I took a little field trip with Daughter the Younger's class to the Illinois State Capitol. We started out at about 8:00 am, and pulled back into school around 6:00pm. It was rainy and cold, but we still had a great day. The kids were thrilled because they got the go-ahead to bring along electronic gizmos of their choosing for the long bus ride. They were also supposed to pack lunch and enough snacks to make it through the day. I'm almost on a professional level with snacking, so my backpack should have come with a llama to carry it. I also brought my scaled-down purse, a book, notebook and pens, a couple of water bottles, Kleenex, hand cleaner, extra snacks in case there were snackless kids, and my trusty Zen mp3 player. I really could have used that llama.
We made four stops on our tour of Lincoln related stuff.
- The New Salem Historic Village - It was pretty rainy and cold on our first stop. There were volunteers in period costumes in two of the buildings in the village. They had fires going in the fireplaces and answered students questions about life in Lincoln's time. It would be a good place to go back to in nicer weather. The lady at the info desk said they have more of the buildings open in the warmer months. We could look into them, they just didn't have any villagers in them.
- Abraham Lincoln's Tomb - All of the kids rubbed Abe's nose for luck.
- The Illinois State Capitol Building - The kids got to see where the senators and congressmen do their thing. I personally think they could do without a few of the $100,000 chandeliers, and get an art teacher in my kid's school...just saying.
- The Illinois State Museum - This was our last stop, and was within walking distance of the Capitol building. It was the kind of place where you could have meandered through slowly and probably learned a lot about Illinois...fourth graders aren't into meandering. Really.
On the way back to school, the cluster of kids that I was sitting near were trying to keep track of our progress on the shiny new maps they picked up at the Capitol building. They were BIG into the literature that was available there. I just loved it when the workers had to put more out for them. I'm paying for that crap, damnit, so it better be out there for my little darlin's class.Some Kentucky Fried Chicken and a hot bath put the icing on the cake of the day.
After seeing the facilities in the New Salem Village, I'm pretty safe in saying that Abe never had it so good.