on wednesday, virago and i drove to springfield illinois to visit some of her family: her paternal grandmother as well as one of her uncles (and his family). wed night we drove down there, ate dinner at ryan's, and watched a bit of the 1976 remake of king kong on IMC.
on thursday we visited the abraham lincoln presidential library and museum. being the week between xmas and new year's, it was a bit more crowded than i'd like. but the museum was very cool. it has some really interesting exhibits, like a tv studio set up to show you what tv campaign ads for the 1860 election might've looked like (hosted by tim russert), or a hallway filled with editorial cartoons from the time that mocked lincoln: everything was at skewed, non-right angles to give it a more unsettling feel, while nonstop voices came out of hidden speakers telling us how incompetent and downright evil lincoln was. it was surreal, and probably not a good place to take psychotropics.
then we drove around springfield for a bit, did a little sightseeing, and finally went to dinner with virago's family. at this dinner we were introduced to the local taste sensation called the horseshoe.
a horseshoe (also available in a smaller portion called a "pony shoe") is an open-faced sandwich on toast. on top of the meat or veggie of your choice, they pile on a stack of shoestring french fries. on top of that, they pour a heaping portion of cheese sauce. the place we went (the dublin pub) even gives you a choice of white or yellow cheese sauce, but not all places do. i live only a 3-4 hour drive from springfield, and i'd never heard of horseshoes.
there were 8 of us at dinner, and everyone at our table ordered a pony shoe. i had a hamburger pony with yellow sauce. it wasn't bad, but wasn't great either. and it sure as hell isn't healthy: like cheese fries and a hamburger merged into one food item. but hey, it gave me the opportunity to say i've eaten a shoe, so that has to account for something.¶