Sunday, July 22, 2007

Summer Nights

Two of the kids and I are on a little adventure weekend. My guest blogging friend, The Big BahUna and his band, had a gig at Summerfest in an Illinois town called Seneca last night. I had never heard of Seneca before even though it is only about 100 miles southwest of Chicago.

Seneca is very small, with a population of about 2,000 and very different than from what I am used to in Chicago. This is a farming area and there are just miles and miles of cornstalks everywhere you look and the people are very friendly. Yes, very friendly. I’m not entirely used to that and I liked it!

Cornstalks never bothered me until I saw that Children of The Corn movie? Did you all see that? Yikes. I have to admit, I was a little creeped out driving back to the hotel after Summerfest.

Part of the reason we drove all the way here for BahUna’s gig was because it was called “Summerfest”. To a city girl like me, Summerfest means something like “Taste of Chicago” (minus the salmonella poisonings this year) or something like Milwaukee, WI’s Summerfest where, you know, the likes of Bon Jovi headline and the millions of people in attendance and the complete lack of parking spaces make you wonder whatever possessed you to go there in the first place.

It wasn’t exactly what I had pictured in my mind. This was, what we call in Chicago, a carnival. The rides and games go up in a park or a church parking lot and then three days later they pack up and move somewhere else.

It was fun, though! Besides listening to the band, we got some temporary tattoos, ate funnel cakes loaded with powdered sugar, and I won a stuffed whale playing a game! I also had one of the best BBQ pulled pork sandwiches I’ve ever had! Delicious!! We also saw some fireworks and took in some of the sights on Main St. (yes, that’s really the name!) in Seneca. Considering the population here, I was a little amazed at the number of bars and taverns up and down Main St. We also saw a tattoo parlor, a laundromat, a real general store and my favorite, a little hole in the wall restaurant called Fuzzy’s Diner. The place was packed and looked like it had been a Seneca staple for quite some time. That was nice. In my area, every other month the businesses are replaced and there are very, very few establishments of any kind like Fuzzy’s left. Everything’s been replaced with the big chain store/restaurant kind of thinking.

And, to the second reason we came down here...In a few minutes, we are leaving the hotel and going to visit Starved Rock State Park. This park, voted one of The Seven Wonders of Illinois, runs along the Illinois River and has been home to humans since 8,000 B.C.! Many Native American tribes have lived in that area and the infamous explorers Jolliet and Marquette passed through Starved Rock.

We will be walking a small trail and maybe even horseback riding before we head back home. For sure, we will be taking in the sights of the rock formations and waterfalls that Mother Nature has been carving for some 400 million years. Can’t wait to see it!


damien said...

Jessica, I absolutely love the picture! So, was corn available at this event??? It sounds like my kind of place. Hope your freind's band rocked. These are the type of memories that life is made of!

The Rock Chick said...

HI Damien!

Yes, plenty of corn was available ;) That's a serious bunch of corn being grown here!

You're right--we all had a great time and lots to remember. I've got some pictues of Starved Rock for my next post--maybe tomorrow. My photography does not do the place justice!

It really was a great weekend!!!