Sunday, July 31, 2011


I mentioned in previous post that the towns along the Lincoln Highway in Indiana did not seem to care much for the famous highway. Once we passed the Ideal Section, after crossing the state line from Illinois, there were no monuments, red/white/blue markers painted on the telephone poles or even a simple sign of the big "L" to help us navigate along the unfamiliar country roads.

I was so glad to see the red/white/blue signs proudly displayed on the flag poles when we got into New Carlisle. It was a big help so that we knew we were on the right track without the need to keep checking the guidebook. An appreciation to the good people of New Carlisle in Indiana.

It was around 9:30 a.m. on Monday but it was July 4th so the street was empty with everyone being off work and probably still in bed sleeping. We walked around town and took these photos.

I love capturing images of Mom & Pop, family-owned shops in small towns. These businesses are an important part of the charm of Americana. It makes me long for those bygone years and "remember when" simpler times.

Friday, July 29, 2011


I don't know about you but if my child told me that he/she was taking a "Bagology" class, I would not pay for the tuition or say "get a job and pay your own college education". Bagology is the study of characters and who you are as a person based on the bags you carry. Call me "narrow minded" but it sounds like a whole bag of baloney!
The Old Bag Factory was an 1896 soap/paper plant in the historic area of Goshen, Indiana. Visit to read about this interesting building originally known as the Cosmo Buttermilk Soap Company up until the 1910 when it was purchased and renovated by the Chicago-Detroit Bag Company. After years of being abandoned and neglected, the Old Bag was lovingly restored to a new life and currently the home for artists to showcase their creations, antiques, specialty shops and cafes. Space is available for weddings and other events to be held here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Monday, July 4th - We woke up to a beautiful sunny and comfortable morning in Valparaiso, Indiana. The hotel only offered continental breakfast so we ate a bagel and took a cup of coffee with us. We did not stop at the above restaurant. I took the photo because I like the name of the restaurant, "Broadway Cafe", a reminder of my American hometown New York in the middle of Indiana.

From Valparaiso, we followed IN2 north, passing thru Westville, La Porte, then picked up US20 from Rolling Prairie, to New Carlisle, South Bend, Mishawaka, Osceola, Elkhart and it was time for lunch in Goshen.

It was a pleasant surprise when we found this building with the sculpture that based on the photograph of construction men sitting on a girder with their feet dangling hundred of feet above New York City streets. The image often is known as "Lunchtime atop a skyscrapper", a black and white photo taken by Charles C. Ebbets. From the "Broadway Cafe" to the Lunchtime sculpture, perhaps I should entitled this post, "New York in Indiana"

Enlarge the image of the plaque "Lunchtime" to read a moving story that inspire Sicilian-born artist Sergio Furnari to create this 11-piece sculpture. Visit to read about the restaurant and about its interesting building.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Sunday, July 3rd, DeKalb, Illinois - We attended 11:00 a.m. Mass at St. Mary's Catholic Church, after a visit to Ellwood Mansion. Thanks again to Eileen from the Lincoln Inn for not only served us a great breakfast but also told us about Ellwood Mansion, how to get to St. Mary's and Mass schedule.
St. Mary's Church was built in 1861. There were about 30 families back then and 150 years later, the parish currently has about 1,300+ families. We had the privilege to share a special occassion of a baptism. The baby boy was named Gabriel Andrew. He was a good baby, slept soundly and did not make any noise during the entire sacrament. It was a special moment when Gabriel woke up, smiled, reached out to touch the priest's hand when he annointed his forehead with the oil of catechumens. After Mass, it was time to get back on the road. We passed thru Cortland, Maple Park, Elburn and then to Geneva about 1:30 p.m. We decided to get out the pastries and cookies that we have gotten after breakfast at the Lincoln Inn in DeKalb and enjoyed a short break from driving.

From IL38 in Geneva, we followed IL31 North to Batavia, Mooseheart, North Aurora and after Aurora, it was US 30 thru Plainfield and finally to Joliet, where Lincoln Highway and Route 66 briefly intersected.

From Joliet, we continued onto New Lenox, Frankfort, Matteson, Chicago Heights and Sauk Village, before crossing into Indiana.

The town of Dyer welcomed us to the Hoosier State. The marker (below photo) let us know that we were on the right track, still following Lincoln Highway. Sadly, after this marker, there was no more signs or any visible indications to help us navigate along the Lincoln Highway. Apparently, the people of Indiana did not care much about this famous highway in their towns.

After Dyer, we continued on US 30 thru Schererville, Merrilville and decided to stop for dinner at Michael's Diner. It was almost 7:00 p.m. when we finished the meals, so it was time to seek overnight accomodation.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


DeKalb, Illinois - home of the World's First Barbed Wire Factory (1874) and birthplace of the world famous supermodel Cindy Crawford. It is sort of fitting to the expression, "The rose between two thorns".

The mural looks like a painting of a party at the Ellwood House, built in 1879 by the barbed wire baron Isaac L. Ellwood. The Victorian mansion has a three-story spiral staircase and overwhelming chandeliers to match the mahogany-paneled vast dining room.

Whether because we were so hungry that we considered it was one of the best breakfasts on this trip at the Lincoln Inn (opened in the 1950s). The Inn is famous for its freshly baked bread, six different kinds, white, cracked wheat, pumpernickel, rye sourdough, Texas and English muffin. The servers were so friendly, especially Eileen who talked to us as if we were sitting at her kitchen table and not at a restaurant.

Back in late 1800s, DeKalb, Illinois was known as "The Barbed Wire Capital of the World". In 1874, Joseph Glidden (the gentleman in center) patented his improved barbed wire and made a fortune thanks to the high demand from every ranchers outwest needing the barbed wire to keep their cattles confined as well as marking their property lines, ended the era of the open range and the castle drive.

It was interesting that even though Cindy Crawford (the world famous supermodel) graduated from DeKalb High School (she was a valedictorian - beauty and brain - wow!), there was no mention anywhere about the famous hometown girl.

With the extra money from selling more than 50 million lbs of barbed wire every year, Isaac Ellwood built the Little House, a charming Victorian-era playhouse for his little daughter. The House has a bedroom with a child size bed, a tea room and a playroom that includes a doll house.

After breakfast at the Lincoln Inn, we had about 45 minutes before Mass at St. Mary. There was an art and craft show on the ground of the Ellwood House. We walked around admiring the many fine creations by local artists.

I should have posted the image of the mural immediately before or after the above photo so the readers would see that it was the Ellwood House in the painting. I am not sure if I would want to live in such a big house. Would you like to live in a mansion with servants attend to your every little requests?

Friday, July 22, 2011


Sunday, July 3rd - From Rochelle, Illinois we continued on IL38. The above photo shows the condition of the current Lincoln Highway, two lanes country road, not smooth pavement. Normally we would not mind driving slowly to enjoy the scenery but we were hungry and needed to find a place to eat.

After what seemed to be "never-ending" miles of corn fields, we reached Creston, a town of less than 1,000. The good people of Creston painted many murals around town but I was so hungry that I only captured the two images (as shown at the bottom of this post).

There was construction work around the campus of Kishwaukee College but our persistence paid off after driving around a few times, we found the First Seedling Mile sign (below) across from the College. The Lincoln Highway Companion guidebook listed the sign located "at" the College. The sign probably would be moved back to the College after the construction work is done.

After Creston, we zoomed by Malta (not the Malta Island in the Mediterranean Sea) to get to DeKalb.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Before she was known as Miss Manners, Emily Post wrote about her travelling across America on Lincoln Highway for Collier's Magazine. It took the group including Ms. Post, her son and a cousin, 45 days to travel from Grammercy Park in New York City to San Francisco, California. Read on to find out why the good people of Rochelle, Illinois painted the above mural.

On May 6, 1915, Ms. Post and her travelling group got stuck in a muddy road due to heavy rainfall and had to spend two days in Rochelle, Illinois.

Come to think of it - we should always mind our manners when travelling and when we are in public settings. Sadly, good manners have gone "down the drain" just like the art of hand-written notes, saying "please or thank you". This is a subject that would require lengthly discussion, what are your thoughts?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


$190 for tickets to U2 360 Tour at Busch Stadium on a beautiful sunny day on Sunday, July 17, 2011.

$25 for a program to be framed with the tickets. $30 for a hat (for my husband) with U2 360 embroided on the front.

$10 for the poster (since we could not take a good photo of the band performing with our cheesy camera).

$20 for parking in a garage. $2 for a bottle of cold water from a street vendor outside the stadium.

Inside the stadium - $6.75 for a cheeseburger, $4.50 for a hotdog, $5.50 for a large fries, $5.00 for a bottle of cold water and $7.50 for a cold beer.

If only we could be ONE and there is real PEACE ON EARTH - PRICELESS.

P.S. - If you looked at the lines of people waiting to purchase t-shirts ($40), hats ($30), programs ($25), etc., you would not believe that there is high unemployment in America.

If you saw the long lines at the concession stands, especially at the beer counters, and the packed stadium of 53,000 people, you would ask "What recession?"

I wonder if the current debate about the debt ceiling or U.S. national deficits was real or just another political game Washington is playing. What do you think?


Related Posts with Thumbnails