Sunday, August 28, 2011

Springfield Stay-cation Vacation

At the end of July, we went down to Springfield to visit my brother & sister (in-laws) one last time before they became parents (yay!), to get away for a few days and chill out, and to take in some of the sights downstate has to offer. If you're not familiar with central Illinois, let me tell you this: Lincoln is bigger than Jesus down there. Lincoln is everywhere.

Here are "just a few" photos from our trip. We had a blast, and while we didn't take pics of everything, let me also say this: We played Catan, and the Catan debate will live on. I think someday we might have to implement some house rules because the actual rules were a little confusing. (But Robyn will probably still win, regardless of whose rules we play by!)

First we went to the state capital building. It's really lovely. It's also probably best they built it 150 years ago. It's so gorgeous and ornate. Can you imagine the government trying to justify building a structure like that now? The taxpayers would crap themselves.

I paparazzi'd them outside the capital.

Cool architecture
 We spent quite a bit of time inside wandering around. It's a neat building if you ever get the chance to see it.

The State of Illinois welcomes YOU!

Hannah didn't have to go through security. Graham and I, however, looked shady.

I thought this was cool.

I love the dome.


Shock and awe

Every state needs a seal.
 There are statues everywhere inside. It's kind of ridiculous.

Some upstart politician. Can't remember his name.

Painting of gigantic proportions. 

Neat-lookin' and skinny skinny door.

IL's other favorite politician: Stephan Douglas.

Richard the First has a statue here, too. Dad, here are your tax dollars at work.
 The governor was not in that day. His office, however, was open.

Office of the Governor. No Blago here.

Custodian too? Times are tough!

Rules need to be followed.
 I like that he has an "open door policy". I wonder if that policy is in place when he's actually sitting behind his desk.

Governor's desk.
 I, clearly, cannot be trusted in nice places.

Rules need to be everyone but me!

From the second floor.
 It was a Friday afternoon, and everyone had cleared out for the day. Good to know that, should there ever be an emergency on a Friday afternoon, NO ONE will be around to handle it.

What makes him so special?

Supremely awesome.
 Except the Lieutenant Governor. She's got power. Kind of.

 Statues and artwork. All. Over. The. Building. There's an entire hallway dedicated to ex-gov's of IL.

John P. Altgeld. One of IL's governor's, and also the namesake of Graham's first school.
 Then we noticed that someone was missing......

Portraits of two of the last 3 governors. Note the lack of space next to George Ryan for Blagojedouche.

Let's play a game! Spot the corrupt governors!
 There's quite a bit to see in the capital building.

Hall o' Statues.

Carvings depicting IL's history
 We went off in search of our representatives, and one.

Senate chamber

House chamber

Higher up. More dome.
 I know I took quite a few pics of the dome. I can't help myself. I'm a sucker for gorgeous glass work.

I'm not fancy enough to pee here.
 Afterwards, we walked around the exterior of the capital where there are still more statues and memorials.

Police and Fire memorial.

Being artsy.

Capital exterior

Sundial is not set to daylight savings time.
Okay, note the photo below. You can't quite see the kid in the picture (holding the hand of the lady in the red shirt), but note the composition. The woman at the back is....pushing an empty stroller. The woman at the front is....holding the hand of a kid who looks to be about 7 years old. TOO BIG FOR STROLLER.

I'm super judgy today.
 The next day, we hung out at Uncle Brian & Aunt Robyn's house. We took some photos....

 Then we told Hannah to get excited....Declan is going to be here soon!

 Later that day, we went to a few other Lincoln-ish spots. We started at the old capital building.

This building is interesting in that they took it apart, brick by brick, and rehabbed it. They put in central air, electricity, and even an elevator, all while trying to keep the integrity of the building.

The giant poles are holding up the senate chambers upstairs. Yes, really.

This cracks me up.

My heart, it goes pitter-pat.

We stopped for a chat with Mary Lincoln who was, sadly, not crazy.

Normal lookin'.

Always happiest in a library

 We took a tour of the building which I wrongly assumed would be boring. It didn't thrill me, but I did learn quite a bit about the state and the building. Color me surprised.

Lincoln's last state paycheck.

Wavy glass.

Even Hannah learned something!

Knowledge is power!

Check out Virginia.

Another cool map.

 Funny story: We're taking a tour in the old capital with a guy in period clothing. He keeps making eye contact with us, but I think that's because he asked a few nerdy questions and both Graham and I knew the answers (NERD ALERT). When we get upstairs, he stops in the Senate chamber, looks at us, and says, "Graham! That's it! That's your name."
We've met.....
 Turns out they worked together at New Salem in 2004. This guy was a high school student at the time, Graham was an intern in the summer camp program. This guy is hardcore with his Lincoln history. Hard. Core.

Neat architecture.

Ceiling designed to look like the sun rising in the East

More artsy.


Governor's old parlor


Governor's old office. Lincoln was in this room when he learned he'd been elected President.

Lincoln used this very elevator.

This is where you went to sign up for the Army.

House Chamber.
 On the last bit of the tour, we went to the House chambers, where Lincoln served. This was also the room where his body lay in state before burial. The ceiling in this room was also designed to look like the sun setting in the West. The architect designed it such to remind politicians that "the sun rises and sets with them." Pretty cool.

Lincoln laid on that stage up there, right below Washington.
 We made an attempt to visit the law office, but we got there after the tour had started, and by the time we caught up, Hannah let us know she was tired. Loudly.

The next day, we went to visit the Lincoln museum! It's really cool. Honestly. You can't take pictures except in the rotunda, so the pics you take have to count.

We wanted to take this seriously, so we started out by seriously posing with the Lincolns. Even the dead ones.

God don't think stuff's funny.
 When you start learning about things in the museum, you start off in Lincoln's youth. We met young Abe!


Every baby will be envious.

Contemplating things.

Being inappropriate. Again.
 When we were done, Hannah and I took a break in the gift shop.


Yeah! Chairs are awesome!
 We went home, got our stuff together, and took some final pics with Hannah's aunt and uncle. The next time they see her, they will be a threesome and Hannah will probably be driving cars and working at McDonalds. Gotta get those memories in.

Taking photos of a very cranky baby.

Yay family!!!
We had a great trip, and it was so nice to get away for a few days. We were very blessed to be able to stay with family--pregnant family, at that--and see not only Robyn and Brian (sometimes I call them Brobyn. Makes me feel like I chill with celebrities) but also Mary, Justin, and very briefly Mom G. We played games: Killer Bunnies (Yes, really), Catan, and Chicken Foot, the latter being the most important.

Next up.....Baby Brobyn!

1 comment:

  1. Some of those pics are HILARIOUS! Looks like a fun trip.


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