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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

A Fun Park Day!

~Tuesday, April 6, 2021~

Day 296

While waiting on news about the truck, we got a few things accomplished at the campsite. As of today, we have our December all finalized and ready to go. We’ll be spending 2 weeks visiting our son and dear friends in Napa (our former hometown), then 2 weeks with my mom in El Dorado Hills, then a week or so in Lake Oswego, OR visiting my sis and bro-ham. It will be so wonderful to be with family over the Holidays, which will be quite different from the last Christmas spent in Natchitoches, LA.

Mid-afternoon, we took separate cars to meet up at Allerton Park and Retreat Center in Monticello. The 30-minute drive to Allerton Park & Retreat Center in Monticello allowed us to take in more Illinois scenery changing our impression of it. We thought it would be much flatter, and with fewer trees and lakes. The low lying hills and scenery are quite beautiful. This beautiful property is on the National Register of Historic Places and was the private estate of artist and philanthropist Robert Allerton in 1900. It was later donated to the University of Illinois in 1946. Originally, this 12,000 acre stunner was an agricultural enterprise for his father in the late 1800’s. After a stopover on the Hawaiian Islands in the late 1930’s, Robert and his son John purchased 100 acres of beachfront property. Owning both properties became too much to handle with the Illinois property taking the backseat. So Robert gifted the house and the grounds, plus an additional 3,600 acres of farmland to the university, with the deed stating it would be used for educational and research purposes as well as a public park. Both Robert and his son continued to visit until each passed.

The outside gardens were just starting to take on their Spring blooms with many courtyards acting as the perfect maze for Easton to ride around on his scooter.

But even more of a highlight for this precocious 3 year old was spotting the maintenance yard filled with excavators, backhoes and a fire truck.

Of course he couldn’t get enough, asking if he could sit on top, or get inside each one (see video). Then came the fish pond and lake. And you already know, where there’s water, there is Sadie. Hannah and Devin’s dog, Ella, also followed suit, swimming for the first time. They had a ball. And with the small koi pond, Easton wanted to know why he couldn’t go fishing. 🤣🎣

What a fun time it was!

We finally got a call about the truck status and found out the door lock mechanism didn’t arrive until late afternoon, so they won’t be able to install it until tomorrow morning. So we went back to the campsite to get things set up for an earlier dinner before the kiddos arrived. Apparently Easton and Carson didn’t get much napping today so emotions were a little high during the evening, so we had to nix the s’more 🔥time and postpone it for another day. It was quite a full day for those little guys!

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