Route 66…Jubelt’s Bakery & Restaurant

During my travels through the great State of Illinois, my stomach started growling and no better time to get some Route 66 love into my stomach than stopping at Jubelt’s in Litchfield.

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Built on the old Route 66 in 1822, it looked like a fun diner for a spot to eat, and also get my head straight on what I would be looking at and for, next on the Mother Road. Open 6 aoum to 7pm, and yes, open even now with safety restrictions, I managed to get myself a table and cozy in for a sit.

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I loved the old diner feel it had, the whimsical decorations, the cakes and cookies under glass, and the overall feel of history as you sat there. 

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I ordered something I hadn’t had in a long time…a gool ol’ Grilled Cheese sandwich, and a mango smoothie. I know, weird combo right? But it sounded REALLY good at the time, and the prices were comfortable and kind to my wallet.

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The sandwich was one of the best I have ever had, and the mango smoothie helped clear my head right up, and the combo seemed to energize my feet to hit the road again with some energy and spring in my step.

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Most of the spots you find along Route 66 are like these…an era long ago of old cars and poodle skirts. They say a simpler time, and I think they are right. I feel at peace with all of these stops, like I belong there and it’s familiar.  I’m not anxious, I’m home, and it’s a great thing to feel when you are traveling on the road.

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Check it out, their menu and website is online, you won’t be disappointed!

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I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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Route 66…The Gemini Giant & the Launching Pad Drive-In

Picture this…the sun is setting in the Midwest, and not just a normal sunset kind of day, but the Midwest kind. The air smells dewy and sweet, the temperature a perfect 70 degrees. The sky has turned a bright orange, followed by a deep pink.  The last of my Route 66 treasures for the day, I had one left to check off before the veil of night fell completely.  I was focused, I was determined, and I was ready to see him and the Launching Pad.

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Do you remember that moment in “National Lampoons Vacation” where they are running towards Wally World, that thrill and excitement they all had of FINALLY getting to see it? So maybe I wasn’t THAT enthusiastic about this, but still, nobody feels good when you see the CLOSED sign.  I mean, at least the Giant didn’t pack it up and head home for the day (Altho entertaining that would have been to see).

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So what’s the story? Here goes. They refurbished a bunch of these iconic fiberglass “Muffler Men” from back in the day to sport something other than selling Mufflers. They created this one to be a Space Man holding a space ship and wearing a helmet. The location is in alignment with the timing of the space program in the 1960s in which they had Gemini Space Missions.

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Not only does the big guy watch over the Mother Road, but he also stands next to the Launching Pad Drive-In!  Now had I gotten to go in, instead of looking through the windows like some kind of creeper, I would’ve gotten to see they also had a Route 66 Welcome Center, Museum, and Gift Shop. Apparently when they Diner is in full swing, you can get a Chicago style hot dog or a fresh piece of apple pie.

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And as I wrote this, I realized something. At Magic Kingdom, found in Tomorrowland, there is a walk-up eatery called….. THE LAUNCHING PAD!  Here’s some more Disney irony….the one on Route 66 also serves Dole Whips!! I will have to add that to my “Disney around the U.S.” file.

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Still cool to see, even though I didn’t get to spend any time inside. I also traveled during the summer of some rough times, so that could also be why they stayed closed.  I hope to see it again, open, on brighter and better days. Check out their site for more information, and remember….get your kicks, on Route 66

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Route 66…Luna Café and Al Capone

Excited to find every nook and cranny on the “Mother Road” also known as Route 66 in Illinois…I found myself in the itty, bitty city of Mitchell. Because I was coming through early, the Café unfortunately was not open, and possibly not open at all due to Covid at the time. It is known to be one of the few that are still in business on Route 66.

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Built in 1924, two years before the infamous road existed, it became a hot spot for gambling and scandalous behavior. It was rumored that if the “cherry” was lit up on the famous neon sign outside, that was a sign to the women in the area that the place was ready for “entertainment.”

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On top of practically being a Brothel, the place became famous for hosting THE Al Capone. He would frequent here coming back and forth from Chicago, meeting up with many a fellow gangster between those famous walls.  You can also visit Al Capone at his grave in Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery in Hillside, IL.

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The infamous neon sign still stands today for everyone traveling down Route 66- check it out next time you’re in town!

 

 

Thank you for your support!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Disney, Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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Route 66…World’s Largest Railsplitter Covered Wagon

I don’t know what it is about Route 66 that I fell in love with…you know we all have that “moment” where we discover something new we really enjoy. For me it was this past summer in the Midwest and stumbling across a Route 66 guidebook at a Rest Area that got me hooked on finding every creavass and crack in the Route 66 family.  I wanted to know more, see more, and I couldn’t get enough of the kitschy and the obscure.  Who wouldn’t want to see old gas stations of back in the day, or a Rabbit Ranch?

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So when I found myself in Lincoln, Illinois, taking the steps of this famous President, I also found Route 66 goodies as well. Let me introduce you to the “World’s Largest Covered Railsplitter Wagon” – yes, it is in the Guiness Book of World Records. Built in 2001 by David Bentley, who actually built it on is Property where it sat until 2007 when he put it up for sale and was then purchased by Larry Van Bibber who gave it to the City where it was placed on it’s current home on Route 66.

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Standing 24 feet high, you’d think this wagon isn’t able to actually “move.” Yeah, it can actually move. Imagine seeing this huge wagon rolling down the highway during a tornado or a storm…well, it didn’t take a journey like that but it was badly damaged in a wind storm in 2014, thankfully it’s back to it’s original state now.  The hoops that hold the canvas make a natural wind tunnel that high up, so I am shocked they haven’t had more wind damage than that.

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I had read that sometimes the canvas is removed during certain times of the year, so I was really hoping it would be on when I arrived…and it was! Abe is larger than life, reading his law book in the front seat. Abe was made in Wisconsin, shout out to my home State! Now we all recognize Abe for that famous beard and top hat, but know that he only wore that as President, and wouldn’t have been sporting such a fancy look while on a covered wagon perusing the Prairie. Although, it would have been a sight to see had he had.

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Easy parking, easy to drive too. I hate the attractions off the roads where I can’t even find the entrance or there is little to no parking. If you want visitors, make it accessible, that is all I ask. And because this is such a HUGE attraction, it’s great for selfies. They have markers on the history on the base of it, and there is plenty of room to take group shots if needed.  There is a lot of land around it, so if you can’t get the whole wagon in your pics, just go out about 20 feet and you should get the pic you are searching for.

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Apparently Readers Digest named this the Number One Roadside Attraction in the U.S. ….. I beg to differ. I mean, it’s really cool, but it isn’t something that takes your breath away. If you are a Route 66 junkie, like I am becoming, this is definitely one for the scrapbook. Check it out, it’s free to enjoy, and visit more Route 66 adventures HERE.

Thank you for supporting my dreams!!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Disney, Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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Route 66… Pontiac, IL

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For every soul who is venturing on the “Mother Road,” the town of Pontiac in Illinois is a NOT MISS! Not only is this a place come to life right out of a Norman Rockwell painting, but it hosts some of the best stuff of Route 66 history. Nestled in an old Firehouse sits the Route 66 Hall of Fame Museum, along with Bob Waldmire’s famous Road Yacht and VW Bus in which he drove the entire Route. He also famously documented his adventures while painting beautiful murals along the way.  In fact, in Disney’s Movie “CARS” they pay homage to the great man with the Volkswagon Microbus named “Filmore.” He started his travels in the Microbus and then later expanded to his Road Yacht.  Sadly due to Covid, the Museum wasn’t open, BUT, his vehicle sits in the parking lot in the back of the building so you can get pics with it and look inside, just can’t go in. 

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The Museum is also known for one of the largest and coolest “Route 66” Murals on the road itself! Best selfie here for you and the family, and it’s HUGE so everyone will be able to be in the picture and still see the infamous sign. And while you are at that spot, check out the wishing well on the right of that, another famous spot for Route 66.

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Also there is a Murals on Main Street Tour that I just walked on my own. I parked at the Museum lot, free of charge, and then after exploring around that area, I followed the Murals around town.  20 in total, they were created in 2009 during the Waldogs Summer Bash. All outside, they are all in close proximity of a couple of city blocks, and it was easy to walk. It’s a sleepy, little town, so it was a peaceful walk as I took pics and enjoyed the summer breeze. I was there on a Sunday afternoon, August 23rd, 2020, so maybe that’s why it was so quiet. Either way, I love to tour small towns when I can take the time to look and not feel rushed by the busy lives there. I highly encourage checking out this Town, so much to see and enjoy- put this stop high on your Route 66 bucket list!

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Route 66… Polk-A-Dot Drive-In

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Located in Braidwood, Illinois, on 222 North Front Street (Old Route 66), this beauty of a place was what I was craving after a long day of adventuring. From the adorable turning sign (reminded me of CARS) to the pop culture icons spread in and outside the Restaurant, this was another “experience” type place, not just a cheeseburger and fries. The wait was short to order, and they were encouraging the 6 feet apart for ordering and dining inside, masks on for everyone. The food took about 15 minutes to get, as they make it all fresh here. As I waited I used the restroom, and it was FILLED with Elvis. I peaked into the Mens, and saw that they had all Marilyn Monroe. I wound up taking my food outside to enjoy at a picnic table while I watched the spinning sign on a beautiful summer evening. Before I headed out, I took pics of the inside of the Drive-In, great movie memorabilia all over the place.

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Even if you weren’t hungry, I would stop here for just the photo opps! They have an Elvis statue inside and out, Superman with his phone booth (yes you can go in it!!), Blue Brothers dancing, Betty Boop, James Dean and Marilyn Monroe on the other side, and all outside so if the place is closed, you can still stop for photos!

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The story behind this colorful spot is something small businesses are made of. In 1956, Chester “Chet” Fife had the idea to serve fast food out of his school bus, dressed up in polka dots! It became a success which moved him on to bigger and better things, which is the building that now stands on that spot today.

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My cheeseburger and fries were delicious, the prices were reasonable, and it was worth it alone just for the pictures. Check them out on your next trip on Route 66!

Route 66… Soulsby’s Service Station

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Found in Mount Olive, Illinois along old Route 66, the exact address being 710 West First Street, is Soulsby’s Service Station. First let me start off by saying that the gas pumps were being refurbished on the day I visited, which was Sunday, August 23rd, 2020. I had been warned by the nice gal who worked at the Antique Mall about the refurbishment, but it was on my way so I thought I would still stop by for a pic.

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Soulsby’s is the oldest Service Station on Old Route 66 in Illinois that is still to it’s truest form as you would’ve found it back in 1926. A man by the name of Henry Soulsby planned on his service station capitalizing on the first transnational highway, known as Route 66. What he didn’t plan on is that the Route would wind another way, leaving his dreams of large traffic literally in the dust. Not until four years later would the Mother Road be re-routed again, and right past his Station! Since then, they have tried to keep the pumps and the building kept up to it’s original beauty. What I looked for on what to see with these roadside attractions were if they had history, and if they were in the Route 66 Hall of Fame, and this one was! It’s a sweet little stop to make, sadly it wasn’t open to tour during Covid. Understandable, but I got some great pics, including the Route 66 painted on the road right in front of it. Check out more of my Route 66 travels and other adventures. Thanks for stopping by!

Route 66… Pink Elephant Antique Mall

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With all the fun and folklore you can find along Route 66, lies an Antique Mall that is ripe for the picking of a collector’s heart. Known for my love of yard sales and a good deal, this was my right up my ally. Although I find yard sales to always be cheaper, antique malls hold so much more history and mystery, that it’s always worth the walk through.

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Found in Livingston, Illinois, at 908 Veterans Memorial Drive (yes still off Route 66), on this day of Sunday, August 23rd, 2020, you can’t miss this place if you tried! A large pink elephant sits in front of a truck trailer, along with a spaceship, an animal group, a large tricycle, large statues of people, a T-Rex, and more elephants popping out ot the Malls walls. Yes, you read that right. I can’t even begin to tell you what a playground this is for the eyes, and honestly it’s a blogger’s dream come true. So much to see, so much to share.

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Attached to the Antique Mall is a Candy Shop, Diner and also an Ice Cream Parlor. Boasting outside that it holds the largest cat clock, which they had TWO of, it’s a plethora of a dream and nightmare rolled into one. You know the movies where you saw Grandpa sitting by the front door becuase he’s got nothing better to do? Yes, well that’s this place. Two of them sitting there, as I placed my mask on upon entering I was whistled at by the men who probably glued their teeth in that day. Sorry boys, I am here for the goods, and not yours. Masks are required here, and honestly if you don’t know, just wear one regardless, it just covers your bases.

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I walked the many aisles of items, they laid it out really nicely. What happens to me at Antique Malls though is that the same stuff is shown over and over again in different booths with sadly the same pricing. I still can’t get over seeing my Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox that I used in the 80s being sold for $30. Not ready to accept my age yet LOL. It took me about 90 minutes to get through it all, the second floor, and the stage area (must’ve been an old gymnasium or rec building).

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Finding nothing that I wanted to bring home, antique wise, I headed to the Candy shop to look for licorice wheels (the obsession thanks to the ones at Disney) and grabbed some chocolate turtles for the car ride to the next Route 66 spot. OH- I also bought a Route 66 magnet for my travels and a sign for my office-they have some great Route 66 souvenirs here! I think this is a great spot to stretch your legs, get cat called by old men, maybe find a hidden treasure, and leave with a belly full of chocolate or ice cream. And if none of that interests you, stop by and get some great selfies! Where else you going to find a large pink elephant next to a spaceship? That’s right, I didn’t think so! Enjoy and make sure to check out the rest of my Route 66 Travels and the rest of my adventures.