Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Where we're spending Christmas

Richard and I used to come out to north-central Illinois at Christmas to visit my parents, sister, and her family. However, with my mom (the matriarch) dying a year ago Tuesday, my father recuperating from open heart surgery with my sister's help, and nobody in my family feeling like hosting Christmas this year ...

Richard and I came out to LaSalle County anyhow! In my way, I honor my mother, who would not let quickly worsening health get in the way of her Christmas preparations.

A fireplace in the Great Hall, Starved Rock Lodge

This year, we decided to stay at Starved Rock Lodge, a massive example of National Park Service Rustic architecture built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Starved Rock State Park has been voted one of the Seven Wonders of Illinois, and the Lodge is the jewel in its crown.

I have cherished Starved Rock, and especially the Lodge, since my childhood, but I had never stayed overnight there.

Our room. Note the knotty pine.

The rooms in the "old" east wing are paneled in knotty pine and are small but cozy. Given the immense Great Hall with its massive stone fireplaces, the views of winter scenery from the windows, the Jacuzzi, sauna, and pool, the restaurant with its own blazing fireplace ... staying in the hotel room isn't necessary.

Blazing fireplace in the restaurant. I'd like footage of this for my personal Yule Log DVD.

Today, we'll eat brunch in the restaurant, and then drive the sleigh (Honda Fit) to Ottawa and Marseilles to greet family and deliver Christmas presents.

Happy Holidays, all!
-- Post From My iPhone

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