Day Three of our Road Trip Across America - Americana

If you, ever plan to motor west....  We started our day in Naperville, a beautiful suburb of Chicago at Country Inn & Suites.  Our initial stop was to see a large clock on the Riverwalk area which to my dismay I did not get to wander around too much since it was raining - but the area looked beautiful and the people were so friendly.

We headed East toward a town called Atlanta, Illinois to see a Beardless Paul Bunyan on what used to be part of Route 66.  What is interesting is that Paul Bunyan is a common character in Minnesota, but he was a familar piece of Americana on Route 66 back in the day and there were and still are several statues of him along the Route.  Here we saw a massive statue of him holding a hot dog in a bun, which normally in our area he is portrayed with his axe and Babe, his blue ox. 
Our next Suite Stop was right across the street to a historic diner called Palms Grill.  I was all over a place like this - the vintage food, the atmosphere - even the waitress had on a vintage apron.  As soon as she started talking to me I said 'well, we have obviously crossed the border to the southern accent!' - she laughed.  I have always found the southern accent to be so inviting - I love it. 

What was on the menu?  Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and something called Ponyshoes.  I ordered the meatloaf because I wanted to find out how this area prepared their version.  It was thick and homey, and served with mashed potatoes and loaded with gravy!  It was studded with grated Vidalia onion and sage - YUM! 
Ponyshoes, what is it?!  It's a piece of bread, topped with your choice of meat (here is sliced turkey), then topped with french fries and covered with melted cheese sauce.  I have to admit, I would have eaten it - heart attack on a plate please!  Paired with a bottle of Route 66 Root Beer or homemade Cherry Coke - it was classic Americana Food.

We finished off our dinner with a slice of home-made rhubarb pie that had been topped with crystal sugar - it was delicious.

Our next destination took us to a little town called Mount Olive and another part of Route 66 - one of the original Soulsby's Shell Gas Stations on the Route which still stands today and is maintained.  It was interesting to see something of that age still upheld and appreciated - you can never know where you are going unless you see where you have been.  The vintage gas pumps were nostalgic of a time when life was simpler - easier.

Onward to our last stop of the day and to our resting place, Country Inn & Suites - St. Charles, MO.  What a beautiful building and location.  As usual, the bedding is sublime - supreme comforters and amazing pillows.  I seriously have bedding like this in my own home - it's that nice!

We walked down the street a couple of minutes to the local shopping district - LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.  All the vintage buildings, shops and restaurants.  I actually saw an empty space that inspired me to consider opening up a kitchen store/cooking class shop - it is just the perfect space.  I have committed myself to coming back to this amazing area in the next six months to spend a week - relaxation and an education to learn about the history of beautiful St. Charles.  This area although new to me, is instantly a very special place to decompress and enjoy the beauty life has to offer.  You simply must come and stay for a spell...

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  1. I love the look of that Country Inn! Although the Pony shoes look nasty. We people from Wisconsin would never eat cheese "sauce":)

    Sounds like you're having a great time. I'm having fun following.

  2. Love this recap! I should have had you grab me a Route 66 root beer bottle, they are so cute! I'm glad you're having fun and I'm having fun following along!

    I love this Country!

  3. Now I'm jealous from my current home town (Mpls) to my childhood home town St. Charles. I agree that South Main Street is an amazing and timeless place. Also really neat in December with an Old Town Christmas atmosphere, chestnuts roasting on an open fire by a caped vendor and Santa Clauses of all times/regions strolling the sidewalk. Enchanting any time of year.