Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Final TravelogueReturning home tonight, we survived this marathon of a vacation--the longest we three have taken together. 2921.3 miles was the final odometer reading--and it felt every bit of that journey's length. The pets were appropriately enthusiastic, and after viewing some of a dvd acquisition from Springfield IL earlier today, two of the three of us are in bed, and the internet scribe of the household will be soon to follow. There wasn't any place we visited on our return leg I wouldn't recommend, so quickly ... In rewind, we were rained out of our afternoon tour of Mark Twain sites in Hannibal MO. We'll have to return another time. Brittany was sound asleep in the back seat and my wife and I thought the better of a) waking her and b) trekking through a Mississippi river town in a downpour. Instead, Anita stopped in a bookstore while I read about Frances Folsom Cleveland in her new first wives book she picked up earlier in the day. We spent last night in the Illinois capital and spent the morning at the marvelous new Lincoln Museum. It was the indoor highlight of my trip. We did a speed tour of the old state capitol, passed by the front of Lincoln's law office, drove by another site or two, enjoyed a meal and a stop in another used bookstore, but cut the Springfield stay to get to Missouri. As it turned out, a quick peek at the Lincoln home wouldn't have put much of a dent in the day. And left totally unseen was the state museum. Oh well. In the Lincoln Museum, I was struck by many things: the quality of the displays as well as the content of what was communicated in them. There was a video map depicting the Civil War/War Between the States at a rate of one week per second. Red and blue shades depicted Union or Confederate control, and casualty counters for both the USA and CSA clicked in the bottom right corner. Yesterday we drove the Toledo-to-Springfield leg, interrupted by a pleasant stop at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, an impressive and well-staffed park, at least in my experience. Sunday we departed my brother's home and went to Mass at the Abbey of the Genesee, a frequent retreat destination of mine in the 80's. We stocked up on bread and spiritual books. The night before, I finally watched my first Rhinos' match, which ended in a typical soccer score of 0-0. It was the third game at the new soccer stadium in Rochester. We sat in the upper deck. I loved the tilt of the seats and the great view of the playing field. I'll have more to blog on my reflections on seeing old friends, the books we picked up, and one or two other insights. I hope to push ahead and finish Gaudium et Spes starting in a few days when I get caught up at work and at home. Maybe a bit later this month, I'll take time for the upgrade I've been pondering for the past few months. Meanwhile, may all your journeys, especially those of the Spirit, be guided by Mary, Protector of Travellers, and by the archangel Raphael.