I always liked the category "Potpourri" on Jeopardy! because I never knew what to expect from this category made up of all the unselected answers from earlier shows.
Our "Potpourri" category is comprised of sights and activities in the Springfield (IL) area that would not fill an entire blog entry.
First up was a short trip to the Ariston Cafe, a historic restaurant located in Litchfield (IL), to meet with Reina, a mental health professional friend of many years and her husband, Eric. They were accompanied by their granddaughter, Skye.
The manager of the Ariston, the longest-operating restaurant along the entire stretch of Route 66, allowed us to spend almost three hours enjoying a meal and extended conversation covering topics that spanned more than a few years.
After our lunch at the wild hare cafe in Elkhart, we took a short drive to the Chapel in the Cemetery on Elkhart Hill. St. John the Baptist Chapel, a beautiful stone Episcopalian Chapel, was built in 1890 by the Culver Stone and Marble Company, in memory of John Dean Gillett.
We frequently passed by the Tuxhorn Towing Company on Sixth Street in Springfield. The pink building and pink tow trucks were certainly eye-catching.
But in contrast to the typically feminine pink are the names on the trucks. Shown here is "Thing" with a brief message: "It's Clobberin' Time." Also in the lot were "Colossus" and "Venom."
One morning our travels took us to Washington Park. There were many beautiful homes in the area surrounding the Park; three examples are shown here.
We arrived at Washington Park shortly after twelve o'clock and found a bench near an array of roses and near the Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon.
Thomas Rees was the publisher of the State Journal Register from 1881 until his death in 1933. Between 1910 and 1920, he and his wife traveled throughout Belgium and Holland and developed an intense interest in the carillon. He donated funds to construct the carillon, which was dedicated in June, 1962.
The skies were threatening, but the showers held off long enough for Dora and me to enjoy a 20-minute concert.
On our way back to Dora's, we passed this home on Sixth Street, which caught our attention.
A few blocks from Dora's, we stopped to get a better look at the Rippon-Kinsella House B & B. We had a brief conversation with the owner Roger Shmitz.
In the front yard were piles of mulch just waiting to be spread among the hostas and ferns in a large portion of the corner section. I realized once again how much I miss yard work and gardening.
This furry protector of the home was watching us during our conversation with Roger. His attempt to blend in with the colors of the flower pots was quite successful.
Downtown Springfield was busy with a variety of activities during our time there. The variety of museums and other attractions brings in tourists to complement the everyday services provided by local businesses.
In this one slice of the life of downtown, we admired the architecture of the buildings that had been preserved. The next three photos show close-up views of three building seen on the left side of the street in this photo.
Because of our interest in food-related businesses, we sought out places like Mel-O-Cream Donuts. Founded in 1932, the business has continued to grow, offering over 40 prefried items; yeast raised, cake donuts, specialty donuts; and 70 frozen dokut (yes, dokut) items throughout a dozen states in the Midwest.
Kate and I preferred the regular donuts over the Mel-O-Creams. Go figure.
One of our last stops was Del's Popcorn Shop. Del’s specialty is popcorn with flavors ranging from the traditional buttered corn, caramel corn, kettle korn (shown left to right in the photo below), cheese corn, and popcorn balls to gourmet flavors such as White Chocolate Caramel Corn, Peanut Butter Popcorn with Peanuts, Del’s Deluxe (caramel corn with almonds, pecans and coconut), Charmel Corn (cheese corn coated with caramel), and Milk, White or Dark Chocolate Popcorn and Caramel Corn.
In addition to popcorn, Del’s offers freshly roasted nuts, hand-whipped fudge, over 100 varieties of candies, hand-dipped ice cream, frozen yogurt, milkshakes, sundaes and smoothies.
The buttered popcorn came in large bags (the "Half Office" size is shown here).
The Half Office was finished off rather quickly, so a return visit resulted in "The Office" providing several evenings of enjoyment.