Up until this past weekend, I had never been to Springfield. I think every junior high age kid in the entire state of Illinois took a weekend trip to the state capital at some point. I missed out. Or, more accurately, I skipped out. I remember what I was doing too…my cheerleading squad was in a competition that weekend. Jumping around, screaming and being tossed into the air beat the pants off learning any day, so I skipped the trip. According to my husband, this made me a horrible Illinoisan and traitor to my home state. Sheesh! I don’t think I’d go that far. I knew I’d get there. Eventually. So it took a good 15 years and move to a different state to make it happen. But I got there, didn’t I?
Look, look! I’m officially a good Illinoisan now. Rubbing Lincoln’s nose for good luck – just like I used to do to the replica in Lincoln Hall at U of I before those killer finals!
Now, just for the record, the reason we went to Springfield was for the wedding of one of Eric’s good friends. It wasn’t like we just woke up one morning and said “Hey, let’s take a vacation in fabulous SPRINGFIELD!” There was a reason to go…but since we were going that way anyway, might as well see some of the sights.
This is us out at Lincoln’s tomb. Very cool, but I think my favorite thing we saw is the new Lincoln museum and library. It’s exceptionally well done and totally worth it. If you ever get the chance to stop in there, I highly recommend it. Like, say you are driving from Chicago to St. Louis – you’ll need to get out and stretch your legs and take a potty break eventually…do it there. You will not be disappointed!
All that history and learning and what not is all well and good, but the highlight – the absolute BEST part of the weekend, the thing that made the entire thing worthwhile – was our (semi) celebrity encounter!
People in big cities probably see celebs all the time on the street, in restaurants, in bars, at sporting events, etc. etc. but here in Midwest, we don’t. In fact, I’ve only had one other celebrity encounter in my entire life and it’s not exactly a fond memory. It involved a campus bar at U of I, a very well-known (and apparently inebriated) pro football player/activist, a couple scantily-clad college girls, and some jaw-droppingly inappropriate yelling. I’m going to leave it at a that. Please note, that I was in no way involved in this situation, I was merely one of many very surprised (and disgusted) witnesses that happened to be nearby at the time.
Anyway, Eric and I were hanging out in our hotel room on Friday evening in between sightseeing and going out for ice cream. We happened to flip on the local news just in time to hear that one of Eric’s TV heroes was in town filming – Adam Richmond from the Travel Channel show Man v. Food! Seriously, Eric LOVES that show. He’s the one that found it to begin with a couple months ago and got me watching it too. Adam is HI-larious. If you like Guy’s show on the FN, you will LOVE Adam. In fact, you will like him BETTER! Trust me! New shows start on August 5th.
They mentioned where he would be on Saturday – Cozy Dog! Ta-da!
Apparently, Springfield is the birthplace of the corn dog. Did you know that? Yeah, I didn’t either. This place is right along historic Route 66 and has a ton of history behind it. We decided we’d check it out at lunchtime and grab something to eat. (I am partial to corn dogs, people…true story. So no complaints from me) That way, if we saw him, great, if not, no biggie, we’d just enjoy our great local eats!
When we got there, the crew was there setting up. We got some food (which was delish, BTW. The fries were AWESOME!) and settled in. We basically got to watch them film the entire segment which was really neat! We kind of hung back and watched, we didn’t want to look crazy groupies getting all up in his face. When they took a break from filming, he was totally laid back and chatting with everyone so we approached him and told him how much we enjoyed the show. We told him we got all our friends watching (which is true) and he told us a bit about the new season. He was totally cool to talk to and a lot of fun! The sound guy took our picture. 🙂
Here’s the proof!! Look how excited Eric looks. He’s like a kid on Christmas, I tell you what!
I had to laugh because I seriously have not worn my glasses out in public in like 10 years. The ONE time we get our pic taken with someone worth while I don’t even look like I usually do. Stupid, red irritated left eye! LOL!
So anyway, we had a GREAT trip and I have officially met my first foodie celeb! What a great weekend!
Oh yeah, and the wedding was great too! Big congrats to our friend Jim and his new bride! 🙂
Okay, I’ve been on the road the last THREE weekends and have had ZERO time to cook. Bummer! Someday I’ll get back in the kitchen…until then…
One Year Ago (approximately):
Dijon-Glazed Grilled Shrimp – A simple summer supper
Strawberry Lime Stuffed Cupcakes – a bit more trouble than they were worth, I think.
Candy Kiss Cupcake Bites – mini cupcake treats with a candy surprise in the middle. YUM!