Sadly, for me, and some of you, this:
...isn't in the works for next week.
Which means we are stuck in East Central Illinois, unable to nearly kill ourselves with excessive exposure to the sun and Natty Light.
Because of this, is anyone interested in making a road trip next week (Tuesday is the day that has been floated around) around Central Illinois?
Who: Whoever wants to go
What: day trip to check out similar metro areas in Central Illinois
Where: I just said, around central Illinois (see below for more details), specifically Bloomington/Normal and Peoria.... with a stop in my hometown of El Paso for dinner
When: Next Tuesday
Why: Because its spring break (WHOOO!!!!), to get to know and compare other small/medium-sized cities in Central Illinois, and to get out Champaign/Urbana for a few hours
How: Car, maybe some biking, and some walking.
Mike tells me he is in, I can take 2 more in my car, and up to three bikes (including mine) if anyone wants to ride their bike during this. Roller blades, walking, or driving to points in town is also possible. At no point would we be more than a couple miles from our cars.
8:30AM – Leave Champaign/Urbana, take back roads into Bloomington from the East (IL Route 9), and drive through the Twin Groves Wind Farm on our way into town.
9:45AM – Arrive in downtown Bloomington, walk/ride around downtown.
10:30AM – either hop back in our cars, or if on bike head down Constitution Trail, a bike trail through town on the old Illinois Central Railraod bed, to “Uptown” Normal. (optional diversion, go through Illinois Wesleyan’s campus real quick)
10:45ish – walk around “uptown normal”… including the new roundabout, hotel/conference center, childrens museum, parking decks, etc. We can possibly try and call someone there to talk to us about what Normal is doing to turn what used to be a pretty crummy downtown into something much more attractive and livable (at least in theory).
For more info: http://uptownnormal.com/
afterward, we can walk around ISU and eat lunch somewhere around normal (Avanti’s would be the local favorite, but there are a few other options.)
1:00 ish– head back to the cars and hit the road towards Peoria.
2:15 or so – arrive in downtown Peoria. Places to check out would be the courthouse square, the riverfront, and generally walk around. There are also a few parks/.trails that overlook the river we could go to. Depending how much time we wanted to spend we could go to Bradley’s Campus, or go to a couple of the Suburban towns like East Peoria or Washington (Washington has a nice downtown square).
About 5:00 – leave Peoria, head east on Route 24. If there is overwhelming demand, we can stop off at the Reagan Museum at Eureka College, the Gipper’s Alma Mater. I believe the staff there erects a wall made of foam bricks that visitors can take turns tearing down.
If not, continue to head east to lovely EL PASO ILLINOIS, hometown of probably someone from our program, and get pizza (and invite my parents since they’ll probably want me to say hi if I spend the whole day driving around 15 miles from their house),
before heading back to Chambana and returning home about 8:30 or so.
Suggestions and alterations are welcome.