Sunday, January 15, 2017

Christmas Story House in Cleveland!

I'm in Cleveland for a work conference, and there is no way I'm leaving without seeing the Christmas Story House!

I grew up watching A Christmas Story; heck, I even still have a VHS copy of the movie! It is truly a holiday tradition for me.

A Christmas Story House is actually made of three components: (1) the ultra-fabulous Gift Shop, complete with the pink bunny outfit - or you can just get the slippers, and every configuration of leg-lamp items, (2) the House itself, and (3) the Museum.

All tours start at the Gift Shop, then a lovely guide walks you across the street while sharing the Christmas Story story. How the house fell into disrepair, and there was a motorcycle repair shop in the living room space. How the owner/uber-fan Brian Jones bought the house sight unseen and began the process of returning it to it's movie glory. How Jack Nicholson was originally pegged to play the Old Man. The great stories just went on and on!!

And here it is! Can you see the leg lamp in the front window?! We also learned that only certain scenes were filmed in the house, due to space limitations. But, the Fragile box was delivered up those stairs and into the living room. The Christmas dinner scene with the dogs running through and destroying the turkey were filmed here on the first attempt.

These are my two favorite details:

The coolest thing is that you can actually wander - and wonder! - around the house, and pick up the replica wall phone, or Randy's bib, or the Orphan Annie decoder ring. Too cool!

Then there's the Museum where the real stuff is presented and protected. Here's Randy's snowsuit. We learned it was stuffed with upholstery foam, so Randy really couldn't put down his arms. Plan to stroll through rooms with the chalkboard from the A+++++ scene, and see one of the Red Ryder guns actually used on film. Truly an awesome experience for me!

Who wants to roadtrip to Cleveland?! I understand there's also a music museum of some esteem we can also pop into!

Click here for A Christmas Story House's website.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Vintage Fire Museum

It's New Year's Eve, and I'm spending the day with my great-nephew, Robbie. I surprised him with an outing to the Vintage Fire Museum in Jeffersonville. We were both blown-away with what we learned from this super-cool museum!

Things like how a bucket-brigade works, and how "black balled" come from a fraternal organization, like a fire or police station, anonymously voting for prospects using white and black marbles, are two examples of our take-aways. I don't want to share all the stories, as you'll have to visit yourself to hear them all.

You will be impressed with the quantity and quality of the equipment. All the engines actually work, and they are polished, maintained, and parade-ready at any time. This particular engine floated through New Albany on a barge in the 1937 flood. It don't look like much when they tracked down the chassis, as you can see from the photo at the side when you visit. This is what love and passion for restoration did for the engine.

You'll also see a variety of trumpets, extinguishers, uniforms, toys, and fire alarm relay systems that show how technology evolved. Pretty cool stuff that was interesting to a 10-year-old and his aunt with some vintage of her own!

Click here for their website, and definitely go!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Emery's Ice Cream

Emery's Ice Cream is a fabulous mom-and-pop shop a block from the Corydon Square. (My other fave, Butt Drugs, is another block away. Click here for that post.)

You can't miss Emery's with its Pee-wee's Playhouse-esq storefront, especially the striped "eyelids" and smiling "mouth" porch. I love it!!

And then there's the premium ice cream. Up top is their Buckeye Fever, a tasty blend of chocolate and peanut butter that can't be beat. I haven't had this particular flavor before, and I'm sure I'll have it again! Buckeye candy shows up at the holidays, so it was great to have this tasty reminder of things to come.

In addition to the shakes, floats, and other treats, they have a terrific assortment of salt water taffy, plus root beer barrels, cow tails, and lots of old-timey candies. Just go!!

Click here for Emery's website.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Royals Hot Chicken

Yes, more chicken!! Royals Hot Chicken is one of my new faves on Market Street in downtown Louisville. Royals is tapping into the Nashville Hot craze, where the fried chicken can be crazy-spicy hot. They have a thermometer for your heat selection, from Classic Fried (Mildness) to Gonzo (Madness). My friend and I settled on middle-of-the-pack Medium and Hot versions, so we could compare and contrast. I'll attest that Hot was plenty hot, but I'm open to taking it up a notch on my next meal. Who's with me?!

Sides were flavorful, too. We each ended up with a baked sweet potato (although I think one was supposed to be the black eyed pea salad), and shared the cole slaw and pimento cheese grits. YUMMY!

Click here for Royals website.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Claudia Sanders Dinner House

This post can be filed under "when in Rome…" I'm driving through Shelbyville, KY, on my way to a bagpipe festival. Afterward, I've already planned a stop at Claudia Sanders Dinner House. Yes, Mrs. Colonel Sanders! 

The story goes that the front building was Colonel and Claudia's home starting in 1958, and the back building was the headquarters for Kentucky Fried Chicken once they outgrew the house. The big space is now hone for The Dinner House, which originally opened in 1968 as The Colonel's Lady.

After a half-basket of delicious rolls, my chicken breast dinner with green beans - note the bacon chunks! - and mashed taters came out. Sooo much tastier than what comes in the red and white striped boxes from KFC now!

However, it was this slice of Derby Pie that really shot me over the moon. Set your taste buds for pecan pie with chocolate chips, and you are somewhere in the neighborhood of this baby!

So, when you have a taste for local history, and some really good food, make go see the folks serving it up in the Colonel and Claudia's honor in their old stomping grounds.

Click here for the website.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Transitioning to Cruise Director Louisville Area

With this post, I will now be writing primarily from the Southern Indiana/Louisville, Kentucky area. I'll expect to have lots of adventures, since Indianapolis, Evansville, Cincinnati, and Lexington are all within the 100-mile zone. That means lots of daytrips on the horizon. I hope you'll stick with me for the new adventures!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Grand Central Market revisited

I'm due for a final dash around Grand Central Market before packing up and heading east later this month. The Market is going through a major transformation (like me!), and the vendors are not as familiar as they were on earlier visits. My last documented visit is three years ago (click here for that Roast To Go post), and things are definitely changing. I met a friend to catch up while exploring the new food options.

Eggslut is one of the newbies, and they are creating quite a buzz with their cheeky name and bold foods. This is the Gaucho sandwich, with tri-tip steak, over-easy egg, chimichurri, red onions, and arugula on a brioche bun. YUM!! It's a can't-put-it-down sandwich, both because it is a bit messy and super delicious!

For dessert, we lapped around a few stalls, and I spotted this strawberry-rhubarb pie from Valerie. I scored on the corner slice! I almost got another to take home; it was that good. Her chocolates are supposed to be quite famous, but I'll have to imagine that flavor.

It was great fun catching up with a good friend and with what's happening at the Market. Take a stroll yourself to see what all is going on there.

Click here for Grand Central Market's website.

Click here for Eggslut's website.

Click her for Valerie's website.