Illinois: My 21st State!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

After leaving St. Donatus, we returned to Dubuque to cross over the Highway 20 bridge into Illinois, the Land of Lincoln and home of President Obama.  Someone reminded us that it was also the land of gangsters and Al Capone.  We thought it over, but decided that since Al Capone has been dead 67 years, and Chicago is on the eastern side of the state, we could probably safely venture over the Mississippi.  

As we pulled up to a stop-light, about to turn toward the bridge, a pickup pulled up beside us.  Imagine our surprise to hear a voice from the driver's seat say, "Hi!"   It was a cousin (who is not from that area at all) in the truck beside us on the 1st and only day we've ever been in Dubuque!    
We crossed over the river, taking a few photos of the bridge along the way.  "Welcome to Illinois!" a sign read.  I entered my 21st state!  We drove through East Dubuque, IL, north until we reached the Wisconsin border.  

We contemplated whether we should drive up to Prairie du Chien to visit our favorite hamburger stand (Pete's), and I started wishing Brewster's Coffee House  was a little closer to the border so we could stop by and surprise one of my favorite bloggers (Cryslyn)!

But alas, Wisconsin is a big state, and we we were very tired after a long day.  We crossed back into the beautiful land of Iowa, stopped at Burger King for burgers and milkshakes, and headed for home, our mission of setting foot in Illinois was complete.  
Twenty-one states in twenty years is not bad!  I still have a bit of work to do to catch up with Papa.  He's not only visited, but also preached in all 48 continental states, Canada, and Mexico!  My dear mother has been to three continents.  Come to think of it, I have fascinating parents!


  1. How fun! So glad you were able to accomplish your mission :)

    I used to live in Canada (dad's family is Canadian) and we would often drive back and forth from each country and along the way my mom started me on a pin collection of all the states I had been to. It's a blessing to be able to visit so many parts of this beautiful country. I have never been to Louisiana and that is one place I would really like to go. Maybe someday :0

    Happy Tuesday to you!

  2. 21 states in 20 years is amazing! I haven't managed to visit most of the countries in Europe let alone the U.S. :) Do you have a favorite state?
    It's very impressive that your parents got to travel so much. Keith and I hope that we'll be able to visit many, many countries together, too :)
    Thank you so much for your wonderful comment on my blog, I'm happy to get to know you! :)

  3. Hi Bethany!! Wow you are quite the traveler. My parents lived in Illinois (Rockford) when they were first married. You should come here to Kentucky next! Safe travels!

  4. I love your trip is very interesting. And your mum was amazing woman three continents during life an amazing achievement.I hoe one day we can meet at my place.

  5. Ohhh, Bethany! I would have been thrilled to see you stop in and visit the coffee house! (and me, of course!). But, I totally understand what you mean about being tired after a long day. It can be exhausting...
    Sometime perhaps, though.
    It would be wonderful to see you here. :)

  6. I'm glad you are accomplishing your mission...state by state. It's fun to set your sites on a goal, and with patience, achieve your goal.
    Enjoy the journey!

  7. Wow, 21 states! That is incredible. I bet you've seen some amazing things. And after 67 years, I agree that you're safe from Al Capone :)

  8. The pin collection sounds like a neat way to remember each state Stephanie! Sounds like your family has made a lot of good memories together!

    Beate, nice to meet you too! You have a very neat blog. All the best in your travel plans! I haven't seen enough of many of the states to make a good judgment on them. I like Iowa (where I live) a lot because I have been able to see so much more of it; it does have terribly cold winters though.

    Thanks OptimisticExsistentialist! Neat that your parents used to live in IL!

    Yes, she is amazing, Gosia! And...your blog takes me to see the interesting sites in Poland without having to pay airline fees--really enjoy it!

    Thanks Cryslyn! It would have been wonderful to be there :)

    Yes, Debbie! It's neat to see new places.

    Hehe...I hope so Martha!

  9. that's just amazing!! as a teenager i traveled from nj to ca. by car so i have visited many states but most we just drove thru!!!

    1. NJ to CA sounds like a fun road trip! It is neat how just driving through or into a small part of a state can give a person credit for the state (which accounts for several of mine)... It's a lot funner to really get to know the states, but often that's not possible due to time constraints.

  10. Yay! Congrats on reaching your new record. :)
    Your parents sound fascinating indeed.

  11. I really like your map with the states highlighted that you've been to! The only person who I personally know who has been to all 50 states is my grandma--for their 40th wedding anniversary they went on a cruise to her last state, Alaska! You inspired me to count up the states I've set foot in, and I count 20--I haven't stayed overnight in every single one of those though. You've got me beat with 21!

    1. Thanks Rachel! Ah, that must have been an awesome anniversary trip for your grandparents; so neat that they visited all 50 states. I guess I'm 1 ahead as far as states go...but you win on countries visited! :) Always enjoy reading your blog!