Saturday, January 21, 2017

Toys Exhibit

Today we scoped out the Missouri History Museum's soon to end exhibit on the toys of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. I recognized a few of them from playing at my grandma's house with toys that used to belong to my aunts and uncles.

Mr. Machine

Grandma had this terrifying version of Cootie with a bug that looked like a little alien.

I had an oldschool barrel of monkeys that I feel like I must have inherited as well. This toy has a fun St. Louis backstory. A barrel with a game inside was originally pitched to Anheuser-Busch as a promotional tool. Then someone realized that the barrel was missing something: a multitude of lame plastic monkeys whose only purpose in life is interlocking with other plastic moneys. Just fill an empty soup can with paperclips and save yourself 5 dollars.

Creepy Casper

This exhibit blew my brain up. Apparently Mr. Potato Head was originally just a bunch of face pieces and kids had to jam them into self-supplied fruits and vegetables. I wonder how many kids jammed a couple of ears onto a banana then forgot the thing in their toybox for a few weeks...

My apartment building is doing its best to pop my tires.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Fried Catfish and a Civil War Battlefied

We had another day of fun times in store down in Tennessee. 

I saw a sign for hot boiled peanuts at a gas station and had no choice but to partake. When they're soft like this they sort of taste like beans, which I guess makes sense.

We stopped at a little place called Hagy’s Catfish Hotel on the bank of the Tennessee River.

Despite being in the middle of nowhere the place was packed which must have been a good sign.

Near the restaurant was Shiloh National Military Park. I'll just borrow a couple of lines from the website: "Visit the sites of the most epic struggle in the Western Theater of the Civil War. Nearly 110,000 American troops clashed in a bloody contest that resulted in 23,746 casualties; more casualties than in all of America's previous wars combined."

The park contains a national cemetery with about 4 thousand graves. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Nashville Honky Tonkin'

We drove down to Nashville to spend the weekend with Lydia's family.

There was a pack of wild turkeys pecking around outside the house. When the dog scared them they all flew away. I don't think that I realized a turkey could fly. 

Something tells me you can probably buy an assault rifle on a Sunday in Tennessee...

Whelp there ain't nothin' like a little downtown Nashville honky tonkin'.

Zoe learned how to line dance.

No matter how far we stray we always seem to end up back at Robert's Western World. It's always crowded but we managed to weasel some really good seats up front.

This guy was so serious that when he walked in the band played him his own dancing music which went on and on. Word on the street is he used to be one of the dancers at the Grand Ole Opry.

Once we had thoroughly honkied our tonks we headed home.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

New Year's Eve Aftermath

2017 had finally arrived and we were in New York for the day. Time to make some moves. This was Brandon's first time to NYC so we let him take the reins.

We finally opened that box of convent baked cookies that we bought in Madrid. I took a bite and realized: these were the worst cookies I've ever tasted. Clearly Spain has been politely buying cookies from some cloistered nuns just to humor them. They had an anise flavor to them but someone forgot to add sugar. Jarringly bad.

This "I survived New Year's in Times Square" t-shirt got a knowing chuckle from me. It really was something to survive, wasn't it? And we weren't even the poor folks standing and waiting for 12 hours in the cold.

Brandon wanted to check out the gaudy faux golden headquarters of President-Elect He Who Shall Not Be Named. Why oh why did I take my impressionable friend to that Springfield pep-rally all those months ago? It was a more innocent time back then. Now we were at Castle Grayskull itself. I figured maybe we'd get lucky and see old orange mop jump off the top of it.

There was a funny sort of security in place. The sidewalk in front of the building was fenced in and lots of scary looking police were standing around guarding it. I thought maybe it was closed to visitors, but then noticed a line with some people being allowed to pass, so I got in it. The policeman guarding the entrance was simply asking people what their business was in the tower. If you said anything that didn't involve the tower then the cop would tell you to go around. So when it was my turn I just told him I wanted to get a drink at the restaurant. That was easy.

I bought zero anythings here.

There was a news crew with a camera pointed at the elevator apparently playing "spot that Nazi".

There wasn't a whole lot to see, but I'm glad we took a peek.

We took a stroll though Central Park and then headed back to Times Square. Brandon wanted a slice of New York style someplace.

We walked all the way over to where the ball had dropped so we could finally get a glance at it and... there was no ball.

Only after I'd had a couple slices did I walk outside and see the B health rating. New York style indeed.

Scientology recruiting propaganda.

Ho ho ho

We flew back to St. Louis and all high fived each other after another successful trip. Huzzah.