• Road Trip. Minnesota to Florida

    I made it! Ocala, Florida will be my home away from home for the winter. Thanks to all your suggestions, our road trip was a blast!

    We scraped the crusty ice and snow off my truck and hit the road.

    We got a late start and our stomachs were growling as soon as we left the Twin cities. Thank goodness for Cracker Barrel!

    My 'big girl' breakfast...with grits, of course.

    Kerry drove the whole trip while I learned to use my new phone. He is not fond of having his picture taken and is complaining in the photo above. I copied down every one's suggestions and we were able to visit many of them. (Unfortunately, the wineries were closed for the season.)

    The weather cooperated with us the entire trip. No snowstorms and we were fortunate to miss the heavy rains in Georgia and surrounding states.

    We made many rest stops along the way and I was compelled to photograph the cleanest rest area my husband and I have ever visited. Hands down, First prize goes to Fort Massac Rest Area .

    The crew was kind enough to have their photo taken for my blog. They deserve credit for making our journey and thousands of traveler's trips a bit more enjoyable!

    My favorite town was Paducah, Kentucky, recommended in your posts. The historic downtown area was a bit quiet, off season, but was filled with great antiques, food and sites.

    The wall located along the Ohio riverfront is painted with murals depicting the history of Paducah. Every year the city commissions new artists to add to the amazing attraction. Paducah boasts an artist relocation program for those wanting to build a business around their artistic talents. Read more at

    This painting was my favorite! Brrrr.

    Many of the murals are of historic buildings still standing. We happened upon the Columbia theatre. (photo below)

    Deserted and in need of some expensive TLC.

    Paducah is filled with beautiful buildings waiting for tenants that appreciate the history and charm they possess.

    We spent more than 3 hours in downtown Paducah and only made it to 3 of the 17 antique shops listed on the visitors guide. This photo was taken at my favorite shop in Paducah... Antiques, Cards and Collectibles, Inc. that housed 3 overflowing floors of some of the coolest junk I have ever run across. Ray Pelley, owner, said when I come back he would let me check out the 4th and 5th floors, as well. (not open to the public) I am chomping at the bit to go back!

    I collect and use dishes from hotels, restaurants, VFW & American Legion halls...anything with a name or logo. I can usually find a dish here and there. Well, to my surprise, Ray must be attracted to them, as well. He had an entire room filled with thousands of plates, mugs, bowls and ashtrays! I was drooling over his entire collection. I purchased a dish that was from Smith and Wolensky Steak House in New York City where my husband and I had a romantic and memorable dinner many years ago.

    As you may have guessed...Ray likes to buy and sell in quantity.

    I spent some time at Jeremiah's Antique Mall and found a large selection of unusual goodies. I passed on an over sized marching band xylophone because every inch of my truck was filled. I may be tempted if it is still there on my way back to Minnesota.

    Vintage shoe clips were among my finds at the Comfort Zone. Paducah is known for its annual quilt show in April and I was sorry I didn't have enough time to make it to the quilt museum. One definitely needs more that 3 hours to discover all there is in Paducah!

    Hungry? Established in 1873 Kirchhoff's Deli and Bakery is a great stop for a sandwich. I chowed down a turkey, cucumber, lettuce, Swiss cheese, with Dijon mustard on homemade cranberry walnut bread. Mmmmmm.

    Back on the road. My husband informed me we had traveled only 100 miles and it was already 2 in the afternoon. I reminded him it is about the adventure!

    Day 3. Exit 109 on I75. Vienna, Georgia. It was almost noon and my tummy was growling again. I noticed a billboard advertising the Huddle House (serving breakfast all day) and convinced Kerry to pull off for a quick filler-up. I was thrilled to see 2 antique stores close by.

    Exit 109 Antique Mall was filled with lots of smalls and as I sifted through with my eyes found a few unusual and fun items. The photo above is a stirrup. So says the tag. Never seen one like this before. Cool Huh.

    Priced at $120, I thought this pedal car was a pretty good deal, as it was in great shape!

    I am fond of ice picks, do you think that is strange?

    I was dying to do something fun with the drums!

    The shop around back was closed...but I would bet it had some great junk, based on what I could see through the fence.

    Across the street...King Cotton Antique Mall. As I was about to walk into the building I noticed some interesting piles of junk strewn alongside the building. My heart began to beat know the feeling.

    I decided to explore.

    I couldn't help but notice there were piles of foundry molds soaking in the sun's patina. They were fabulous! When I was greeted by Phillip Lee, the owner, he told me his fascinating story of buying the contents of an old foundry and his adventure selling the molds around the world. The molds have been sold as art to trendy upscale restaurants, used as props in the play Wicked in New York City, and even to a few Minnesota dealers.

    Phillip was excited to show me his stash.

    After selling thousands of molds he still has a polebarn and several trailers full.

    I may need to rent a trailer on my way back to Minnesota so I can stop and fill-up at Exit 109.

    Kerry and I met the nicest folks along the way. I wish I could have made more stops. Thanks for all your suggestions!

    My husband flew home a few days after I settled in the bunkhouse. He called today to whine about the snow and below zero temperatures. I didn't have the heart to tell him I had just come in from feeding the donkeys...wearing short sleeves!

    I am heading on over to the Junk Revolution message boards later today and tomorrow. See you there!


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