Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site

My absolute favorite part of any road trip is the unexpected. I am headed in one direction, plans on the brain, and then BAM, something presents itself that could be just as interesting, if not more. I was headed on my way to Casey, among the rows of Corn, hoping I wasn’t about to be a part of a Stephen King novel, and then I saw a sign for Lincoln’s Cabin. Having just been in Springfield and Lincoln, IL, I had been on a Lincoln “kick” so I thought, why not?LogCabin1Here’s the reality of it…and it’s still cool, just not what I thought it was. This is the site of Abe’s FATHER’S cabin, Thomas Lincoln. So its yes a “Lincoln Cabin” but not Abe’s. When Abe’s mother died, Thomas Lincoln got remarried to Sarah Johnston, they followed other family members from Indiana to Central Illinois. Abraham followed them, but decided to start his own home in Sangamon County. Thomas and his crew settled in near Decatur in Coles County. Here they built the saddle-bag type cabin, which is basically two large rooms joined together.LogCabin2LogCabin4Over the years, they would host up to 18 family members of the Lincoln line here. Abraham was busy being a lawyer and in state legislation, so he would visit when he could, making his final visit as President once the train line from Springfield was laid.LogCabin10LogCabin6Parking was free and it is free to tour the Lincoln Farm. The cabin was NOT open to tour while I was there (Covid-July 25th, 2020) YET the Gift Shop was open! I know, right? But I was able to go into the Visitors Center, look at all of the exhibits (masks required), and then walk the farm amongst the sheep and pigs just running around you.  It’s a beautiful area, I can see why they chose that spot. The cabin was recreated in the early 1900’s because the original was taken apart and displayed in Chicago somewhere. It looks original, I can tell you that, expect for the ugly blue doors someone painted.LogCabin5LogCabin8LogCabin9LogCabin7The gift shop was probably the most hilarious part as it sells of the “Abe” stuff on top of some really cute “country” type gifts. I picked up a really neat patch work pillow with the U.S. on it- reminded me of my travels.LogCabinPillowIs it worth it? Well, if you happen to be in the area, near Casey, then yes, history is important and to be where the family all were is really cool. But is it worth a detour? Well, during Covid, it’s something to do FREE and OUTDOORS so that’s a win, win. But hours out of the way for it? No. I enjoyed it and I hope you love the pictures, check it out when you are these neck of the woods. More Lincoln, yes please! Check it out HERE. Enjoy!

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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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My Journey to Meet Punxsutawney Phil

RoadTripLogoEverything starts with an idea right? Well I had been blessed with a Road Trip in 2017 where I drove up from Florida, into the East, up into the Midwest and back. It was life changing, and I knew that I had the travel bug, or as my Uncle Curt would say “Wanderlust is strong with this one” meaning me. So when I planned a bigger, longer road trip for 2018, I wanted to plan as much as possible, while still leaving in the dreaming and surprises. One of the stops that I have had on my bucket list for quite some time, was meeting the Groundhog, Phil himself, and getting to see where they host the ever famous “Groundhogs Day” Celebration. So hop in my car with me, there’s room for one more, don’t mind the fast food wrappers and red vines, and let’s head to Punxsutawney.

The day was July 31st, 2018..so about 18 months ago from this post being written. I had just been to the 9/11 area the day before, so I had driven about 3-4 hours to get to Punxsutawney to check-in around lunch. A beautiful hotel, I quickly grabbed the stuff I needed and headed up to the Park (It’s up on a large hill). The Park? Gobblers Knob, which seriously is the best name of a Park by far! I was so geeked out of my mind rolling up to the sign, I couldn’t contain my happiness.IMG_0871
It was a warm day in July, I honestly didn’t expect to see much of anyone or anything because it wasn’t the Season for it. I thought I’d grab some pics, go find lunch, and then chill at my Hotel. But what I found after I drove in a bit farther, was a Man who was greeting myself and others who came in after me, as an almost Council man type figure for the groundhog himself. He brought us all up to the stage where they have the ceremony, and right away I could feel the fun energy in this place. He told us the story of how Phil drinks a special “elixir” every couple of years, which makes him live forever. I loved this part of the story, because it just added that something magical for especially children to believe in. They said that the stump they remove him from for the big reveal moment, at first, Phil had learned to burrow into the ground underneath it and they panicked trying to find him one year. So they had to build a bottom into it, and I believe they said it is heated. They only put him in a couple of hours before the reveal, and then whisk him away right after the celebration. The Council of Men who take care of him and this sacred place are not only very serious about their furry friend, but passionate about the celebration. Honestly it was refreshing to hear someone so love their hobby and somewhat job without sarcasm, just pure joy. IMG_0890
He took my picture on stage, and by Phil’s reveal spot, and told us more about Bill Murray and how he came out one year to watch the Festival quietly in the background so that he wasn’t recognized. It was the year before the movie was made, so he was researching for the part. Also fun fact, the home that is the Bed and Breakfast that you repeatedly see in the movie is in Woodstock, Illinois, where a lot of the movie was filmed. I was surprised at how small this area was, for when you see it on TV, I thought it was a baseball stadium sized area, and it’s more like a public park area.


He handed out coins, stickers, bookmarks, buttons and a brochure about Phil. The coin was my favorite and I put it in a special place in my car that day, and it’s still there today! It’s just one of those things that’s just really cool to look at and remember what a cool day that was. After, I headed into town to have lunch at the infamous “Punxy Phils” which is your normal diner, but while there, you must partake in all that is Phil.IMG_0873

After I had a delicious Chef Salad, I headed downtown to find the furry guy myself. He is kept in the towns library, in a very nice, large habitat. He wasn’t up for autographs or pictures that day, so honestly I probably saw Phil’s butt. Meh, it’s something. I asked him to turn around but he wasn’t having it.

So after meeting Phil’s butt, I headed into the town more, and it’s about the size of every little town you can think of. It’s Main Street had the typical bank, gas station, and McDonalds. Yes, Phil likes his burgers, I can only assume. They had one tiny little gift shop dedicated to Phil, and it was donned with all sorts of Groundhog merch. I bought a magnet because that’s all I felt I wanted there. And that was basically it for my day. The rain started up and I just hunkered down in my hotel room with my laptop and Netflix and streamed the rest of the day while grazing on red vines.IMG_0877
Is it worth it? Heck yeah! It’s cool to see it without the stampede of people there for the Celebration, but I heard its an amazing party if you can make it for the actual day. I also loved being in shorts and not freezing my arse off for it, so you know, you do what you want to do. I hope you enjoyed this walk down memory lane with me today, as it is GROUNDHOGS DAY today and he DID NOT see his shadow….early Spring y’all. Yeah it doesn’t affect me in Florida but YAY for everyone else! On a side note, I now know how to spell Punxsutawney over and over again.

Donations for Content

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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What We Got Rid Of Before Moving to Florida, and What Found it’s Way Back to Us

If you remember our EPIC GARAGE SALE, we had tossed, sold, and gave away quite a bit of stuff. The goal was to get to FL as lightly as possible, and with only packing two vehicles up, we didn’t have much room to work with.  So here’s what happened AFTER the move, after we have lived here for two years now… did we accumulate all the stuff back? Read on.

First off, I am happy of what we got rid of, truly. I remember looking at that basement full of scrapbook supplies, endless knick knacks, and wondering HOW we were going to get rid of it all. It’s seriously a daunting task when you have parked it somewhere for awhile and you realize how much you have to go through.  Honestly, MANY have told me they won’t even think about moving because the mere thought of the “stuff” they would have to move or get rid of is too much to even bother with.  To that I say, it is a very freeing experience to let go of the stuff, and let in the peace of empty spaces.

For all the stuff we got rid of, it felt more like closing that chapter in our lives. That stuff belonged with THAT chapter, and the new would belong in this one.  It also had to do with the fact that we had owned a number of things since the beginning of time- there just wasn’t any need to keep the couch where I accidentally burned it with my embossing desk or the recliner that barely sat up anymore.  New life, new things.

So when we got here, I blogged early on how we were wondering why we got rid of certain items that would have been helpful.  Not dire, but hey when you just want to throw on a pizza and you sold the pizza maker, it was a bummer to say the least.  I have come to the conclusion that even if you don’t have room for it, try to find a way to bring what you use all the time from your previous location.  It’s not only nice to have, but it is a small reminder of the life you had before the next step.   We brought a Pampered Chef spatula with us, even though we didn’t need or have to- it’s a great spatula and it reminds me of the friend who had the party where I bought it from.

Now that we have lived here for over 2 years, I look around and I can hear my Dad in my head saying “Aww Amy, you know you will find a way to fill your house up again.”  I rolled my eyes,  hugged him, and hoped he wouldn’t be right.  Yup, Dad was right. Well, maybe half right.  You see, I gave up scrapbooking so nothing like that is here. And I have no basement so there is no way to “fill” an entire other floor- so thank God for that. BUT we now live close to Disney World, have I mentioned that before? So of course, what would be filling my home now? Yup, you guessed it, UNIVERSAL STUDIOS MERCH! Hah, just kidding!  Disney was always part of our décor in WI, it’s just a bit more “visible” now here in our FL home.

Also, did I mention we live close to an IKEA? Yeaaah, we weren’t even remotely close to one before. Darn you Swedes and your fantastically easy to put together furnishings and delicious meatballs!!  I have to say though that they are GREAT to have nearby for the chair you might need, the end table, a desk, whatever.  We know that moving is expensive, so when you walk into an IKEA for the first time after moving, it’s like a Mecca. Seriously people should put a time limit on shopping there, you can do some major damage.010

I don’t think we have accumulated everything back, because of course, that would be impossible unless I have a basement I am not aware of or an inventory list of what we used to own.  I have traded scrapbook supplies for my blogging on my laptop, and trips to the Mall for candles to Disney World for pins and vinylmations.   I own more Disney T-Shirts now than regular shirts (working on that) and my pants supply is pretty low compared to the amount of shorts I own. No more are the days of wet boots, as they have been replaced by several pairs of sandals and flip-flops.  it just seems like we traded things.

Bring what you use, buy something new to celebrate the next chapter, and be happy that FL has no basements….but they do have garages, so be careful! LOL

Donations for Content

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!

$5.00

Part of your World – The Little Mermaid Experience

        Guest Author/Photographer: Joe Diebold

We begin our photo journey at one of the newest places in Walt Disney World, The Little Mermaid area in New FantasyLand .   First you notice  the unmistakable view of Prince Eric’s Castle  just as you remembered it from the movie.   Second you will notice is the amazing attention to detail in the area, from the stone arches to the waterfalls.  As you make your way to the ride you will see the front part of a ship, as if a storm had washed it up on the shore. On the front of the ship you will see none other then Princess Ariel as she is reaching out to the sky.

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        The queue line is rather long but that is not necessarly a bad thing.  In the queue  you will see more items from the washed up ship. There are also hidden items such the nautilus carving from the 20,000 leagues under the sea and hidden mickeys.  As you continue through the queue you are taken into the coral and you will find many of the items Ariel has collected.  The best thing about this part is the interactive aspect.  Find the blue crabs and help them organize the items they find, it really is pretty cool to see.  I suggest that even if the line is short, take your time with walking to the ride.  There is so many things to see including the  chamber area,  it starts to get a little dark – so no running!!!
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     The ride is simply breathtaking.   Hop in the Shell and off you go, under the see and on your way to see Ariels story as Disney makes it Part of your World.  All of your favorite sceens from the movie are shown on the ride and you just want to ride it again just to see it again to make sure that you didn’t miss anything.
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     When you are finished with the ride, don’t forget to head over to Ariel’s Grotto where you can meet Ariel and tell her how much you enjoyed  her story.  After your busy day, make sure to stop by the area at night and enjoy the way the area looks all lit up.  It really is a sight to see.  Until next time…enjoy the photos and have a magical day!!
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The Relocated Tourist is sponsored by “Magical Mouse Plans Travel

2013 Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival

Even with the wind as crazy as it was today, we had a blast!  I took tons of pictures for you all to see the first day of the 2013 Flower & Garden Festival.

Observations:

*The Welcome Mickey Rock and the Mickey shaped stepping stone seemed a lot “cheaper looking” this year. The ones I bought last year were black.  The ones this year have that green tint- we shall see what everyone thinks.

*The Merch as a whole was very repetitve of last year, but Dopey and Grumpy are the garden statues this year, along with a detailed Mickey and Donald one.  I heard they had Bambi one year, I would love that one!

*I like the food booths sprinkled in this year- it keeps it fresh and the food sounds wonderdful!

*The Spice Rum Dole Whips I will be indulging this Friday evening, will let you know what I think!

*We got to play with some of the Festival Characters while we visited the Festival Center- this is a great area to chill out and is normally also pretty quiet.

*There is a blog post up specifically for the Merchandise- check it out HERE.

*The Butterfly Tent was peaceful as always, and it is themed after Tink this year, who resided over near MouseGears last year.

*Where Pixie Hollow was last year, they now have “Radiator Springs” which uses Mater and McQueen from last year’s Japan display.

*Buzz Lightyear is in front of “Mission:Space” which is perfect!

*As the season goes on, I will report more on what I see and experience!

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The Relocated Tourist is sponosored by “Magical Mouse Plans Travel”