My sister and I rented a cabin at Standing Stone State Park in Tennessee for our annual birthday trip. We left my house on Sunday, October 15th, and drove to O’Fallon, MO where we spent the night with my niece, Vicki, and her husband, Mark. During the visit, we went shopping and ate out at a Mexican restaurant called El Maguey. Because we had to drive all the way through St. Louis on I70, we got up and on the road before 6:30 AM to avoid the rush hour traffic. We drove through without any problem and was in Illinois before 7:00 AM. The only stops we made along the way was for a late breakfast and gas so we arrived at the park shortly before 3:00 after wandering through small towns on two way roads which was interesting. After registering, we got keys to our cabin, drove to it, and started to unload. However, upon inspection of the cabin, we discovered it did not have a fireplace which I thought it was suppose to. So we went back to the ranger’s office and asked to be moved to a cabin that had one. And cabin #15 was available, cleaned, and ready for our presence. It was a perfect cabin for us; three bedrooms, one bath, well equipped kitchen, comfortable furniture, gas fireplace, and balcony looking at the woods below.
We unloaded our vehicle and settled in for our next three nights stay. Edith’s granddaughter, Casey from South Carolina, arrived around 5:00; she was going to stay with us until Wednesday along with our niece, Tammy from Tennessee, who would arrive the next afternoon.
Our first evening was spent at the cabin where we fixed a turkey pot pie brought from home and salad for our dinner. The next morning, after coffee and breakfast, we went for a walk on the trail directly behind our cabin. The trail took us down to the lake where we made a brief exploration and returned to the cabin. We then explored the area via car; drove to the dam, found an old house, and went to Celina that is a town about 10 miles to the north of the park.
After going through the shops of Celina, we stopped at a DQ where I got my blizzard “fix”. And drove back to the cabin where my niece, Tammy, arrived around 2:30. After she settled in, we drove to Livingston, TN which is located about 10 miles to the south of the park. After going into the shops around the city square, we had dinner at Casa Mexican. After eating and picking up some supplies for our lunch on Wednesday, we hurried back to the park so we could watch the sunset from the Outlook Lodge located close to our cabin. It was a beautiful sight!
Back at the cabin, we sat by the fire and talked until it was time to head to our respective rooms. Wednesday morning we walked up to the ranger’s office so we could connect to WiFi. After checking emails, we headed out to Dale Hollow Dam and Resort; we walked across the dam, drove to the resort where we shopped their gift shop along with gathering information about their rentals of cabins and boats. We returned to our cabin; Casey left to return to her home and we ate lunch on our balcony. Then we took a ride around Standing Stone; found a hiking trail which we walked and showed Tammy the dam/Moses house. Returned to the cabin; Tammy and I took a walk on the lake trail and, upon return, the three of us sat talking on the balcony; Tammy left around 3:00 for her home. Edith and I read for awhile, took another walk, and spent the evening by the fire opening our birthday presents to each other and talking about our overall adventure.
On Thursday, we checked out at the ranger’s office and headed to East Peoria, IL where we had reservations at a Best Western for the night. Drove through some pretty countryside before getting onto the interstate. Arrived in East Peoria, checked in, and went to dinner at Texas Roadhouse. After eating, we did some shopping because I wanted to get some food supplies for when we got home. We were up good time on Friday morning and arrived at my home before 10:30; since Edith had to work that evening, it was good to be back late morning for her to have ample time at her home before heading into work.
Another good time of bonding with my sister; it was great to have Casey and Tammy stay with us. I think it amazes both Edith and I that they want to spend time with us two old folks!