Sunday, May 8, 2011

Southern Illinois Spring Visit

An amazing view from Von Jakob Vineyards
My BFF Kristen came down from Campaign, IL to visit this weekend. Our Saturday was spent exploring the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail. Yes, Illinois has some hills down here - so pretty! The morning started out a bit rainy but the sun was shining by the end of the day.There will be a more in depth post to come, but here are some of the highlights.
StarView Vineyards
Owl Creek Vineyard
We really enjoyed the tastings ... and a few bottles :) Of course we had to take Kristen to Murphysboro's finest dining establishment, 17St. Bar & Grill for some BBQ. Our favorite waiter, Kie, (Brandon's friend from HS) was working. He gave us complimentary dessert, strawberry shortcake, with a personal touch:
This morning we went to Longbranch Coffee House. It's a vegetarian cafe so my Egg Sammy came with some fakin' bacon that looked a bit like dog food according to my tablemates, haha, I wasn't crazy about it... but the home fries were delicious! Oh, and my latte hit the spot. We had a great window seat, but Kristen and I posed at one of the even cuter side tables.
Outside of our window was a hipster bike.
From there we headed to Makanda, IL for Makanda Spring Fest. Makanda is a town of 450 people.
They call the front porch of that building "the boardwalk." Not quite what I was expecting... Us city girls had a field day. There were tie dye t-shirt stands and crocheted stuffed animals and hand painted saws. We didn't buy anything.

Just a short drive and we were in Giant City Park. We weren't in the mood for hiking (although, I'd love to go back) so we just climbed the water tower. Climbing it's spiral staircase was a bit scary but the observation deck was worth it:
Another reason we will have to come back is to go to Giant City Lodge for an all you can eat fried chicken meal. Today it was completely crowded with the Mother's Day brunch crowd. Our last adventure was at the John A. Logan Museum in Murphysboro (another post to come because this one was on my bucket list).
It was a great weekend. I miss the girl already!

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