Saturday, June 23, 2012

First day of our trip

Adding a Spare Kid to the trip made packing a little more challenging this year.  However, Jeff is the Master Packer, so he got everything to fit.

We got on the road this morning before 7 am and made great time to Effingham.  There was a little construction, but nothing that slowed us down too much.  According to Rebecca (AKA Spare Kid), we made 4 rest stops on the way, including picnic lunch.  When we arrived in Effingham, we had a swim in the hotel pool and then went to a fabulous restaurant: The Firefly Grill

Mmm, crusty bread

Jeff found this place before we left home and we even made reservations.  Our server, Eric, was very friendly and helpful.  (We had to ask him what lardons are. Leave a comment if you know already.)  The food was amazing!  See how crusty and awesome that bread is? Jeff had the Szechaun pork tenderloin and I had braised short rib pho.  Marjorie had chicken breast stuffed with cheese, couscous and roasted brussels sprouts (with lardons) and Rebecca had a wood-fired oven pizza with three cheeses.  Check out their menu for more detailed descriptions. We also visited their koi pond and the kitchen garden before we left.  Unfortunately, we were too stuffed to try the strawberry rhubarb souffle with lemon mascarpone ice cream...

And of course, it's a requirement to visit this giant cross:
Bonus points if you identify the tiny people at the bottom.


  1. It's the hitchhicking family from the basement at the base of the cross!

    Lardons "dumpling like balls of fat braised in Il. farm butter" ?

  2. ok I looked it up - bacon -

  3. Um, lardons are some kind of fried pork product, right? The name sure sounds fattening and delicious.

    We are already starting our packing for Yosemite since our family from Malaysia start arriving tomorrow. I certainly hope we end up packing less for our 3 night trip than you guys did for you cross-country one!

  4. I know lardons as thickish matchstick cuts of bacon. Mmmmmmmmmm