That's Woodstock, Illinois. We didn't actually have Thanksgiving in that town, but we did go there the day after. On Thursday, the in-law side of the family gathered in Palatine, Illinois for the traditional meal, which was wonderful as always. There were somewhere between 20 and 25 people there for dinner and only two dogs. I love dogs and like having them around, but I'm not used to them, and their commotion can be startling.
On Friday, we all made our way west or north or northwest (not really sure) for the town of Woodstock. One of the in-laws has bought a house there, and her daughter and son-in-law live there. The house is an adorable 100-year-old two story with delightfully creaky stairs and interesting nooks here and there.
We met at the house and then walked a few blocks to have brunch. This town has several claims to fame—Orson Welles went to school there as a boy; Paul Newman lived there at some point; some scenes from Planes, Trains and Automobiles were filmed there; and quite a bit of Groundhog Day was filmed there as well. Once you stand on the town square for a 360˚ view, you can see the appeal. It's all charm.
Eustacia had control of the camera that day, so here is what she saw:
This is the gazebo in the park that is the center of the square. We had a family photo taken here, thanks to the kindness of a passerby who manned the camera:
This is the horse-drawn carriage that gave free rides around the square. Some of the girl cousins went for a ride:
This is the opera house where concerts and plays are performed. The in-law in the foreground is Father Dan:
This is a shop that holds countless treasures, some of which we bought. I found a pair of earrings, Eustacia found some unique mittens and No. 1 found a notebook made from a children's encyclopedia circa 1960. If you are ever in Woodstock, Illinois, make sure to visit The Backdrop:
Here is a plate of hands for sale at The Backdrop:
Here is Watson the dog waiting patiently outside The Backdrop for all of us who dilly-dallied there:
Here is the old jail house that is now home to a crêperie where we had brunch:
On this Thanksgiving trip, my family unit stayed at a hotel with very modern decor. The seating areas were capped off by odd tents that seemed like mosquito netting to me but seemed like ghosts to No. 1. Here is what they looked like from underneath:
And here are my daughters who I love. I was so glad to spend a few days with them together: