Hi, I am Jim, I love Kentucky, and traveling in and around Kentucky! I also love the entire country, and all of the beautiful and strange places here and there! This blog covers the overlooked, forgotten, and underrated places, people, and moments in history in America, with a focus on Kentucky!
It will cover great tourists stops, books about people and history, and include photos and postcard scans.
Custer State Park in South Dakota
We saw a LOT of these guys at Custer State Park in South Dakota!
We very recently got back from another trip to South Dakota! I am still working my way through pictures.... and I have some other posts to get up first...... But I plan to post about our South Dakota trip soon.....
I DID just get news that Nick Clifford, the VERY last living man who worked on carving Mt. Rushmore passed away on November 25th of this year, 2019.
Anyway, we did see him not that long ago. I bought another copy of his book as a gift for a friend and talked to him again. He was lacking 2 years to have made it to being a century old... so he lived a good, and very long life.
When we saw him this year, he was moving a bit more slowly than the last time we saw him, but he looked great for his 98 years! He still seemed happy to say hi and chat with visitors.
Still, this is a huge loss on so many levels. I am glad that my life crossed with Nick's.
We find ourselves in Point Pleasant West Virginia a lot! Its a cool, funky town with a lot going for it.
AND, we always stop at the Coffee Grinder!
Its a cozy little family coffee shop thats just so nice. The staff is always friendly. They are doing a good business too, as I always see locals going in and out.
We stopped by on a recent morning and the shop was decorated so nicely for Christmas. We loved it. They still had their Mothman decor up.... but Christmas was the main theme. Oh, and they were playing Christmas music!
A VERY enthusiastic young barista asked us what we wanted to drink and she made a couple of great vanilla lattes.
We asked about Mothman cookies too, because last time we were here, they were out! Luckily, they had a bunch on this trip. They are charging about $4 each for them these days (and they are WORTH IT!.... they are big and full of Mothman goodness) but you MUST get one while in town.
Me and my traveling partner Jimmy both wanted some to take home.... so we got a dozen to split.
Check out the photo! Where else can you get a box of 12 Mothmen???
Also, the Coffee Grinder has a "Take a Book, Leave a Book" shelf. I had a couple of books in my car that my mother-in-law finished. I keep a few books in my car for various reasons (like, when I find myself somewhere that has a book trade in shelf). I left two Amish romance books on the shelf, and I took another similar book I thought my mother-in-law might like. I also found a book on Robert E. Lee from the 70s that I never read. I was pretty happy about the trade!
We sat and enjoyed our coffees for a bit before walking around the fun little town of Point Pleasant.
President Trump had a rally at Rupp Arena in Lexington recently (AND, he was just in these parts last year)! I did not go myself, but a friend was in the area for work. There were lots of vendors, and they picked up a few items for my presential button and nic nac collection!
A very short walk from Fort Harrod is the Harrodsburg post office! There are some great old paintings (I believe they were done in the 1940s) on display there! Make sure you see them when you are in town!
We are again watching the complete run of the great 80s show "Newhart" at my house... You probably know that it is one of my all time favorite shows period.
Well, we decided to give "Bob"- a later series starring Bob Newhart a try just to break things up a bit. You can buy the complete 2 season run online pretty cheaply.
We really liked this one, especially the first season. Bob is a comic book artist who ends up working in greeting-cards. In the first episode, an old comic he created gets some new life, and he goes back to working for a comic book company.
Its very cute and funny, though it does have some standard 90s sitcom type situations. We really liked all of the actors- especially Bob's daughter and his co-workers on the comic book.
For the shortened second season they totally retooled the show. Bob looses his job on the comic book, and has to go back to working on greeting cards. Other than his wife and daughter, the entire cast is changed and Betty White appears in about every other episode. Also, and this is never explained, the home Bob and his family live in is totally different.
It was fun seeing Betty and Bob work together, but the show just isn't as interesting after the changes.
Still, Bob Newhart to me is one of the funniest actors ever...... I really love the guy and wish this one could have stuck around longer.
West Baden Springs: Legacy of Dreams is a book that I have had in my collection for some time. It is a really nice resource to have around giving the history of West Baden Springs. There are lots of colorful and black and white photos.... It is a very attractive book.
It is scattered a bit in its organization, but that doesn't take away from it at all. There are early descriptions of the hotel, tales about some of the characters associated with it, etc.
I really enjoyed hearing about the times the building was used as something other than a hotel.
Anyway, this is a fun book to read through before or after a visit to West Baden Springs.
Some locals recommended Chicago's Pizza to us while we were in town! It looks like this is a small Indiana chain.
They had some really nice specials going. For $16, you got an order of sticks, a medium pizza and 2 drinks! We added a salad and an extra topping on half of our pizza, and, with tip, still paid just over $25!
We LOVED the pizza here! The bread sticks were exactly the same that I remember from Noble Romans, probably my personal all time favorite pizza chain.
They had a good crowd the evening we were there (again, the locals know how great the pizza is) but we were able to find a table and the staff was very helpful.
It was a casual 5 minute walk (I timed it) from the front steps of the West Baden Springs Hotel to the West Baden Bagel Bistro in West Baden Indiana. We noticed this little place when we drove in to town and knew we should give it a try.
So, we walked over one morning and grabbed a couple of sandwiches!
There was a VERY nice young couple running the place and they were super friendly. As there are a few Star Wars toys on the shelves, I talked to one of them about the toys I had when I was a kid. Somehow, that conversation evolved into a discussion of music.
Anyway, it was early, but their hot beef bagel sounded REALLY interesting. For around $20, we got a coffee, a tea, and two bagel sandwiches.
I really enjoyed my coffee. They have one of the neatest sugar and cream areas I have ever seen (full jars of sugar and sugar in the raw were nice to see!).
I can honestly say that the roast beef bagel was the BEST roast beef sandwich I have ever had. It had onions and a horseradish thing going on that was really nice. We went back the morning before we left town, and I wanted to try something different, but I had to get the roast beef again.
I kept some water handy, but drinking it with a hot coffee kinda created some heat in my head.
The shop is in an old historic building (former hotel) in town and there are some cute shops connected to the Bagel Bistro (including the previously mentioned CJs Boutique). It looks like there are also some apartments in the same building.
There is a part of me that almost fantasizes about how cool it would be to live at a place like that! You could get great bagel sandwiches all the time, live in a historic old building, and walk the grounds of West Baden Springs whenever!
WBBB had bookshelves with old board games and books on them. There was an area with some old video games on a TV, and there was a cool fuss-ball coffee type table.
Even with these touches, the place was uncluttered and clean.You can tell that these guys care about what they are doing!
They asked us a couple of times how the sandwiches were, and they thanked us for coming in again on the second day we went in.
You know, I really love hanging out at the resorts here in town. I have had some great meals at those places, and I will again- but make sure you stop here when you are in the area..... In fact, if I were doing a day trip to the area, and I only had time for one meal.... this would be the place I would want to eat at.
They are breakfast and lunch oriented, they open at 8 and close around 2 I think. They DO open at 8am on Sundays though.... and that might help fill out a nice Sunday day trip to the area.
Anyway, you know West Baden Bagel gets my highest possible recommendation! I can't wait to stop by here again!