If you don't know me, you don't know my alma mater.  I'm a Saluki through & through.  So is Jade - he joined me my Sophomore year of college.  Remember we started dating when I was 14 - so we were still a pair.

That's right - I went to Southern Illinois University - Carbondale - also known as one of the largest party schools in the US.  I hold an Agriculture major - can you say WHAT?!?  I know you are confused right.  Well, I even went so far as completing a major in Animal Science - Production.  So - if you are listening - I seriously have a degree all about Beef, Dairy, and Hogs.  Oh my goodness - I have put my hands in some not so pleasant places!  

It may be shocking to you - I know - but I love animals & it's really the only thing I've ever been interested in beyond home decor.  I don't really work with animals - well I don't at all - but I work in the Accounting Ag Industry.  My Dad has a large cattle herd - and well Jade has some.  We live by the cattle pasture - it's a way of life here.  I did really well at it & I know some absurd things about animals.

Jade got his degree in Advanced Technical Studies - Land Surveying.  He is now opening a land surveying business with his long time friend.

Back to SIU - I lived two years at Thompson Point in Felts Hall.  Here I met some amazing friends.  I am very blessed to still have them in my life.  I lived in a coed dorm & the boys were always up to crazy antics - which was very entertaining!  I had a blast in this dorm.  Then, I graduated to an apartment with 3 amazing girls, but I can't think of the name of the place for the life of me.  Again - I made even more friends & loved every minute of it!  My last semeester - I graduated in 3 1/2 years (pat on the back)- I lived an a huge big nasty 6 bedroom house.  I loved and still love SIU.

I will admit I was a partier.  If you are wondering - no I never did drugs.  I just really liked my Budweiser at that point in my life.  Which is kind of hilarious b/c I was this 5'4'' girl drinking a heavier beer than my now husband.  But - you know I was so very cool.  I love to dance & socialize so I enjoyed the party scene at times a bit too much.  However, if you can pull out a 4.0 and go out at night - then I felt I was doing OK.

Southern Illinois has a lot more to offer though than the parties.  It is absolutely stunning!  It's like a completely different state!  (Seriously I saw houses here without electricity - shocking I know!)

One of our favorite places was the Spillway in Murphysboro.  It had these beautiful waterfalls & at the top was the lake.  The Spillway was basically a dam for the lake.  We had a great time here.  Loads of college kids would come out on nice days - it was the place to be!

Another gorgeous place was Inspiration Point.  If I had to drive there today, I'm not sure I could.  But you drove down this really long road & up the hill.  If you see up on this cliff - it's a point.  You walk out on this boulder hanging in the air & you can see for miles.  It's scary, but stunning!

Here is the view!

I don't know this kid, but gorgeous picture & that's exactly how you are - exposed - in the open - high in the air on a rock!

There were amazing places all over like this - Bald Knob Cross, The Little Grand Canyon, Fat Man Squeeze (yes this girls hips were too fat to fit through), Giant City Park (tons of very cool rocks), Garden of the Gods, and even a huge wine country.

So basically - if you are ever looking for a place to see some stunning views - I highly suggest Southern Illinois.  There is so much to offer for the eyes.  Also - if your kids decide to go to school here - don't cringe.  They will honestly get a very good education & they will fall in love with my alma mater as well!

*All images are from Google Images or Flickr*