Springfield Travel Blog› entry 9 of 11 › view all entries
It was a full day of Abraham Lincoln. But, living in Springfield, it's hard not to get lots of Lincoln.
I began the day by going to the Lincoln Memorial Gardens and Trails. I ended up walking along one of the trails, not knowing where I'd end up. They are nicely kept trails, so I figured I'd just follow it to the end. I lucked out and picked a very pretty trail, walking right by Lake Springfield. I'm not a real avid nature enthusiast, but walking along this trail, I could appreciate the beauties of nature. Of course, I was constantly stopping to take pictures and thinking of different photo ideas, but I did get to enjoy the nature aspect as well.
I had originally planned to go to Oak Ridge Cemetary and visit Lincoln's tomb and the WWII monument. My plans changed, only slightly though, when a co-worked hosted one of his famous ghost tours. Frank is a major history buff and will plan these excursions every so often. We are going into the last week of Session (knock on wood), and he thought this would be the proper celebration. Now, his ghost tours are nothing ghostly or spooky or anything close.
My friend Laura picked me up, and we went to Oak Ridge together. We joined three other co-workers (one with his girlfriend, another with his wife and adorable baby girl), plus Frank and trekked off for what we thought would be a tour of the cemetery with facts and trivia highlighted by Abraham Lincoln's tomb. However, Frank's thunder was stolen by the tour guides that work the tomb. I did rub Lincoln's nose (the sculpture in front of the tomb), for luck, according to legend. We went through the tomb, and Frank led us around to the back, giving us more information about the different temporary resting places, as well as the attempts to steal Honest Abe's body.
After this, all but Frank went out to lunch, the consensus agreeing to eat at Carlos O'Kelly's. (I would have preferred a local diner or cafe, but they wanted the margarita special). Lunch was nice, but it threw me too late to get to Cafe Moxo for a cupcake. Oh, well. After Laura dropped me off, I headed downtown and continued my Lincoln lovin'.
I went to the Lincoln home neighborhood. The houses, including Lincoln's family home have been restored. It's interesting to try to imagine Abraham Lincoln walking the streets of Springfield. I didn't tour the home because there were several groups there, and I didn't want to be lumped with one of them. I found it surreal that this time in history has been preserved with the hustle and bustle of city life going on around it.
Being downtown on a Saturday, I decided to walk around a bit, hoping to find ice cream of some sort, knowing there was a Coldstone Creamery downtown if worse came to worse. My other thought was maybe get some chocolate at Pease's. As I walked by Cafe Andiamo, I noticed they were open (few and far between cafes are open downtown late afternoon on the weekends, or daily, for that matter). I went in, because I knew they had gelato. I LOVE GELATO, and eat it where ever I may be. I sampled the uber-fresh honey vanilla, and a rich chocolate, but got the pistachio. It was delicious and really hit the spot since the weather had cleared and it was starting to warm up. All in all, a good -- but full -- day in Springfield. But, I've had just about as much Lincoln as one person can handle!