3 Days in Stockton Illinois

Getting to meet new people and making new friends is probably my favorite part of this new lifestyle.  Last year while living in Mesa Arizona we had the greatest neighbors.  Steven and Joan (pronounced Joann!) Sullivan lived across the street from us.  They are permanent owners at Val Vista Village and live in Stockton Illinois during the summer.  Well that is until this summer!

We planned to stop and visit them and their farm on our way back to the West Coast and just spent 3 days with them enjoying northwest Illinois.  The landscape here is dry corn fields as far as you can see with the occasional soybean field.  The corn is dry because they leave it until late fall as it is feed corn and is picked dry if possible. 

Steven is a farmer of feed corn.  Well at least he was until this year!  He is retiring, sold the farm equipment, leased the five hundred acres to another farmer, sold the condo, rented the farm house and now they live in the METAL SHED!!!  They have a cabover camper that is there home inside the shed complete with an office area,  living room area, kitchen area, a patio area and a Pickleball Court!  It is so cool.  Actually this is their home until they get to Arizona next month where they stay for the winter.  When it gets too hot in Mesa they will decide if they are returning to Stockton or hitting the road like us!

Stockton is a small little town with some great neighboring towns.  We did a lot of driving seeing the country.  I spent several hours in a touristy town called Galena while Paul stayed at the farm doing guy stuff.  We visited a ski resort and had to sit at the bar while the most amazing storm passed through.  The water was coming off the roof so fast and the wind was blowing so hard it looked like we were in an aquarium and the bubbles floating on the top of the water.  We also had the most amazing Bloody Mary!!!  Tried to get the recipe but it was a bit of this, a splash of that….. 

On the steps or the winery

We also stopped in a local winery, Rocky Waters Winery.  Not my favorite but of course you always find one that is great.  The view there was amazing.  We went to the Mississippi River Museum which was also an aquarium so I really enjoyed this one until the snake exhibit!  They had this exhibit of seahorses and that was so much fun to stand and watch them swim and then attach to a plant.  We also found some locks on the Mississippi River – great for Paul!  They were moving 15 barges with coal through and of course he wanted to watch the whole thing!  It was raining and cold so Joan and I sat in the car.  The guys must have felt guilty (yeah right!) because we got to leave before they finished moving the barges.

We stopped it the town of Savanna where they have a beautiful Dutch Windmill and a pizza joint with the most wonderful taco’s that could easily compete with those we have had in Mexico! On our way home from dinner the sun was setting and after all the rain that day the sky was pretty clear but when the sun went down the whole sky was purple and red.  It was impossible to photograph so I just watched and enjoyed – some things you just have to be there.

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