I’m not one to sort of sit and cry over spilled milk. I’m too busy looking for the next cow. – GR

Who knew that a quick weekend trip after New Years to see my Ohio family would have such a dairy theme? The day I left I looked at my maps and various websites and a theme ran through the silly sights I found: cows. I was going to see some fake cows and name a band I will never start: The Veiny Udders. Also ice cream. Plenty of ice cream.

I once tried to make an awesome mix CD with a cow theme. Unfortunately it never materialized beyond the few songs I was able to find like Cows with Guns and Johnny Socko’s I like Cows. How awesome would it have been to put this mix on repeat for my journey? Probably not awesome at all. Either way my first stop was less than a mile from Dr. Jen’s house! How convenient that moments into my trip I was already kissing fake cows.

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Good stuff! I love how she’s coyly looking away as I try to smooch her. Tease.

Cow/Stop # 2 was The Dairyland Cow, a 13 footer originally made for a now defunct milk and ice cream store. It’s impossible to miss as it’s in a wide open field just off Hwy 655 at the entrance to Hameau Farm summer camp and artist retreat. It was here that the band name The Veiny Utter was born…the inspiration was obvious…

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And for the final stop of the day, we saw the giant cow on top of Kelly’s steakhouse! Advertised as a Giant Cow, I cannot say I was let down. As Jen is a vegetarian, we didn’t eat here. Just zoomed in for a quick picture and left. Funny aside, the lady who took the picture for us was illegally parking in Kelly’s lot and going next door to a raucous bar!

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All of those cows! We certainly couldn’t keep on the dairy theme, could we? There can’t possibly be more cow statues in Pennsylvania, right? Strap in and prepare for more milk themed antics! We took my aunt on a trip to Sharon, PA to visit Daffin’s Candies for their Chocolate Kingdom, home of the 400lb chocolate turtle!!!

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I didn’t get a bite obviously. In fact, not sure I’d want it. Who knows how long that stuff has been sitting out. I’m not 100% sure it’s even real chocolate. Either way it was cute and I left with some chocolate swag.

Please take time to enjoy more sweet photos of the store.

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Note: the statue of Paul “Pete” Daffin is bronze not chocolate.

20190104_113139Apparently I have two things in common with Dave Grohl. First is he often vacations at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware which is essentially the only beach I go to. Second is he is from Warren, Ohio just like me! That’s where any similarities end. I can’t grow a beard, I can’t play an instrument, and I was never in Nirvana. Also unlike him I don’t have an alley dedicated to me in our hometown. Whatever. Screw you Warren.

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As an 80s, Midwestern suburban kid, one of my favorite places in the world was the mall. Specifically for me was The Eastwood Mall which was only 15 minutes from my neighborhood. I figure I had to check out how it changed and it did indeed change! This place exploded! USA Today says it’s the best place for Black Friday!
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I have four very distinct memories of this place. We got one of our dogs from the pet store back when malls had pet stores in them. My dad won a bunch of money on a football game and bought me every Robocop toy in the KB Toys (still historically one of my favorite stores). I once hovered outside a Spencer’s for an uncomfortably long time peeping in because I thought it was an adult only store and I really wanted to play with their Magic Plasma Electrostatic Ball. And lastly in 1988 I was judged harshly by the guy who sold me the Cocktail soundtrack because I really wanted the song Kokomo. Dude, I was 9 years old and loved the pop sound. Take your shade elsewhere, dick!

KB Toys is gone. The pet store is gone. Saturday Matinee? Gone. Walden Books? Damn, all my old haunts gone. So does this place suck now? No. No it doesn’t. It has a radio station and TV station in it.

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You can listen/watch them while you wait for your license to print.

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They even have a large aquarium next to where a high school wrestling tournament was taking place. What the hell is going on here?

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The best part however was the arcade! It had a tilt-a-whirl roller coaster in it! Also one of those booths where you shoot at targets and when you hit them the piano player starts playing, the owl hoots, the cat hisses, etc. I love those things. My dad and I use to compete at them when I was little.

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Next to the shooting gallery was a laser maze and next to that a tiny but epic black light mini-golf course!!!!! with a road trip theme!!! with dinosaurs and a golf ball vending machine!! Heck yeah!

Gross Dr. Jen…

20190105_113734Whenever you travel home (assuming you moved away) you have to get all your favorite foods that you can’t get where you live now. Also if you travel with Dr. J, you have to get ice cream. We hit the original Handel’s homemade ice cream as well as Katie’s Korner. At Katie’s we loaded up on spamoni which I can rarely get in Delaware. IMG-20190130-WA0001At Handel’s we just loaded up…4 flavors each including the weird but not terrible grape ice cream. 20190105_140553 One of my favorite local delights is a Briar Hill Pizza. This one was great but not as good as the one near my old house. But look how fantastically wonderful it is!

IMG-20190130-WA0000Even better than this was the gooey, scalding hot cheese puff. Holy crap, there is no way to accurately describe how good this is. The dough is kind of sweet. Think soft, fresh bread made from funnel cake batter without the powdered sugar. Deep fry that son of a gun and stuff it full of melty, messy cheese. This is what communion wafers should be made of because this shit is holy AF. We ate it in the parking lot of the museum and library of President William McKinley.

IMG-20190130-WA0003The ride home to Delaware had three more dairy stops and a meal at a really weird truck stop diner. No pancakes though. We arrived just when they were tearing down the breakfast buffet. But first another cow. A fiberglass cow that originally adorned a now closed dairy business. Located in Clarion, PA, I think it’s a rather nice specimen of tacky roadside art. I love that it’s decorated for the season and also has a veiny udder. I wonder if this was manufactured at that place in WI.

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Looking at fake cattle sure can build an appetite. Good thing we found Sapp Brothers. Gas station, diner, travel store, fried chicken kiosk, tattoo parlor, chapel, barber shop, and a place for “physical exams and drug testing.” Yes this place totally exists, sells swords and knives, and offers a paid landline at every booth. Don’t believe me? Here are the pictures to prove it. I didn’t take pictures of the crazy truckers in the arcade. I was afraid of them. The “Welcome…Be Our Guest” sign above the gas was just ominous enough to stoke my fears.

While there I purchased 3 DVDs for $10. Distributed by The Asylum film company, I got “11/11/11,” “12/12/12,” and “13/13/13.” I watched “11/11/11” and it was what I expected and wanted from a truck stop movie. I really need to watch the 3rd, I have so many questions about the month of 13. I am kicking myself for not buying this shirt. It was only in kids sizes but could have made a great hanky or something. I’m pretty sure PA doesn’t have javelinas, gila monsters, or roadrunners. I love how terrible this shirt is.

20190106_113730Next we went to the Penn State creamery. It’s much larger than the University of Delaware creamery I get to frequent but not as homey. It felt more like a convenience store than a home made ice cream parlor. Also they still have a flavor named after Joe Paterno which I think is in poor taste. I recognize he’s a big deal there but I’m thinking he shouldn’t have an ice cream flavor.
20190106_130208Last stop was in Lancaster, PA which I’ve written about before. I’ve passed this hunk of beef many, many times in my life but never actually stopped to say hi until this trip. The cow was a bit too amorous for Dr. J. What are you gonna do?
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This trip was not for the lactose intolerant. This is also a great post to announce my big trip for 2019. For my 40th birthday, I intend on going on a cattle drive! I might have mentioned this before but I have the ranch picked out, purchased my plane tickets to Casper, WY, and officially signed up for 1 of 10 spots for their October drive! I have 3 posts I hope to get up swiftly with one being why I settled on the Two Creek Ranch in Douglas, WY. Maybe it won’t take me 3 months to get those posts up but don’t hold your breath.

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