Posts Tagged 'Burlington Iowa'

The Mighty WIDE Mississippi

My sister Cathy has been sending pix of the rising Mississippi as it takes over Burlington, Iowa. Her building and the family’s restaurant, La Tavola, are uphill by about two blocks from where all of this is happening. Apparently, the gas has been turned off in much of downtwon, but Cheryl and Carlo have switched to a “cold” menu with whatever they can do without the gas stove!

The river is supposed to crest on Thursday, but it has already burst through the levees on the other side of the bridge and flooded out Gulfport, Illinois. As weird as it all is, Cheryl says that the most eerie thing is not hearing the trains barrel through town.

Anyway, here are some links to Cathy’s pics:

Tuesday, June 17
Monday, June 16
Sunday, June 15

Look for the random shark fin; as dire as things are, someone in Burlington does have a sense of humor! So much of what is under water is where Cathy usually walks her dogs.

My Vacation in Burlington, Day 4

Miss Cait chauffeured James and me around on the grand tour of Burlington in her cute new Verso (see photo of the cutie and her car). Among the highlights was the visit to the Our Lady of Grace Grotto at St. Mary’s, a rival to Kansas’ own Garden of Eden (well, maybe not exactly, but it was equally kitschy!). We poked around and heard the recording. Then it was back to the casa. While James napped away a headache, Cait and I went down to the restaurant, where she whipped up a tasty Italian salad and cannoli (come to think of it, this was after she made waffles for everyone that morning!).

We watched the first half of KU’s scary Elite Eight game against Davidson, and then had to leave for Galesburg where we were to meet Cathy and Carol and take the train on in to Chicago. Since KU had trouble putting Davidson away, it was tough going; we did catch it on the radio, but I had to keep turning it off. We listened to the tail end of the game in the parking lot at the station — anyone watching us must have thought we were nuts when Davidson missed that final three-pointer at the buzzer!

Our train ride was so easy and smooth. As always, it makes me wish Texas was so darn attached to the one-Texan, one-car mentality I love train travel — it goes back to when the five of us Hughes kids would ride the Zephyr from McCook, Nebraska, to Chicago to see Dad. So coming into Union Station always makes me think of Dad — well, Chicago in general does that!

When we arrived in Chicago, it was raining, so we hauled our gear through the drizzle to the El and then from the El to our hotel, the Days Inn at Clark and Diversy — only a few blocks from Dad’s old apartment (and mine, when I was attending Northwestern way back in 1976-1977!) at 2222 N. Clark! It was cool to be back in the old ‘hood, although there was slight problem with our reservations — our two rooms had only one queen bed per room, and apparently the hotel was sold out! We toughed it out for the first night.

My Vacation in Burlington, Days 1-3

When my sister Cathy announced that she wanted to celebrate my birthday with me and asked, it took me no time at all to come up with the perfect idea: Opening Day with the Cubs! Cathy, Carol, Caity, and Chris had gone to last year’s opening game; I was supposed to have gone, but couldn’t go. So this was a no-brainer. Plus, I decided to make a week of it and just hang with the family in Burlington and mangia mangia at La Tavola! To top that all off, Bradley University had a home stand in Peoria that weekend, which meant I could go see my nephew Chris play ball (See #6!). BONUS! Cathy took care of EVERYTHING, even finding a flight that took me directly to Burlington “International” (ha ha ha!) Airport on March 27.

We had a plethora of birthdays to party on: Caity turned 16 on March 11, Cheryl’s birthday was March 22, and Carol and her best friend James “Celebrity Slut” Woods share a natal day on April 10! So the Wichita contingent of Carol and James drove up on Saturday and joined in on the baseball festivities.

I worked the phones at the restaurant during the lunch hours on Friday and Wednesday. Several people commented, “You HAVE to be another sister!” That was a kick! What was really great was seeing how fond the regulars are of Cheryl and Carlo. Several of Cheryl’s birthday bouquets were still decorating the joint.

Not only was it great fun to hang with my family, but I also enjoyed exploring more of Burlington, which is actually quite charming. Cathy and Cait live over the restaurant in the historic downtown, just two blocks Continue reading ‘My Vacation in Burlington, Days 1-3’



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