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Exploring Springfield

We celebrated our ten year anniversary two weeks ago. We had been planning a trip to Springfield, IL  to celebrate. It was close enough to not spend the whole time traveling, but far enough that it felt like a real getaway. I have to say a huge thanks to my sister and brother-in-law for graciously taking all three of our girls for the night. The girls stayed up annoyingly late and woke up annoyingly early and she didn’t strangle me when we picked them up. So, she’s the best. Scott’s brother stayed at our house with the dog so we didn’t have to worry about him either. It takes a village, y’all.

We initially had planned on going kayaking, but the weather was terrible for it. It was rainy and cloudy. The high for Friday ended up only being 75. That is dream weather for me, but on the water it’s COLD. We asked the front desk for a later checkout time, and spent the morning swimming and sitting in the hot tub. Then, we decided to roam around Springfield and soak in the history of it all.

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It was so strange to just take the day slowly and not have a schedule to keep. Our first stop ended up being the capitol. We didn’t go inside, but we did walk the grounds outside. The building is beautiful, and I couldn’t get enough of staring at the details of the architecture.

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We went to lunch and then decided we’d go see Lincoln’s Tomb. We don’t remember ever seeing it before. During elementary school, we frequently went on field trips to the historical places in Springfield. Neither of us could remember going to the tomb. It was very moving to see and take in.

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The skies opened up on us at one point and we stood in the rain reading about the different monuments. Lincoln has always been my favorite president, and I love learning more about him and his legacy. We were able to go inside and see the place where he is buried, along with three of his sons and his wife. It was heartbreaking to see how young his sons were when they passed away. One is buried in Arlington.

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We drove around the cemetery and found the war memorials. Both of us ended up in tears. Never forget the sacrifice that was made for our freedoms– that is all I can say about the memorials. Never forget.

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We weren’t really sure where to go  next, so we just drove.

We ended up passing the train station that Lincoln departed from to be inaugurated as the 16th president of the United States. We ironically got stopped by a train next to it, so I hopped out and grabbed some information that they had outside– things that are especially fun to have as a homeschooling parent. Then, we stumbled upon the Lincoln Home National Historic Site.

We arrived just in time to see Abraham Lincoln “himself” give his farewell speech, which is what I picked up at the train station. It was so fun to walk around and see the restored homes. Inside one of them, we got to see pictures of the restoration process and all of the work and care that went into each one. It’s truly amazing.

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This is Lincoln’s home, which he departed from to become president and sadly never returned to. You can purchase tickets to tour inside, which is so neat.

There is so much to do in Springfield; such rich history. Everything that we did didn’t cost a penny. New Salem is another awesome place that you can visit for a suggested donation ($10 for a family). We want to take the kids there, and bring them back to see the places that we visited.

I never realized how fun it would be to come back and play tourist in a town that you’ve been to a million times as a child. It is completely different as an adult who fully appreciates all of the history. I really encourage you to visit Springfield if you live anywhere nearby. There is so much to see!

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