The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum opened in 2002 and I hadn't been down to see it yet. My nephew Alex, age 6, digs the presidents so I asked if he wanted to go to Springfield with me to see the museum. He was in.
We decided that we would leave after the Bears' game. After the first series, I told Alex that if we decided the game was going to be bad, we could leave early. Two series later, Johnny Knox was down and we were out the door.
We stayed at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel in downtown Springfield. One must pay $7.00 a day to park there, if you can believe it. There were exactly two cars in my level of the lot at 4:30 p.m. yesterday. We checked in and the first thing Alex did was look out the window, point to the Hilton towering over us and say, "I'm glad we aren't staying there." The second thing he did was unpack. He started with his mouthwash:
He was all pleased that he packed his own bag and remembered his mouthwash. (I had flopped on the bed to see if the Broncos were losing.)
Then we went to dinner. I asked Alex if he wanted to eat in the hotel or go out and find something else. He opted for the hotel so that he didn't have to put his coat back on. I didn't offer up room service. And I am glad I didn't because this was the Christmas Tree in the hotel restaurant:
I wouldn't have wanted to miss it. And we both ate for less than 20 bucks which made up for having to pay for parking.
The next morning we had breakfast and set out. We checked the walking map and found that the "Lincoln Library" was two blocks from the hotel. But when we got there, we found that it was actually the public library of the city of Springfield. Alex was cool with it, because he liked this mural that we saw there:
He actually read the plaque, but I wasn't listening because I was staring holes into the city map. Six or seven blocks in the other direction and we found it:
There were several exhibits and movies and artifacts, but the boy is only six so we didn't get the full effect. Also, there is a lot about death and dying - between the war and the sons and the assassination itself. There was even a replica of the coffin lying in state in the capitol rotunda that Alex said "creeped (him) out". But the White House portico was very nice:
The gift shop rocked. And do you know what that boy picked out for a souvenir? An Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum pocket watch. A pocket watch! If he were older, I'd have to called poseur on that. But for a six year old? Plus 1 to coolness.
Then he was done and we made tracks home.