Pulse: Couple gets honeymoon kicks on Route 66

Denise Burd and Bart Kimberley fell in love in Naperville, but their romance with the open road took them across the country. After marrying May 24, they embarked on a monthlong honeymoon along historic Route 66 that proved to be a journey of a lifetime.

“Our scenic trip down memory lane was absolutely spectacular and totally exceeded our expectations,” said Denise, 41. “Visiting these iconic places, relics and roadside attractions was an exciting experience in itself with each telling a story through sight and without words.”

Denise said after she and Bart, 47, began dating, they talked a lot about traveling. After their 2011 engagement, “we knew this would be the perfect trip for our honeymoon.”

“There seemed to be a certain romance to the road, the places and the people,” she said. “Over the years as I learned more about the old road, I just knew that I needed to take this ultimate road trip.”

The planning process was about four years in the making, and with so many points of interest, they realized they needed more.

“A two-week honeymoon was not enough time to fully experience all 2,448 miles of Route 66,” she said.

Route 66 runs more than 2,000 miles through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

Like their love story, this road trip was one-of-a-kind.

Hopping fun: 11 parks in a day

Want a summer adventure without ever getting in your car? That’s what Prairie Children Preschool teacher Angie Lay had in mind for her family.

“My family went on a park-hopping challenge,” said Lay, who lives in Plainfield with her husband, Jeff, and children, Coen, 7, and Brinley, 6. “We decided to ride our bikes to as many parks as we could in one day.”

They biked from the family home to Commissioners Park in Naperville to kick off the adventure. By the end of the day, they had biked to and played at 11 area parks.

“We have so many great parks near our home,” the mom said. “We go on a lot of bike rides, and sometimes we ride past a park on our way to another park. That gave me the idea to turn it into a challenge.”

Lay said the family embraced the idea, and while she anticipated hitting about six parks, the kids wanted to keep going.

“We definitely plan on making this an annual event and will look to break our record next summer,” she said. “We love to make up our own family traditions and annual events.”

Besides Commissioners Park, the Lay family enjoyed playing at Champion Creek, Freedom Elementary, Heritage Meadows, Heritage Oaks, Auburn Lakes, Kensington, Golden Meadows, Golden Meadows IV, Eagle Point Elementary and Canterbury Woods.

Train appeal: Holiday inspiration comes from rails

If you have a child who says the four seasons are spring, summer, fall and Christmas, then the Downtown Naperville Alliance’s latest art project is for them.

A painted train sculpture exhibit will roll out beginning Nov. 7 until mid-January.

A total of 15 train sponsorships were offered through the Downtown Naperville Alliance. Executive director Katie Wood said 13 of the 15 trains have already been “sold” and that sponsors jumped at the opportunity almost as soon as it was made available.

“The trains are adorable and will have seats so kids can sit on them,” Wood said. “We have many sponsors ‘on board’ already that have returned from prior years. This is a similar program to what’s been done before — a long-time tradition of years ago, led by United Way.”

The Downtown Naperville Alliance resurrected the concept two years ago with snowmen and then gingerbread men.

“This year we’re excited to reveal trains,” Wood said.

Sponsors so far include the Naperville Country Club, Little Luxuries, Dine Naperville, Naperville Dental Specialists and the Mom’s Network/Café & Play, among others. Wood said this program is a way to promote businesses and is not a fundraiser. Sponsors will keep their trains after the display periods ends Jan. 16.

Wood said train usage at the holidays makes this year’s sculpture idea especially appropriate.

“Given train travel is so important in and around Chicago, we believe these will have extra appeal,” she said. “Given the thematic tie-in with notable holiday favorites, like the Polar Express — we think it will be very popular.”

Area artists already are working on the trains, including some from local school art departments when they return in August.

For the record: 90-year-old’s story now in book form

Glenn King’s story always fascinated those who listened. They often encouraged him to write his memoirs, but the 90-year-old admits “he was too lazy to do it.”

Then he met Sue Johnpeter about a year ago at church.

Both Naperville residents hit it off. And Johnpeter helped King put his life story to paper in a just-released biography, titled “No Ordinary Life — Memoir of a World War II Bombardier.”

A can of tuna fish played a big part in the telling.

“I was captured by the Germans and was officially listed as missing in action for about two months,” King said. “The pastor at our church was talking about me in a sermon and mentioned this can of tuna I was given by the Red Cross. I was starving but I carried it with me day after day because I always thought things were going to get worse. The Germans never fed us, and I figured if I had survived this day — I could hold on until tomorrow.”

Johnpeter has a journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism. This is her first nonfiction book.

“It truly has been my honor to listen to Glenn’s war and life experiences, and sort his 90 years into a book,” she said. “I think I was most surprised by the availability of information on the Internet regarding Glenn’s crash and captivity, a lot of which he didn’t know about. So we learned together.”

The two will share the fruits of their collaboration at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 20, at Anderson’s Bookshop,123 W. Jefferson Ave., Naperville, during a book-signing event.

“No Ordinary Life — Memoir of a World War II Bombardier” also is available on amazon.com.

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