Welcome, and thanks for visiting our blog. Follow us as we explore this beautiful country and enjoy life's simple pleasures.


Hometown Visit (Part 1)


Monday, 8/12/2013

Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Park

Lena, Illinois

After a most relaxing week, we left Bald Eagle Campground on Friday, 8/9, and headed mostly north and a little east to Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Park near Lena, IL.

  This was another one of our more typical travel days.  It took us one hour and forty-five minutes to drive just over 80 miles.  We actually reserved our “favorite” site #115 for ten days beginning on Saturday, however we decided to drive up a day early and take our chances on getting it Friday.  As luck would have it, the site was available.  And lucky we were, because I have never seen this many sites occupied by this many tents in this campground!
DSCN2388      DSCN2390
DSCN2392      DSCN2393

The people in the sites on both sides of us knew each other, and we were right in the middle of their weekend.  Of course they all cleared out on Sunday!

Since there aren’t too many options in the area, we always end up here at Lake Le-Aqua-Na when we come back “home” to visit.  We like this campground because it’s usually very peaceful and quiet.  Unfortunately, the sites are electric only.  We prefer site #115 because we’re right next to a water spigot, and I can get the DirecTv signal from here.  We’re also able to get ABC, CBS, and NBC with our antenna.

To celebrate our arrival we headed to our hometown of Freeport, about 20 minutes away, to Fiesta Cancun Mexican Restaurant.  We’ve been there before and really like their food.  Terri decided she wanted a margarita, but when she placed her order the waiter asked a question she wasn’t expecting:  “Small, medium, or large?”  Not quite knowing how to respond to that question, she apprehensively chose “medium.”  My thought was “whoa”… and then I ordered one too!  They were much larger than we anticipated, and we could have easily split one.  I had no trouble getting mine down, but Terri struggled.  I suggested we ask for a “to-go” glass…  Martini glassEye rolling smile but decided they wouldn’t/couldn’t do that, so I helped her with it.

As usual the food was excellent.

Saturday, 8/10, we went out for breakfast with Terri’s brother, Tracy.  We hadn’t seen him for about a year, so we had some catching up to do.

Then, Saturday night, Terri and I went to downtown Freeport for the 36th Annual Freeport Cruise Night!!  Amazingly, we were at the very first one of these waaaaay back in 1978!  It was reported that there were an estimated 13,000 people and 800 vehicles in attendance this year.  It all started in the late afternoon and went well into the night.

We walked around for a while looking at the wide assortment of vehicles.1181

This 1970 Plymouth Road Runner

was ordered from the factory for use as a…
DSCN2415      DSCN2417

Drivers Education Car!!!  There were some really lucky students back in 1970 in Ashville, NC!
DSCN2427     DSCN2428

Along with everyone else, we were joined by this crew.

Homeland Security was on site protecting us from the bad people of the world.  There were also several food vendors and a live band.

The cars began to cruise about 7 P.M. with the “antique” cars starting things off, and then the rest joined in.

We settled into our chairs street-side and watched the cars cruise on by.






Also cruising Saturday night was this group from Parkview Home…
a retirement community/long-term-care facility here in town.  They were throwing candy out to the kids and just having a great time “cruising the circuit” with all the others.

Terri and I have noticed lately that the age of most of these car owners at the car shows/cruises are at least our age and up.  She asked me at one point, “back in the day when we cruised, weren’t most of the people our age?”  I laughingly responded, “They STILL are our age!  You just have to be old and rich to afford many of these cars!!” Rolling on the floor laughing Eye rolling smile  We always enjoy this event and plan to be back again.

A special moment happened soon after we arrived downtown.  As we were walking around looking at the cars, I recognized two special people from the past.

Bob and Ginny are my “second parents” from my childhood.  Their son, Frank, and I were best buddies growing up.  In fact, Frank was the Best Man in our wedding.  Our families spent many weekends together camping and just having fun.  My parents, Terri, and I used to square dance with Bob and Ginny too.  It’s been many, many years since we’ve seen them.  Then yesterday, Sunday, they stopped out at the campground to visit for a couple hours.  It was really great to see them again!  By the way, Bob is NOT sleeping in the photo above.  Stupid me only took one picture of them, and I didn’t realize his eyes were closed.  Sad smile


Stay tuned for Part 2…..


  1. What a great time you had! Especially running into Bob and Ginny...
    Nice car pics...and a lot of them :) Glad you had such a good time!

  2. You are such a nice husband to help Terri finish her margarita. I'm sure it was hard work... :cD

    Nice cars, must have been hard to choose a favorite. Although that drivers ed car must have been near the top of the list!

  3. Lots of cars! George would be in his glory looking at all them. Very cool running into old friends too!

  4. Oh boy David would have loved this. He drove a 50 Ford when I met him and only recently sold it before we went on the road. Now I understand the timing of your visit back to your home town. Great running into folks who were so important to you in your earlier life. Glad to hear HS was there to protect you from what ever evil lurked in such a dangerous location.

  5. Always nice to come home when there is fun stuff going on:)

  6. You saw a lot of great cars there, and the cruise event is something I have never seen at any of the car shows I have been to. Sounds like a great time!

  7. WOW...lots of cool cars!!! Does take us back a few years;o))

  8. Favorite Camping Spot, Direct TV, Family and Cars, Cars, Cars,- You are living right!