We haven't been on a true road trip since 2006 and this year the First Lady of Neato Coolville and I decided to make it happen for 2012. A couple of weeks ago we jumped in our jalopy and stretched the pavement for a total of 2800 miles. This trip was a bit unusual because we didn't plan a thing and so we winged it. Our main goal was to drive to Cooperstown, NY and visit the Baseball Hall of Fame with a few other museum stops along the way. Of course the great thing about roadtrippin' is the opportunity to visit roadside attractions. Our first roadside catch of the trip was a giant metal dragon.
He's known as the Kaskaskia Dragon and he lives in Vandalia, Illinois. Watch out! This metal monster breathes fire! See it snort out some flames by clicking here.
Looks like King Kong lost one of his basketball shoes and we found it! This oversized sneaker is in New Castle, Indiana at the Steve Alford All-American Inn. College basketball fans will know the name Steve Alford, the former Indiana Hoosier and current basketball coach at University of New Mexico. Steve grew up in New Castle. If you're wondering; the match to this shoe is located a few miles away at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
Staying in New Castle, we came across a giant dapper looking man dressed in blue. Roadside aficionados have nicknamed this fellow the Iceman or Ice House Man because he stands next to the Ice House Tavern. According to RoadsideArchitecture.com, this guy is really named Corey and originally stood in front of a Marathon Oil gas station.
Leaving New Castle we spotted the Skyvue Drive-In Theater. Sadly, this drive-in recently went dark.
Entering Ohio! This was our first time to explore Ohio and I must say this state has lots of neato stuff to see. Our first Ohio destination was in Mansfield.
The main reason to visit Mansfield was to meet someone very special and that's Elektro the Westinghouse robot. His claim to fame was his appearance at the 1939-40 New York World's Fair and he now lives at the Mansfield Memorial Museum. Sometime in November I'm planning on putting together a proper blog post about ol' Elektro, but until then here's a pic of the mighty robot.
To see Elektro in person was one of my highlights of our trip. He's amazing!
Also at the Mansfield Memorial Museum are some very old and very curious pieces of taxidermy.
Think the busts tell old football stories after hours when no one is there? Hmm..it makes you wonder?
Our second Hall of Fame was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. We had a rockin' good time checking out the amazing collection of music artifacts.
We accidentally found the town of North East, PA because we noticed a spectacular sunset on Lake Erie. We raced off the main drag and drove to the shore to witness one of the prettiest sunsets we've ever seen. As we stood on the beach watching this beautiful sunset we kept sniffing a unique smell. No, it wasn't dead fish on the shore, but instead the air smelled like grape jelly. The next morning, we found out that North East is in Concord Grape country.
I guess instead of wine tasting we should have been tasting some Vitameatavegamin to prepare us for our next stop in Jamestown, NY.
The final resting place of Lucille Ball.
Poor Phillie Phanatic is trapped in a glass box! I bet Mr. Met stuffed him inside.
My favorite baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals are well represented in the Hall of Fame. It was the Redbirds amazing win in last year's World Series that inspired us to make the pilgrimage to the Hall. Just a few minutes after they won game seven, we both looked at each other and said, "We need to go to the Hall of Fame!" Not wanting to leave Cooperstown we eventually had to get back on the highway for more adventures.
The First Lady is a big Frank Lloyd Wright fan and she was thrilled to visit Falling Water. I really enjoyed the house tour, but couldn't help thinking that this house needs to be in a James Bond movie. (For more info on Frank Lloyd Wright, check out Artsy's page dedicated to the master architect.)
Back in Ohio and a quick stop to see John Glenn's boyhood home. My photo of the house didn't turn out too good, so here's a picture of the vintage sign instead.
Gotta love nose art!
Seeing the Apollo 15 Command Module was out of this world!
In the Vietnam wing of the museum is this painting of the Jolly Green Giant honoring the pilots and crews of the HH-3 "Jolly Green Giant" rescue helicopters. The artwork is by the Giant's creator, Saul Mandel.
Our next stop was at Jungle Jim's Supermarket in Fairfield, OH. Now this is not your everyday normal supermarket, but instead it is a super super supermarket that's overstuffed with tons of products from around the world and features outlandish store displays. This place might be the coolest supermarket I've ever visited.
Jungle Jim's even has a Cereal Bowl Band! (Don't worry, I'll be blogging about this place later this year!)
Everywhere you look there is neon eye candy!
(Again, like a few other places, I will need to dedicate a blog post to this museum.)
Just a few blocks away from the sign museum is this giant robot worker! How cool is he? Well...he's neato cool!
Our old fashioned American road trip was practically done by this point and so it was time to head for home.