IL: Cardinal Capers

Our July outing was held at Blackhawk Valley RV Park in Rockford, IL. We celebrated Cardinal Capers’ 50th anniversary! Members present were Carol Brown, Eileen Curran, Frosts, Gastels, Geskes, Korzuns, Mitchells, Ann Polson and granddaughter Brixtin, and Watnes. Terry and Carolyn Hughes from TX and Jeff and Kathy Wilshire from Maryville, IL, and first time guestmembers Letitia and Kerry Swift also camped with us. Former members Ted and Donna Wallin have a seasonal site at the park and they joined us as well. Gastels arrived a little later than they had planned due to Jim’s discovery that one of the inside dual tires was totally flat. After the tire had been replaced a rather large piece of metal was found imbedded in the old tire. Thursday was overcast and cooler (thankfully). The pavilion was decorated with signs and table decorations celebrating Cardinal Capers’ 50th year! Our happy hour was combined with our monthly meeting in the afternoon. Dogs ‘n more were enjoyed and the side dishes were delicious! After supper a new treat, cinnamon bears, was fixed by individual members and declared to be a tasty treat.

Friday most of us headed to Anderson Japanese Gardens with free passes generously given to us by John Anderson, founder of the Gardens. It is a beautiful calming place in the middle of Rockford. Those who took the tour were impressed with the beauty and variety of plants and trees, as well as the size of some of the koi. The restaurant overlooks a portion of the grounds and some members enjoyed the view as well as the food. In the afternoon our visitors arrived for our celebration dinner. Those joining us were former members Dennis and Paula Olson, Ted and Cyndi Gross, Dean Johnson, current member Esther Reding, and our great sponsors for the past 50 years, Terry, Melanie, Mick, and Tricia Franklin. It was great seeing this large group get together! The dinner was wonderful, with the meat we had catered from Penguin Foods, the variety and delicious side dishes, and the cake (with the brownish cardinal) from Schnucks, and the cute cardinal cookies made by a friend of Watnes. We sat around the campfire and shared experiences and stories with many laughs! Friday morning dawned again overcast and we started off the day at our favorite Rockford restaurant, Stockholm Inn. The restaurant was crowded and there was only one waiter for the entire room. Eventually everyone had their food and no complaints were heard about the meals! Some members enjoyed Midway Village and Museum, some went to Winnebago Motor Homes or resale shops, and the rest stayed around the campground and enjoyed visiting. The weather had a few drizzles but not too bad. We tried to play Pictionary but the dry erase board would not get clean after just one contestant! We went to the Machine Shed for our dinner and the variety of meals served was quite interesting. When we returned we found Ann and Brixtin had left for home. They had been very busy the entire time, and grandma was not looking forward to spending a rainy couple of days with the two of them needing to stay inside! Not much activity after returning to the campground, with some retiring and others hanging out at the pavilion. Sunday morning following our finger food breakfast, the Cardinal Capers members present all received terrific door prizes furnished by our outstanding sponsors, Winnebago Motor Homes! Packing up and hooking up in the drizzle wasn’t great but we all managed. It was a wonderful weekend celebrating our history with friends old and new!


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