Custer State Park in South Dakota

Custer State Park in South Dakota
We saw a LOT of these guys at Custer State Park in South Dakota!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Lucid Coffee in Newburgh Indiana

Newburgh is a great little town right outside of Evansville.  It is so calm, and its right on the river.

While driving through there the other day, I discovered a wonderful coffee place- Lucid Coffee Bar!

It is located inside of what used to be the Old Country Store.  It is a beautiful old historic building that is obviously being well maintained today.

I am not sure exactly of the specifics of the set up here, but there is a separate ice cream area, and a separate coffee area (you order and pay for each at the specific counter that serves them).  There are also some interesting local shirts, jewelry and other items around.  I bought a couple of pieces of jewelry for my wife and paid for them at the ice cream counter.

My dad enjoyed some ice cream here, while the rest of us had coffee drinks.  I ordered a regular coffee with cream and sugar.  The nice fellow working at the bar took care of the cream and sugar for me.  Not sure what kind of ratio he was using, but he got it right!  THAT'S SERVICE!

The inside of this place is just so attractive.  It has a cool upstairs area, overlooking the downstairs/main business part.  If you ever got to visit Brady's CafĂ© in Kent Ohio (it's now a Starbucks) this will remind you of that great old coffee shop.

I am itching to get back to this place soon!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Howard Roosa School- Evansville Indiana

We drove by Howard Roosa School in Evansville while we were there.  It is now known as Joshua Academy, but, when my mom went here, it was Howard Roosa.

We swung by because my mom hadn't been here in decades.  She wanted to see what she could remember. 

She remembered the old train tracks.  She said that the home she lived in was very close to the school, and that it had been purchased, and knocked down so that they could build a playground by the school.

When she was very young, her family also briefly lived on Van Bidder in Evansville too.  We drove by that neighborhood, and there were some modern looking houses there now.  She is certain that all of the homes that were there when she lived there were destroyed to make room for the newer homes.

My mom actually has some strange stories relating to her childhood (I joke with her at times that it sounds like Stephen King wrote her childhood).  BUT, I think a lot of people who grew up after the depression had similar experiences. 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Brain Sandwiches at Hilltop Inn, Evansville Indiana

  Hilltop Inn in Evansville Indiana has been a place I have wanted to get to for some time now.  The business has been around for forever...  but they are particularly famous for one thing BRAIN SANDWICHES!!!!
Yes, you read that correctly.  If you are ever craving pork brain....  this is the place to go.
So, I gathered up some of the more adventurous eaters I know (my family- specifically my dad) and we made the journey to Hilltop Inn for brains.
First off, this place feels old.  It is very brown and wooden on the inside.  It absolutely feels like the kind of place people would have eaten at in the 1800s.
Prices were reasonable too.  Their famous Jumbo Brain sandwich was available at a very affordable price of under $8!
My dad, who will eat pretty much anything, ordered one.  This was no big deal for him.  He has had them before.  He frequently enjoys frog legs, gizzards, sardines, and other animal parts that I am too ashamed to mention.  He doesn't care.  Check out the 3rd and 4th photos to the left.  There it is.
My mom tells me that she remembers her mom and grandmother eating brains a lot.  She said that her grandma would cook them up with scrambled eggs.  My great grandma was a barbarian!  As a side note, that great lady lived to be 101 and died after I graduated from college.  Maybe the brain eggs helped her live a long life!
Back to the Hilltop Inn.  We ordered some onion rings, and I personally had a small bowl of burgoo and a BLT.  We had a very pleasant waitress who took care of us.
OK, forget the gimmicky brain sandwich.  The Hilltop Inn has GREAT FOOD!  I mean, really great food.
I am pretty critical of burgoo.  Their's wasn't the best I have ever had, but it is the best I have had outside of Western Kentucky.
The BLT had a generous amount of thick bacon on it.  It was perfect.  Our onion rings were nice too.  You could actually bite into them and they weren't stringy.  These were some of the best onion rings we have ever had.
My sister (who tries to downplay and deny her hillbilly heritage) had livers.  She said that she liked them a lot.
We all had pie, and I had a piece of their new chocolate chip cookie dough pie and it was really nice.  I am still thinking about it.  AND, I am generally against dessert Frankensteins like this, but it was perfect.
My dad enjoyed his brain sandwich, and I guess I should admit that I had a couple of bites.  It was a little chewy and soft, but it was tasty.  Honestly, it tasted like I imagined a brain sandwich would taste.
Hilltop Inn is weird, odd, historic and it has good food (not to mention some strange menu options).  All of those factors really make it a place any roadtripper should stop at while in the area.  I give it my highest possible recommendation.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Bruner's Collectables in Owensboro KY

I stopped by Bruner's Collectables in Owensboro for the first time in a while the other day!  Man do they have some cool stuff!

Actually, I don't really collect coins, but I thought they might have some items I like, and they did! 

They had a very interesting selection of Owensboro tokens, and I picked up a couple of attractive Civil War tokens at a good price.

These guys seemed to know a lot about what I was looking for, and I left feeling like I got some good deals on some historic pieces, AND I got some good info!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Battle of Sacramento 2018, Sacramento, Kentucky

I was able to stop by the "Battle of Sacramento" Civil War reenactment this past weekend.  I went with my dad, and, as I am usually on a bit of a time limit when I am in the area, we were only able to go on Friday.  We missed the actual battle with the reenactment, but we still had a great time.

As soon as we got there, I realized that my old pal David Wolfe was doing a talk as Abe Lincoln.  I did get to see him do two talks as the 16th President, and I was absolutely moved by both.  They were each unique, covering different ground about Lincoln.  During the later one, he actually talked, as Lincoln, about being assassinated by Booth.  It was the first time that I have watched a Lincoln impersonator really go there in character.  It truly made David seem almost ghostlike himself as he channeled the martyred President.

David Chaltas did a very convincing presentation as Robert E. Lee.  He was excellent too, and I even saw him tear up as he told a story of a father and son on opposite sides of the battlefield.

A funny moment occurred when Chaltas stepped away from a crowd while telling stories to answer a cell call.  A Confederate soldier near him, in a very serious tone grumbled about Lee using one of those fancy Yankee phones.

I ended up totally blowing my budget in the sutler's area.  There were some interesting vendors.  A blacksmith made these great hummingbirds on a pole.  I texted my wife a photo and she said that she would love one.  I did think these were pretty cool.

There were a couple of interesting authors on the field too.  I was personally very excited to see author John R. Scales selling his latest book on Nathan Bedford Forrest.  It is published through Savas Beatie, who has put out some interesting titles lately.  in fact, I had a very positive experience with Savas Beatie Publishing when I was trying to track down a copy of their book on the Gettysburg Cyclorama.  These are good people.

Anyway, I ended up buying a couple of books from John, and we chatted some about Forrest.

We were able to buy $3 sandwiches for lunch from a church group and we bought homemade rootbeer which was a real treat!

After exploring the sutler area and enjoying a nice lunch, we walked through the area where the reenactors camped out.  Most had little set ups in front of their tents, and they seemed eager to talk about the Civil War and soldier's lives during the war.

Many had actual relics they had come across displayed.  One medical table had medicine bottles and other related items a doctor might use during the Civil War.  The camp area had a bit of a DIY museum vibe going on.  All of the reenactors had something to talk about too.  Some talked about their relics, some told stories from the Civil War.

John Scales was scheduled to do a talk on Forrest as the day was winding down.  I definitely wanted to catch that!

John did a great presentation on Forrest and his battles.  He told some entertaining stores about Bedford Forrest and his adventures during the Civil War.

The sky had been cloudy all day and the rains held off until right in the middle of  John Scales' presentation.  Luckily, he was talking in front of the 1830's cabin on the battlefield, so the discussion was moved to the cabin's covered front porch.  This made his presentation feel more like a discussion.  It was a nice way to interact with the author.

Scales, an accomplished military man himself, seemed very focused on Forrest's way of thinking AS A GENERAL.  He noted that Forrest had a lot of knowledge about feeding, moving and managing his troops based on his experience as a horse and slave trader.

Scales was also able to point out where certain things during the battle of Sacramento would have occurred.  It was very exciting visualizing the battle, ON THE BATTLEFIELD, with Scales.

I think most of us at Scales' presentation also enjoyed a discussion of Forrest without getting into the controversies that are often brought up in our current climate.  This was pretty much a well informed talk on the military mind of Bedford Forrest.

My dad and I left Sacramento with the rain coming down in buckets (I hear that rain seems to always affect this event).  On the way home, we stopped for burger's at Jay's Drive-In in Calhoun, which is one of my favorite burger places.

This is a great 3 day event, and even paying $7.50 for the one day I was there was a bargain in my books.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Ole South BBQ Owensboro

I mentioned Ole South BBQ last year when I went there for breakfast.  I FINALLY got to visit there for their lunch buffet!

Me and a pal stopped by later in the day, probably around 4 between lunch and dinner.  I had a very light breakfast earlier in the day, so I was really ready to stop here!

I think it was around $12 for the buffet and we both felt like that was a good deal for what they had going on.

First off, this is a CLEAN place.  Everything seemed spotless and well maintained.  That's something to look for in a buffet!

My plan was to pig out on burgoo and mutton, which I did, but I didn't do it to the extent I planned to.  My pal said their chicken was great, so I had to try some of that.  It was great!  I also had some cabbage, macaroni and mashed potatoes.  EVERYTHING was perfect.

Our waitress told us that there was chocolate AND pecan pies out, so we had to get some of that too!

This is easily my favorite buffet place in Owensboro, and I can't wait to swing by again soon!

Friday, May 18, 2018

GinZa Japanese and Asian Bistro in Owensboro

My sister talked me into trying GinZa Japanese and Asian Bistro in Owensboro.  How can I put this nicely....  my sister isn't exactly an expert on...  well, anything.  Her recommendation doesn't go very far in my books.

I have to say though....  She got this one right.

The owner is a vet (you should at least give this place a try to support a military guy).  Also, a lot of the staff came over from Japan to contribute to what is going on at GinZa.  The owner did come over to talk to us, and he said they are trying for something very authentic.

So, I had hibachi shrimp, rice and vegetables.  That, WITH a small salad was $6.50.  Seriously, I am not making that up.  Even with their lunch portions, I couldn't finish it all.  I DID also have some egg soup that was very tasty (another person in our party gave me theirs).

My sister got some sushi (I am not a sushi person) and she said it was very nice.  Also, I think I heard that they are going to be doing a $12.99 all you can eat sushi deal on Wednesdays.

Anyway, we really liked this place and what they are doing.  Plus, it is a very good value.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

PizzAroma Owensboro

I wanted to briefly tip my hat to PizzAroma in Owensboro, easily one of my all time favorite businesses in town.

This was the first time I had been to the current location at Wesleyan Park Plaza.  I used to go to the one that was on Carter, but I noticed that it is a new business now.  I like the current location, because it is in the old Noble Romans' Pizza shop.  I spent a lot of time there in high school.  LOVED that place too!

PizzAroma has great food and all of my friends and family love this place.

They had half off appetizers while we were there, so I tried their wings.  I love those too!  BUT I always come here for the pizza!

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Spot Coffee Owensboro KY

I wanted to mention the Spot Coffee Shop in Owensboro again!  I absolutely love this place!

I had a great brownie while I was there recently.  I had some nice coffee too.

The Spot is located in the old strip mall by Owensboro Christian Church (the old Lincoln Mall).  This is a very convenient location for me, and I pass right by it anytime I come to or leave town.

The Spot is funky too, and has a very artsy local vibe.  They sell some CDs by local bands, and art by local artists.  The Spot is scrappy, and very DIY.

I know I have talked to several in Owensboro who were unaware that a new coffee shop was around!  I hate that, and I hope more people realize that the Spot is here!