Puppy Playdate!

When MaMa only took me on a short walk this morning, I didn’t really think much of it. I figured it was kinda cold out and she just wanted to get home and warm up. What I found out later was she wanted me to save my energy, because she had a puppy playdate planned!

MaMa’s friend Amanda has a nice house with a HUGE backyard, and they’d been trying to set up a playdate for me and her three furbabies, Zelda, Gabby & Gizmo for a long time. Today it finally worked out! I’d met Zelda before, and we get along great, but this was my first time meeting her brother and sister. As we were driving to their house, I was listening to MaMa tell me all about them, and really hoping we would all get along.

When we got there, I was so excited to see my old friend Zelda! We hadn’t seen each other in two years, but meeting up again, it was just like old times. She seemed really happy to see me, and we had so much fun running, wrestling and playing in the yard!

Zelda showed me all around her big yard, which even includes a fish pond! I stayed away from the pond though. We all know what happens when my hair gets wet!


They also have a big garden filled with some of my favorite veggies, like kale and cauliflower. I tried to follow Zelda’s mommy in there.


But she knew I would eat all of her veggies, so I got left outside the gate. Boo-hoo!


After getting a good look around the yard, it was time to wrestle and run with Zelda.



I run like the wind, and sometimes she had trouble catching me, but when she did, she made some pretty funny faces at me!

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So I made some crazy faces right back at her!

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It was so much fun running around her yard and playing with someone my own size for a change. We had such a good time!dsc06142-2

After a while we got tired of running and playing, and took a little break in the shade.


Our break didn’t last for long though. Soon we were joined by Zelda’s brother and sister, Gizmo & Gabby. They weren’t sure what to think about me, but luckily Zelda stood by me!


After checking me out, Gizmo decided that he didn’t like the looks of me. Zelda tried to negotiate a peace treaty between us, but to no avail! I just sat my ground and let him tell me off. It was his house after all.


At one point we tried to play a game of follow the leader. I figured if Gizmo were the leader that he’d be happy and maybe he’d like me then!


It turns out that he doesn’t like to be followed and that made him like me even less! I really don’t like it when someone doesn’t want to be friends with me, so I gave him a piece of my mind.


He retreated to his porch and proceeded to tell me off! Why, I never!!  His sweet sister Gabby mostly stayed quiet during all of this.


Finally I’d had enough and I told him to put up or shut up. I was ready for a show down!  He even had to call in Gabby to back him up.


Can you tell by the looks on our faces who won the showdown?

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So, I let him sulk on the bench next to his sister and found a place of my own to sit. It was time for us all to retreat to our own corners. Zelda was suspiciously absent after trying to negotiate peace. I think she knew better than to get in the middle of us!

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Even though Gizmo didn’t seem to like me, and Gabby was afraid to get to know me, I still had a GREAT time on my playdate! Zelda is an awesome friend and we have so much fun together. I can’t wait to see her again soon! It sure is great having friends!!








A Better Day at Goodenow Grove

Have you ever visited a good place at a bad time? That happened to us this summer when we headed out early one morning to check out Goodenow Grove Forest Preserve in Beecher, IL. Despite the title of another blog post, A Good Day for Goodenow, it really wasn’t that good of a day to visit a forest preserve. Even though we tried getting there early to beat the heat, it was still too hot to walk. I mean literally, I kept laying down, and MaMa had to carry me if she wanted to go anywhere. Also, when we tried to find some shade and decided to walk around a pond in the woods, the bugs were ALL OVER Levi. We ended up calling it a day well before noon, and said, “We’ll have to come back here in the fall!”

So that’s what we did this past Saturday. We got a later start this time, but it didn’t matter because the weather was much cooler, and this time MaMa was prepared! More about that later…

After a pleasant drive through the country we finally arrived at Goodenow Grove. We knew we wanted to check out the longest trail at the preserve called the Plum Creek Greenway Trail, but first decided to take a quick walk around the area surrounding the Nature Center. As usual, Levi took the lead!

Levi Pitboxer loves checking out new places!
Levi Pitboxer loves checking out new places!

While out on our jaunt around the Grove, we saw a group of people having a party at one of the two pavilions available to rent for an event. Near the larger pavilion is a 40 foot hill used for sledding in the Winter. They even have sled rentals if you don’t have your own. I wonder if they let doggies sled down that giant hill?

A great sledding hill! But I'm not ready for snow yet!!
A great sledding hill! But I’m not ready for snow yet!!

Before heading out on the trail, MaMa wanted to check out the Plum Creek Nature Center, mostly to find out if they had a bathroom. There are two permanent outhouses (one by each pavilion), but if you have the option to use indoor plumbing, you should always take it (so says MaMa)! As we were walking towards the door, the man working behind the desk waved us inside. MaMa popped her head in and said, “We can bring the dogs in?” and he said, “Yeah, bring them in!”

We were so excited because it’s not every day that we get invited in somewhere. I guess we are kind of like vampires that way. We need to be invited before we can enter a building!!

I was so excited to check out somewhere new!
I was so excited to check out somewhere new! I broke out in a spontaneous dance!

I was dancing and Levi was rolling around on the floor. We really know how to make ourselves at home!

Levi Pitboxer enjoying a good roll!
Levi Pitboxer enjoying a good roll!

Once we were finally settled down, we took a good look around the place. We saw stuffed birds and animals, rocks, books, a living snake and lizard, and lots of activities for little kids to create and have fun!

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The Nature Center had so much to look at, but it was a beautiful day and time to explore the outdoors. What I didn’t know was MaMa was prepared to go on a long walk this time, and was going to make sure I didn’t hold her up! I wasn’t sure whether to be embarrassed or elated. But either way, my secret is out. I’m officially a spoiled, little baby princess with her own little carriage to ride in!

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It turns out I really enjoy being rolled around in my carriage. I was able to chill out, not get too tired or hold up the group, and MaMa didn’t hurt her back by picking me up and carrying me. Also, I could see all of the same great sites, but with a brand new perspective. The only thing MaMa would have done differently was choose a long trail that wasn’t made out of natural limestone. She said she got a real workout that day pushing me for miles on that lumpy, bumpy surface!


While out on the trail we saw some horses having their lunch in a grassy meadow, in addition to a horse being ridden that went right past us on the trail. If there is one thing Levi likes less than squirrels, it’s horses, and he got really worked up after seeing them! Since I get worked up when Levi is worked up, nobody was able to take a picture of the horse on the trail, but Pops did get some nice pictures of the ones just chilling in the meadow.

Look, he’s marked with a D for dog!


Since Levi’s panties were all in a bunch, Pops decided it would be a good time to take a break and sit in the shade and just relax for a bit.

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Levi really couldn’t get his mind off of those dang horses, so MaMa gave him a good scratching, which always seems to clear his mind because it feels so good! He really liked it!

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While Levi was getting his rub down, I took a look around at all of the beautiful trees. There weren’t too many leaves that had changed colors yet, but it was still a nice, peaceful spot to sit and enjoy the fabulous fall day that we’d been blessed with.

Check out Levi in the corner, wondering where that horse went!

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After our nice break, Levi told us it was time to go and chase after some horses! And what Levi wants, Levi gets!

"Come on guys, I have a horse to catch!"
“Come on guys, I have a horse to catch!”

Back we went the way we came, and I really took advantage of being in my carriage and this time I lead the charge! “Onward!” I said, “Let us go forth and conquer whatever crosses our path!”

"Faster, faster, we have horses to capture!"
“Faster, faster, we have horses to capture!”

I had such a good time that day and look forward to going back again. This time it really was a good day for Goodenow!







Fall Fun in Frankfort!

This morning we had to get up and out the door early because MaMa scheduled an appointment with a furnace technician to clean and check the furnace, so it would be all ready for winter. They gave her a 9am-12pm timeframe. It’s now past noon and they haven’t called or shown up, so she is about to cancel the appointment, and find someone else. Don’t mess with MaMa, I always say!


Since we had to be home (we thought) by 9am, we needed to keep our morning adventure local. We spend a LOT of time in downtown MO-town (i.e. Mokena), and wanted to mix it up a little bit today. We decided to visit nearby Frankfort, which is where my MaMa grew up many years ago.

Historic downtown Frankfort is so pretty and the town is all decorated right now for fall making it even more picturesque. Early morning is a great time to visit and take pictures, because none of the shops are open yet (and there are LOTS of cute shops), and you’re not likely to run into too many people. Of course, we always see another dog or two and some runners and bike riders, since the Old Plank Road Trail runs right through the center of town. Other than that, it was really quiet and peaceful this morning.

After parking near the Frankfort historical society museum, we walked up Kansas street, which was completely devoid of any traffic whatsoever! We made sure we looked both ways too!

GiGi and Levi on Kansas Street.
Look both ways before standing in the middle of the street!

Once we were certain there was no traffic in either direction, we determined it was a safe place to set up for a photo shoot. I decided it was the perfect time for me to work on my different facial expressions! Can you pick a favorite?



I can be rather expressive when I set my mind to it!

After a while, Levi grew tired of waiting on me, and barged into my photo shoot! He said the people want some variety to spice up the pictures. I guess I can see his point, and we DO look pretty good together!

Yin & Yang are at it again!

We didn’t stay there long because just down the street and around the corner is Chew on This Dog Barkery, our favorite shop in town! Every time we visit Frankfort, we hightail it to their door. Little did we know it wasn’t open yet. Foiled again! MaMa and Pops had other ideas though. “Let’s set GiGi up for more pictures!” Uggh, not again, I thought. I mean, I know I’m cute, but seriously! I could feel my annoyance at the situation deepening and refused to look directly at the camera. That is my secret trick when I don’t want my photo taken. I just refuse to cooperate. Some might call me a Diva! But I don’t care!!

"Nope, I will not pose for you!"
“Nope, I will not pose for you!”

Once again, Levi wanted in on the action. He can be a real camera hog. But don’t call him that! He’s put on a few pounds and takes offense at being called a hog. BOL! Of course, he looked right at the camera, so I had to point and laugh at him for being putty in their hands.

He thinks he is so cute!
He thinks he is so cute!

Once we finished up at the shop and were convinced that it wasn’t going to open up just for us, we took a quick stroll around town, enjoying all of the fall and Halloween decorations. The old homes in town are a perfect backdrop to the spooky decorations!

Finally we ended up at the Breidert Green, which is where they put on concerts in the summer, along with a lot of other fun events throughout the rest of the year. We’ve spent a lot of time there in the past, but there was a new addition that I simply had to check out. A giant pile of wood always gets my attention, and this particular pile was giving off heat, even though it wasn’t on fire. I have no idea how they do it, but it sure was a nice place to warm up my little bum!

Giant sticks...for me to chew on!
Giant sticks…for me to chew on!
Maybe I'll just warm my bum instead.
Maybe I’ll just warm my bum instead.

It was almost time to go home to make sure we were back for the furnace appointment, but not before taking one last picture on the Green. In the background is the Trolley Barn, a fun place to shop or get a treat. We’ve never been inside, but hopefully one day we’ll get the chance. MaMa said there is an ice cream store inside. I need to get me some of that! Pops said they have popcorn too. Yummmmy!

Notice I’m still not looking at the camera!

It was a fun morning! We sure are lucky to have such a pretty place so close to home. Thanks for the fun fall morning and for being a beautiful background for our photos, historic downtown Frankfort. We WILL be back!

The Grainery is a historical landmark and the tallest building in town at 132 ft. tall.
The Grainery is a historical landmark and the tallest building in Frankfort at 132 ft. That’s 131 feet taller than me!



Route 66 Road Trip: A Handy Dandy Explorer’s Index

Previews and links to every stop on our Route 66 Road Trip.

Planning a Route 66 Dog-Friendly Road Trip


Route 66 Adventure: A Giant Sighting and Zombies Galore

Route 66 Adventure: Pas De Deux

Route 66 Adventure: Stars & Cars

Route 66 Adventure: Funky Funks Grove

Route 66 Adventure: Atlanta Antics (and giant hot dogs!)

Route 66 Adventure: Sugar Creek Covered Bridge

Route 66 Adventure: Even Explorers Need to Sleep!

Route 66 Adventure: Pink Elephants & Other Oddities

Route 66 Adventure: Minor Detour

Route 66 Adventure: It’s Just Water Under the Bridge

Route 66 Adventure: Route 66 State Park

Route 66 Adventure: Hanging out in Cuba & the Devil’s Elbow!

Route 66 Adventure: The End of the Tail



Route 66 Road Trip: The End of the Tail

It was day three of our Route 66 road trip and it was time to head home. We had done so much, and seen so many cool and iconic attractions! I had been to parts of the country I would have never imagined I would visit when I was living as a tobacco shop pup, chained up all day, kept in a crate at night, and only taken out for quick walks to do my business, never allowed to explore or go on adventures.

And here I was now, just a little more than a year after MaMa rescued me, waking up in a motel room in Missouri! Not only that, but I had just been taken on a road trip down a portion of the most famous road in America. How appropriate that I had been down the Mother Road with my MaMa (and brother and Pops)!

Where am I? Oh yeah, Missouri!
Where am I? Oh yeah, Missouri!

After Pop loaded up the car and we got on the road to head home, I looked at Levi and I could see he was sad that our short vacation was over. It turned out that he liked having a travel buddy to share adventures with, and he, like I, didn’t want our road trip to end!

Levi was sad that our road trip had to end.
Levi was sad that our road trip had to end.

Just as Levi and I were lamenting the end of our adventure and dreading the long and boring drive back on Interstates 44 (Missouri) and 55 (Illinois), we heard MaMa and Pop in the front seat discussing possible places to stop on the way home! They weren’t planning anymore Route 66 stops, but instead were looking for parks or natural areas we could stop at close to the highway. MaMa remembered reading about a lake in Litchfield, Ill.  She didn’t have much information, but experienced explorers (like I was becoming) know that sometimes the less you know about a place, the greater the adventure!

So, homeward we progressed, but knowing we had at least one fun place to stop on the way made the prospect of vacation ending a little less bittersweet.

When we arrived in Litchfield, we drove around a bit aimlessly until we saw a sign for a Lake Lou Yaeger boat launch. That sounded promising and turned out to be a pretty place to hang out and enjoy the lake view for a while.  MaMa and I sat and enjoyed looking at the lake, while Pop took pictures and Levi checked out the grass!

We all relax in different ways!
We all relax in different ways!
Levi Pitboxer loves rolling in the grass any chance he gets!
Levi Pitboxer loves rolling in the grass any chance he gets!
This IS the life!
This IS the life!
Levi finally got up and took a look around.
I have a great view from up there!
I have a great view from up here!
Pretty place for a family photo.
Pretty place for a family photo.
One last look around before getting back on the road.
One last look around before getting back on the road.

After enjoying the lake and stretching our legs, it was time to hit the road again and get a little bit closer to home before making another stop. MaMa drove this leg of the trip, so Pops was left in charge of finding the next place to stop. Lucky for us, he is excellent at finding places to explore! He found a great place to stop called the Railsplitter State Park (also known as the Edward R. Madigan State Fish & Wildlife Area) along Salt Creek in Lincoln, Ill., just 30 minutes north of Springfield on I-55.

We found a nice trail right along the creek and did some exploring in the woods. Some of our favorite adventures are in the forest, with all of the trees, and other plants to smell and this one had a creek for even more sensory pleasures!

Levi loved checking out the creek!
Levi loved checking out the creek!
There is so much to check out!
There is so much to check out!
I wanted to see what was going on too!
I wanted to see what was going on too!
Enough of that, let's check out the rest of this place.
Enough of that, let’s check out the rest of this place.
Let's see where this trail heads.
Let’s see where this trail heads.

We took our time at this park because it was the last stop before heading home, and none of us wanted our little adventure to end. To think, it had all started just because MaMa watched the movie, Cars by herself one night and decided that Route 66 looked like something that would be fun and interactive for our mixed species family. And she wasn’t wrong, as it definitely offered adventure for both humans and canines alike. Something else our little trip did was convince MaMa that we are all meant to travel together! Knowing how well Levi and I behave on road trips allowed her and Pop to plan other trips that we’ve taken since this epic journey down the Mother Road. I hope you will take those trips with us as well as I relive them in future blogs.

Looking forward to our next trip. Thanks for the memories Route 66!
Looking forward to our next trip. Thanks for the memories Route 66!

Next stop…Arizona here we come!










Route 66 Road Trip: Hanging out in Cuba & the Devil’s Elbow!

By the time we finished up at the Route 66 State Park it was getting pretty late in the afternoon, and we didn’t have time for many more stops. Taking this into consideration, MaMa decided we should head to Cuba! No, not the Cuba that’s 90 miles south of Key West, Fla. in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, but the Cuba that is a destination spot on Route 66! Two of the reasons why it is a popular stop, the Wagon Wheel Motel & Missouri Hick BBQ restaurant, are right next door to each other, which made it a no-brainer when deciding where we should go next.

Route 66 will take you to Cuba!
Route 66 will take you to Cuba!

The Wagon Wheel Motel is the oldest continuously operating motel on all of Route 66. It was built in 1935 by Robert & Margaret Mathis, and consisted of a cafe, filling station (which was operated for a time by the Standard Oil Co.), and cabins.

The Wagon Wheel Motel still looks like it did in the 1930's!
The Wagon Wheel Motel still looks like it did in the 1930’s!

There is also an iconic sign that lights up on Neon at night, to help guide travelers to their destination! We were there during the day, so unfortunately we didn’t get to see the sign all lit up, but it still looked pretty cool!

Pop and Levi in front of the iconic Wagon Wheel Motel sign.

We toured the grounds of the hotel and enjoyed the ambiance and feeling of being back in a different era! I even found a pumpkin that looked just like me! MaMa and I found a place to sit and relax, and Levi found a foreboding “NO Vacancy” sign the he made look even scarier! He also found the old Standard Oil station, which is no longer open for business as a filling station, but still sports the old sign.

Just a couple of cute, little, white pumpkins.
A relaxing spot to sit and pretend like it was 1935.
A relaxing spot to sit and pretend like it was 1935.
Don't even TRY to get a room from Levi Pitboxer!
Don’t even TRY to get a room from Levi Pitboxer!
Standard Oil no longer sold here.
Standard Oil no longer sold here.

After having a good look around the hotel, we decided to go next door and check out Missouri Hick Bar-B-Q. It was getting close to dinner time, and we were all a little hungry from our busy day of Route 66 adventures. We hadn’t even considered eating there and figured we would have a quick look around and then eat fast food again that night, but MaMa noticed they had benches on a front porch, and decided to go inside and ask what their policy was for dogs.

We got MaMa all tangled up!
We got MaMa all tangled up!

As luck would have it, they allowed dogs to sit out on their front porch, so MaMa and Pop were able to have a proper meal, instead of one all wrapped up to go! They got the pulled pork sandwiches, which are served with the sauce on the side, so Levi and I also got to try some. Oh boy, it sure was exciting eating at an excellent restaurant and trying some of the local cuisine. I could get used to that! I was very well behaved and sat on a chair next to MaMa waiting patiently for a taste. We got lots of curious looks from fellow diners entering the restaurant. They probably didn’t see too many dogs eating there! But Levi and I give it two paws up!

Tempting me with a delicious morsel!
Tempting me with a delicious morsel!
"Oh YUM that is good!"
“Oh YUM that is good!”

By the time we finished dinner, daylight was waning and we only had time for one more stop. There is an unincorporated town in the Ozarks right on Route 66 that MaMa had read a lot about, and with a name like Devils Elbow, we just had to make it the last stop on our two day tour of the Mother Road. We had to drive about 45 minutes to get there from Cuba, but considering it is in one of the most beautiful parts of Missouri, we didn’t mind going a little out of our way. We arrived with just enough light left in the sky to snap a few pictures that don’t in any way do the area justice! And if you’re wondering how a town could get such an unusual name, it is named after a particularly bad bend in the Big Piney River that was a “Devil of an Elbow” for lumberjacks who used to float logs down the river, which would often get stuck at that point.

Imagine getting mail postmarked with "Devil's Elbow"?
Imagine getting mail postmarked with “Devils Elbow”?
The Ozarks are such a beautiful part of the U.S.
The Ozarks are such a beautiful part of the U.S.
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There was just enough light left to snap a couple pictures of the Big Piney River and rock cliffs in Devils Elbow.

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After another fun but exhausting day on Route 66, we were ready to head to our hotel, the Rustic Motel in Rolla Mo. It wasn’t the most glamorous of accommodations, but we were too tired to care. Being adventurous road trippers is tiring business, and we were all ready for a good night’s sleep. We had the return home ahead of us the next day, and since we never knew just where exactly the road would lead us to, we wanted to be well rested and ready for anything!

Sharing a bed with Levi, the bed hog!
Sharing a bed with Levi, the bed hog!



Route 66 Road Trip: Minor Detour

After checking out the oddities outside the Pink Elephant Antique Mall and exploring the adjoining neighborhood, it was time to head back to our motel, eat some breakfast and hit the road. We had another full day of Route 66 adventures planned and wanted to hit the road early. There was so much to see and 148 miles to cover that day! We were going to be driving all the way to Missouri! That was a brand new state for me to visit (only my third state ever), and MaMa had never been there either. She had grown up living so close to the Show Me State, but had never visited it. How exciting that we were going to be able to explore this new territory for the first time, together.

Pop was preparing our breakfast, and MaMa was packing up, getting ready to leave, while Levi Pitboxer and I sat and watched the proceedings. We were all surprised when we heard Pop exclaim, “Oh shit, I forgot Levi’s medicine at home!!”

(Levi was taking a course of antibiotics for an infection and it was very important that he not miss a day of it, otherwise it might end up not working at all, or it could even get worse!)

Levi and I looked at each other, because we rarely heard Pop swear at all! He doesn’t have a potty mouth like MaMa…

“Are you sure? Did you look everywhere?” asked MaMa

“Yes, I looked with all of the dog stuff and with my stuff, in all my bags. It’s not here! We might have to go home because he can’t go a day and a half without taking it.”

We all just sat there for a minute feeling despair at the prospect of having to cut our adventure short.

MaMa and Pop started talking about possible solutions, and at one point Pop even considered driving all the way home and back, but that would have been three hours each way, and wouldn’t have been fun for him at all!  Plus, by the time he got back, we wouldn’t have been able to do much of anything on our Day Two itinerary.

I looked up at MaMa and I could tell she was devastated. She had spent weeks planning this road trip and felt utterly disappointed at the prospect of cutting it short by nearly two days. And then, it was as if a light-bulb went off in her head.

“When I used to work at the Vet, I would sometimes get calls from people asking us to call in their dog’s prescription at a different veterinarian’s office when they moved or were on vacation, and the Docs did it all the time! It’s almost 8:00 now, why don’t I call and see if they will do that?!”

“Hmmmm, you think they’ll do that?” asked Pop, while MaMa nodded. “Well, first let’s see if we can find a vet nearby that they can call it in to.”

They both got on their phones and started looking up veterinarian’s offices in the area, and after 3 failed attempts, MaMa found one that was open and most importantly, willing to fill Levi’s prescription for us as long as our vet called it in!! And the best thing was, it was only about 20 minutes out of our way. How lucky was that? It looked as if our road trip wasn’t going to be cut short after all.

The final step was for MaMa to call our vet and find out if they would call in the prescription for us. As soon as they opened, she called and left a message with the receptionist, who said she would talk to the doctor and get back to us. I sat there with my paws crossed, hoping they would call us back soon. I guess there was always the chance that they’d be too busy, and that we’d have to wait, or that our vet wouldn’t agree to call it in. Finally, after the longest half hour of my life, we heard back from them! They agreed to call in Levi’s prescription!!

We were all so happy and relieved. It was a minor detour and the whole incident set us back an hour or so, but in the long run, it wasn’t that big of a deal. MaMa felt good for keeping a level head and coming up with a solution quickly. Lucky for us all she had experience working at a Veterinarian’s office and knew exactly what we needed to do! Our Route 66 adventure was going to continue as planned!!

Route 66 Road Trip: Pink Elephants & Other Oddities

I woke up on day two of our Route 66 road trip and for a second I forgot where I was! I’d never slept (or woken up) in a motel before and I had to look, and then sniff around before I remembered.

“Oh yeah”, I woofed to myself, “I’m not at home. I’m on a road trip! Woof Woof!!”

My little bark woke up Levi, who proceeded to jump off the bed and shake his head. The sound of his ears whipping around woke up MaMa and Pops, and before you knew it, we were up and ready to hit the ground running before 7:00 AM!

MaMa had chosen this particular motel, not only because it is located about half-way on Route 66 from our road trip’s ending point, but also because it has an Antique Mall with all sorts of interesting and some crazy things to look at. We decided to walk over there and see what there was to gawk at.

The Pink Elephant Antique Mall (which is named after the giant pink, yes pink, elephant that stands out front) is home to many oddities, as well as being located in an old high school and housing two stories worth of different antique dealers. We didn’t get to take a look inside, but the outdoors, where we prefer to hang out, had plenty for us to explore.


We saw another Muffler Man, who reportedly spent his early years in Kentucky, but now makes his home in Livingston. He can be seen from the road, wearing a bright orange Harley Davidson shirt, beckoning travelers to stop and say Hello. Levi did just that!


We also saw Alvin & the Chipmunks hanging out in front of the mall. They made some kind of crack about me not being tall enough to hang out with them. Those rodents really have some nerve!  I quickly moved along.


MaMa and I checked out a 1968 Futuro House, which was designed by a Finnish architect, but somehow made its way to this mall to hang out with all of the other oddities. I think it has found an appropriate home, since it sits next to a building that looks like an ice cream cone!



Of course Levi had to check out the namesake for this wild and wacky establishment, while MaMa and I wandered over to the ice cream building, and caught a glimpse of a 20 foot tall man in swim trunks! All of these curious attractions have their own unique history and there are many stories about their origins to be told on another day, perhaps by another dog.



Once we’d had our fill of all the strange and silly statues and structures, we took a quick walk around this small Central Illinois town before hitting the road for more Route 66 Adventures! But first, one last smell of that giant’s foot!! BOL!



Route 66 Road Trip: Sugar Creek Covered Bridge

It had been a delightful day filled with a plethora of Route 66 adventures, and we only had time for one last stop before winding down for the night. MaMa’s map had many interesting and fun sounding stops on it, and it was difficult to choose where to go, since we’d have to leave so many places unseen (for now).

Since we’d already had a lot of excitement that day, we decided we were ready for a quiet walk in nature, and thought the Sugar Creek covered bridge, just about a mile off the Mother Road in Glenarm, Ill. showed some promise.

Glenarm Covered Bridge

The bridge is one of only five remaining covered bridges in Illinois and the oldest of them all. There is some discrepancy as to whether it was originally constructed in 1827 or 1880, but either way, it is REALLY old, and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1978. The Illinois Department of Transportation rehabilitated the structure in 1965, and it has been closed to vehicular traffic since 1984. It is now part of a local park and open to foot traffic only. There are some trails adjacent to the bridge, so it was a perfect place for us to stop.

Glenarm-Levi Covered Bridge

Once we arrived at the park and began walking towards the bridge, we knew we had made the right choice for our final stop of the day. There was nobody else there, the sun was beginning its rapid descent and giving off a gorgeous glow behind the trees, and the park had a quiet peacefulness that we were all yearning for, after such a hectic (but super fun) day.

Glenar Sunshine Silhouette Covered Bridge

Walking up to and through the covered bridge, you could feel the history of it palpitating from the walls, the roof and the ground beneath, as if it were a living & breathing thing. I felt as if I could smell the past and all of the people and pooches who had been through there before me. If only those walls could talk! I wouldn’t be able to understand them, but it would still be pretty cool!

Glenar Covered Bridge GiGi

Sugar Creek which is traversed by the bridge, is a tributary of the Sangamon River and eventually discharges into Lake Springfield. The area surrounding it was settled shortly after the War of 1812 because of its fertile prairie ground and for being one of the southernmost habitats for Sugar Maple trees in Illinois.

Glenarm Covered Bridge Chuck Levi

The fertility of the area is evident today, as the park and nearby trails were full of trees and offered us a beautiful place to walk around and explore. It was a perfect final stop to a near perfect day (sorry Funks Grove) on historic Route 66.

Glenar Covered Bridge 2