After 5 days in Illinois I am back again. It was a very interesting trip and I have a few observations to share. We went as far south as Springfield to see the new Lincoln Museum, Lincoln’s old law office, the old state capital building and Lincoln’s Tomb. During this trip I became a solid fan of the Best Western hotel chain. We also stayed at a Baymont Hotel which also is a nice hotel but they did add a surprise “energy charge” to the room bill while having signs in the rooms asking guests to help save energy by turning off lights, tv’ and air conditioning when not in the room. Well my Baymont friends, it has to be one or the other; I will try to save your energy (as I always do) but if you want to charge me an energy surcharge then I will leave the air on all day so that when I come back in the evening I will have a cool comfortable room. The next interesting thing was all the different sales tax rates we were charged. We bought stuff at nine different antique malls and stores that I have receipts for. Sales tax charges ran from the lowest in Springfield of 6.25% to the highest also in Springfield of 8%! In four places in Springfield that were antique or book related we paid 6.25%, 7.5%, and 8% twice! Through out the rest of the state we paid, 6.7%, 7.26% twice, 7.5% and 8%. That is a heck of a spread possibly due to local sales taxes; but what about the spread within the city of Springfield? Next installment I will show off some of my purchases from this trip.