if you happen to be near the area, take a little time for a walk around campus (be sure to visit Campus Police at 7th and Grant for a visitor pass to avoid a ticket.)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Strawberry Picking at Johnson's Farm Produce in Hobart, IN

For the past few years, our family has gone on an outing to pick strawberries at Johnson's Farm Produce in Hobart, IN. Picking your own is significantly cheaper than buying pre-picked. You also can pick the ones you like, as many as you like and it is a nice activity to do as a family. The U-Pick fields opened on June 15, so there aren't too many days left as strawberry season is short. Get out there and hit the field before they're gone!  

Friday, June 21, 2013

Paxton, Illinois

On a trip down to Charleston recently with my dad, we made a stop in Paxton, Illinois. I'd remembered making a stop there on a previous trip and that there was a cute downtown business area with historic buildings.

The first thing of interest I stopped at was an old train depot with some train cars along side it. Everything was locked up, but if you like trains and are going to be on I-57, you might want to call ahead to find out hours for the Illinois Central Railroad Historical Society.

I love to check out old courthouses. This is smaller than most that I've seen. It's the Ford County Courthouse in Paxton.

It has a beautiful entryway and dome.

Being the foodie I am (in case you didn't know I also blog at Chicago Foodie Sisters), I would have loved to have checked out this place that sold locally raised meats, but it was the first stop on our journey and I knew it would sit and bake in the care for the next 12 hours.

The downtown was quaint and charming and nostalgic and had lots of cute shops. Visit for more info.

Prairie Guest House, Fishers Indiana

On a recent media trip in Indianapolis, I spent a little time in Hamilton County, staying at the Prairie Guest House Bed & Breakfast in ...