West Baden Springs Indiana

West Baden Springs Indiana
Inside of the AMAZING West Baden Springs Resort in Indiana.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Papalenos in Berea Kentucky

It's been some time since I mentioned Papaleno's in Berea Kentucky.  I still love the place, and I still find myself there frequently.

I freakin' love their pizza.  There is other stuff I like here too, but this is my all time favorite pizza.

They have expanded their seating area since my college days.  It is probably twice as big as it used to be.  They acquired the shop next door (which, in some ways is sad...  it was a great little gift shop) and opened that up for seating.

Plus, it is on the square, and it is easy to find if you are ever in Berea.

I spent a lot of time reading here, studying, and talking to friends in my college days, and I am glad to see that it is still going strong!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Random Thoughts on Friday

I wanted to give a quick mention to Big Fun Toy Store in my old stompin' grounds of Cleveland Ohio.

When we first moved to Cleveland back in the late 90s, this was one of my favorite hangouts.  It was a cool, vintage toy shop, with lots of novelties and fun items.  The people working there were fun too, and they were also collectors.

Anyway, they are shutting down soon, so if you never made it to Big Fun, you should get there ASAP.

Here is where I mentioned them back in 2011.

Keep in mind there IS a Big Fun Toy Store in COLUMBUS that is still up and running!

Clementine's Bake Shop in Berea Kentucky

We stopped by Clementine's Bake Shop in Berea while we were in town.  This was our first time here. 

The place seemed to be doing a good business and a constant stream of people made their way to the counter.

Their menu had some interesting items, but we stopped in for coffee.  We got a couple of chocolate chip cookies too and they were nice.  They were huge.

I am glad that there is another nice, independent place to grab a meal or coffee in town!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Berea Kentucky

AND, just because I haven't done so in some time, here are some random photos taken around Berea Kentucky!

This is easily one of my all time favorite places, and we go there frequently.  Every month or two, we go down for a day trip.  I am surprised at how many people I talk to throughout the state who have never stopped by for a visit.  I am very shocked at how many friends in Lexington say that they have passed the exit signs, but they have never stopped to explore.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Old State Capitol in Frankfort Kentucky

After seeing the Historical Society's museum in Frankfort, we were given a tour of the Old State Capitol by a very enthusiastic fellow named Ken.

As we took the short walk from the museum to the Old Capitol building, Ken asked us about what we knew of Frankfort.  I mentioned to him that we had been to (and LOVE) Buddy's Pizza, which we passed on the walk.  Ken told me that Kentucky Governor #34, William Goebel, enjoyed his last meal (in 1900) at the same building.

Once in front of the Old Capitol, Ken pointed out the marker showing where Governor Goebel fell after being shot.  He said that, when he was a kid, there used to be a tree nearby where the bullet ended its journey.  Next to the Old Capitol was the building where the assassin would have taken his shot.

Once inside of the Old Capitol, you are able to check out the old library, and various rooms related to law making. 

Probably the most unique feature of the building is the self supporting stone stairway.  You almost don't want to step on the stairs because they seem like they could fall in! 

Anyway, here are some pictures from our visit!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in Frankfort

We spent a day in downtown Frankfort recently, and we finally made it to the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History!

For $8, you can see this great museum, AND tour the Old State Capitol.  You can also see the Kentucky Military History Museum for the same price, except during the winter.

Anyway, we had a very nice time exploring the museum and here are some photos!

This is a very impressive museum, with many pieces that are Holy Grailish.  I was most impressed with a watch that once belonged to Honest Abe.

A jacket worn by William Goebel when he was shot and killed is there too.  You can see the bullet hole.

More on Goebel later, but what a fascinating story!  Goebel was governor of Kentucky for 4 days when he was assassinated!  I just checked Wikipedia, and it says that he remains the only state governor assassinated in the US while in office!

We were told that elementary school kids come through here a lot, and this is the kind of museum that would have blown my mind at that age.  It pretty much blows my mind now, but a visit here must be very special for the kids that come through.  There is just so much to see.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Surf and Rocks, Casco Bay, Portland, Maine

This undated postcard shows Casco Bay in Portland Maine.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Elephant Mountain and Wilson Pond, Maine

This old card was sent from Portland in 1938, showing Elephant Mountain and Wilson Pond in Maine.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Western Promenade, Portland, ME.

This postcard was sent in 1910 (YES, 1910) from Portland Maine to a friend in Florida.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Yachts at Anchor, Gloucester, Massachusetts.

This postcard was sent from Kennebunkport Maine in 1933.  It shows a tranquil view of Gloucester, Massachusetts

Friday, March 16, 2018

Random Thoughts on Friday

I was reading an article the other day about Akron Ohio, a town I have spent a lot of time in.  I worked there for nearly 2 years.  Some of the people I love the most on this planet live there!  It is a town that can be rough (indeed, it does have a bit of a reputation) but it does have a lot of history and character.

Anyway, the article called Akron "the bonus round of Cleveland".  This may have been one of the nicer things I have heard about Akron.  This was the nicest description of Akron I have ever heard when being compared to Cleveland.

BUT, I like that phrase.....  describing a small town near a large town as a "bonus round."

I like the whole thought one town being a bonus for another one.  I know I have planned trips thinking, "If I can see all of the things here I want to see, I might be able to fit this in."

What other cities have a "bonus round" relationship to another city?  Nashville/Franklin, Atlanta/Marietta, Cincinnati/Florence, are a few that I think might meet that description.

I can think of others, but I can't think of a more appropriate "bonus town" relationship than Akron and Cleveland.

Lexington Comic Con in Lexington Kentucky

HEY!  I went to the Lexington Comic Con again this past weekend.  When I lived up north, we used to hit the Motor City Comic Con in Detroit, and we went to several other cons in Cleveland and Pittsburgh.  I can honestly say that the Lexington one is drawing some of the biggest crowds I have ever seen for a convention like this.

We did go on Saturday...  and I will likely not make that mistake again.  The lines were pure chaos.  They were trying to do the whole metal detector screening (I heard they abandoned doing that later in the day) but it was a mess on Saturday morning.  Still, it was fun, and it was worth dealing with the chaotic lines.

I kept it simple, and only bought a few small things.  I did find a couple of dealers that I loved.

One comic creator I talked to (and bought some comics from) was Adam Meadors who's put out a cool old style western comic book called Among the Willows.  It is set after the Civil War and is a very pleasant read.  I will be looking forward to more issues.

I picked up some cool stickers, postcards, and buttons from a unique artist who goes by Pizzaface.  Check out her site...  She does some cool retro art of images of old Halloween masks.

We briefly walked through the autograph area on the floor of Rupp Arena, but it was packed.  AND, the whole autograph thing is a bit odd these days.  $30-$95 for an autograph?  Double that if you want a photo with the person?  To each their own, but I put that sort of thing in the ridiculous column.

The costumes were pretty cool.  I LOVED the Pirates characters walking around.  See my bottom photo.  The little boy on his dad's shoulders was offered all of the rum he could drink to join the pirate crew.  There were some great Star Wars characters too.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

West Boston Bridge, Boston, Massachusetts

"West Boston Bridge, Boston.  Bridging the Charles River, connecting Boston and Cambridge.  A beautiful granite structure, over which pass some of the cars to Cambridge, the home of Harvard University."

This older postcard is undated.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Portico Over Plymouth Rock, Plymouth, Massachusetts

 Here is an old, undated postcard showing Plymouth Rock Massachusetts.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Final thoughts on our New England/Canadian Cruise

My buddy Bill at work loves to take cruises.  He likes the whole experience.  If he has a few days off, he might look for a brief cruise that he can take anywhere.  To him, where you go isn't as important as the cruise itself.

I REALLY enjoyed this cruise and I do look forward to doing more of them.  It was over the top in many ways.  I don't think I mentioned this in our other posts, but we went with another couple who have been doing at least a cruise a year since 2004.  They have used Norwegian every time, and they had a very nice large room.  They also had a steward, a butler and a concierge.  Their concierge (an exceptionally professional fellow named Roel Gonzales) was great, and I have never seen service like he provided.  Their room was decorated (complete with a great custom cake) for her birthday, which was celebrated on the cruise.  Snacks were brought to their room.  They did not have to wait for anything.

Service was great even without a concierge and butler.  The food was amazing.  AND, it was nice riding on a ship from port to port.

Unlike my friend Bill at work....  I liked the cruise a lot, but I think I will enjoy it in the future as a way to get to fun places that are otherwise hard to get to.  I think an Alaskan cruise will happen in the near future.  I can see doing some more international ones too.

I DID NOT like the fact that I am not in control of the trip.  I like to drive, and to allow myself more (or less) time as needed here and there.

I have mixed feelings on the excursions too.  I am glad we did all of the ones we did on this first cruise.  They were all enjoyable.  And they helped us to cover a lot of ground in a limited amount of time.  I DID feel like we paid top dollar for them though.  AND, we felt that often the guides were somewhat expectant of a tip (though this was not always the case).  Next time, I would likely do less of the excursions.....  BUT I would not rule them out.

I loved having a balcony, but you don't spend a ton of time in your room.  I am ok with having a smaller room, but I really enjoyed looking out at the waves through the night.  I think I will always want a room with a balcony.

Our friends that we went with obviously love cruises, and they especially love Norwegian.  The free style thing promoted by Norwegian, they feel, makes the whole experience more informal than on other cruise ships.  We liked the experience too.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Flying Home

We were dropped off at Logan International Airport in Boston.  It took maybe 20 minutes to check in and go through TSA.  We found a Wendys that didn't have jacked up airport prices!  It was very good too, and there was a seating area! 

We talked to a couple from the St. Louis area seated next to us, they had been on a similar cruise.  I had hoped to walked by the gates where the planes were taken from on 9/11, in section B &C, but we were in section A, which did not have easy access to those areas.  It was actually nice though.  We felt like we were in a small airport the way it was sectioned off. 
We went and sat near our gate.  I charged my nearly dead phone and listened to my ipod, and read some in my Haunted Acadia book.  It was a bit noisy at the airport, and drowning stuff out with tunes was nice.  I listened to some Lou Reed, Kristina Stykos (Turn Off the Noise), and my autumn and Canadian playlists. 

As we got ready to leave, we got emails that our flight was going to be delayed from getting us to Lexington at 11, to getting us there at 1am, then 2am, then we got an email that our flight was cancelled!   

The flight crew from Boston to Detroit was great, and cheery- which I think affected everyone else's attitude.  I was going to read, but the flight was a little over 1 and a half hours, and they had free movies to watch on the seatback, so I watched the Beguiled, which I heard was a Civil War movie.  7 southern women of various ages rescue a Yankee who's leg is injured, and they nurse him back to health.  I ended up liking this movie because it was weird....  but it wasn't exactly a Civil War movie, other than the time and setting.

When we got to Detroit, we had an email that we were rescheduled for a flight leaving in an hour and a half or so (ended up getting us to Lexington about 15 minutes later than what we originally thought).  Anyway, we were just thrilled to not have to spend the night at the Detroit airport.

Most places were closed at the Detroit airport, but we found a Wendys again, which was fine.  They were getting ready to close I think but they were still taking orders. 

We had a nice flight back to Lexington too!