Pizza Roundup Rod’s Pizza Cellar

To my fellow pizza lovers I bring a pizza post from Hot Springs, AR.

Rod’s Pizza Cellar is a really good pizza place! The decor reminded me of the typical pizza parlor with green and red checked decor.

Rod’s was made on July 4th and has been open for 42 years.

The pizza that started it all for Don’s Pizza Cellar is The Godfather pizza and it is really good. The Godfather pizza has Canadian bacon, cheese, sauce, Italian sausage and  peppers. The cheese is on top of all of the toppings to help hold it all on the pizza.

The restaurant itself is pretty clean and the food is good, did I mention Don’s has a buffet? Well, it is a good buffet with a nice selection of all the pizzas Don’s Pizza Cellar has to offer.

Dessert was also offered with the buffet. My favorite was the strawberry shortcake!

You don’t like buffetts? No problem! They also have a full menu you can order from!

Now with all that, I’m giving Rod’s Pizza Cellar a 5 star review.

See y’all next time on…

Pizza Street!!

Categories: Arkansas, minieasternloop2017, Pizza Street | Leave a comment

World of Zoo Memphis Zoo

To my fellow pizza… wait, that’s a different post.

To my fellow animal lovers, I bring a post from Memphis,TN. It is really cool walking up to the zoo, looks all Egyptian and neat.

At the zoo, the Memphis Zoo, that have all kinds of animals, like leopards,

red pandas,

birds, and

cheetahs.

All the animals at the Memphis Zoo seemed to be comfortable in their enclosures.

The zoo was nice and clean too.

They have loads of neat animals. We really liked the hippo habitat because you could get a look above,

 ground level, and even

below the water! Which means you’re for sure going to see the hippos!

There were several baby animals when we visited!

I love how fuzzy the baby orangutan looks! The exhibits looked nice and clean and the staff were all nice.

At the Memphis Zoo they have really impressive Lego sculptures!

They’re HUGE!!

Look how detailed the Lego sculptures are! Amazing! Can you imagine putting one of these together?

Each exhibit is decorated to match the cultural area of the world that the animals are found in.

 The Memphis Zoo is one of the only 4 Zoos to have the Giant Pandas.

The Memphis Zoo were granted permission by the Chinese government to care for YaYa and LeLe in 2003.

I got to get really close to a giant panda, and that was awesome because giant pandas are my favorite animals!

The Memphis Zoo houses over 3,500 animals on 76 acres of land. That’s a lot of animals!! But don’t worry, you only have to walk about 2 miles to see all of the exhibits and there’s a tram tour you can take if it’s too hot or you’re hurt and can’t walk.

They also have, drum roll please, Polar Bears!! This polar bear wasn’t as active as the one in St. Louis but it was still cool.

The zoo opened in  1906 and is rated as one of the top 5 zoos in the U.S.A and I can see why. Healthy, happy animals with cool habitats make a great zoo.

Well I think that about sums it all up, I give Memphis Zoo a 5 star review.

See y’all at the Zoo!!

Categories: minieasternloop2017, Tennessee, World Of Zoo | Leave a comment

All Roads Lead To Memphis

Hey Guys!! We spent two weeks eating in exploring the Memphis area!

The day we ate at Central BBQ a huge storm blew through Memphis. When we got there, it wasn’t storming yet and there were quite a few people at the outside dining area enjoying some live music. We opted to eat inside and boy howdy…I’m sooo glad we did! We’d just gotten our food when the heavens opened up and tried to blow everything outside away with rain and wind!

We all got different things. I got a smoked chicken sandwich and I have to say…it was probably one of the best I’ve had. I’m particular about my BBQ sauce. I like my sauce to have a nice smokey, savory, with a hint of sweet flavor. Central BBQs sauce was just that for me. None of us found anything to really complain about…other than the tons of other people in our way. It was super busy even with the storm!

The other BBQ place we tried was Corky’s.

Jerl couldn’t say enough good things about these ribs. He especially loved the area toward the middle where the wet and dry kind of mixed together. The only bad thing I have to say about Corky’s is that their sides are really small. You can see them and the ribs in the picture above. I feel like for the price…there should be some more food on that plate.

We’d just come from falling in love with the Nashville Hot Chicken so we gave Gus’s Fried Chicken a whirl. Guys, it was so stinkin’ good!! And! It was completely different than the Hot Chicken we got in Nashville. The crust was different, the spice was different…but it was still nice and juicy and full of flavor! You might remember at PepperFire you could choose your level of spice…you have the choice of no spice, all the way up to melt yo’ face off spice. At Gus’s there’s only one level and it’s not bad. You could tell there was spice, but it was more flavor than heat.

Gibson’s Tastee Donuts is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We went twice in the two weeks we were in Memphis and there was a line both times. Now, I’m not sure if it was because I hadn’t had a donut in so long or if Gibson’s makes their donuts with crack…I don’t know…but these were some of the best I’ve had.

 The last foodie place is called Dyer’s. This burger place has been open for over a century serving up deep fried burgers and fries! These burgers aren’t gourmet…these are greasy diner burgers and they’re pretty darn good!

During my foodie research, I learned about Dyer’s fried pb&j dessert. We had to try one, right? It felt oh, so wrong to eat…but gosh…it was really tasty! Are you beginning to think all we did for two weeks was eat? LOL! We did other stuff, I promise!!

We took a stroll down Beale Street which is a melting pot of jazz, blues, rock n’ roll, and gospel. The street is lined with clubs, shops, and foodies.

A. Schwab is a general store that has been in business on Beale St since 1876 and is the only original business remaining on Beale St today.

Most items in A. Schwab are your typical general store type things. The custom made Hoo Doo kits are something I hadn’t seen before, though. There was a whole section full of hoo doo items to make your own custom charms and potions. It was kind of fun looking through all of the times! On one side of the store was an old fashioned soda counter that is still in operation. A. Schwab is a neat store to spend some time in while getting out of the heat.

There were several of these guitars sprinkled throughout Beale St. This one was our favorite.

We went to check out Graceland. If you don’t know who lived there, I’m not sure I can be your friend anymore.

We din’t want to fork over $50 a piece for each of us…so this was as close to the home of Elvis as we got. Bummer.

We made it to the Memphis Zoo! It was fantastic! The Memphis Zoo is solidly in our top five…it’s battling it out with the Houston Zoo for our number one spot.

Littlest is doing a Zoo Review so I’ll let him fill you in on all of the zoo details in a post next week, but I do want to share this Lego sculpture with you! How cool is that?!?

The RV park we stayed at was right on the banks of the Mississippi River so we got to spend two weeks watching the barges go up and down the river!

We loved taking walks by the river several times a day. Some parks are easy to get some walking in and some parks are almost impossible to get any kind of mileage in.

These pretties were in our park. I really enjoyed walking by them everyday!

Here’s one more pretty…because y’all know I’m a sucker for the pretties.

That’s it, Guys! We had a blast exploring and eating our way through Memphis!! The boys have already made plans to visit again!!

See y’all down the road!

#minieasternloop2017

Categories: Foodie Find, minieasternloop2017, Tennessee | Leave a comment

Pizza Roundup 5Points

To my fellow pizza lovers, I bring to you a post from Nashville, TN.

In Nashville there is a good pizza place named 5Points, now this place has pizza by the slice (New York style) that is bigger than my head! Cut from a 20 inch pizza!

They also have delicious Stromboli’s

and pizza, of course!

They also have some pretty darn good garlic knots, not as good as Posti though.

The decor is nice and the service is good, I didn’t need the bathroom so I couldn’t tell ya if it’s clean.

With all that I think that 5Points deserves 5stars.

See y’all next time on…

Pizza Street!!

That was a big slice a pizza.

Categories: minieasternloop2017, Pizza Street, Tennessee | Leave a comment

Nashville

Hey Guys!! Welcome to the land of boots, Tennessee Hot Chicken, and country music!

We were a little worried about the park we stayed in during our stay in the Nashville area. When you look at it on the Googles you can see that it has railroad tracks on one side and highways on two sides (it’s shaped like a triangle). In my mind I had us laying awake all night listening to the sound of trains or traffic. We ended up by one of the highways which was a blessing. The train tracks were busy. We didn’t really notice the train noise where we were, but the spots right beside the tracks…I’m guessing they didn’t get a whole lot of sleep. It was a busy park and we were all crammed in. I managed to snap the picture above while we were in between neighbors.

We made it to our 41st State Capitol Building in our 42nd state! Bonus points to anyone who can tell me why the numbers don’t match up!

The Tennesse SCB was small, didn’t have a dome, and was dark. It was hard to get good pictures of anything. The bottom floor was painted in dark browns and the lighting was dim. You can see it in the picture above. I know I’m shooting toward a bright door…but seriously guys, this is what it was like walking through it.

I love this spiral staircase in the library!

Tennessee is only the second SCB out of 41 that had a wonderful balcony we could actually go out on! I love it when we find something different in a SCB!

Nashville has several great murals! We only sought out two of them and there was a line at both to get photos.

This mural was so fun! What a great idea to have an interactive mural! Littlest volunteered to be my assistant for both murals. He’s a pretty good photo buddy.

We stopped by the Grand Ole Opry one afternoon to check it out. We didn’t get to do a tour or stay for a show, but we did get to look at the building and hit the gift shop!

I went to the Grand Ole Opry about thirty years ago with my parents. I can’t believe how much the area has changed! It was during that first visit that I had my first Goo Goo Cluster. We had to get a few Goo Goo Clusters while we were in the gift shop…purely for nostalgia… *wink, wink*

Nashville is known as the “Athens of the South” so they decided to build a replica of the Parthenon for the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition.

Inside the Nashville Parthenon stands a 41’10” tall Athena. To give you a little size perspective, Nike stands in Athena’s right hand and is 6’4″. We got there right when the building was opening and were lucky enough to get some shots in before the mass of people made it up to the statue.

I love the tile work on the outside.

 The building underwent a major renovation in 1920 and reopened to the public in 1931.

We, of course, found some foodies! Nashville is a big foodie town. Our first foodie find was at a place called The Pharmacy Burger Parlor. We waited an hour to get into this place…but check out that burger! This Stroganoff Burger is solidly in my top five burgers. The mushroom stroganoff bechamel sauce was ah-mazing!!

We would never have found Pepperfire Hot Chicken if our waiter at The Pharmacy hadn’t suggested it. I didn’t even know that Tennessee Hot Chicken was a thing…but let me tell you…we know now and we are fans! So, what you’re looking at in the picture above is a deep fried grilled cheese sandwich with two Pepperfire chicken strips on top of it. Guys…we loved this place so much we ate here twice in one week.

The Dude and Littlest both loved the chicken and waffles meal known as the AppleFire. Now, don’t worry, if you’re not into spice, Pepperfire offers a Southern style aka no heat option. There are seven different levels of heat. I got the mild and it was plenty spicy. We were told to go down a level from what you can usually handle. I think that was sound advise. I can handle some heat and my mild was just right.

I found some pretties! The ones above were in the RV park we stayed in.

There was an entire row of these beauties ranging in color from purple

to this light pink.

We really enjoyed our time in Nashville, TN. The city reminded us of Austin, TX. They both have that laid-back, foodie, hip vibe. We don’t usually care for the state capitol city, but I have no doubt we’ll revisit Nashville!

See y’all down the road!

#minieasternloop2017

Categories: Capitol Building, Foodie Find, minieasternloop2017, Tennessee | 4 Comments

Bourbon And More Part Two

Hey Guys!! Are you ready for Part Two? While we spent a good portion of our time exploring distilleries, that’s not all we did while we were in Kentucky!

We stayed at a small RV park just outside Bardstown, KY. It was just close enough to everything to be convenient and just far enough away from everything that we didn’t feel like we were in town.

Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky. The place where he was born is now a National Park. About where the cabin he was born in sat, is now a memorial.

Inside the memorial you can see a cabin that is of the same time period taken from the area, but it’s not the actual cabin Lincoln was born in. We learned about Lincoln’s early years before he moved to Illinois. It was a nice little park and we went on a beautiful day!

We also made it to Mammoth Cave National Park where the boys got some Junior Rangering done!

Sooo…caves are really dark. I took loads of pictures in the hopes that at least a few would come out. I tried, Guys! We signed up for a cave tour before we went. We wanted to do more than one, but apparently, cave tours are super popular and we waited too long. Bummer.

Our tour group was huge…close to 100 people. We weren’t really expecting that. Somehow we ended up at the back of the group and every time we got to the next Ranger stop, the Ranger had already finished up talking. We caught the tail end of her spiel a couple of times, but not enough to really tell you about. This was the first time we’ve had that happen…and honestly…we didn’t like it. If the NPS really needs to have smaller cave tour groups.

At one point during the tour the Ranger turned off all the lights and talked to us by lantern light.

One of the best parts of the tour was the Fat Man’s Misery!

Littlest had no problems with this super narrow section of the cave.

Right after the Fat Man’s Misery is the Tall Man’s Misery where even I (at my 5’1″ height) had to bend over. It’s hard to see, but the guy in the picture was the guy right behind me during the tour. He had to have been close to 6’4″ and had a really difficult time with both the Misery sections. This cave tour is not for someone who struggles with claustrophobia.

We’d only been in one other cave and then a lava tube so we didn’t really know what to expect with Mammoth Cave. We would like to go back sometime and do some of the other tours that we missed out on. Maybe if we go during the off season the tour groups will be smaller.

Bardstown is a pretty small town, but we did find a couple of foodies. In the picture above is a Southern Burger with pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes. Now, you might remember I had something similar to this in Charleston, SC and it was pretty darn amazing! I had high hopes for this Southern Burger…it was decent. It would have been a lot better if the pimento cheese wasn’t so sweet.

This is called a Kentucky Hot Brown! And it’s pretty darn good!! It’s hard to tell from the picture above, but it’s an open-faced sandwich with ham, turkey, and bacon. If you get the chance to try one, do!!

Are you ready for some pretties?!

I took quite a few pictures of pretties, but I’ll just share a few with you!

I love the colors of this one!!

That’s it for our Kentucky adventures!!

See y’all down the road!

#minieasternloop2017

 

Categories: Foodie Find, Kentucky, minieasternloop2017, National Park | Leave a comment

Bourbon And More Part One

Hey Guys!! We spent two weeks in the Bourbon Capitol of the World! You might know it better as Bardstown, KY. We did so much during our two weeks in this area, I’m going to break it up into two different posts.

95% of all bourbon sold today is made in Kentucky.

There is an official Kentucky Bourbon Trail that includes ten distilleries spread out over Kentucky. If you pick up a KBT passport you can get a stamp at each distillery as you visit it. When you’ve got all ten stamps you can turn in the passport at the old court house in Bardstown to receive your free shirt! We hadn’t planned on doing the whole trail, but who can pass up a free shirt?

Kentucky country road.

Some of the distilleries were in town, but several were out in the country. The road in the picture above is very typical of the roads we traveled while in Kentucky! Very windy and very narrow…pretty much one lane.

To legally be considered bourbon, a whiskey must be made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn.

We ended up going to twelve different distilleries. We didn’t do tours at all of them. We skipped tours at three due to timing.

Whiskey used to be so valuable that it could be traded for goods and services, just like money.

We were able to see different parts of the brewing process at different distilleries. At the one in the picture above we were able to taste the mash while it was brewing. It was kind of like a tasteless soggy oatmeal…not very good.

To be considered bourbon, the whiskey has to be distilled to no more than 160 proof.

My favorite part of the distillery tour is getting to visit the rick house. The rick house is where the bourbon barrels are stored to age.

The percentage of alcohol that evaporates during the aging process is called “the angel’s share”.

Each distillery has their own way of aging a barrel. In fact, each distillery usually has several different ways depending on the type of bourbon they’re working on.

A standard bourbon barrel holds 53 gallons of whiskey.

During Prohibition, the Government Revenuers who were tasked with finding illegal moonshine stills could look in the forest for trees that were starting to turn black. Check out the tree in the picture above. The bark is completely black with a sugar mold that’s the bi-product of the distilling process.

During Prohibition, the moonshine distillers would have to constantly move their operation because of the black sugar mold that grew on everything near the still.

The sugar mold gets on everything! Check out the lamp above.

A bourbon barrel can only be used once to age bourbon, but distilleries ship used bourbon barrels to Scotland and Ireland for the use in the maturation of Scotch and Irish whiskey.

Most of the rick houses are painted black to help hide the sugar mold.

During Prohibition, the only way to get whiskey was to get a prescription from your doctor. Whiskey is goof for what ails you.

Before Prohibition there were around 2,000 distilleries in Kentucky. During Prohibition six distilleries obtained a license to make medicinal whiskey. During the years of Prohibition, Kentucky saw some of it’s sickest days on record. There were right around 6 million prescriptions written for medicinal whiskey in thirteen years for a population of less than 1 million. During World War II the government used bourbon distilleries to make fuel alcohol and penicillin.

All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon.

Maker’s Mark Distillery is one of our favorite tours.

A bourbon barrel has to made of oak. Most of the trees come from the forests of Missouri.

My favorite part of the Maker’s Mark tour was this hallway!

Today there are around twenty distilleries in Kentucky.

The whole ceiling in that hallway is filled with Chihuly glass! It’s gorgeous!!

Each bottle of Maker’s Mark is hand-dipped in red wax.

The other very cool thing about the Maker’s Mark Distillery is getting to dip your own bottle!

Kentucky is the birthplace of bourbon, but it’s not the only state to make it.

The Jim Beam Distillery is another one that stands out for us. The campus is set up like an old farm stead.

Kentucky’s bourbon distilleries fill over 1 million barrels with bourbon a year.

The tasting at Jim Beam was different from all of the other tours. Have you ever seen a bourbon dispenser?

Bourbon barrels must be charred in order to be compliant with the laws of making bourbon.

We ended our Bourbon Trail Adventures with a trip to the Kentucky Cooperage where most of the barrels are made. The picture above is actually from the Bulleit Distillery. We weren’t allowed to take any pictures at the cooperage. But Guys…it was really cool! If you ever get a chance to go visit one…do! We got to see the barrels made from logs to barrels…we got to see them getting charred and then tested to make sure they weren’t going to leak! The cooperage was one of the highlights of our entire time in Kentucky!

Un-aged bourbon goes by many names here are a few: white dog, moonshine, hooch, and white lightening.

We accumulated quite the collection of…souvenirs.

Rebecca Ruth is said to be the original maker of the bourbon ball.

The chocolate is my favorite.

Each year almost 120,000 mint juleps are sold during the two-day event known as the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby.

I’ve always been curious about mint juleps. At one of the distilleries we came across a mint julep mix. I had high hopes…I’ll let my face tell you what I thought about it.

September is National Bourbon Heritage Month…it’s also my birthday…if any one is looking for gift ideas…

I did find this little gem. Bourbon Cream by Buffalo Trace is…well, it’s a little magical. I like a little of this in some root beer…it’s soooo good!

Kentucky cows are very happy cows. The grain mash that’s leftover after the distilling process is called distiller’s grain (slop) and is given to farms to feed their cows.

And…then there’s the ice cream. It’s mine. Aaaallll mmmiiinnnne!!! *insert evil laugh here*

That’s it for the Kentucky Bourbon Trial! Stay tuned for Bourbon and More Part Two!!

See y’all down the road!

#minieasterntrail2017

Categories: Destinations, Kentucky, minieasternloop2017 | 2 Comments

Eclipse 2017

Hey Guys!! We’re interrupting our regularly scheduled blog post to bring to you a special post about our #eclipse2017 experience! If I added this post to the end of the post que y’all wouldn’t see it until October sometime. I thought y’all might like it sooner rather than later.

I’m not going to get all scientific on you and explain what an eclipse is and what happens and all that jazz. No science class today. This is just a recounting of our eclipse day experience for anyone who’s curious! We traveled to the Omaha, NE area to visit with some friends so we were very near the path of totality.

Our day started at an extremely early 5am. For those of you who know us or have followed along for awhile…y’all know just how early this is for us. So…early!! And it was raining. Rain is not how I had envisioned our eclipse day starting off, but I remained steadfastly hopeful that the clouds would clear at the right time.

National Parks are kind of our thing. We can’t get enough of them. So, we thought it was fitting that we watch the eclipse at a National Park that happened to be in the path of totality! We ended up at the Homestead National Monument of America in Nebraska with about ten-thousand of our closest friends. We arrived super early and actually got a parking spot about 3/4 of a mile from the park on a dirt road in between fields of corn.

The city of Beatrice, NE and the National Park did a fantastic job of organizing the chaos. We arrived at the NP right after 8am and the parking was already turning into a nightmare.

We weren’t the first ones there, but we were early enough to have a decent choice of spots. We wanted to be close enough to the stage to have some entertainment, close enough to the food trucks in case we got hungry, and Porta Potty Lane wasn’t too far either.

We claimed our real estate for the day, the boys got started on their Junior Rangering, and we checked out our eclipse glasses to make sure they worked. The NPS created a special booklet, patch, and badge for the eclipse! What?!? Our little Junior Rangers were stoked until we found out the Park had run out of the booklets the day before. But! They gave them the regular Junior Ranger booklet for the Park and told them they’d still get all of the eclipse goodies on top of the usual badges. Score!

The boys finished in record time. We were a little nervous the NP would run out. The boys are officially Eclipse Explorer Junior Rangers now!

Our little area of the NP was starting to fill in. It was still pretty early here. Close to 10am. We decided to grab some food so we would miss some of the later lines and so we wouldn’t be fumbling with food when the show started at 11:37am.

See the three orange shirts in the photo above? They were with a school. They staked out a huge section of real estate near us for one of the schools. They spent a good hour shooing people out of their space. It was kind of funny to watch. They got all kinds of reactions. Everything from total acceptance to out right irritation.

Around 10:30am the Color Guard came out and the National Anthem was sung.

 Aaannnnd…then the clouds rolled in.

I’m guessing it was one of the news stations getting video for the evening news in the helicopter. I didn’t have my good camera out yet because of the clouds. I was afraid we’d have a downpour and even though my camera is weather resistant, I didn’t want it all set up if we had to make a mad dash to some shelter.

Speaking of my camera…Guys, I totally procrastinated with eclipse prep. I realized too late that I don’t have a good lens for taking up-close shots of the sun…and…I couldn’t find a solar lens to save my life. After much searching and dead ends, we found the stuff to MacGyver together something that would allow me to take photos of the eclipse without ruining my sensor or my eyes.

We could see the rain coming. We hoped it would just skirt around us.

It was close to the start of the show when the rain caught up with us. We’d come prepared.

We rigged up some solar filters for the boys’ phones. We knew they’d want to take pictures and videos of the eclipse, but we weren’t sure if it would ruin the sensor in the camera. We got a batch of the bad solar eclipse glasses (the ones that were recalled) and figured they’d probably be good enough for a phone so I cut the eye pieces out and used electrical tape to fasten them to the cases. When the boys wanted to take shots of totality they just slipped the cases off.

I’d downloaded the Solar Eclipse Timer app a few days before. It worked great! It would talk to me and let me know before each stage of the eclipse happened so we could try and watch for it when the sun wasn’t covered by clouds. You can see in the photo above that first contact was at 11:37 for us.

We missed first contact by a few minutes, but the clouds parted enough for us to see what was happening. There was still some very thin cloud covering in this picture.

The handy dandy app let me know it was almost time for totality. It really was a great help in keeping track of time and stages of the eclipse!

Bill Nye came out right before totality to share in the moment with everyone.

Confession:  I took the “solar filter” off of my lens before it was officially safe. With the cloud cover that we had…I kind of figured it’d be ok. I still didn’t look directly into the sun while snapping the pic. I was struggling to keep my lens in focus. Remember, I didn’t have the right lens or the right filter for the eclipse.

I was starting to panic that we’d miss it because the cloud cover was getting worse.

I still had my “solar filter” off  messing with my camera when the clouds parted and we caught sight of totality.

I’d just gotten my camera back into focus and aimed at the right spot. I didn’t get any good shots of the crowd during totality. I was too busy trying to get a decent shot of totality. I did get some video though…so I’ll add that at the end of this post!

Totality was over and most people started to leave. We didn’t mind the mass exodus. We stuck around trying to get a few more shots of the rest of the eclipse, but the clouds were being difficult.

Eclipse 2017 was pretty much done here. You can make out a very thin smidge of the moon in the lower left edge of sun in the photo above.

We packed up our stuff and headed over to the Education Center on the other side of the NP to catch a special lecture from a NASA scientist. And to find a bathroom that didn’t have 200 people waiting in line for it. I’d guess 3/4 of the people at the park had left or were trying to leave by this point, but there were still a few thousand milling around.

The lecture was very cool. It was about our planet…not just about the eclipse. The huge globe was interactive and was in constant motion. Our little science nerds loved it!

After the Education Center we were done! We started the trek to the car only to run into these guys. It was close to 4pm by this time and the eclipse had been over for about two hours. All of the people you see in the photo above were standing in lines to catch the shuttle bus back to where they’d parked. That 3/4 mile hike back to our car suddenly didn’t look so bad.

We stopped at Hickory Road BBQ & Catering Co for a celebratory meal of smoked meat. We enjoyed everything we got! So good! If you’re ever in Lincoln, NE it’s definitely worth a stop!

We ended up with some pretty cool loot to go along with all of our memories of the eclipse.

The National Park Service even had a special cancellation stamp made for the event! We collect cancellation stamps at every National Park we visit. Sorry the photo is a bit blurry…

We ended our day with some friends. Ben & Jerry. All in all…I’d say our #eclipse2017 day was a success! We’re already planning for the next eclipse! Who wants to meet us and have a big eclipse party?!

Here’s a quick video of the day!

You will now be returned to your regularly scheduled blog post.

#eclipse2017

p.s. It took me six different states to finally find the Keep Caramel and Cookie On flavor of Ben & Jerry’s.

p.p.s. I bought all of the pints they had.

p.p.p.s. I’m not sharing.

Categories: Eclipse, National Park, Nebraska | 2 Comments

Pizza Roundup Hometown Pizza

To my fellow pizza lovers!

I bring a post of a bad pizza place. I am sorry to say that Hometown Pizza in Kentucky  is not good.

The service was ok the pizza was ok and the spaghetti was bad.

The decor was ok and the bathrooms were at least clean.

With all that I think a 3 star review.

 We felt kinda disappointed with the pizza here so we got Little Caesars… twice… and it was so much better.

See y’all next time on…

Pizza Street!

I do like some crazy bread and sauce… so good!

Categories: Kentucky, minieasternloop2017, Pizza Street | Leave a comment

Frankfort, KY

Hey Guys!!

We made it to Kentucky!!

We spent a week in the Frankfort area at a cute little RV park called Elkhorn Campground. We didn’t get a pull-through, but that’s the only complaint I have about this campground. The owners are super nice!

My favorite thing about this area is all of the horse farms! Love!! We didn’t get to visit any this time due to lack of time…but we’ve already decided (for various reasons) that Kentucky will be a regularly visited state once we’re done with the #50statetour!

We came to the Frankfort area to visit the State Capitol Building…and some distilleries that happen to be in the area.

The Kentucky SCB is one of the smaller ones we’ve been in. I love this staircase. Long clean lines made of marble…it just works for me.

You can stand at one end of the building and see all the way to the other end. It’s that small. But look how gorgeous it is!

And Guys… the dome

changes

colors! What?!? Be amazed!! That’s a first for us. It’s a beautiful dome all on its own, but when you add the color change…it’s the cherry on top.

We did go into the House and Senate Chambers. They weren’t anything to write home about. Simple. Does the job.

We went to find Daniel Boone’s grave and stumbled upon this magnificent view of the SCB.

We made it to Daniel Boone’s grave. It’s got a great view. We’ve heard a lot about Boone and his life this past year as we were heading down the East Coast. We heard about him in Texas… he had a pretty big role in our history.

We had planned on hitting a couple of distilleries while we were in the area…because you know, it is Bourbon County. 😉 We found out right before we went to our first tour that there’s an entire Kentucky Bourbon Trail!! And, if you complete the whole tour you get a free shirt! Score! Count us in!!

One of my favorite parts of a distillery tour is getting to go into the rick house. I love the sight of all of those barrels neatly stacked up! You can see them through the windows in the picture above.

Here’s a closer look for you. We didn’t get to go into the rick houses on all of the tours.

All of the distilleries conduct experiments. If you look closely, you can find a barrel or two of the experimental bourbon. 

I wanted to show you how big the rick houses are.

We learned something new at each distillery.

To be bourbon it has to be made of at least 51% corn. Each distillery has its own unique twist on what that other 49% is.

All of the tours come with a tasting. All of the distilleries have their own take on this. Woodford Reserve is our favorite distillery so far! We loved everything about it. Setting, tour, buildings we saw, and tasting!

Bourbon balls…supposedly, Rebecca Ruth is the inventor of the bourbon ball. She still has a store around so we went to check it out. The Rebecca Ruth store makes the candy for several surrounding distilleries. She’s certainly proud of her chocolates. We got a box of mixed bourbon candies to try. They’re ok until you have some of the other candies around that she doesn’t make…

When we tried the bourbon balls from Woodford Reserve, well…we realized how mediocre the other candies had been. The bourbon balls from Woodford Reserve weren’t just good…they were…eyes-roll-in-the-back-of-your-head good! Like…that-was-so-good-we-need-to-go-buy-the-biggest-box-they-have good! We liked them. Just a little.

The boys weren’t left out of the tastings. They got different things at each. Apple juice, root beer, chocolates. They didn’t’ mind.

We got a few souvenirs.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in the Frankfort area and look forward to visiting again!!

See y’all down the road!

#minieasternloop2017

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