I took Hannah to camp. She is a camp counselor and was supposed to be there at 10:00am. We pulled in right on time. The first issue was that the Apostolic Boy’s camp was still going on, so she griped about the fact that she had no place to store her gear. (Apparently she is THE only counselor that doesn’t drive to camp. Sorry Sweetie, but since the van died, your brother needs to get around too.) She finally found another counselor that had an empty cabin and we unloaded the car there. Then she discovered that she had forgotten her make up. Who the heck needs make up at camp??!! But I figured, what the heck. I would want my makeup too. I agreed to go into Monticello, the town right by camp and get her a few things. Her bug spray had broken en route too, so I figured that justified my shopping trip even more.
I found out the hard way that Monticello has only one drug store and it is closed on Sunday, and the Country Market doesn’t sell one bit of make up. I wasted close to an hour driving around Monticello, because there HAD to be a place to buy these few things SOMEWHERE. I finally gave up and at a Casey’s, was told that Decatur was only a short trip away, so off I went. (Mind you, John offered his GPS, but I was only going to camp and back, so I didn’t need it.) I got on Rte. 72 and about had a wreck when I saw the sign declaring Decatur was 26 miles away. My living-in-the-country days long behind me, I forgot that a “short trip” to someone living in Monticello, Illinois is no longer matches MY idea of the term. But I drove like a bat out of hell and was sure that I would be able to hit the first drug store I saw and back track to the camp.
The whole time I was in Monticello AND Decatur, I did not see ONE drug store. I probably saw 20 McDonalds and even more Casey’s, but not one Walgreens or CVS. NOT ONE!!! Are there a lot of sick people that live in Bloomington/Normal, because I pass 2 Walgreens in a 12 minute trip to work! After wandering around Decatur for much too long, I finally stopped at yet another Casey’s and asked where I could buy make up and bug spray. She gave me directions to a Wal-Mart (“Just right down this road here” – and it WASN’T – it was 15 minutes away).
I loathe Wal-Mart. I stopped shopping there after working for 2 of their suppliers. They beat up their vendors, pass themselves off as all-American and patriotic when they alone have caused the US-Chinese trade market chaos, and they low-ball local stores, force them out of business and then jack up their prices. I saw that first hand while working for a company that supplies and maintains their music departments. The most expensive place in central Illinois to by a CD was Lincoln, because Wal-Mart was the only place left in town.
So I entered the belly of The Beast. I found her bug spray and make up in a matter of about 5 minutes and then stood in the check out line for another 15. Yet another thing I hate about that place.
Then I got lost getting back to camp.
I really have no idea how I got back to Monticello. I just got on a road and pointed the car to what felt northeast. By the time I got to camp, the boys had left and the new campers were starting to arrive, so I got caught up in all that traffic. 3 hours after I was supposed to bid Hannah farewell and be on my way, I finally was.
The camp is down the same woodsy road as Allerton Park, so I decided that after the traumatic events of the day, I would treat myself and wander around for a while. Allerton is a wild place. It was the home and gardens of Robert Allerton at the turn of the century and donated to University of Illinois years later. The mansion is huge and beautiful, and the formal gardens are made up of sculpted bushes, trained vines, gorgeous flowers and statues of every kind. I wandered around and took some photos. It was so hot, you could hardly breath, but it was much better than driving past corn field after corn field on the back roads of central Illinois. The thunderstorm I drove through on the way home was just icing on the camp cake.