From Illinois to Indiana…

September 28, 2009

P1040931Would YOU drive a lot of miles to have a corn dog? Well, you might if it was served up by the Cozy Drive In, at the south end of Springfield. We decided to go there just to get the feel of it. The corn dogs? Nothing special. The draw? People were lined up out the door, though we noticed the locals weren’t necessarily snarfing up the corn dogs, rather more conventional dishes too.

Heading east from Springfield, Jane read about a certain street in Decatur, IL, where there were some houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. So what the hey? We looked up the address on my iPhone, and headed to Millikin Place, an exclusive neighborhood in Decatur, where we saw this example of Wright’s work:

A home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Decatur

A home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Decatur

We wondered what the esteemed Frank Lloyd would think if he saw those plastic flamingoes on the front lawn? Sigh… You’ll see other homes in that ritzy neighborhood, including another of Wright’s designs, by checking our gallery..

We’d read about a Raggedy Ann & Andy museum in Arcola, IL, so we made that our next stop. Arcola happens to be in the middle of Illinois Amish country, and we saw Amish on buggies on the way into town, and also visited the Illinois Amish Interpretive Center there in Arcola. It was raining and flashing lightning, so we spent most of our time indoors in Arcola, first at the Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum. The display case shown below was but one small example of the many colorful dolls and doll accessories they had on display. We also learned that this museum is in its last four months, has sold its collection to the Strong Museum of Rochester, NY. Despite that, Arcola’s museum STILL looked full of plenty of stuff!

Raggedy Ann & Andy and other Raggedy paraphernalia in a museum display case

Raggedy Ann & Andy and other Raggedy paraphernalia in a museum display case

You may not know it, but Johnny Gruelle was the original creator of these two dolls, in memory of his beloved daughter who died at 13. But the doll traditions he established have been carried on by descendant generations. Here’s his granddaughter Joni Gruelle, signing a doll we bought:

Johnny Gruelle's granddaughter Joni signs a doll we purchased

Johnny Gruelle's granddaughter Joni signs a doll we purchased

Of course, you can see more photos of Raggedy Ann & Andy by clicking on the gallery link, but lest we sell the Amish museum of Arcola short, it may be said that they can also gin up some pretty bright colors too, witness these fabrics for sale in their Museum Shop:

Colorful fabrics in the Illinois Amish Interpretive Center

Colorful fabrics in the Illinois Amish Interpretive Center

We wound up the day by driving into Indiana. We wanted to bed down at Crawfordsville, but all the “established” venues were full-up with college visitors and such. We won’t say how technologically savvy were the management of the Riviera Motel, where we wound up, but when I asked if they had Wi-Fi, she said: “What’s that?” But hey, for $40, who’s fussy? Indiana and Pennsylvania? Subject of future blog(s)… Stay tuned, if you remember what that means? 🙂


5 Responses to “From Illinois to Indiana…”

  1. Doug Smith said

    wow- beautiful homes. I’ve always loved FLW. Hopefully when you drive to the center of the Universe (Pittsburgh), you’ll take aslight detour and see Falling Water

    • Hey Doug: We actually wanted to see Fallingwater, but alas, we were in kind of a schedule crunch that day to get across Pennsylvania before too late; Fallingwater seemed too far out of our path to merit a visit. It does sound attractive enough for a return visit, especially now that we know that Pittsburgh is the center of the universe? 😉

  2. Sharon said

    Hi there – it’s fun to follow your journey this way. Glad you switched blog sites….. it’s great to get the emails.

  3. Gerry said

    Love the pictures. Thanks John and Jane. It truly is fun following your journey.

  4. JimmyBean said

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Excellent site, keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: