Hello again everybody, it's been a while. I had a couple little road trips planned for the summer, but things didn't quite work out. Back in May, my wife, Moonbaby had to have emergency heart surgery. It was pretty serious. She's fully recovered now and feeling like a teenager. It just took most of the summer to get there. We did manage to take a road trip to New England last month, but that was mostly to visit my brother and his family. I didn't want to bore you with that, so I didn't blog about it.
But right after we got home, I found out something cool about the town of Vandalia, which is a couple hours south of here.
So, let's go to Vandalia.
As I've mentioned before, when we take our little trips, we stay off Interstate Highways. Because you miss too much when you don't cruise through small towns.
Like flying pigs.
Or cool murals.
Or other pigs.
After a few hours of driving and just generally farting around (we don't get in a big hurry), we have reached Vandalia.
Vandalia was our State Capitol for a few years back in the 1830s. Even though it's a museum now, there's probably more getting done here than in Springfield.
The building and surrounding grounds are very well maintained.
There are some informational markers scattered around describing what the area was like back then and of course, some Abe Lincoln stories.
It's been chilly and damp all day, and by now, it's late afternoon, so we decided to check into a hotel and see what kind of options we had for dinner.
After checking in, I was gazing out the window and thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. I zoomed the camera in for a better look and couldn't believe my eyes...
A Ponderosa Steakhouse sign!
I didn't think there were any of these left. After some quick research, I found that they don't serve alcohol. I think most of you know, that's a deal breaker for me. I like a good craft beer with my steak, or whatever I'm eating. But I had noticed a place near the old Capitol, so we headed back downtown.
We went to this steakhouse instead and had a great meal. And cold beer.
Just up the street was this funny looking little bridge. Bridges don't bother me as much as they do Marty, but this one gave me the jitters. It's only about 50 feet across, but as you go over, you can see nothing but sky. Then as soon as you start to hurtle downward, you have to stop.
It went over this cool looking railroad that was obviously first built about the same time as the Capitol building.
After a good night's sleep, the weather had improved a great deal, so we headed out to find the real reason we made this trip...
The Kaskaskia Dragon! I have no idea what the backstory is to this. The local high school's teams are called the Vandals. So that's not the reason. I have a feeling the bottled gas business just down the street might be behind it.
There's this poor, hapless, handless knight standing in front of him. I'm not sure if going to slay the dragon or what. But I think that without hands, the odds are against him.
The best part is, he breathes fire!—For a dollar.
As Count Floyd would say; "Ooooooooooo!"