We woke up and had breakfast at the Homewood Suites. Our last road trip breakfast.
Hmm. Powdered eggs and biscuits. I think this trip needs to be over!
On the way to I-81 just outside of Charlottesville we spied this interesting truck. What was in it?
It’s a truck full of turkeys! Just waiting to be slaughtered for Thanksgiving dinner. Back to Dutchess County. We stopped at Adams to get groceries as we haven’t been home in ages!
After having lived at our house for twenty five years we decided that our vacation was a perfect time to get our driveway redone. Our neighbors got their’s done at the same time.
Here is Steve undoing the yellow tape. I think he is going to have to do some repair work on the mailbox. It looks a little shaky to me.
We had a lot of mail while we were away. We used to have the neighbor’s collect our mail. Now I just use the hold my mail option and get the post office to deliver everything when we get home.This was a genius move on my part!
Steve’s home cooked dinner. The last of the season corn.
I hope you enjoyed the trip. Are you wondering if we did the license plate game? Of course we did! Here are the states we found in sighting order.
NY, FL, NJ, PA, AZ, OH, CT, GA, VA, MI, ME, IN, WI, IL, IA, MO, VT, MS, MA, MD, MN, NB, OK, WV, CA, TX, ND, CO, KY, OR, TN, KS, SC, NC, AL, SD, LA, MT, ID, WY, UT, NM, NV, DE, WA, AR, AK. 47 states! Which states did we miss? I think the best place for license plate spotting was in the parking lots of the state parks. We were always in a hurry so Steve didn’t let me cruise up Main and down Elm to look at every car!
Have you ever seen a truck full of turkeys?
Do you prefer white or dark meat?
Aren’t these breakfasts getting uglier?
I am not sure which trip is next, but as always it will be fun to tell you about them and all the interesting people that we meet, the beautiful hotel rooms, the great scenery and the delicious food. Until then, “Stay safe!”
I forgot to mention more about the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Springfield Missouri. This BPS attracts more than 4 million visitors a year! The store started by John L. Morris in an 8 foot section of his father’s liquor store in 1972. In 1974 he began mailing out his first catalog. How many catalogs are produced each year? I don’t know, but I think we get one every two weeks!
We had breakfast at the Huddle House in Kuttawa. Huddle House is very similar to a Waffle House.
Steve was really happy because he had ordered a big breakfast. How big?
Now that is a big breakfast! Notice the circular bone in the ham steak? On many of the nights that I cooked dinner I would make a ham steak and boxed macaroni and cheese. I thought it was hysterical to cut out a piece of ham with the bone in it. I called it “the eye”. I would place the piece of meat (really just a piece of bone) on someone’s plate and say “Have the eye!” Well, I thought it was hysterical. Steve, not so much. He thought it was “stupid”, which it really is! Whenever we have one now, I take a picture of the eye and send it to our son Elliott. He enjoys the joke, our daughter not so much.
No meat for me, but I said “Yes!” To the Grits!
Next stop was Mammoth Cave National Park.
This is a three dimensional model of the cave system.
There were 13 different underground tours to chose from. We picked “Domes and Dripstones”. The description of the tour is as follows:
Wind down through deep pits and high domes via a 280 step staircase. Vertical cave gives way to large canyons and underground hill climbs. Visit the Frozen Niagara formation, then pass through one of the caves most decorative drip stone areas. Total stairs was 500, including 280 on the initial descent. The difficulty was considered moderate.
There were a number of strenuous tours available. Chest or hip measurements could not exceed 42 inches , if you are larger you can not physically pass through the crawl spaces. That’s not why we didn’t go on those tours though, by now you know that I don’t do strenuous anything! Not because neither my butt nor Steve’s butt is too big!
After our trip to the museum we had our briefing by the forest ranger.
Then we loaded into a bus to take a ten minute ride to the entrance of the cave. Looks like we had a few people who wanted to be photographed with us!
A short stroll through the woods.
I see the door! Almost there!
No, it is not an outhouse, but the entrance to the cave. Notice the park ranger, he will be important!
I turned around to take a picture of the outside in case we didn’t make it back out! Good bye world! Into the cave we go!
Down the stairs we went. Except we had to stop and let someone come back out. She had claustrophobia and needed to leave the tour. That is why there were two park rangers at the start of the tour. One ranger to lead the tour and one ranger to escort the people who didn’t want to go on the tour. It seemed to be pretty common, that people would panic and need to leave the tour.
Steve had to bend down quite a bit as he is so tall.
We saw all sorts of interesting formations, like these pillars.
Many sections we had to crawl over sharp boulders.
Some parts of the cave were very open.
Here you can see the stalactites and stalagmites. Stalactites grow from the ceiling down. They stay “tight” to the ceiling. Stalagmites grow from the floor up. They “might” reach the top.
These rock formations are called rock draperies.
At one point of the tour the ranger extinguished his flash light and the lights on the wall around us so we could see how very dark it was in the cave. As if we didn’t already know how dark and quiet it would be!
The end of the tour was at the place where the original entrance of the cave was discovered.
It was very cool feeling the cool air rushing from the cave into the warm air outside.
More stairs? Yuck!
I looked exhausted, and Steve looked normal. Well as normal as he can look! You can tell how tired I was, no sucked in gut and my shoulders are schlumped. Wait a minute, that’s the way I always look!
After we reached the top of the stairs from the cave we had to walk on bio security mats to prevent the spread of white nose syndrome, a fungal disease that affects bats. No, the bats don’t get washed, only human feet. The fungus is in the cave and they don’t want it transported out of the cave via human feet that got wet in some of the puddles in the cave. The sick bats wake up when they should be hibernating. It leaves them weak, decreases their flying ability and they starve when they don’t get food during the winter, as none is available.
Then it was back in the van and off to Lexington!
Lexington Kentucky, calls itself the horse capital or the world. I believe it.
That’s a horse barn! There is a lot of money here!
After we checked in to the hotel we checked Yelp and the best reviews for dinner were for the Gratz Park Inn. It has since been bought by Hilton and it known as the Sire Hotel. (Sire as in father of a horse. Cute!) It was a very interesting old hotel, and there was an Pierce Arrow group holding an antique car show going on that weekend. The parking lot was full of very interesting cars.
These are what the cars look like. I was uncomfortable taking pictures of someone’s car. We were wondering if our van was going to get towed or even ticketed! Thankfully it wasn’t!
The restaurant was called Distilled. Since we were in Kentucky, you know that they were going to have a very fine bourbon menu. Here is just a sample of the brands and the prices. No Pappy Van Winkle! Of course back then we had never heard of Pappy Van Winkle!No bourbon for me, but a nice fruity bourbon drink! It was bourbon, lime, strawberry juice and topped with ginger beer. I don’t normally like my drinks with added fizz but went with the waiter’s selection. It was light and refreshing. I had a lovely Hibiscus poached pear and beet salad with Cambozola, walnut vinaigrette, maiche, and fried croissant croutons to start. Steve had the vanilla bourbon roasted parsnip soup with candied peanut, fifteen year old balsamic (!), celery leaf and lemon to start.With the corn bread and rolls we had fresh honey harvested that day from the apiary on the roof, jalapeño jelly and whipped sweet butter. The corn bread and rolls were eaten faster than I could take a picture! I had the pan seared duck breast with Calvados apple purée, cheddar Gougeres, pecan crumble blackberry marmalade and apple watercress salad. Steve had the pan seared Halibut with saffron cauliflower purée, caramelized cauliflower, chick pea country ham fritter, baby Kale salad and cilantro lime sauce verde.
This was the best restaurant of the trip. Others might have been more fun due to our dinner companions, or the people at neighboring tables, but this was serious dining! No dessert for us. I was stuffed, plus I hate paying for a dessert. If I would go back now, I would have picked the smoky chocolate ginger tart. That sounded really good! After dinner we hit the Liquor Barn to get some Bourbons for Steve. What else would you buy in Kentucky in a liquor store? Steve gets his picture outside the store, I get my picture inside it!
No, they weren’t selling cars. It was just for display!
I am not sure if we found any unique brands, but it was fun!
Then it was back to the hotel and lights out.
Have you ever had a bat land on you and then had your Grandmother catch the bat, pour boiling water on it in a coffee can, and then flush it down the toilet? Well Elliott did a very long time ago! He had to get Rabies shots. As a consolation prize I bought him Nintendo 64. I am a very nice Mom!
Who was your favorite villain or villainess in the original Bat Man tv show?
Are you cheap or do you order dessert in a restaurant?
French Toast with syrup for me for breakfast. Don’t they look like pancakes?
Steve ordered the Ham and Cheese Omelette at The Order in the lobby of The Hotel Vandivort.
This is the view of the modern lobby side view of the hotel. On our way out we told the front desk that they needed additional info in the rooms on how to control the lighted art work, and electric window shades. If you go there let me know if they listened to our constructive criticism!
Here is the dreaded parking lot that Steve had so much difficutly with!
Then it was off to The Promised Land. The Mothership of all fishing stores! Just follow the bass boat!
How could we not go in to this place?
Doesn’t Steve look happy?
Big fish alert! This fish is called a a gar. Steve says they can be six feet long!
Lots of taxidermy.
Steve in a Tracker boat. His boat in Lake George is much prettier! In fact Steve’s boat probably cost as much as my Jaguar!
Steve was so excited! “Oh my God! There are three aisles of soft plastics here!”
Are you in the market for a fancy pistol?
Perhaps a fancy shot gun would be what you are looking for?
Steve loves his fish! There are many types of trout here. The yellow ones are Palomino, They are from the crossing of a Golden Rainbow trout and a rainbow trout. There are rainbow, brown and brook trout here. They had Palomino Trout at Cow Creek. I finally remembered our cook’s name. She was Sofia and specialized in traditional New Mexican cuisine. Too bad I like traditional regular food like that cooked in Upstate New York!
Always a crowd pleaser, the fish feeding show!
There were scuba divers feeding the fish.
The NRA museum. Lots of guns and ammunition here.
There were lots of guns to look at!
This was not a happy outcome. If you don’t want to read the story, the bottom line is that his head popped off when he was hung.
Her is Steve posing in front of a very large gar.
This is Ethel. 27.5 inch long and 24.5 inch girth. She was caught in Lake Fork Texas in November 1986. She was brought to this Bass Pro Shops store and millions of people visited her until she died in 1994. A thousand people attended her funeral!
The results of Steve’s shopping. I think I will have the total cost be one of your guesses at the end of the blog post! Can you believe that he only spent 30 minutes shopping?
Golden Rod along the Missouri highway. Lower Missouri has lots of trees and rolling hills.
First signage for The Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home.
Me in the parking lot. Could you tell? I was so verklempt. (Yiddish for overcome with emotion). I read all of the Little House series of books when I was a young girl. Many times in fact. My kids read the Harry Potter Books, well the Little House Series books were my favorites. I wasn’t crazy about the television show, but still watched it anyway. They didn’t allow any pictures inside the house, but I discovered a pamphlet about the house. Here is a picture of what Laura, Rose, Almanzo looked like. Also a picture of the inside of the house!
I could hardly speak to Steve I was so emotional.
Laura and her husband Almanzo were such lovebirds. The house started as a log cabin and gradually more rooms were added and the original log cabin was torn down. The rooms were added on as they had more money. The house was built specifically to Laura’s stature. The counter tops were really low as Laura was a tiny woman.
This is the fancy entry of the house. The lady nearest you is crying. I could hardly talk to Steve at all as I was trying to hold back my tears.
Laura first started writing her Little House Books when she was 65 at her daughter’s suggestion. I guess I still have time to be famous! I never thought that I would come here as Mansfield , Missouri is nowhere near anyplace I thought that Steve and I would visit. But if Steve could get his Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve I could get the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home!
Getting tired near the end of our journey, not too many days left so I am even counting a Walmart as a grocery store! With that big smile on my face I seem to have recovered from the experience at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Homestead.
Here is a picture of a cotton field in Missouri. The Ozarks were very hilly with pine trees and many other trees.
The Mississippi Valley is very flat!
We left Missouri and crossed the Mississippi River and were into Illinois. It was a blue day!
Then we crossed the next bridge and we saw the mighty Ohio River join in.
Here you can see all the barges on the Ohio River. You can see where the rivers join together just past the barges.
Once you cross the Ohio River you are in Kentucky. The Ohio River is much bigger than the Mississippi before they join. The Lower Mississippi begins in Cairo, Illinois where the Upper Mississippi joins the Ohio River. The Lower Mississippi flows into the Gulf of Mexico. You will have to go on your own Excellent Adventure to go to see the Gulf of Mexico!
Three states in 15 minutes!
The highway is built on a levee!
Then we crossed the Tennessee River.
We traveled on through Kentucky to the Land Between the Lakes. The area is a large inland peninsula between Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. Steve was quite excited to be here as you can well imagine. Too bad we really couldn’t see anything as it was dark by the time we got here!
We looked for a restaurant on Yelp and Patti’s in Green River was suggested.
The plan was to eat at Patti’s 1880 Restaurant. However they had an hour wait for a table so we ate at the sibling restaurant, “Bill’s” next door! Same menu, same price, but only a ten minute wait to be seated. I still don’t understand!
They are famous for their flower pot bread and strawberry butter. You can make strawberry butter yourself if you want to, by adding strawberry jam to whipped butter! To make flower pot bread you just put the dough in a clean flower pot and then bake!
Steve was so happy to be surrounded by all the glitz!
I had prime rib.
Steve had the 2 inch pork chop. Two inch pork chops are a joke with Steve and myself. I only like the very skinny pork chops that I like Steve to overcook. I love them with applesauce too. If I am making them I cook them at 425 degrees for about an hour. Then they are dry as dust, but super crunchy!I really only like them with Kellogg’s corn flake crumbs on them. Sometimes Steve runs out and uses Italian bread crumbs. I don’t like those at all. Do you think he knew that yet?
We must not have had dessert, as I usually take pictures of the food that we eat. But here is a bonus photo of Steve!
We stayed overnight at the Hampton Inn Kuttawa. Have you ever been to Kuttawa before? Well neither had I!
How much did Steve spend at Bass Pro Shops?
If notified, would you have attended Ethel’s funeral?
Did you read any of the Little House on the Prairie Books? Upon rereading them, they were incredibly racist. I am in the process of reading the Landmark series of books for children. Those were incredibly narrow minded also.
We had breakfast at Brush Creek and then we were off onto the next leg of our adventure. We saw some Sand Hill Cranes, at least Steve did, my eyes for bird watching are not as good as his are.
Then to add to our excitement we had a moose cross the highway in front of us! I was in such shock that I didn’t have a chance to take a picture of the moose! While we were discussing our near accident, we decided to check our luggage and make sure that the mule deer shed (antler) was secure. Nothing like having a pointy flying projectile ruin a wonderful road trip!
Lo and behold, it turns out that two of our large suitcases were missing. The fool wrangler at Bruch Creek who was assigned to put our luggage in the van didn’t bring everything down. So we had to turn around and go back to the ranch.
We then drove to Rock City to try to find wild mustangs. One of the staff at Brush Creek told us that it was a very interesting park. Seeing a gopher hole and Pilot Mesa was easier to find. We did find 4 out of the 1500 wild mustangs. The wildlife preserve was over 250,000 acres. So we were really lucky to see any.
To get this close to the horses you need to have a four wheel drive vehicle with plenty of road clearance and lots of free time. This we didn’t have so it was back in the van again.
Once on our way again we stopped at Flaming Gorge. Steve had vacationed here once with one of his brothers for a fishing trip. The dam impounds the Green River.
There were lots of boats that are launched here every day. The fish are constantly pounded by anglers of all kinds. Steve did not enjoy fishing on the Green River at all.
The dam rises 500 feet above bed rock impounding the Green River. It was created in 1964 to supply hydro electricity and supply water to the Colorado River Storage Project. An added bonus is the recreational aspect of boating and fishing.
Then we passed through the little town of Dutch John. Summer residents total about 250, and 150 in the winter.
Next stop was our trip to Dinosaur National Monument.
It was hot again and we were tired and cranky and had a long way to go so we only saw the movie. We did achieve a magnificent find of an Alaska license plate! We likely won’t get all 50 as Hawaii is really hard to get.
Our final stop of the day was Grand Junction Colorado. We had dinner at a great restaurant. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name so it will remain our secret.
I started with greens with feta cheese.
I had scallops with a vegetable spring roll while Steve had beef with french fries.
Dessert was called “The Bomb”. Chocolate mousse with a layer of something and then some chocolate stout beer foam. We finished it all!
When was the last time you saw a moose cross the highway?
Why do I have a picture of a Ford Mustang car as my first picture? Well, there was a car rally this weekend in Sturgis, South Dakota. This is from the parking lot of our hotel. The guy driving the red Mustang wasn’t really trying to make much noise. I wish I would have gotten his real vroom vroom sound. Steve wouldn’t have been. It was bad enough I was questioning theses strangers at 7:30 in the morning! Sturgis is famous for their annual motorcycle rally’s. Hundreds of thousands of people attend.
Here is a little of a vroom vroom. I asked the driver what they did at the Mustang Rally. It is basically a bunch of people showing off their cars and all the modifications that they do to the cars to make loud noises!
Due to the Labor Day holiday we have problems finding someplace to eat. After trying two recommended breakfast places from Trip Advisor that only served coffee and granola we settled on a Perkin’s. I warned Steve about his future heart attack with his breakfast. Mine was bad enough with the fried egg and sausage.
Steve had the scrambled eggs, sausage hash browns and gravy covered biscuit!
After advice from my cousin Larry who lives in the Denver area we decided that we might have time after all to explore Spearfish Canyon on our way to Devil’s Tower. We got Steve his fishing license in less than five minutes at the Minit Man gas station. We passed a pretty waterfall and then Steven picked a spot to try. Success! Steve got his first trout in South Dakota. No pictures though, you will just have to believe him!
Then it was on to Devil’s Tower Wyoming. Remember Close Encounters of the Third Kind? People actually climb Devil’s Tower. Over 100,000 people have climbed DT and there have been only five fatalities. I think that is because they only let people climb it who are well vetted.
Look how buff this couple is!
We didn’t climb DT of course, we just strolled around the base!
If you zoom in on this picture you can see some of the people climbing!
Then it was onto Sheridan Wyoming. We wanted to see the DaVinci horse sculpture that our friend G was involved with.
Steve is going to get in trouble for touching the horse’s hoof.
But since M, G’s wife only reads my current blog post and totally skips the old posts G will never know!
Here is K , who was the impetus for the sculpture garden in Sheridan.
We had dinner with K and his wife M. They had just bought a new house and we had dinner there. They had lots of light switches along with lots of lights and I had fun helping M figure out what switch went with what light fixture!
Would you have been as accommodating as I was and let Steve try to catch a fish in South Dakota?
Can you hear the music from Close Encounters in your head now?
Before breakfast we tried to find the falls that Sioux Falls are named after. They are not what I expected at all. Back east waterfalls are big, these were just a cascading series of water. (This is not my picture, my picture would have been shaky, and uncentered! This picture is from the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce.)
Then it was time for breakfast at The Original Pancake House. Whenever we are on a trip I us the Yelp App on my phone to look for good local restaurants. We have rarely made a bad choice this way.
I had the Dutch Apple Pancake. Does this not look mouth watering? This is very easy to make and since we ate there I have made it at home for myself several times. You sauté some apples in sugar and cinnamon in a cast iron pan. Then you prepare the batter which you pour on top of the apple mixture and pop it in the oven to bake. It is so delicious! Unfortunately I had to throw out my cast iron pan since Steve has a condition that causes him to store iron in his blood, So no iron pans for us!
Steve had the Irish Omelette which is corned beef hash and cheese in an omelette!
After breakfast we stopped in Mitchell to see the Corn Palace.
I had always wanted to stop here, so this was another check off my places to visit list.
The murals on the sides of the Corn Palace are changed every fall. Thirteen types of corn are used along with other grains.
This picture shows the plywood backing that the corn will be attached to.
This picture shows how the pattern is done. Instead of paint by numbers this mural is paint by ears of corn!
We passed by a number of signs for the Laura Ingalls Wilder home in De Smet, but had no time to stop and visit. On the way back we are going to stop at her home in Missouri where she lived with her husband for many years. Perhaps we will come this way again, but I doubt it. That could be a road trip all of its own, as Almanzo was born in Upstate New York and the books took place in many other states including Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and her final home in Missouri!
Badlands National Park for those who can’t read signs. But if you are reading this blog, you must be able to read!
Obligatory selfie by spouse with long arms who can’t see themselves in the view finder.
You don’t want to get lost here!
The progression of prairie becoming The Badlands. Eons ago silty deposits of a shallow sea were laid down. When the sea receded volcanic ash was deposited. After years of compaction a prairie was created. Then the land was eroded over time. The Badlands are losing one inch a year. There were comments at the visitor center about air pollution obscuring view. The only air pollution here was from forest fires far away.
We saw our first prairie dogs!
They have a bit of a chirp!
Sunflowers as far as you can see in appropriately named Scenic South Dakota!
There were many road signs for Wall Drug Store, so we had to make a detour.
It was a generic tourist trip, but at least I got my picture taken here!
If you can make any of this out, this is a red wine decanter.
It is 95 degrees outside the restaurant and I can’t stand all these pillows behind me.
What I am looking forward to is my Pineapple Upside Down Martini!
This couple at the table next to us was celebrating their 50th Anniversary! they ordered champagne which came in generic wine glasses. They were so sweet!
Happy 50th Anniversary to our new friends Fred and Libby from Someplace in California! Don’t they look like the happiest couple? I should have exchanged phone numbers, I am sure that they have great stories to tell!
No pictures of our dinner, but here is the delicious dessert. It was called Heaven on a Plate. It was! Ice cream layers, and candy bars covered with chocolate!
Dinner was at Vesper Sky Bar at the top floor at the Hotel Alex Johnson. We spent the night here. There were rumors that the hotel was haunted, but no ghosts visited us during the night!
Do you have to be Irish to eat an Irish Omelette?
Would you drive out of your way to see a tourist trap for the first time? If you do for the second time I believe you are certifiably nuts!
We left our good friends A and M and were off to further points west.
Hello Iowa grocery store.
Then it was time to check out a vista. As you may recall I hate heights and towers. I was very unhappy here. This is my resting “I’m scared, let me go to the ground!”
The view was supposed to be awesome, but I don’t care. This is the Missouri Valley, looking at the Missouri River and Nebraska. It is flat out there.
Steve was very relaxed. Heights don’t bother him.
Then we were in Sioux City, Nebraska and it was time for another grocery store visit. Steve’s brother and sister in law lived in Illinois for years. As such, we think I had visited a grocery store when we visited them, so no grocery store stop today in Illinois was required.
The speed limit here is 80, which is wonderful as we were in the car for a long time. We had a lot of country to cover today! In fact, we drove for ten hours today!
Mushroom flat bread and my blueberry Pomtini. Good thing I took a picture before it was all gone!
Grilled salmon and salad.
Steve had the pecan crusted wall-eye.
The dinner was great except for the fact that we didn’t get bread and butter until after our entree.
We stayed overnight in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Was today’s post too short?
Are you afraid of heights?
Do you like your bread and butter before your entree?
Thanks to my posting on Facebook about our visit to Cleveland our old Optometrist (not that he was old, but that he used to be our Optometrist!) contacted me to find out “how long would we be in Cleveland and could we get together?” Lenny G was busy last night but he could meet us this morning for breakfast. We hadn’t seen him in 11 years, he looked a little bit older and wiser, and Steve had grown a beard. I looked as attractive as ever! Which doesn’t quite mean anything as if you didn’t think I looked attractive before I still don’t look attractive!
We had a great time reminiscing about what had gone on in our lives since we last saw each other. I was devastated when he retired and moved South. He had been our optometrist since we had moved to Poughkeepsie in 1980. L always believed that Steve’s career success was due to the new glasses that Steve got over the years. He always remarked to me that I never changed since we first met. L told me that several patients of his had gotten airs as their husbands careers flourished. I had never changed at all. That can also be interpreted as “Once a schlub, always a schlub”!
L always delighted in winding our kids up during their eye exams, and leaving me to try to calm them down the rest of the day. I think the Lant family contributed vast sums to his retirement. With four family members all needing glasses we kept L’s office busy!
All too soon, it was time for us to depart. We were going to meet M and A who we had met at Brush Creek Ranch our very first visit in September of 2011. We had stayed in contact with them over the years, and I asked if we could meet for dinner on our trip out west. They cordially asked us to stay at their house overnight.
We left Cleveland and drove across the state of Ohio and then into Indiana. We had looked at the map earlier in the day and said, “Let’s go to Notre Dame!” I had always heard about Touchdown Jesus and the Golden Dome. Now we would see them!
That was a little bit harder. We had to find a visitor parking lot first.
Then we marched around the big and beautiful campus in the 91 degree weather. As I wasn’t wearing a hat, I tried to stay in the shade. If you are a brunette like me, you head heats up quickly. We saw the Golden Dome in the distance and headed closer.
There it was! The Golden Dome!
Next up was Touchdown Jesus! This is a mural on the outside of the library. It’s called Touchdown Jesus, as Jesus is standing with his arms up as if signaling a touchdown.
There it was, and here is proof that I was there!
Here is Steve in front of the Golden Dome. The Golden Dome is atop the main administration building. Atop the Dome is a stature of Mary, considered to be the Mother of God by Christians. Notre Dame means Mother of God.
Afterwards we went to a grocery store in Indiana before we found the house of A and M.
We had much difficulty finding the house of M and A as they lived in a gated community. We couldn’t figure out the pass code or what turns we needed to make once in the development. M had given us the wrong pass code. We ended up following a car ahead of us at one of the community entrance gates. It was a good thing that Indiana was not on Summer Eastern Time Zone. Otherwise we would have been late!
After meeting A and M’s beautiful children and nanny we went out to dinner at Gamba Ristorante. That was some decanter for the red wine!
We had tomatoes with mozzarella.
Grilled Caesar Salad. No, your eyes are not out of focus, my hand was shaking.
Roasted veal with pea purée and broccoli.
Here we all are in A and M’s beautiful house. M is the beautiful blonde, and A is the handsome brunette. A is a real fashion plate and there have been spreads on him in Chicago magazines. I was dying to see their closets as they are quite fancy dressers (as you can see from the picture) but they were traveling to Italy in two days and they said their closets were a mess. Maybe next time!
Have you changed over the years?
Would you consider yourself schlubby?
Have you had a fashion spread on you because you are so attractive?
As I explained yesterday this is a trip from years ago. Just like everyone else I hope to be traveling again soon. I would say that that’s the reason I have an unpacked suitcase laying in one of the spare bedrooms. That would be a lie however, it’s just not unpacked from my trip to Belize in January! Now that is lazy! Today our plan was to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was an easy walk from our hotel. But first we needed to have breakfast.
As usual, fried eggs for me.
Steve went on the wild side and had an egg quesadilla.
You already saw my picture in front of the museum. Here is Steve. Plan to see a lot of these outfits!
We enjoyed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, although I liked the Country Music Hall of Fame better. I think it would behoove me to watch the Ken Burns Special to learn more about Rock and Roll. I will have to watch Krush Groove the movie about the founding of rap also, as I know nothing about rap! No pictures inside the museum, you will have to visit so you can see what is inside.
For dinner we ate at Muse, the restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton. I tried the Farmer’s Market Prix Fixe dinner. My dinner had a peach theme to it. It started with grilled peaches, Serrano ham, micro basil and dehydrated vinegar.
Steve went out on a limb and got a Caesar Salad.
My entree was pork tenderloin with peach brine, peach wood smoked jalapeño peach tomato salsa, peach moonshine gastrique memo chives.
Steve had swordfish with white beans and escarole.
Steve had cookies and cream ice cream for dessert. Man this picture should have been cropped better! When we were in Chile years ago we met a famous wildlife photographer who went crazy about my picture taking. He kept telling me to make sure that my pictures of food didn’t have any extraneous items in them. I think I have at least 5 faults in the above picture!
Peach crepes with blueberry mascarpone and cinnamon anglaise.
Sorry the day wasn’t that exciting, but not everyday can be like yesterday and meeting my inebriated gambling girl friend!
Have you ever been to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
Have you ever been to the Country music Hall of Fame?
Due to COVID-19 Steve and I won’t be traveling for awhile. So I have gone back to the far reaches of my pictures (over 29,000!) to bring you another recap of a trip. This is an old adventure, but I still considered it blog worthy. If you don’t care to read about my old trips don’t bother to read this one!
Now that Steve and I are retired we have more time to travel and go on more Excellent Adventures. We decided to drive West and see the country, Steve would do a little fishing, and I hoped to see some beautiful sights and meet some interesting people. We were going to end up at some higher elevations and Steve and I thought that by driving to higher elevations gradually I might not suffer from altitude sickness like I have in the past.
So Steve and I loaded up a the van. I love my Toyota Sienna. It has lots of leg room and comfortable seats with great lumbar support. Although it has three rows of seating, we would only use the two seats in the front as we had a lot of luggage. Steve was bringing lots of fishing equipment and I brought everything that I might possibly want to wear!
The second row seats in the van are really nice as they have full up and down foot rests, and you can tilt the back, although they are definitely not lie flat seats! I have a tendency to get claustrophobia, so the second row seats are ideal for me. Unfortunately Steve doesn’t like me sitting in the second row, so for the whole trip I never sat in the back. Of course, the whole van had lots of luggage in it, I don’t think I would have been able to sit back there anyway!
Our first day of travel would take us out Interstate 84, connect with I-80 and we would end in Cleveland for the night. Plans were to spend two nights there and then travel onward. After a long day of driving we finally made it to the Ritz Carlton in Cleveland.
Here is my view from the Ritz-Carlton. Not a great view, but a view of the river nonetheless.
We were hoping to have a cocktail at a local bar called Speakeasy before dinner but unfortunately it was closed.
There were many cute shops and restaurants in the area. We were near the convention center and also a casino was nearby. More about the casino later!
We had dinner at Lola’s. Although it did look charming outside, we ate inside. I usually prefer to sit inside.
I ordered the Kentucky Gunslinger for my cocktail.
Not surprisingly, the drink looked very much like the picture! There was bourbon and some other stuff in the drink. The drink was very good.
I ordered a green salad with peaches, blue cheese and red pepper flakes. The red pepper added quite a bit of zing to the salad!
My entree. I had the salmon, with leeks, peas and potatoes.
Steve’s entree. He had gnocchi. I have no pictures of Steve’s appetizer. Nor do I remember what it was!
Although we didn’t order dessert, we were given chocolate truffles with peach jam inside.
When we got back to the room we found these chocolates. I felt very welcome. Steve not so much. I guess I should have put Steve’s name on the reservation! I think the hotel wants my repeat business.
The lobby of the hotel.
I think that I should get one of these lights for our house in Lake George!
Our first night on the trip and I got to meet my first interesting person on our way down to our dinner reservation at Lola’s. While waiting for the elevator a woman told the desk clerk she would be back again as she had 23 nights left to stay at the Ritz-Carlton. Now I must start out with the fact that she appeared very inebriated. I think that she must have had one too many sangrias at Happy Hour in the lounge. (Of course she had to be back to the hotel as she did not have her suitcase with her!).
You know by now that I had to befriend her so I could find out why she would be spending another 23 nights at the hotel. Yes, it was nice, but an additional 23 nights?
After we got on the elevator she mentioned that she was on her way to the Casino attached to the hotel.
“How much do you gamble, and have you won anything?” I asked.
Well she had gambled $2000 last time she visited on the slots at the casino. The next day she continued to gamble and she won $500. The casino gave her three round trips to Atlantic City and one to New Orleans. The casinos gave her $500 for each trip to gamble and also a flat screen television. (Back in 2015 a flat screen television was much more expensive than it is today). Every time she went her stay was comped at a Ritz Carlton. She told me that night she was only going to gamble the $35 she had in her wallet.
So after dinner on the way back to the hotel, I told Steve I wanted to look for my new friend at the Casino. As she was drunk to start out, I was worried about her getting back to the hotel okay. After looking at almost every slot machine in the casino I finally found her playing her last dollar at the slot machine.
There was a man next to her on the neighboring slot machine. I asked him if he was her spouse, as he was listening to our conversation. He wasn’t, and high tailed it away from the three of us! It was hysterical! We offered to escort her back to the hotel as by this time she was even more drunk with all the free drinks that the casino had offered. I asked her how much she gambled at a time on the slot machines. She told me $25, $40, or $8.88 at a time. Now wonder I am never comped at casinos! I only bet on the penny slot machines!
We also asked her if her husband gambled. She told us that he stayed in the room while she gambled. He would lock her credit cards in the safe. He didn’t gamble as he considered that marrying her was a gamble in itself!
Should the light stencil for the Lake George floor be “The Lant Shack”?