Places to Visit in Illinois PDF Print E-mail
Family Travels

      Recently Jon’s sister took us on a day’s excursion to Illinois, and we had a great time with her. We first went down Hwy. 157 to purchase homegrown vegetables and then went to Lotta Watta Creek restaurant in Fairview Heights. The restaurant’s slogan is “Population: Notta Lotta,” but they serve huge sandwiches and a huge pile of French fries.

      Afterwards we spent the afternoon shopping along a quaint, tree lined street in downtown Belleville (West Main Street, right off the town square). We especially enjoyed talking with the owner of Bracelets & More and seeing her make jewelry. I selected a sweet, dainty purple stone bracelet for Sonia’s Christmas gift, which I’ll call to have them make sometime before then.

      The perfect ending to a delightful day was stopping at Polanc’s roadside stand for blackberries. He also allowed us to tour his five acres of blackberries, grapes, fruit trees, and more. Directions: Take Hwy. 270 into Illinois. Go right (south) on Hwy. 255. Go left (east) on Hwy. 64. Go right at the Hwy. 159 exit. At the first stoplight past Auffenberg Ford, turn right on Beltline. At the second stoplight, turn left on Hwy. 158 (Centreville Ave.). Polanc’s is 5 blocks on the left at 1530 Centreville Ave. For more information on what produce he is currently selling, call 618-234-2970.

      I took Anne Belley back to Belleville where we spent most of our time at the largest Ben Franklin store I’ve ever seen. Anne and I had so much fun selecting delightful surprises for our children. I was able to purchase wooden beads for making adorable bugs, wooden Christmas ornaments for the kids to paint, a large hatbox for Sonia to cover with fabric, ceramic snowmen for each of the children, a Thomas Kincaid puzzle, a lace tablecloth, and pretty dishes for Sonia.

      If you go, make it a Saturday afternoon so you can go to dinner at the pretty Lincoln Jug restaurant, just one block from downtown Belleville. Y