6/8/2016: Rest day– so a lot of people wonder what we do!! Last night was a chance to take a bit more time to enjoy a good meal other than at a Denny’s or Applebee’s level of restaurant. We found a nice Italian spot down on 5th ave. in the University of Illinois dinner district named Bacaro’s. We were able to get a great full course meal with a nice salad, some marvelous risotto , salmon and great steamed veggies, a little wine all finished off with some dangerously good desert and great company. Richard, who got knocked off his bike earlier was well enough to enjoy himself . Granted he was trying to retrain as a lefty– but he really did accommodate himself well! My buddy Ron Demery arrived to begin the last 2 1/2 weeks of the adventure and the group welcomed him with lots of stories, questions and laughs. Debbie and Kristin McCauley also arrived for a visit with Kevin- big smiles all around. Today we spent wandering the downtown- quickly looking over the huge U of Il. Campus and then mellowing out for the afternoon. One story I forgot to relate about yesterday’s ride had to do with a suicidal squirrel I encountered. As I mentioned, we had a bunch of us in a pace line fighting headwinds. I just finished my pull and was drifting off the front down to the left – suddenly I feel a snap or crunch-like sensation on my back wheel and a split second later Kevin yells out “squirrel” and it spins off my wheel and jumps into Kev’s front tire- then like a staggering drunk stumbles and runs back into the grass. We were flabbergasted by the suddenness of his actions– and figured he was on a suicide mission, or taking a dare from his fellow squirrels or wanted a bit of my very attractive bike tires. If there’s one thing I’ve learned on this trip–you just never can tell with squirrels!!! I’ve included a few random photos that were not yet published. One is a memorial garden & plaque with a quote worth noting – that was erected in honor of a Democratic Senator,Jerry Litton, from Missouri, who along with his wife and 2 small children, died in a plane crash in 1976 enroute to the victory celebrate being thrown for them in celebration of his US Senate victory- it says “Happy are those who dream dreams and are willing to pay the price to make them happen”–go out and live your dreams!! The little guy working the family garden is my grandson- looks like his Dad the lucky kid!!