Illinois

We drove from Memphis up through some beautiful countryside. Over a few rushing rivers until the land became flatter and flatter. We were heading for Illinois.

Illinois is where my family is from. We made the drive out here from either Georgia or Virginia every year when I was younger. But after my grandmother passed, the trips became less frequent. Now that we had the freedom to go anywhere in the country you’d think that we wouldn’t want to return to this exciting land. But as we’re getting older and have seen more and more of the country there’s something that draws us to areas where we have family. Its interesting to get to know my cousins as adults and see what their kids are getting into. 

Tin Cup RV Park

IMAG4447.jpgIt’s an older private RV park, which means that the roads are a little narrow, the sites aren’t very level. But it is very well maintained, like an old park. It was Memorial day weekend and it was full of families camping. There’s no wifi, but everything else is great. They even have a golf diving range.

Papa Del’s pizza

IMAG4448.jpgPizza rookies, we are. We didn’t realize that you should call ahead when ordering, because they cooking times for these deep dish pizzas can be up to an hour. So we ordered the ‘thin crust’ which is just a regular pizza in any other part of the world. But it was worth the wait, there is something about great pizza. This isn’t the ‘grease sponge’ style you get at some places it’s well cooked and the toppings are fresh and homemade.

The Blind Pig

IMAG4453.jpgWe met my Aunt Jeanne for a tour of Champagne restautants and bars. The blind pig was the first place, it’s a dark, irish-ish pub close to downtown. They have cask ales and a good selection of local brews. We chose to get them inside and drink on the front patio (sidewalk). We only had one each before it was on to the next place. But this little bar was impressive

Cowboy Monkey

We ate dinner on the patio, it seems like it seats about 200 people. Large groups of people being served by young attractive waitresses in skirts.

Desthil Brewing Company

Just your basic brewery, pretty nice inside. I have had their beer before, my favorite being the Wild Sour series (coriander-lime). It has just the right amount of sour and salt, almost like a beer-margarita.

JT Walkers

Small brew pub near the RV park in downtown Mahomet. It’s in a small historic looking building. We had some lunch and a pint of the way out of town to Decatur.

Decatur

Nelson Park Disc Golf Course

Not the best course in the country, but it’s a nice park with some rolling hills. It has a variety of shots into some trees with tight fairways and some that are really forgiving with wide fairways. Look out for the tall grass though, you can easily spend half a hour looking for a disc in there.

Weldon Springs State Park

Nice little state park in Clinton Illinois. My aunt has been the campground host for the last couple years (off and on) so we decided to stay a week here this time. The park has a nice loop road that is bike friendly and some nice walking trails. Like most state parks, there is no sewer hookup or water. So if you’re going to stay longer than a week you’re going to have to move the RV to dump.

Chicago

Goose Island Brewing Company

We didn’t get the full experience of this brewery, we were really late to the Cubs-Nationals game and decided to just watch the rest from this brew pub down the street. It was pretty great, even though the Nats lost that day. 

Giordanos

I’m pretty sure this is just a chain, but it does have great pizza. We met my cousin Joel here after I picked up Laurel at the airport. We had a great time visiting and eating deep dish pizza. 

Martin Campground Joliet

We wanted to stay a little closer to Chicago this time so we wouldn’t have to backtrack so much when we started driving again. Its an older park, in by no means a flat area…  or they could have just given us this spot because we were only staying for a day or two. But if you’re looking to spend time near Chicago in an RV, you don’t have many choices. 

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