Twenty Hours in Springfield, Illinois

If you’re looking for the World’s Largest Covered Wagon, it’s located in the parking lot of the Best Western in Lincoln, Illinois, and (spoiler alert!) it’s not that large.


I saw the underwhelming covered wagon for myself the other day, when I headed south from Chicago for an overnight road trip to the lovely town of Springfield, Illinois. (The wagon was a roadside attraction along Interstate 55.)

My aunt, uncle and cousin live in Springfield, and I haven’t seen them since I made it to Springfield in 2012, to see another cousin in her school musical. Even though this was a quick jaunt to Springfield, I had a lot of fun (and took a lot of photos).

I rented a car for the three-hour drive (and got a free upgrade to an SUV!), and stopped about a third of the way for gas, restroom, and snacks at a big truck stop called Love’s. I wasn’t optimistic about healthy snacks at the truck stop, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found fresh fruit, raw veggies, and hard boiled eggs. I also got a 110-calorie bag of Special K chips.


After arriving in Springfield, I spent a couple hours catching up with Mary, my aunt, and Isabel, my cousin, and as soon as my Uncle Philip got home from work, we headed out to dinner.

Isabel wanted to go to a place called Nick and Noni’s, and once I heard it was on the top floor of the tallest building in town, I wanted to go there too! It’s a restaurant in the 30-story Hilton Springfield, which is the tallest building in Illinois outside of Chicago.


This hotel is home to an annual stair race, but they don’t want you training in the stairwells. They even have signs up. But that didn’t stop me from taking the stairs to the 30th floor!


I wasn’t dressed for a workout, but I made it to the top in under 7 minutes.


I ended up a little sweaty when I walked into the restaurant, which was very fancy, but not too sweaty. Nick and Noni’s is a steakhouse, and I ended up getting lamb chops with a horseradish sauce. We got a couple sides for the table, including the asparagus in the background:


Everything was delicious, and I love a restaurant with a view! Not a great picture, but the domed building is the back the Illinois State Capital:


The next day, Mary made us scrambled eggs with veggies. She used seven eggs (two whole, and five whites), and I sprinkled turmeric on top. Turmeric is a wonder spice that’s all kinds of good for you, and the blueberries on the side are a superfood, too, so this was a fantastically healthy breakfast.


After breakfast, I got a workout in. Philip and Mary have a couple exercise machines in their basement, and I used a Nautilus Tread Climber.


Each foot has it’s own treadmill belt, and the machine basically provides a more intense way to walk. It got my heart rate up, and I burned 425 calories in 45 minutes.

After showering and dressing, I hit the road and started back for Chicago. I stopped at the other end of town and had lunch with my friend Oz, who I met on the stair race circuit, who also happens to live in Springfield. We met at a nice grocery store that had a pretty good salad bar, so I was able to continue my streak of eating lots of entree salads on this trip, even though I forgot to photograph it (see more salads from this week here and here). Oz is taking a four-hour exam on Monday to get his personal trainer certification, so send good vibes his way!

One final picture:


There’s no fall foliage like this in Los Angeles!

Only a couple days until my next race… which means only a couple more days in Chicago! How many more salads can I squeeze in before heading home?

Keep it up, David!


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6 Responses to Twenty Hours in Springfield, Illinois

  1. Sarah Van Houten says:

    Looks beautiful!

  2. Pat says:

    But no signs of the Simpsons?

  3. Dana says:

    Did you like working out on the Tread Climber? I was thinking of getting one.

    • Dana says:

      I guess I should ask which you liked better the Tread climber or the max trainer?

      • David says:

        They both provide a great workout. Max Trainer is more intense, so I’d give it a slight advantage based on my needs. I’d have to use a Tread Climber a few more times before feeling qualified to talk more about it!

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