Brookield Zoo

Brookield Zoo
Brookfield Zoo

Monday, August 24, 2015

"Bo" Wood COE, birthday, kayaking and camping with friends

After we left the Paul Wolffe campground and visiting Aiden we made our way back to Comlara County Park so Glenda could have some gum surgery done by a periodontist. She had to be put under and there was a lot of bruising and swelling. It took a few days to recover. She's doing very well now. Both of us were ready for some us time. So on August 12 we traveling to Bo Wood COE just south of Sullivan, IL. It's a great park and we get the 50% discount with our Senior Pass for the National Parks. So our FHU site for 11 days was $110. Really helps the budget. We had a reservation for site #79 a new FHU site.


We like the open sites so we can get satellite TV reception. The 13th of August was my birthday and turning 65 was a big deal since I transferred from health insurance to Medicare. My entitlement. :-)  Anyway, we decided to drive to Tuscola and the outlet mall to get a birthday present. Just some back roads and about 30 minutes and we were there. We stopped at an Amish Buffet for lunch and then did our shopping. I picked up a new pair of hiking boots and some tennis shoes and Glenda got a couple of tops too. It was a fun relaxing afternoon. Before we left for Bo Wood we had ordered our inflatable Kayak from Air Kayaks.com. I researched the different brands and decided on the Aqua Glide Columbia 2 person model.
 
 
The weather was going to be perfect the next few days so we tried out the new boat. The winds were light and plenty of sun. We took it to the boat launch area and blew up the floor and the side cylinders. It only took about 5 minutes
 





 
 
We had so much fun we ended up going out 3 times in 3 days. The boat is very smooth to paddle and tracks extremely well. We paddled up a few inlets around the campgrounds and across to the swimming beach. We were usually out for about 2 hours each time. Some good exercise and sightseeing. Really looking forward to doing some paddling when we get to AZ.
 
Of course we had our bikes along with us so each day we did a lap or two around the campground plus a typical walk around too. The perfect place to relax and unwind.
 
 
Our daughter, Sommer, her husband Todd and youngest granddaughter Ryleigh were coming to Decatur, IL over the weekend after my birthday to see Todd's family and go to a nearby water park. So we drove over to meet them in Springfield, IL and go to Knight's Action Park. They have a driving range, go carts, water park, batting cages and concessions. The weather was again perfect for a day in the water and sun.
 
Ryleigh and cousins

Todd and Tristen(nephew)

Todd's Mom - Barb

Jimmy and Tracey(Todd's sister)
 
Everyone had a great time. The time went fast and we said our goodbyes. Lots of sun and some tired kids. We headed back the Bo Woods and had a quiet evening.
 
The campground was pretty sparse during the week but that's nice too. We relaxed under the awning each evening and enjoyed TV at night. We were waiting on some friends to arrive later in the week that we had invited to come to the campground. They live in Down, IL and have a Montana Mountaineer 5th wheel. We've know Todd and Corinne Abeling for many years and they have been RV'ing longer than we have. They've had a Class A and Class C and now the 5'er. Todd arrived on Wed evening and I helped him back in. After he got set up we invited him over for some dinner and hung out for a while. Thursday we had Todd over for some BLT's and they were delicious. Corinne arrived on Friday evening after work and we had dinner with them at our rig(I grilled chicken breast and potato packets) and had a nice campfire with some monster marshmallows that Todd had. Later that night Todd picked up their daughter, Lindsey, in Mattoon, IL. She had been down to SIU Carbondale with some friends and wanted to camp with Mom and Dad over the weekend. Fortunately Mattoon isn't that far from our campground.
 
Saturday we took them into Arthur, IL. Arthur and the surrounding area has a population of Amish folks so we saw lots of horses and buggies. We stopped at a little Amish Country Store and picked up some baked goods, salsa and ham salad. Saturday evening we had dinner at their rig and Todd made a meatloaf in a Dutch oven. The food was great. They had a nice campfire and we had a fun time talking about traveling and future plans. Corinne is looking at retiring in about 3 years. Todd's a little younger than her so he has to wait a little longer than that.
 
Todd and Corinne

Arthur downtown


Good cheese and more

Yesterday everyone got packed up and headed for home. We of course are in our home but we're back at Comlara County Park. Thank you to Todd and Corinne for changing their plans this weekend to come to Bo Wood and camp with us. We really enjoy their company. We'll only be here 2 days then we travel to Elkhart, IN to see family there and have some work done on the rig. We have some sagging under the belly we need checked out. Hoping it's not a leak of some kind. We'll be saying our goodbyes and see you soon's since we'll be going to AZ next month. After Elkhart we go back to Elgin to see Aiden again and then "circle" back to Comlara for our final goodbyes to Dad and my brother, Kent.

Our trip to Bo Wood was just what we needed and we're ready to do more visiting and enjoy some family time before headed south. Thanks for following along.
 
 
 
























Sunday, August 9, 2015

Visitng Aiden, Fox River Trail, Pool time and 2 Toots Grill

Well last post I talked about staying at the Paul Wolff Campground in the Burnidge Forest Preserve in Elgin, IL. We had a lot of fun during our time visiting Heather, Paul and Aiden. The first part of the visit we went to Paul and Heather's home in the evening after they got off work. We had dinners there and took walks with Aiden and their dogs, Zeus and Izzy.


Later in our visit we had a chance to take our bikes on the Fox River Trail. We drove to a park along the Fox River a unloaded then followed the trail along the river and through a few of the downtown areas of Algonquin, Carpentersville, Dundee and East Dundee.







The weather was perfect with lo humidity and light winds. It was a very nice afternoon. The weekend before we left we went to dinner at Paul and Heather's favorite restaurant called Coopers Hawk. They're members of the wine club there. We got seated pretty quickly and ordered. Of course we had to have a glass of wine. I had the White Zinfandel, Heather and Paul shared a red wine...not sure what kind. The food was delicious and they had some crayons to keep Aiden occupied while we waited for our food. Glenda had grouper, I had parmesan chicken, Paul had a burger and I don't remember what Heather had. Sorry. We ended up getting some dessert and sharing and Aiden had ice cream.








With the weather so nice we decided to go to the Bartlett Pool. They have a mini water park especially for the kids. We spent about 3 hours there but the time went too fast.









We had been eating most of our dinners at Paul and Heathers so we invited them to our rig for dinner. No one had parked near our rig so we had plenty of space for Aiden to run around and play. WE also walked over by the tent section and checked out how the other half lives with out an RV. Something we used to do.






We had such a great time visiting and we even did a little babysitting so Heather and Paul could get go to a pool party. Aiden liked playing hide and seek, getting horseback rides and playing with his water toy. He even decided to dunk his head and really get wet. So much fun watching him. Can't wait until Paul and Heather can get a house with a yard. Next year is the goal.










Finally we had our last dinner before heading back to Bloomington/Normal(remember circles?) at Aiden's favorite restaurant. Aiden is really into Thomas the Train so we went to Two Toots Grill in Bartlett. They have great burgers and shakes there and the food comes on a model train. Of course the place is decorated in train motif and it's right across the street from the Metra to Chicago.








We went back to their home and said our goodbyes and see you soon's. Which we will be doing on Sept 1st. That will be our last visit this year since we will be leaving for AZ on Sept 14th as I mentioned in the last post. Can't wait to get back and give that little guy many more hugs.