Springfield, IL – part 1

I’m back from Springfield and it was a good trip.  There’s a surprising amount of things to do and see there.  The downtown area is very small, completely walkable and filled with random Lincoln trivia.

Our first stop was Charlie Parker’s to try the Giant Pancake!  We got there shortly before 1pm and ordered our food.  Just after I said the words “I want the Giant Pancake” the waitress said, “oh, I think they just stopped making them for the day.”   “Nooo!!!”  I said, “Please! we drove all the way here from Chicago just for the pancake!!”  She said, “Let me check.”  She came back in a few minutes and said they would make it.  Thank goodness!! This would have started our trip on the wrong foot, for sure!

Here I am with our pancake:
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This was shortly after we started eating (there were two of us)

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….and we’re done.

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The pancake was very good.  The dough was not very sweet and extremely light.  We weren’t stuffed after eating it and there was no heavy feeling you sometimes get in your stomach after eating pancakes.  Well worth it.

After we checked into the hotel, we went to visit Lincoln’s Tomb and the surrounding cemetery, which is the largest in Illinois.

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If you’re wondering why Lincoln’s nose looks so strange, it’s because people rub it for good luck.
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Lincoln’s casket used to be stored in a sarcophagus above ground.   After a few attempts to steal his body, Lincoln’s son got tired of people opening the casket to make sure he was still there.  So he had him placed ten feet down, covered in steel and buried under 10 feet of concrete.  (note the edge of the window just behind the marble tomb marker)

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This is the window that you can barely see in the above picture.  This is how people used to have to view Lincoln’s tomb.  Once they moved him underground, the window was replaced wtih stained glass and a protective gate.

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This a a lovely dogwood tree.

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These pictures are of a stone bench outside the temporary tomb that housed Lincoln and one of his sons while the permanent tomb was being built.

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We went for a walk around the cemetery looking for the oldest, most interesting headstones.  (side note:  I just read Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book  [Newbery Winner 2009] which is about a boy living in a cemetery who has been raised by ghosts.  Every time you meet a character, they are named and then their epitaph is given.  It made me curious about seeing some really old epitaphs.)

These are the creepy, scary steep stairs that we climbed to get to the cemetery proper.  They were crumbling as we walked up them.  I wouldn’t be in a hurry to do this at night!

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The first grave I saw was this gigantic thing that had it’s own stone pew.  This guy was “as friendly as a wayside well”  whatever that means.  Is that the 1800s equivlent of  “friendly and nice”?

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Very classic looking, old headstones.  These are right at the entrance near the top of those scary stairs.  They look very regal and beautiful, but they are losing the important part of the inscriptions…the dates.

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Oh no! Someone little has escaped.  Watch out for zombies loose in the cemetery.

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What exactly is this?  And, do I really want to know?  More zombie evidence?
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This is the most creative headstone I’ve ever seen.  That’s saying a lot, you know, since I spend so much time in cemetaries and all.

It’s Log! It’s Log! Is it wrong to reference Ren and Stimpy in a post about cemeteries?

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This outside tomb belongs to a governor of Illinois.  Not sure why he gets to have this huge thing.
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It’s also a little creepy.

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Ok, that’s enough for tonight.  I have some more pictures to post, but I’ll do that tomorrow or Sunday.  I must enjoy my last weekend of Spring Break, even though I hear we’re supposed to get 6 inches of SNOW!! this weekend.  Darn Chicago weather!!

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