Greetings from Union County. Where exactly is Union County? If I told you it is south of most of Virgina and possessed several mighty good wineries, would you guess Illinois? Probably not, but Union County is one of the southern Illinois counties in a region often referred to as Little Egypt. Why the shout out to Egypt? Maybe the early settlers thought the Mississippi resembled the Nile River which would explain a couple of town names (Thebes and Cairo). Corey and I first discovered this special delta ten years ago when an internet search brought us to Rustic Hideaway for our honeymoon. Two years later we brought baby Henna (she was about 7 months old) and it was as good a spot as we remembered. The three of us have been back most Spring Breaks since then.
Corey and I once camped at Giant City State Park (en route to New Orleans) and the three of us also once rented a house close to the same state park. But our first choice is always Rustic Hideaway. To Hennacornoelidays, Rustic Hideaway represents the type of travel we seek out. Although more now than ever before, there are not too many restaurants nearby which encourages us to stay in and make use of the small electric stove and the propane gas grill (lucky for us the grill has been recently upgraded and I can now use it without the usual accompanying cusses used to get it started). The cabins are private and off a gravel driveway which is itself off a small road that gets little traffic. There are two cabins on what I am guessing is an acre of land. Behind the cabins is National Forest and a trail leads up and then on seemingly to nowhere. This time we took it further than ever before and came to a better maintained trail that we followed before getting tired and turning back. Without a destination the hike is both maddening and liberating to us as we feel no pressure to go on and thus have never hiked more than a mile in. At night we have easter egg hunts (something I never did as a child) and play lots of board games (something I gratefully did have as a child). We also take frequent dips in the hot tub and enjoy bird watching from the deck. The small inconveniences of the cabin are hardly worth mentioning but I will mention them anyways: well water and not as comfortable of beds as one would hope. The first is easily enough remedied and the beds are only slightly worse than what we have at home. Everything else in the cabin is simple charm and useful extras like coffee filters and spices.
This is going to be the first of a couple of blog entries about Union County and the surrounding area. I am also going to write-up a review (my first ever travel review) of Rustic Hideaway for Splash and when I do will post the link here. Right now the coffee is starting to wake me up a bit and I am going to warm up in the tub before the ladies wake up.