Illinois River Road

Monday, October 24, 2016

This weekend we decided to try and see some Fall color by going on a little road trip on the Illinois River Road. Most of the color STILL hasn't made an appearance but we had lots of fun anyway. We sort of followed this itinerary but cut out some stuff that didn't seem like our cup of tea.

We left Saturday morning and headed to a little town called Ottawa, Illinois. Ottawa has several large murals painted around the town depicting different historical events. They were really neat to see, I love a good mural!

We walked around town a bit and came across this park where President Lincoln once debated. Ruby got to run around a bit (on her leash) and she loved it.

After roaming the town a bit we stopped in at Tangled Roots Brewing Co so Loren could sample some beer. They had a beer called the "nugget" which we thought was funny after years of making nugget jokes with my sister.

A photo posted by Kristen Ayotte (@kristenayotte) on

We continued wandering and ended up at August Hill Winery. They had a lot of sparkling wines but they were pretty tasty. After a tasting we had a little cheese plate out front and Ruby got lots of attention from strangers passing by. 

After leaving Ottawa, the next destination we had planned was Starved Rock State Park. There were waterfalls to see, and we were planning to hike a little bit. The drive up to the visitor center was so pretty, and I can only imagine how gorgeous it'd be if the leaves were changing. 

Once we got there we were greeted with a sign that said ALL waterfalls were dry. Lameo. So we took the short hike to the top of Starved Rock and called it good. 

After leaving the State Park we headed to Peoria for the night. We got into town just in time for the University of Washington football game to start so we headed to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch. Maybe not the most exciting thing to do in Peoria but it was fun for us to watch a good UW win! 

On our way home Sunday we drove on the East side of the Illinois River and stopped in Granville at Boggio's Orchard & Produce to pick up some pumpkins. Boggio's was dog friendly which is always a plus in our book. I always think it's strange when things that are outside are still not dog friendly. Anyway, they had a good variety of pumpkins and at least when we visited, all the pumpkins were the same price. We grabbed a wagon and headed out to find our winners. 

It was super windy (not the nice Beyonce kind of wind, the kind that makes your hair a tangled mess) but we got our pumpkins, an obligatory family pic, and grabbed some cider donuts before taking off. 

It was such a nice weekend exploring our new state. We didn't see the pretty Fall colors we were hoping to but still had fun on our road trip. Ruby is a little road warrior and Loren and I love watching her relax in the car or stick her face out the window. :) I hope you had a fun weekend too! I'd love to hear what you were up to so leave a note in the comments below. 


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