Saturday brought rainy weather and a stop at America's Cave, Meramec Caverns.
We borrowed a backpack from a friend for Joel to ride in and thought this would be a great chance to try it out. It worked out well until at one point the tour guide said if you are over 5'9" you may need to duck down so as not to bump your head. My quads were burning after several minutes of squat-walking through the cave with an extra 25lbs on my back.
Even with the extra workout the cave was spectacular and definitely worth the stop. Here is a picture of several stalactites.
I think the day's highlight for Joel was either jumping in puddles in the hotel parking lot.
Or flying high over the corn in Illinois (PS - if you like the view of cornfields in every direction, you'll love the drive from St. Louis to Chicago).
Saturday night we made it to Bolingbrook, IL where Adam and Christina Mearse live. We enjoyed visiting with them, going to church in Naperville, and playing with their kiddos. Sunday afternoon the weather was beautiful. We played whiffle ball in the backyard. Mary and Jackson cheered us on from the trampoline.
On the way from Naperville to downtown Chicago, we drove through Downers Grove where my family lived before moving to Oklahoma. We stopped in front of our old house and I got out to take some pictures. The current resident found it odd that someone was taking pictures of their house so they came outside. I introduced myself and we had a great visit. We even got a tour of the old homestead. Here is a picture of Joel sitting on the front doorstep. I remember a similar picture of me and Joel's uncle Joel on the very same porch over 33 years ago.