Monday, July 23, 2007

I Love Rock and Roll

I like rocks of all kinds..roll, gemstones and regular old rocks.

Yesterday we finished up our adventure weekend with a trip to Starved Rock State Park in Utica, IL. It was beautiful and we spent a good part of the day walking the trails and seeing the rock carvings that Mother Nature has been designing for some 400+ million years.

I do think she had some help, though. In one rock was carved “Te Amo Carlos” and some gang graffiti. Seriously, who would do that? I mean, other than Carlos’ girlfriend.

I would have gladly hiked the trails for a few more hours, but I was traveling with Paris and Nicole. Not literally, of course, it was actually two of my daughters, but it might as well have been a “Simple Life” episode with those two in tow.

My daughters are not spoiled by any means, but there are times they can be little divas. I don’t have any idea where they get that from. Seriously. I know I’m usually sarcastic, but this time I can honestly say, they don’t get that from me.

They are, however, text messaging addicts. 45,000 text messages and 60 miles into our trip, they both lost cell service. Apparently, T-Mobile’s nationwide plans do not work in central Illinois. Just an FYI. IDK, but OMG! You really would have thought the world had come to an end.

I promised them that evening they could use my laptop with my Verizon wireless card so they could IM for a bit. You know, to ease the withdrawals. That appeased them enough to enjoy our evening at Summerfest and the swimming/hottubbing afterward.

Little did I know that my Verizon Wireless Card, which by the way has a nationwide access plan, wouldn’t work either. The error message said I was “not within the nationwide coverage area”. WTF?

I must have driven farther than I realized. I really believed that Illinois was still well within the United States. Hmmm. Learn something new every day.

Despite being out of touch with everyone they’ve ever met in their lives for several hours now, they did want to stay and go to Starved Rock State Park the next morning.

But as soon as we got there, the girls started whining that the hiking trails weren’t flat and walking uphill was like OMG, so much work. My daughters aren’t lazy people. They all do gymnastics and all three are on competition cheerleading squads. Besides those things, Paris even plays volleyball and believe me, can take a spiked ball to the face like few people can! She even played through a tournament with a broken nose once!

We hiked (I use the term hike loosely-it was really just walking) up to some cliffs so we could see across the Illinois River and then back down a bit so we could get a better look at the some of canyons and the rock formations and waterfalls. The park also has signs everywhere with little historical lessons on them about the Native American tribes that lived there for the last 10,000 years or about plants or insects native to the area. There’s also many memorial plaques. We found one from the mid 1800’s for the soldiers who lost their lives in the War of 1812!

I found it fascinating. Paris and Nicole found everything just a little too dirty, their thighs were burning from the uphill hikes ( you could feel it, but give me a break) and they were tired. I wanted to hike another mile up to see the cliff they call “Lover’s Leap”, but the the level of whining convinced me it might not be a good idea. I do have a lot of energy, but if two teenagers can’t keep up with their mom, that’s pretty sad. GEEZ!

So we hit the road for home, starving from our walk. I told the kids when we found the first place we’ve never eaten at before, we’d pull off. Paris moaned about wanting McDonald’s. I reminded her this was an adventure and we weren’t eating at a place we’ve eaten at before. TDB. (that’s my abbreviation for too damned bad!)

We had only driven a few miles when I saw a sign that said “Hank’s Farm-Casual Dining”. Sounded perfect! I was expecting a truck stop diner, but the place was beautiful inside. They were serving a Sunday buffet brunch complete with white tablecloths and expensive looking dinner plates. The buffet was the largest I had ever seen with everything from Eggs Benedict to a complete turkey dinner that would do any Thanksgiving proud. They had these flaky rolls that just melted in your mouth withy a buttery taste, too. MMMM. The food was delicious and get this, all you can eat for only $7.50! Our overly affectionate and friendly waiter, “Big G” (that’s what his name tag said!) said when we were done, we could go also outside and pet Hank’s farm animals.

Paris didn’t want to get her new flip flops dirty, but Nicole and I jumped in the cage. Cell? Pen? Coop? I don’t know what you call it. Let's go with fenced in area?

I found it very difficult to pet a chicken, but there was one furry animal who didn’t mind a pat on the head. I believe it was a sheep. Paris and Nicole think it was a llama. We’re probably all wrong. It was definitely not a chicken, I’m sure of that but I admit, I know more about rock and roll than farm animals. I’ll have to pay better attention next time we go to the zoo.

Which, since I’m still feeling adventurous, might just b 2morrow! C ya!


Lady G~ said...

LOL! You are too funny! Our family enjoys hiking. Well except the boys, they think it's boring. They'd rather be at the baseball fields, playing ball.

My Knight and all three of my Fair Maidens go backpacking. They'll hiking in 3-4 miles set up camp (roughing it) and stay for the weekend. They are part of a Venturing Crew. They do high venture activities. I can't do that any more. Ah... to be young and healthy again. :o) I get to stay home and have quality time with my Squires. :o)

The Rock Chick said...

Hi Lady G-

I had a great time and the scenery was magnificent! I think Paris and Nicole really did, too, but you know the cell phone withdrawal symptoms were just to much to bear.

I've never been camping. I think that's just a little too "roughing it" for me. I really like my hairdryer, cable TV and electricity! Ok, maybe I'm a bit of a diva, too, but really, I could have walked the trails we did in my high heels. It really wasn't hiking ;)


AscenderRisesAbove said...

that is too funny; just thinking how odd it is to have a petting zoo outside a steak house; wouldnt want what you were just petting to end up on the plate!

The Rock Chick said...

ascender: Yeah, the same thought crossed my mind, too. That's why I stuck to Eggs Benedict and apple pie :)

damien said...

The teens are absolutely amazing with the texting speed and accuracy. i remember when phones came out that did that, it took me so long to make something a capital letter i just gave up . . . and that was before I learned you don't use capitals.

The Rock Chick said... isn't even the word! I can't even believe what they can do with those things. Well, it's not like they don't have practice, though. They don't even talk on the phones. It's all texting.

Last month, since school got out, my 4 kids combined sent and received 32,000 text messages! Thank goodness for unlimited texting plans! Yikes!

katherine. said... choice I made with Cingular was unlimited texting.

Jessica Morris said...

I saw they gave a girl a world record for fasted texter ... she went in the Guieness world record book! It amused me =)