Archive | Interesting places RSS for this section

We Made It!

Despite waking up in Illinois to 60 mph wind gusts, we made it to West Virginia! Yay! I’d planned to post this last night but just didn’t get it done. Its mostly stormy sky photos, like these two:

Though we did drive through Le Roy which was pretty cute.

There were some cities that I can’t remember now…

And we did pull into the candle outlet because I’ve always wanted to see the giant candle and it was dratini day in Pokemon Go. I managed to catch 4 shinies there, so that was a crazy jackpot because we were literally there 10 minutes if that.

And then there were clouds.

But last, and not least, once we arrived, there was wine.

That’s after we’d drank most of it. But it was amazing.

Anyway, I’m off to bed.

Have an arriving wine kinda day!

Jo 🙂

The Weekend

Just gonna dump some photos on you because I didn’t get the blogs done. First we have some pretty sunset pics I took on the way to Council Bluffs, where Lillie Mae, Mel and Monica’s corgi, got her photo taken for the corgi calendar.

Then the next day we visited the new hot dog place in Hamburg. It was so good. I got my coffee made into a shake with chocolate ice cream and raspberry syrup and OMG. It was amazing. The hot dog was also amazing.

We also went to Sinister Sydney again, this time with Mike and Pam. And Pam screamed a lot, haha! Which made it super fun!

And finally here are the last of the good fall foliage pics

And that’s all for now. We got the yard decorations done, but I’ll do that in a seperate one.

Have a hot dawg kinda day!

Jo 🙂

KC Renaissance Fair Part 2

That was annoying. It kept loading and reloading the last post while I was trying to type. Ugh. Now, where was I? Oh yes. At the Renaissance Fair. Haha!

This was in the bathroom

And this was tucked in among the shops. Actually, it was also a shop. There was a long hallway that ran back to the main room.

And I’d be remiss nit to mention the real star of the day, King Leonidas

I mentioned in the last post that the lines were long. We waited over an hour for our chicken and chips, which we then ate on the Queen’s tea Pavillion.

We also waited half an hour for drinks, just so we could say, “Haha! We’re finally old enough to drink here!”

Mine was the blue one and it was really good. So good that it attracted a friend.

As for that elusive turkey leg? Yes, Monica finally got one. And I found my unicorn: funnel cake!!

After the fair, we did what every red blooded used-to-live-down-south person does. We went to Waffle House!!

Alas, they have streamlined their menu, so I couldn’t get what I really wanted, but I did get hashbrowns, so that was okay.

And now I leave you with a photo of the moon, which I had a good chance to look at after our truck broke down on the way home. Luckily Mel and Monica rescued us, so we made it back to Villisca, but we’re waiting to see what’s wrong with the truck – if it’s the head or head gasket. Bah!

Have a fancy drink kinda day!


Jo 🙂

KC Renaissance Fair Part 1

Saturday we went to the renaissance fair in Kansas City. Back in the 90s (92 – 96) we used to go every year with our school, but then I moved to Mt. Pleasant, then to Bolivar, and that was that. Since we moved back to SW Iowa, I’ve been saying every year that we should go again, but secretly I’ve been worried that it wouldn’t be as cool – or big – as I remembered.

Luckily, it was.

My only real complaint is that it was packed. Like, crazy packed. It was more than an hour wait for a turkey leg, let alone anything else. Because of the immense crowd, the artisans didn’t have time to do any artisan-ing, and the performers who roam around and interact with guests were also pretty impossible to notice, let alone interact with. The last couple of hours as the crowds died down, we were finally able to, and it would have been more fun had we been able to the whole time, and hadn’t spent literally four plus hours of the day in lines. If we go again next year, I think I’d rather go on a less popular weekend (we went on doggy day, including corgi races).

Anyway, in order to get there close to opening time, we had to leave so early that there was still frost on everything!!


And there was one weird thing at a gas station in St. Joe…

Skipping the story of how I got trapped in the bathroom by 200 old ladies, we made it to KC and managed to find the Queen’s Gate.

After a short wait on line, we were in!

One of the first shops right inside were selling costume horns, and though everyone else refused to buy souvenirs, I had to get a pair.

As I said, though, the place looked really cool, though I admit it needs aome new paint in a few places. But still, that gave it a lived in quality, like those purposefully aged movie sets.

We eventually found the Kings Gate which is the main entrance where the very cool fountain is.

There were a lot of super cool costumes, too!

There are a lot of stages and a lot of shows. We got to see some of the jousting match, then hung around a bit after (the corgi races were half an hour after the joust)

We also watched a jester show, a bit of a magician, a sword fighting show, and a harpist. Then we stopped by mermaid cove, and the enchanted forest where they had a fairy village.

I have to end this here because the WordPress app is acting up. Part 2 on the way.

Uranium in Des Moines

First, I shared some pretty rose photos the other day that weren’t my flowers, so let me open with a photo of my favorite rose, which is blooming again.

I love that thing! And it always blooms several times, including in the fall, and, yes, it is finally autumn here. Tada!

Anyway, so Tuesday we went with our cousins to Des Moines to catch their flight. Since it left later in the day, we had some time to look around a little bit. You might remember we went thrifting – or tried to – in Omaha Monday. That’s because both my brother and cousins are crazy about Uranium glass. What’s that, you ask? It’s glass that literally has a little bit if Uranium dust in it, which gives it a really nice green color (sometimes it can be blue, yellow, or red). The neat thing with this glass is that it glows under black light, but they didn’t know that when they made it. Back then (and they were making it clear back in Roman times) they just used the Uranium for the pretty color. Here is an example we ran into that we did not buy.

Yeah, it’s a cool color. It’s also slightly radioactive, which is why we bought a Geiger counter, but it’s all a nice, low number, except a candy dish that is only high very close to it. I refuse to touch that one. Haha!

So, the first place we stopped was A OK Antiques in Valley Junction, which is in Des Moines, but you know how cities work. Anyway, they had a cool window display of clowns.

Inside, they had some neat stuff, including a 6,500$ chair and ottoman. Yeah, this place was super pricey.

There was a sculpture garden in the back that had a Sinclair Dinosaur – or one meant to look like it, anyway.

They also had a weird staircase that said no wedding parties or photos, but I’m a rebel.

(I assume they actually mean no photos taken ON the stairs, but you know)

We tried to go to another shop by a little park area, but it’s not open until the 8th, so instead here’s the park, which has a shelter and a caboose, and a really cool tree. Oh, and some pretty flowers. The whole area has tons of flower boxes. I actually took some street shots but they were crappy, so no luck there.

So we went to the Atomic Garage instead. It was actually more of a costume and clothing store, but in the back yard it also had some cool things like a giant chicken and an old McDonald’s story tree!!

Some random neat things from the area:

Last, we visited Memory Lane which was crazy, crazy huge and had the kind of stuff we were looking for. It’s a consignment store, so one area might have something that’s super expensive and the next will be really cheap. Always fun.

Then we went to a fun pizza place – Chuck Celsi’s Tavern – for lupper (half lunch, half supper). I got the baked Cavatelli with cheese (though it wasn’t real cavatelli, just shell macaroni) and it was good. The bro had pizza, which he liked, and hubby had the burger and fries because he’s a nutcase. Haha!

Then we had to run to the Asian store for the delicious elixir of joy that is Calpico.

Man, I love that stuff. And this time they had a new to me flavor, melon. I’ll let you know when I try it. (Lychee is my favorite, so I had that one first!)

And of course here are some random Des Moines pics:

And even more exciting, a couple of houses were decorated for Halloween!

And now I’m leaving you with…what? You want to know if the bro bought any Uranium glass? Well…all right. Yes. Yes, he did.

My cousins also got some stuff, but alas I have no photos of it. I will have photos of them, later, so wait for that.

And now I really am leaving, and I promise tomorrow will be the last extensive blog for awhile. Or until Sunday (Renaissance Fair time, baby!)

Have a Uranium kinda day!

Jo 🙂

Imaginarium Super Store

You’re getting a twofer today because I missed blogging yesterday. So this was Monday.

First, McDonalds has adult happy meals for the month of October that come with either a big Mac or chicken nuggets and retro toys. Well, three retro toys and one Cactus whatever it is mascot (this is a colab with said Cactus place). Of course, being week one, we got the Cactus dude, but, I mean, he’s still cute.

You might notice on the box it shows the other three – Birdie, Hamburgler, and Grimace – and they all have four eyes, which seems to be because the Cactus Buddy has four eyes. You can read about it here if you’re interested –

Anyway, after that we headed to Omaha and after some other things we stopped at the Imaginarium super store! They had chalk outside you could draw with.

They’ve got a TON of really cool stuff. Like old records, cassette tapes, movies, laser discs (!), eight tracks, 45s…

There were several old consoles that still had the electronics inside, like this one:

And they had some really neat little selfish spots. I only took pics of four of them, but there were others, too.

And they had a bin of random photos for found photos collectors. I’ve always thought that would be fun to do because a photo is like freezing time – do collecting photos is like collecting moments, whether they’re yours or someone else’s. I’ve actually been happy to see that it’s become a thing because I’ve always thought it was so sad when people would just throw photos out in piles after someone died or whatever because they’re throwing away pieces of someone’s lives. Anyway, here were some neat or fun ones.

And here’s a couple of other fun things:

After that it was Hu Hot, baby!

Then a pretty sunset….

And home again to Villisca. I leave you with a fun display in one of the antique store’s windows.

Have an Imaginarium kind of day!

Jo 🙂

P.S. This was the yard’s status, lol!

Council Bluffs Day

Yesterday was Wednesday, so ot was the weekly Council Bluffs trip. Pickle Day it was 93 degrees, but Wednesday was like 68. And cloudy.

On the way to CB is a rest stop that’s been there since at least the 80s and probably longer than that. It’s the rest stop I’ve been going to since I was a toddler and, sadly, they’re building a new one. I’m sure it’s going to be nice, but it won’t have that nostalgia hit.

The restaurant of the week was Primos Mexican Restaurant and I have to say that the steak tacos were amazing!! The meat was so tender and spiced perfectly and…mmmmmm! So, so good!

I mentioned that semi wreck the other day? So on the way home we stopped and checked out the aftermath. It’s not as bad as we thought – they missed the water and the culvert by a hair. I mean, don’t get me wrong, they did go through at least one tree and a fence, as well as the metal guard banister, but they didn’t end up down in the water, so it could have been way worse.

We got home in time for a surprise – someone is digging holes in my yard. Again. Though it’s not AS surprising as it was years ago because this time we at least have watched them coming up the street slowly. I’m not sure you can see it in the pictures, but the machinery is parked right next to our walking stick tree, so I’m a little nervous, especially after the mess FMTCs people made when they dug up the yard (for instance they wrecked one flower bed buy just digging it up and throwing it all over. I still have Irises in weird places from that).

We ended the day by watching the last episodes of Hometoen Cha Cha Cha. My official review is “squeee!!” if that says anything. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but I can now say that I really liked it. The dentist lady was kind of annoying to start with, but she got better. Her live interest, Chief Hong, was not annoying, however, which is why I initially stuck with it. That and the town’s people. They were a lot of fun, too. They also wrapped everyone up. Like, seriously, everyone. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a show that so complete covered what happened to every single character, no matter how small. So that was good

And another fun thing, they had that coffee candy on it.

I love how they work their product placement in as just a part of the show. I wonder if my little TV buddy liked it, too?

There’s half an hour left until Rings of Power, so gonna go get some things done before it starts.

Have a Cha Cha Cha kinda day!

Jo 🙂


Yesterday was quite a day. To start with we had to get up suuuuuuper early to go to Omaha to participate in the Alice in Wonderland event hosted by Clued Upp Games. I’d been worried it would be hot and sunny but instead of sun we had clouds. And rain.

Which was okay because it kept us from getting sunburned and even better it quit raining in time for us to play. We went with some friends – Mike and Pam – so we had a team of five. The game is location based augmented reality – much like pokemon go is. You have to start at a certain location, in this case city hall, and then follow your map to find different characters and items. The storyline is that The Red Queen’s has taken Alice and you have to save her from being beheaded. There were lots of puzzles to do – getting them wrong gave you a time penalty. Some were easy and some were hard. The worst ones were the first few as we learned how everything worked. Like we took the first one waaaay too literally and so we failed it. We also ended up with a twenty minute time penalty because we paused the game, but when we unpaused it we weren’t all standing inside the location circle. But, either way, we succeeded and we had a lot of fun!

A thing that surprised me was how many people were there playing, too! I’d bet we saw over 100. And so many were actually dressed in costumes! I wish I’d taken photos, but as I said the game was virtual so I had to have the app up and just didn’t switch out of it. I didn’t even pokemon or take photos until afterwards. And there were a lot of neat buildings since we were in old downtown.

After we save Alice, we headed for the nearest restaurant, which ended up being a nonprofit place where the food is whatever you donate for it. The cinnamon roll was amazing, and the salad was good. I hear the sweet tea was awesome, too, but not being a fan, I can’t say.

After that we had time to kill – we thought it would take a lot longer to play. So we went to the Imaginarium store because Mike loves it and I’d never been. It was pretty neat!

After that we checked out what they’ve done to the Gene Leahy Mall. We used to go Pomemon there a lot, but they closed it back in 2019 to renovate it, and finally reopened it this year. It is very different. Some changes are good – like they’ve added bathrooms! And some are bad – like they took out the river that used to go through the middle of it in order to add event space for performances and such. The bridges are gone, of course, and they’ve added a large play area, an astroturf hill, three new slides to go with the teo old ones, some adult sized swings, sculptures, and tons of little seating areas. Oh, and ping pong tables. An article I read awhile back said they were wanting to attract families and children and they seem to have accomplished that, anyway.

There used to be two areas that went under the road. On one end they’ve just filled it in and done nothing. On the other they left the water. That would be my favorite part of it. I do like the grasses they’ve added along the edges. Sadly most of the ducks that used to live there are gone. There was only one there.

They did put in an area for food trucks, so we got snow cones!

After that was a trip to Walmart and some boring stuff, though the clouds on the way home were beautiful.

Of course, clouds led to tornado sirens later and we ended up in the basement for twenty minutes, but all the bad stuff missed us, so yay! To celebrate we broke out the saki.

It wasn’t too bad. Not my favorite, but definitely not the worst I’ve had, either.

If I was typing this on the computer it might be longer, but on the phone I’m about done, I think.

Have a wonderland kinda day!

Jo 🙂

Apple Barrel and Cutlery

Yesterday was the weekly pilgrimage to Council Bluffs, and this week was topped off with a visit to Apple Barrel – which is the restaurant inside of Sapp Brothers truck stop, for those not in the know.

One of the best things about Apple Barrel is that they have all day breakfast. Since I’m rarely in public before noon, I rely on all day breakfast to ensure I occasionally get breakfast food. And it was tasty! I had scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, sausage, and the cutest mini loaf of blueberry bread, complete with a tiny bread board!!

Sapp Brothers Coffee machines are also worth mentioning. I love the “Awake” label!

I mentioned cutlery. For reasons I don’t fully understand, I’ve inherited some. But, it’s pretty cool, so…

The finger one is too big, but it makes me feel like Sauron, or the evil witch in Inframan. (There’s a classic everyone should see!)

And now I leave you with a skeleton dog I’m thinking about buying for our Halloween Undead Park scene. Tell me what you think.


Have a mini loaf kinda day!

Jo 🙂

Pizza in Glenwood

That was the big excitement yesterday. I finally got to eat at the pizza place the bro is so crazy about -Adriano’s Brick Oven Pizza. It was pretty good, actually, and the building was super neat. It’s downtown, so it’s in an old building, which I always love. Check out that amazing ceiling. Ugh. I’m jealous!

And that’s what I’ve got.

Have a brick oven pizza kinda day!

Jo 🙂

%d bloggers like this: