As you know, we are back from Chicago and awaiting Hurricane Irma. But I never recounted the rest of our travels. Please come along and back-track with me.
From Dallas, we drove to Liberty Missouri to visit friend JR and his crackerjack hilarious little Aunt Nancy. JR does not like dogs. Bronson is the only dog ever allowed in his home. We intended to take our car on a planned field trip thinking JR wouldn’t want a canine passenger. Much to our delight, Bronson was welcome into JR’s automobile.
We drove to the neighboring town of Kearney and toured the birthplace of the notorious Jesse James. Jesse James wasn’t your typical western bank robber.
Jesse James’ legacy included being considered an outlaw hero, beloved by the public. Stories about him seemed to make him out as a hero, rather than a criminal (which he was).
Carl Sandberg, the noted author of several biographies including President Abraham Lincoln, referred to James as the “American Robin Hood,” stealing from the rich and giving to the poor.
James was born and raised primarily in Missouri, a few miles from Kansas City. James was born on the Kearney farm and originally buried there. He was killed by Robert Ford at his home in St. Joseph, about 30 miles north of Kansas City.
Following Jesse’s murder, his mother, Zerelda, buried her son on their land. For the rest of her life, she slept facing the window so she could keep an eye on his gravesite. Afraid someone would dig him up kept a loaded shotgun next to her bed intending to shoot anyone who came near the grave.
Zerelda opened the home to tourists, selling them small rocks off the gravesite for twenty-five cents each. Our guide told us we were welcome to take a couple. Mine now live on the family room shelf.
Jesse was later moved to a local cemetery to keep him safe.
Back at JR’s, he drove me into his pasture to feed his cows. It’s a funny slimy experience.
JR made us a home-cooked beef stew meal. (Store bought meat, not one of his pet cows.) We sat at the kitchen table overlooking the cow pasture and pond. Nancy kept us laughing with her description of the eighty-two-year-old gentleman who is pursuing her. She’s convinced he’s only after one thing.
We’re home! Our long car trip from Palm Harbor to Waco, Dallas, Liberty Missouri, Chicago, Nashville, and Atlanta resulted in lots of listening to books on discs and tons of knitting!
I found three new victims to foist my scarves upon. It’s getting harder. All my new friends live in Florida. They don’t need warm scarves.
The first I completed was one I’d started on our last road trip. I only knit on the road, so it’s been living in my big yellow Banana Republic knitting bag for months. I gave Jim’s sister Eileen the completed funky patch and button-laden item. She lives in Chicagoland so her neck will need warming in a couple of months.
My original plan was to give it to Lynn. But she will get the next one I finish.
The second piece is for our friend JR’s Aunt Nancy. I was working on it when we visited them in Liberty, Missouri. She liked the colors and made the mistake of telling me. I just packed it up. It goes into the mail tomorrow. Surprise, Nancy! A weird scarf on the way.
The third scarf is for JR’s girlfriend, Melinda. She lives in Boston. It gets cold there too.
While in Chicago I spent two hours digging through buttons at an Andersonville resale shop. I discovered the place last summer and made a beeline there as soon as we got settled in our rental. Jim and Bronson waited for me patiently at Starbucks while I was in my happy place. I’ll go again next summer too. Not that I need more buttons, but it’s delightful to find unique ones.
I’ve begun another scarf, but packed it away until our next big car trip. My poor arthritic hands are happy for the break.
Now we are home again. The locals are stocking up on water in case Irma hits us hard. We bought two cases. When those are gone I guess we’ll be reduced to swilling wine.
Hopefully, we’ll only have another month of hot and humid. It’s truly oppressive here in the summer. It rained so much our neighbors very kindly crossed the street and drained water out of our pool. I’m happy they still like us in spite of my many post-cards bragging about the awesome Chicago weather we enjoyed.
I am so behind on my blog. We had excellent adventures in both Dallas and Liberty, Missouri. But those will take more thought and energy to write than I have in my weary fingers tonight.
Instead, I’ll give a quick rundown on our arrival in Illinois. We left Liberty Missouri this morning. We had our first ever Denny’s breakfast experience. Shame on me, I’ve been a lifetime Denny’s snob.
Denny’s was convenient and inexpensive, so we checked it out. Who woulda’ thunk they would have gluten free English muffins? I have been avoiding carbs. But GF English muffins were irresistible. I ordered mine “buttered in the kitchen.” The waitress, upon delivery, said, “The cook has never had anyone ask for a gluten free muffin buttered, only toast.” Huh? Butter is such great food group. Number two only after cream cheese.
Then we were on the road. We listened to Devil in the White City. I read it when it first came out. Jim rarely wants to read anything I read. Maybe he thinks I like “chick lit?”
I’m enjoying this book as much the second time around as the first. While absorbing the 19th century Chicago Worlds Fair and a whole lot of murder, I finished a scarf and began another.
We had to stop at Michael’s in Liberty for more yarn. This new scarf is for our friend JR’s girlfriend, Melinda. Plum, blue, cream. I’m looking forward to vintage button shopping in Chicago’s Andersonville and adding plum buttons to my collection.
We drove. We listened. We crossed the “mighty Mississippi” for the second time in one road trip. Pulled into our hotel about three p.m. We hadn’t had lunch, so we planned an early dinner. At about five I said, “Honey…can we eat soon?” Jim glanced at his self-winding watch and suggested we wait until closer to dinner time.
The self-winding had run down hours earlier. Jim was unaware of the time. I pointed out it was, in fact, dinner time. I’m not a happy hungry person so Jim grabbed our “Miss Mamie’s” 10% off coupon ( after first checking out reviews) and we headed to dinner.
It was yummy, and I have enough left over for tomorrow’s lunch. I have put a note-to-self on top of the cooler to remind us to take the chicken out of small frig in the morning. Along with Jim’s wee-teeny cinnamon bun. The pre-dinner bread basket included two. He gobbled the first before his meal; the second will be breakfast.
Our waitress, Elaine, has celiac sprue. She felt my pain at missing out on the bread basket. But I had the marvelous morning GF English muffin, so for a celiac that’s splendid. She loved our service dog!
The weather here is a fabulous 80 degrees. The grass is soft, not the saw blades of Floridian lawns. I adore living in Florida. But not in the summer and never the lawn.
Tomorrow Chicago! We already have two Tate babysitting gigs lined up. Life is stupendous.
We were told to arrive very early at the Silos. Otherwise, we’d meet long lines and stand in the oppressive August heat. We bounded (Lie. Hobbling is more our morning style) out of bed. Sucked down a cup of La Quinta coffee and headed to Happy Hounds, Bronson’s play-date for the day. Dropped the kid off and he never even looked back. He must have been ready for some canine companionship.
While driving to the Silos, I suddenly remembered I’d left my engagement ring, as well as my mom’s engagement ring, in our hotel room.
My mother’s ring has enormous sentimental value. Daddy sold his blood while getting his masters degree at the University of Michigan. He wouldn’t buy food. Every blood earned nickel was saved to purchase that ring.
As for my engagement ring–I adore it and the man who gave it to me. We raced back to the room where I found both rings snuggling safely in their secret hiding place. (I’d tell you what that secret place is, but then I’d have to kill you.)
We arrived at the Silos shortly after their nine a.m. opening. Jim dropped me off by the bakery while he went to find parking. I opened my white umbrella–an Amazon purchase in anticipation of Waco and Dallas sunshine–and stood to wait for Jimmy.
But the bakery beckoned me. Just a peek? I had no money so even if tempted couldn’t purchase a gluten free goodie. It turns out there were only three GF options–all cookies. If they’d offered cupcakes, I would have waited for my bank, Jim, to show up. I would have purchased a devils food with buttercream frosting delight and eaten every darn carb laden crumb. But it wasn’t to be. Joanna, my thighs thank you.
The place is divided into different areas. Shopping housewares, shopping garden, shopping bakery, playing, relaxing, eating food purchased from trucks.
The place seemed busy-ish to us. Employees told us it was a VERY slow morning. Jim and I checked out the shopping. Every square inch has Fixer Upper styling. Almost each shopper was busily gathering items for purchase.
The interiors are all about shopping. Exterior offers a giant fake grass play area, lined with black and white bean bag chairs to accommodate spectators. There are many picnic tables as well as bunches of food vending trucks. Few were open.
All of the merchants were local Waco restaurants. We wondered how the Gaines’ and the vendor’s split the monies. Do they rent space and also give up a percentage to the Silo business?
We stood for a bit and watched families play on the faux grass. We sauntered around to suck in the atmosphere. We had driven from Palm Harbor, Florida to Waco for this experience. We owed it more than half an hour. By 11 a.m. we decided it was time to push on.
Next stop was the LaSalle Shoppes. Sixty-five vintage shops under one roof. My goal was to find buttons for the scarf I’m making. I hit pay dirt! Eight buttons and I got a discount. Whoo Hooo.
Then, because of all the wandering and button shopping, we were hungry. We had lunch at Cafe Cappuccino. An omelet with cream cheese and bacon for me, two eggs over easy/sausage/hash browns/toast for Jim. He has abandoned our “low to no carbohydrate” diet since the road trip began. He gets a hall pass since he does all the driving.
We then moved on to Spice Village. Located in a 1908 warehouse building in downtown Waco, Spice houses over 80 individual shops in a fun atmosphere. We thought we’d recognize many from Joanna’s televised shopping adventures. We didn’t. Nor did we buy anything.
At that point, Jim had just about enough shopping for one day. We went to the Waco Suspension Bridge. The bridge is often featured in opening scenes of Fixer Upper. It’s a beautiful landmark and was the first bridge across the Brazos River serving as crossing on the Chisholm and Shawnee cattle drives. What most impressed me were the beautiful bronze sculptures. A herd of thirty cattle being driven by two cowboys astride horses.
I studied the steer for a long time, trying to sort out how many sculptures had been created. There were duplicates, but the placement was carefully orchestrated to keep clones from being obvious.
Then we decided we needed coffee to wake us up enough for MORE FOOD! We went to Common Grounds, the eclectic coffee shop near Baylor Campus and a quick walk from our hotel. The proprietors are the proud owners of one of the season two Fixer Upper homes. I remember that episode was the one where Chip ate a cockroach. Yum.
Dinner was at George’s, and supposedly the locals love it. We found it underwhelming.
This morning Jim and Bdog let me sleep until 8:30. Fabulous. We poked around, drank some unfortunate La Quinta coffee, went to Honda dealer for new key-fob battery, and then had breakfast at a different Cafe Cappuccino location. Jim repeated his yesterday’s order. I added spinach to my cream cheese and bacon omelet. A green veggie now and again won’t kill me. I hope.
Today we only had a two-hour drive from Waco to Dallas, so I figured we might enjoy a little vintage button hunting on the way. I found a dandy antique store in some Podunk town along the way. I told Jim the place had GREAT Trip Advisor reviews. I chose not to mention there had been only two reviewers. Likely the owner and her sister.
No buttons. After that, I shut up and knit.
Tomorrow we have a three-hour private tour of the Kennedy assassination route. After that possibly the Bush Presidential Library. Bronson has another spa date. He will be well worn out when we pick him up at the end of the day.
For some reason, he has been off his feed since we began the road trip. I wish I could say the same for us. Oink.
For dinner tonight, Jim has located an excellent Italian restaurant nearby. Yay! More food! Tomorrow we tour Dallas. The day after that eight hours in the car to Liberty. We began listening to our second Stone Barrington romp this afternoon. Stone got laid before chapter three was over. That man has stamina. By the time we reach Liberty he may need to be put into traction.