Sunday, November 22, 2009

Annual Fall Tour- 2009

ANNUAL CTCC FALL TOUR ~ October 2-4, 2009

OUR EXCURSION STARTED AT the McDonald's at Rte. 53 and Rte. 56; we received our packets and took off in the rain (what else?). We were 11 Little 'Birds, two new 'Birds and Larry's Honda. We traveled to Dixon, IL to visit the John Deere historical site; it was here that John moved to from Vermont and built his blacksmith shop. In
1837 John invented the self-cleaning, stainless steel plow, which revolutionized farming in the mid-west. A replica of the John Deere blacksmith shop was built on the site. It was here that we saw a demonstration of making a leaf from a square metal rod. We then toured the house where John, his wife and nine children had lived.
phot0: Cars parked in circular drive at Quarters 1

As the John Deere story continued in Moline, so did we; but first we had our tradition to fulfill - lunch at Culver's. Our next destination was the Deere-Wiman house. This house was built for John's youngest child, Charles. He was the only child to live to adulthood and he eventually took over the company. He had two daughters and the Deere family name ended with him. Anna married Charles Wiman and they resided in this house, raising two sons. This house had some really neat bathrooms. One had a rain shower and body sprays (just like they make now), only this was built in the late 1800's and the pipes showed. After touring this house, we went across the street to tour the Butterworth Center, which is the home of William and Katherine (Charles1 second daughter). The highlight of this house was the ceiling of the library. The room was built for the painting, which was 20' x 40' and had been painted in Venice in the 1700's.

It was now time to head to the Comfort Inn; after getting settled in, we all headed to the Hospitality Room for refreshments supplied by the members, socialization, a beautiful necklace for each lady made by Annie, and of course, pizza!! It's another CTCC tradition.

Saturday morning, we had a leisurely breakfast - with more socializing, especially we girls. Meanwhile, the guys were busy wiping down the rain-soaked 'Birds; then they opened the T-Bird hoods as members gathered to admire the engine compartments.

At 10 a.m. we were off to the Bishop Hill Historical Site and village. Our first stop was at the historic site, where we watched a movie and viewed a painting by Olof Krans, which depicts the formation and life in the settlement. We then went into the village and we were on our own until 2:30 when we headed back to the motel. We had plenty of time to explore, shop and eat. Those of us who had lunch at the Red Oak, per Ken's suggestion, had a real treat - the chicken and biscuit was to die for; but there were raves about the meatballs. too. The pies were not to be overlooked, nor was the lingonbenry tea.

We headed out to Arsenal Island, which is the largest island on the Mississippi River, and is an active military base. Our destination was the Quarter 1 building; it was the home of the commanding officer from 1870-2007. It s the second largest federal-owned house; only the White House is larger. We could roam this beautiful old house as we pleased. It is here that we had a wonderful prime rib and chicken buffet dinner. Our evening ended with more camaraderie, but with a twist. All the guys were together around one group of tables, and the girls at another. It was soooo loud, the girls departed to a meeting room, so we could talk!

Sunday morning, after a leisurely breakfast, we began to pack up. We had one last stop in Utica at the Illinois River Winery. We had a guided tour through the winery as we learned about the wine-producing process. It was then on to the tasting room; many of us found a favorite or two to buy. We then said our goodbyes.

Those who participated in this great get-away were: Joel Greenberg and Annie Luginbill, Bob and Helen Hoge, Larry Johnson and Sue Hommedieu, Larry and Karen Kelly, Joe and Sandra Kraatz, Peter and Marylu Kramer, Ed Levin and Rose Kovelenko, Dan Mrozek and Judy Butler, Ron Pavlak, Jerry and Pat Peterson, Lloyd and Joan Schellin, Ken and Kathy Smizinski, Len and Irene Vinyard and Bill and Liz Werth.

Last, but not least, a very big thank you to Joel and Annie for all their hard work to make this Fall Tour so great!
- Pat and Jerry Peterson

No comments: