Midwest Wanderer Newsletter – August 1, 2022

The Return to Casey, Illinois

We promised our granddaughter, Carmela, we’d take her on a short trip as a birthday gift. Right away she said, “I want to go to Casey.” Casey, Illinois, is home to the world’s largest—well, a dozen different things.

We first wrote about Casey last year, which you can read here.

For Carmela, Casey is a day trip, since she lives only about an hour from there. “I don’t care,” she said. “That’s where I really want to go.” She had been there on a group outing, but her group didn’t have time to go into the world’s largest mailbox. That’s what she mainly wanted to do.

Easy enough. This past week, we spent the better part of a day exploring Casey, whose motto is “Big Things Small Town.” Besides all of the “world’s largest” things, there are more oversized objects sprinkled throughout the town. We created a video of the fun we had exploring these fun roadside attractions. Watch it here.

Big Oops!

Have you ever gotten into a wrong car thinking it was yours?

While we were in Casey, we saw oversized nails that we wanted to photograph. Skip turned the corner, dropped Carmela and me off and said he’d wait in a parking spot just ahead.

We snapped our photo, came back around the corner and headed to the car. Just feet away from the vehicle, Skip backed out. Then, inches from us reaching the door handle, he sped off.

And then I saw the license plate. Not our car!

We probably scared that poor driver half to death.

It turns out Skip had driven around the block and pulled up as we made our way back onto the sidewalk.

TABASCO® Self-Guided Factory Tour

Do you like hot pepper sauce? Or factory tours? While we were in Louisiana this past winter, we happened to stay not too far from Avery Island, where TABASCO® products are produced. TABASCO® offers a self-guided factory tour, which we felt was well worth taking.

Afterwards, we did a quick self-guided driving tour of Jungle Gardens, created by the TABASCO® founder’s son and first opened to the public in 1935.

Read about it here.

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

– Anonymous

In Case You Missed It…

If you’re a train buff, check out our video of last year’s road trip in which we “chased” the restored Union Pacific steam locomotive, Big Boy 4014, through Kansas.

Watch it here.

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It’s State Fair Time!

Food on a stick. Butter cows. Hog-calling contests. Amusement rides. Grandstand concerts and tractor pulls.

It’s time for state fairs! Most Midwest state fairs are held in August, with a couple in July and some running into September.

To be honest, we’ve only been to one state fair—ever. That was in our home state of Illinois. We enjoyed it and would love to visit other states’ fairs. We just never seem to carve the time to do it.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Iowa State Fair, one of the largest and best known in the United States. And I understand the lines are long for cream puffs at the Wisconsin State Fair.

Let us know which state fair(s) you recommend and what makes them special in the Comments below.

Here are the dates for this year’s fairs and links to fair information.

Illinois                   August 11-21

Indiana                 July 29 – August 21

Iowa                      August 11-21

Kansas                  September 9-18

Michigan              September 1-5

Minnesota          August 25 – September 5

Missouri              August 11-21

Nebraska             August 26 – September 5

North Dakota     Sorry! This one was in July.

Ohio                   July 27 – August 7

South Dakota     September 1-5

Wisconsin            August 4-14

carnival rides

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