September 18, 2011
What to do on a rainy fall day?
Take advantage of the news from late last night…
We saw a quick clip on the news about a WWII ship that was docked in Chester, IL. So here it was almost 11:00 and I am googling to get more information. What exactly was this?
A little investigation led us to find that this WWII ship was stationed along the bank of the Mississippi River and open for tours over the weekend. We decided to make the 1 1/2 hour trip to let the boys see a piece of history. I mean how often does the chance to tour a battleship here in the Midwestern US occur?
Sunday we got the boys ready to go and loaded up to head out on our adventure. They kept asking where we were going. Drives them crazy to not know what is going on. (I have absolutely no idea where they get that from!) After many guesses and hints, they finally got that we were going to the Mississippi River. This is always exciting. The river is intriguing to all of them. Watching barges, crossing great bridges, sometimes tossing rocks into it… Braden especially loves it. We cannot take a trip to IL without making sure he gets to see the bridge that we cross on that particular trip. There are three routes that we commonly use to make our crossover to IL depending on who we are going to go visit. He can already tell you a lot about the river and issues tied to the river. (This past spring’s floods were a topic of much interest for him.)
As we crossed into IL, the boys could look off the bridge and then saw the ship! They couldn’t wait! Raindrops hit the window about that same time. Hmm… Quick check of the radar. (What did we do without our instant access to cyberspace?) The rain shouldn’t last long. We will find a parking spot and eat some lunch before we head to the ship…
So much for a picnic along the river… OK we did still have our picnic, just with three anxious boys cooped up in the van instead of sitting along the riverbank. Lunch is done, rain still falling. “It won’t last much longer. Let’s go on.” My trusty weather man’s prediction. Glad I grabbed the umbrella as a last fleeting thought before we left the van. The WHOLE time we toured the ship, it rained. In and out and around the various decks. Each time raindrops were falling. Until the end once we were off the ship. The wetness did not dampen enthusiasm though. The boys caught as many details as they could. All of them were excited about getting to walk through a huge ship, see military tanks, check out the monsterous engines, see where the soldiers would eat and sleep, and climb around old deuce and a half trucks on display.
|Create a photo album|
Then as we stepped of the ship and looked along the river, Tanner started pointing and chattering. “Two boats! One going that way. Other one go that way!” Two barges were crossing paths right there. Sooooo Cool! Then his little head spun around to look up along the road as a freight train rumbled by! A little later another longer freight train passed by going the other direction.
Here are a few more pictures from the day. Click where it says “View Full Album” to see all of the extras and to see them a bit larger.
Ship, barges, trains, big military trucks! Wow! A boy’s dream day, rain or not.