Albert Lea, Mn
On the road again to find out that after one hour our eyes were droopy and a stop was in order. We chose Albert Lea, Mn and were glad we did. We stopped in town and strolled on Broadway Ave. and spotted the Adams Original Shops. (Elvis was in the window) Remember that we are huge Elvis fans so we had to check it out. The owner for forty years welcomed us and immediately shared her own feelings. Albert Lea is the best town and they raised six children there. She was a enthusiastic promoter for her town.
On through the city by the lake was a wonderful farmer’s market. An assisted living facility was passing out free root beer floats. Quite refreshing for all. Paople were very excited to hear about the Rand McNally Road Rally. Jim and I encouraged everyone to enter their town next year.
Even a town councilman selling hotdogs.
- Albert Lea is the home town of Eddie Cochran, singer known for his songs “Summertime Blues” and “Come on Everybody” who died at the age of 21 in a car wreck. The town celebrates him with a annual festival.
- The National Farm All Association Convention was held in Albert Lea in 2010 bringing 28,000 conventioneers to their small town.
- Albert Lea received a award as “The City of Vitality” for their encouragement of health and nutrition.
- With great emphasis on health and exercise they established a program called “Walking Bus to School”. No bus involved. The students with adult supervision walk in small groups to school. Once again citizens caring about our ecosystem in the USA.
Quote from Jim:
“Man, this SAAB really accelerates” as he hit the turbo and on to the interstate we went. Next stop, stay tuned.
Have you met your Waterloo? (Iowa)
Hello from The Fun Finders in Waterloo,Iowa
We just had to stop a little earlier than planned due to sleepy eyes. Waterloo proved to be a nice fun town with a beautiful Country Inn & Suites. The décor was very “homey”. It fit right into small town America for REAL. After a short nap we were ready to check out the town. Our first visit was to the nearby Goodwill Store (one of our favorite pastimes wherever we are). We’re still looking for the size 13 shoes for someone at Safe Harbor Homeless Shelter. I’m sure that somewhere across America we’ll find them. Of course, we may not be able to fit them in the car as it is filling up.
Lost Island Water Park was one of the largest we’ve ever seen. The number of water slides was truly amazing. Of course it was evening and closed but the next morning as we left on our marathon travel day, the place was jammed with people refreshing themselves with the beautiful water and weather.
Next to the park was The Isle (a casino). We checked the local flavor out by spending short time trying our luck with the penny slots. Jim was on a ROLL.
People love their town and we encouraged everyone we talked with to enter the Best of the Road 2012.
Note: We didn’t eat because we were still stuffed from the Burnsville experience. Thanks again Burnsville for your Food, Friendliness and Fun.
Stay tuned for our next quick stop on the way to Gulfport, Fl.
The Fun Finders are on the road in the USA.
On we went to Paducah, KY, home of US Foods and manufacturer of Dips N Dots.
Paducha recently received as award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A twenty block area of downtown is on the National Registry of Historic Places. Sandy at the welcome station is a great spokesperson for their town. We are beginning to feel like we stop to refuel ourselves more often than we fuel up the SAAB.
We are having such fun finding unique eating places along our way.
- Patti’s 1880’s Settlement Restaurant is a must stop in nearby Grand Rivers, Ky. It is more like an attraction than a restaurant.
- Be sure to see Veronica at the Grand River’s Inn for a conversation that you will never forget.
- Don’t leave without trying a muffin at “On the Lite Side”
- Another stop is Lairds BBQ in Purwear, TN where you just might see Hank Williams Jr.eating BBQ
- International Raceway
- Birthplace of well known Contempory Christian Music Star Stephen Curtis Chapman, Known for famous wedding song “Cinderella”
- Museums abound in Paducah
- Civil War
Jim and I highly recommend a visit to Paducah, Ky and have suggested to local residents to enter the Best of the Road competition in 2012.
Another day and more USA to see and taste. We arrived in McKenzie, Tn and were escorted by Jill, the mayor and Jennifer throughout the town of 5300 to experience step one of our progressive dinner. We ate the Sampler Plate at Big Daddy’s BBQue. For a non-designated stop they rolled out the red carpet. Well not the red carpet but the red fire truck and gave us ride to view their town.
Course 2 was at E.W. James Supermarket where we were served a meal of catfish fried to perfection. How unique to have a restaurant in their super market. This is a wonderful place to stop for home style cooking with buffet and all.
Jim and I once again experienced a warm welcome from another USA small town and a quick tour of their city. Elie and Clara were proud to show us their store, the Amish Mast Countryside Produce Stand.
We relaxed to a delicious dessert at the Dinner Bell. This was the end of our progressive dining. Julittia makes a chocolate pie using a 141 year old recipe. It was decadent indeed and well worth the calories.
Dining is far more than just eating. We got a bit of the flavor of the culture as we sat. A gentleman(we will call the speedster) came in wondering where to pay his speeding ticket. Just by chance the mayor was there and could handles matters such as this. Speedster and his wife took time for a snack with us and we got “the rest of the story”. Apparently he had received not one but two speeding citations. One was coming into the town and the other as he was leaving. Speedster said this was the most expensive lunch he had ever had when you add the cost of two tickets. However he left with a story to tell for the rest of his life.
Life is good, especially when you “SLOW DOWN” to enjoy the moments.
- Soy Beans and corn work together! Yes, McKenzie is known for producing soybeans and corn. Crops are alternated every other year to take care of our precious American soil.
- McKenzie, the home to Bethel College is an extremely sports oriented community. A few of their key interests are bowling, inline skating and soccer.
- The town is packed with community events with the big one being “Nights on Broadway”.
- J&J Auto Racing , a local business builds Sprint Cars
- What we know as “thrift stores” are called “resale shops” in McKenzie
Genuine hospitality. We loved it. Now is the time to speed up to get to Gulfport Florida.
Maybe One More Short Stop in:
TWO EGG, FL
The towns is about as big as it’s name. It could almost have the same words on both sides of the city limit signs. “ You are now entering Two Egg”. It does have an interesting history. It seems that it was originally called Allison after the founder and was an “unofficial welcome station” for Florida. It is just south of the border by Tallahassee. In the time of the depression when folks were unable to have much fruit and vegetables they were becoming malnourished. Each day two brothers would come to the local grocery with an egg in each hand. They would swap them for sugar for their family. Sugar provided them with the carbohydrates needed to survive. Traveling salesmen saw them and started calling this stop “Two Egg” which stuck and was adopted as the new name. In the hard times that Americans have faced communities have worked together. A mere two eggs would make the difference between life and death.
FYI- It is said the Two Egg City sign is the most stolen road sign in Florida.
Getting closer to Gulfport and to our home. Thanks for following.