Travel

Heading to NYC

It was time for our big trip of the year!  We were heading to NYC and I was super excited! 

Maxi dresses are very comfortable for traveling.  I bought this super cute dress at JCPenney and they even had it in a petite size!  High 5 for clothes for short people!

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Here we are, getting ready to take off!  Traveling is so much fun when you have a great travel buddy.

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We LUV flying on Southwest Airlines!  Just wish it flew into Rapid City in South Dakota and the Pasco Airport in Washington.  Can someone make that happen for me?! 

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One of my favorite parts about flying is the people watching and reading through the magazines in the seat pocket in front of me. 

And of course the snacks…haha!!

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You can learn some cool stuff from the Spirit Mag such as it used to take 27 hours to make a Peep!  Who knew?!  Well…now I do!!

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And this kind of stuff just cracks me up.

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After a brief layover in St. Louis we FINALLY arrived at our destination. 

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Now to take our first taxi cab ride in NYC. 

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The taxi ride from LaGuardia to Times Square was around $57.  That included the toll and tip.  You can pay with a credit/debit card which made it super easy.

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The East River – we hear about this a lot when we watch Law & Order.

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:: SPOILER ALERT ::

In NYC there are “characters” on Times Square that you can take pics with.  They of course want a tip but more on that later.  Sad to say but they are just humans dressed up as those characters.  What a let down.  

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But seriously, I wish they would stay “in character” in case a younger kid might see them walking down the street. 

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But I won’t let that get me down because WooHoo!!  We are in NYC baby!

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Now time to freshen up, head to dinner and have some fun.

Have you ever been to NYC?  What was your favorite part? 

(((hugs))) ~lisa

Travel

Scarborough Renaissance Festival 2014

One of my favorite things to do is people watch.  It’s just so much fun and you can meet lots of interesting folks!  Scarborough Renaissance Festival is people watching at it’s finest.  Located in Waxahachie, Tx, Scarborough Renaissance Festival is just 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex on FM 66 off of I-35, exit 399A.   

Take a peek at some things I saw today.

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Have you done any fun people watching lately? 

(((hugs))) ~lisa

Travel

Mesquite Rodeo Parade

The Mesquite Rodeo Parade is a long standing community tradition in downtown Mesquite.  I didn’t realize it but Mesquite’s Rodeo Parade was in it’s 57th year!  You can see horses, bands and floats wind through downtown Mesquite and after the parade there are often events after to continue the fun.

The Rodeo Parade is a community wide event that brings together civic clubs, churches, community groups, sports teams and schools.  I hadn’t been to the parade in many years but my hubby was going to be in it so I made plans to go.  There were quite a few folks already staking out their parade watching spots when I arrived at 9am.  The parade wasn’t scheduled to start until 10am but folks arrived early!  

It was a little chilly that morning, Mackenzie was bundled up.

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Braxton was just ready to see some horses.

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The Grand Marshall this year was Kloie Oguntodu, a 2nd grader at Shaw Elementary.  Kloie won the girls, ages 6-7, NFL National Championship Punt, Pass and Kick competition, bringing national attention to Mesquite.

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The kids are excited and want the parade to get started.

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Here it comes!!

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My alma mater – Mesquite High School!

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You can see all kinds of interesting characters in the parade.

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And a clown.

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Lots of groups with brightly colored floats.

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North Mesquite High School

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Another brightly decorated float.

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Some clowns!!

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A cow decorated school bus representing all of our awesome school bus drivers!

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Mack loves getting her pic taken with mascots.

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The Mesquite Symphony Guild Debutantes

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West Mesquite High School

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Mmmmm – Whataburger!

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Poteet High School

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Mack with the Poteet Pirate mascot.

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Texas Shark

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John Horn High School

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Mack with the Horn mascot

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My hubby pulling the DACED – Dallas County East Democrats float. 

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So proud of him for getting involved and trying to make a difference. 

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And of course there were horses!

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And the parade wouldn’t be complete without seeing a longhorn!  Hook ‘Em Horns!!

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Afterwards we went to a local school that was hosting some after parade activities.  Free hot dogs, bounce house and pony rides (not free, $4 each) rounded out our fun day!

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A pic with Smokey the Bear

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And one last pic with a clown for Mack.

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What a fun, fun day!

(((hugs))) ~lisa

Travel

US Marine Corps War Memorial

As we headed back to the hotel from visiting the Kennedy Center we had to walk to our hotel as the shuttle wasn’t running at that time.  Our hotel was within walking distance of the Marine Memorial and as we neared our hotel we heard the sounds of a band.  I LOVE bands so I was excited to see what was happening. 

As we approached we could see there was a large crowd gathered at the US Marine Corps War Memorial and that is where the music was coming from.  We took a detour to see what was going on. 

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We learned that during the summer months, every Tuesday there is a performance by the Marine Silent Drill Platoon.  There is also a performances every Friday at the Marine Barracks in DC and you can click HERE for the schedule.

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Navy recruits watching the performance.

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After the performance was over the crowds gathered around the memorial to take photos.  The Marines that performed as well as other Marines were on hand and were so engaging and welcoming.  They answered questions and took photos with folks.  It was a really great experience. 

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I would highly recommend you attending a performance if you are in DC!  It was an awesome experience. 

(((hugs)))  ~lisa

Travel

Thunderhead Falls in South Dakota

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My son Nick is actually the one who told me about Thunderhead Falls.  It’s very close to Rapid City, just 10 miles west on Highway 44.  The attraction is open May 1 – November 1 and it is $6 per person to get in.  Here’s a link to a brochure with more info: http://www.thunderheadfalls.com/Welcome_files/ThunderheadFallsTrifold.pdf

The actual falls (and do you say falls when you are actually seeing only one?) are located 600 feet inside the mountain.  When I first heard that I thought, WOW!  But it’s really not that far.  Its’ gushing 8 cubic feet of water (and I don’t really know what that means) falls vertically for more than 30 feet.  Unfortunately not many of my pics inside the tunnel turned out because the lighting was not very good. 

It was a nice quick walk to the falls.  You really can’t see much but it was very cool inside so keep that in mind when you are visiting.  Depending on the weather you might need a light jacket but for us it felt great on such a hot day.

Here’s Mom and Dad and then me and my hubby as we are about to go in.

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This is one of the falls right near the entrance.

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Mom and Nick waiting while we bought our tickets.

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Notice my hubby paying close attention to the warning sign.  It says, “This is a historic site.  Please do not pick up rocks or deface the area.”  Let’s see if he behaves while we are inside.

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Hiking the 600 feet in.

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Things you see on the way…

Traces of copper

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Drill marks

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Quartz veins (like the ones in the pic) sometimes held rich gold deposits

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Here’s my less than awesome pic of the falls.

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For those of you that know my Mom we actually had to physically hold her back from jumping in to get all the money in there.

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And that’s about it.  Not a whole lot to it but fun to see. 

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(((hugs))) ~lisa

Travel

US Capitol

The US Capitol is where the House and Senate make our nation’s law.  Our tour was arranged through our Congressman and I recommend this because there are typically a lot less folks on the tour than the regular general tours.  Here’s a pic of where folks line up for the regular tours. 

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On the day we went the lines weren’t too bad.  Our tour was just my husband and I as the other three folks scheduled to join us did not show up.  Sweet for us!! 

There are tons of books and blogs about touring the Capitol and the important things to see but I didn’t read any of them.  Our tour guide was super new, we were his very first tour, so we just decided to kind of wing it. 

Here are the things that caught my attention and why.

My husband was a mailman and we were in DC because that’s where he wanted to visit to celebrate his retirement.  Pretty much anytime I see a mailbox, a mailman or even just mail…I think of him. 

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And my dad was a phone man so of course every time I see a phone I think of him.

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You hardly ever see these anymore.  And seriously, who still uses a phonebook? 

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I’m on a very important call.

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I have this *thing* about bathrooms.  It’s a long story that I’ll share at another time but check out this pic of these awesome vintage chairs in the restrooms in the Rayburn building.

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In our Congressman’s office there is a clock. 

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Did you notice those circles at the top?  Well they, along with these bell tones you will hear, mean something. 

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Our feet in the center of the Capitol.  I strongly recommend wearing really great walking shoes.  TONS of walking happens when touring DC.

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One of the chambers where I’m sure very important stuff happened.

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A cool view of a ceiling.

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Some really cool ceiling art.

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A closer look at the cool ceiling art.

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A very awesome chandelier. 

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We also happened across this which was awesome to see.

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Of course I had to get a dome shot.

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I saw another mail slot. 

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Then it was back to the Metro.

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And up another loooooong escalator. 

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Have you been to DC?  What was your favorite part of the city?

(((hugs))) ~lisa

Travel

World’s Largest Rocking Chair…and a High Five

On the way to St. Louis to see the Gateway Arch we stopped in Fanning, MO to see the World’s Largest Rocking Chair.  Unlike the World’s Largest Peanut in Oklahoma, this rocking chair was truly LARGE!!

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They had a cute little store next to it so we stopped in to browse.

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I met a friend when we walked in.

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There was a stuffed bear in the store and I cannot resist a high five opportunity.

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My hubby said I only got like 3 inches of air on my jump so I tried it again.  The second attempt was better.  It looks like I jumped higher, right?

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I think my hubby and the bear were doing a new line dance or something. 

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Thanks RoadsideAmerica.com for finding us cool places to visit! 

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(((hugs))) ~lisa

Travel

The Clement Railroad Museum and the Hobo Alphabet

Did you even know that there was a Hobo Alphabet?  I guess I kind of knew that there was one.  You know, back in the dark corner of my mind but never really thought about it until we stopped at the Clement Railroad Museum in Dickson, Tennessee. 

Located inside what is known as the Halbrook Hotel, it opened in June 2009, and focuses on local history, including the Civil War and local railroads. 

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I absolutely LOVE to look at museums, particularly smaller ones as there are so many cool things to see and learn about.

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I just can’t imagine using a chamber pot.  I guess they were kind of like the pre-cursors to the porta-pottie? 

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Coca-Cola stuff!

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Interesting info about Cheerios and Confederate money.

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I’d like to be a judge for a minute so I could bang the gavel and shout, “ORDER IN THE COURT!!”  C’mon…you know you’d do it too.

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Old phones remind me of my dad who was a phone man. 

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On the 2nd level they had these cool trains set up.  It was fun talking to the docent about it. 

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You would think that this would be common sense but I guess not. 

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Look at this super cool vintage Royal stove!

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  All that was pretty cool but then I spotted this little info card.

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Here’s the flip side

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I think I might write a letter to my kids using the Hobo Alphabet.  I am not sure if they will think that is as cool as I do!  haha!!

So there ya go!  The Hobo Alphabet.  I know this is a life changing moment but try to control yourself. 

(((hugs)))  ~lisa

Travel

Gateway Arch – St. Louis

When we went to Ft. Leonard Wood, MO we took a day trip to the Gateway Arch.  It was just a couple of hours away and a great excuse for a road trip.  It may seem weird to take a road trip while on a road trip but that’s how we do!

On the way we saw this.

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What the heck?  It’s like a frozen waterfall or something??  I’d never seen that before.  Have you?  I mean besides if you live in Missouri and have traveled the particular stretch of road between Ft. Leonard Wood and St. Louis in early February?

We arrived in the city and I was so excited to see the arch!

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We got up close and personal and it looks amazing!

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Here we are in front of the arch getting ready to take the tour.  

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Here we are with Keirsten, our granddaughter.

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It’s very tall! 

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Are you claustrophobic?  Are you afraid of heights?  Well if you are then this attraction is not for you.  To get to the top of the arch you must ride this tram type thing.  This ride to the top lasts about 4 minutes so if you think you can go inside this door…

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…and feel comfortable riding in this pod type thing…

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…then go for it!!  I’m a little bit of both but I’m not too bad.  I didn’t time the ride up but it went quick enough for me.  It is an enclosed pod but the door is glass and you can see the inside of the arch (and possible escape routes…haha!) on the way up and down.  Once you get to the top the room you are in feels fine…but you are up pretty high.  The views though, are spectacular.

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At the tallest point of the arch.  Which is apparently also taller than the Space Needle (Seattle, WA – 605 feet); the Washington Monument (Washington D.C. – 555 feet 5 1/8 inches); Coast Redwood (CA – 379 feet); Giant Sequoia (CA – 307 feet); Statue of Liberty (New York City, NY – 305 feet) or the Space Shuttle (Kennedy Space Center, FL – 184 feet).  Great facts to know!

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I love postcards and as a kid we used to mail them when we were on vacation.  Lately I’ve been on a single person mission to revive the postcard industry!  I think folks love getting mail and so I try to send a postcard when we are on our travels to our grandkids and to our three little nieces. 

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I also am a big fan of our National Parks.  Now that my hubby is 62 he qualified for the Senior Pass!  WoooHooo!!  I have a National Parks passport book that I get stamped when I visit.  I also try to buy the corresponding sticker.

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In addition to that I also collect patches!  I think I am going to eventually make a rag quilt with all of them.  I have quite a few and this is my latest one.

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Have you been to the Gateway Arch?  Did you enjoy it?  Do you collect anything from your trips?

(((hugs))) ~lisa

Travel

Giant Head of President Eisenhower and the World’s Largest Peanut

These two things do not really have anything in common besides I saw them both on a recent trip and they are on RoadsideAmerica.com and I am obsessed with all things RoadsideAmerica.com

We took a quick trip to Missouri and I had to stop and get some pics along the way.  I am grateful that my hubby (and our granddaughter who was with us) are willing to indulge me.

First stop was the Giant Head of President Eisenhower.  Denison, TX is the birthplace of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the large bust by artist David Adickes can be seen at the Eisenhower Veterans Monument.

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Denison, TX – Birthplace of President Eisenhower

Address: Loy Lake Rd., Denison TXDirections:  Southwest of town.  US Hwy 75 exit 67, on the west side, at the entrance to Loy Lake Park. I also took a pic with the prez.

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Unfortunately my photographer took a little too much off the top of Eisenhower’s head.  But still, I was there…haha!

Our next stop was the World’s Largest Peanut.  What isn’t mentioned is it is actually the World’s Largest Peanut…in Oklahoma.  But that’s okay.  I was a little underwhelmed but not undeterred. 

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Durant, Oklahoma – World’s Largest Peanut

Address:  300 W. Evergreen St., Durant, OK

Directions:  City Hall.  US 75/69 to town, then east on US 70/Main St.  Drive about 1.5 miles, then left on 3rd Ave.  The peanut is one block north, on the corner of 3rd and Evergreen. 

We found where we thought the peanut was supposed to be and drove right past it.  Circled back and realized that ooohhhh….that little thing on the corner is the peanut.  I really was expecting a HUGE peanut but alas I was a little disappointed.  No worries though, I still love RoadsideAmerica.com and will continue to make stops! 

Well there you have it folks!  I can now check those two places off of my RoadsideAmerica.com list!

(((hugs))) ~lisa