I'm back from vacation, and getting caught up. We spent a week in southern Illinois, right near the Kentucky border, where the in-laws have a house on one of those large lakes in coal mining country. Spent some time boating, fishing, swimming, that kind of stuff - a real break from the daily circus.
If you find yourself in the vicinity of Carbondale, Illinois, here's something to check out, particularly if you have kids: the Boo Rochman Memorial Park. It's a free park out on Giant City Road; instead of jungle gyms and merry-go-rounds, the park apparatus is a large, maze-like wooden castle with multiple levels. There are places to sit and have lunch, and plenty of shady areas with various D&D-themed statues as well (wizards, druids, dragons, tombs, guys in the trees, and so forth). Naturally the three kiddos convinced me to play a few rounds of hide-and-seek in the large castle. Here are some pics of the place: