I’ve always loved all things miniature: miniature decks of cards, little glass bottles, little Christmas villages under the tree. Even stamps are little miniature pieces of artwork to me. Of course this includes miniature villages – they are the best! It’s no wonder I love making gnome doors, and creating miniature gnome homes “in the wild”.
Choo Choo Barn Miniature Village in Strasburg, PA
There are two miniature village roadside attractions in Pennsylvania. The first, Roadside America, is in Shartlesville, Pennsylvania. The second is the Choo Choo Barn in Strasburg, Pennsylvania. Strasburg may sound familiar to some of you… it’s home to a couple attractions about which I’ve previously written, Famous Amos, and Amish Boy with Pig. (Also, Strasburg is where the tornado touched down in February.)
Because of the lighting, or my phone camera, or a sun flare, the photos of the miniature village at Roadside America were not turning out good – they were all fairly dark so I did not take that many. The colors of the exhibit are much more natural and realistic than my photos would indicate.
And now, mostly because I’ve run out of stuff to say… SLIDESHOW! But, wait! There’s more…
This is a short post of a few random giant things in Texas: Giant Spurs in Gainesville, Giant Chess Knight and Castle Wall near Gainesville, and a Giant Chessboard in Giddings. In case you are like me and want to know the “why” of things, I’ll include what little I know about these items.
Giant Chessboard in Giddings, Texas.
This giant chessboard is at a camp on the outskirts of Giddings. I’ve seen a few of these around the country, just a fun way to play chess. But, wait! There’s more…
Today’s post is short, and mostly pictures. Have you noticed that as my photography skills improve, I’m writing less? And I’m sure you all can guess why… “A picture says a thousand words.” Which is awesome because I’m going to use the extra time to clean my house and paint my nails.
High atop a hill in north Texas Hill Country and visible from Interstate 10, a giant cross watches over the town below.
The view from above.
Kerrville, Texas, is home to The Empty Cross, a 77′ 7″-tall, 70-ton steel tribute to Christianity. It is the largest cross I’ve ever visited, but it isn’t the largest in the world, nor the largest in the US.
The cross tops a hill, the side of which is a sculpture and scripture garden. As you enter the park, you are greeted by this sculpture of three nails. The cross is seen in the background.
Three nails sculpture at entrance to park. The Empty Cross is seen in the background.
But, wait! There’s more…
If you had a ranch, would you name it “Meanwhile”? Because someone did.
Meanwhile back at the ranch named Meanwhile.
When I was in north Texas Hill Country near Kerrville, I would walk through the neighborhood. One day, shortly after I snagged the photos of the giant ant in their front yard (below), this fence and gate showed up.
These same folks put a giant ant on a small hill in their front yard. But, wait! There’s more…
A midnight kiss in Hershey, Pennsylvania, on New Year’s Eve
For someone who loves cheezy roadside attractions, chocolate, and for whom New Year’s is her favorite holiday, it was a near perfect night.
Forget about the crystal ball. On New Year’s Eve towns all across Pennsylvania drop (or raise) a plethora of odd items: a strawberry in Harrisburg; a giant Peep in Bethlehem, where Peeps are made; ping-pong balls in Strasburg; a pickle in Dillsburg; a mushroom in Kennett Square; a wrench in Mechanicsburg (I love the sense of humor!); a 100-pound stick of Bologna in Lebanon; and shoes, cigars, race cars, and dozens of other oddball items.
My favorite holiday, chocolate, a goofy roadside attraction, and a big kiss at midnight. ( Beanies are not my best fashion attire, but it was cold! I’d have made a terrible neighborhood gangster – no one would’ve taken me seriously.)
In Hershey, they raise a giant Hershey Kiss at midnight on New Year’s Eve. It’s seven feet tall, and 300 pounds of shiny steel shaped like the delectable dessert. The “flag” (kisses label) adds an additional five feet to the colossal confection.
The New Year’s Eve event was But, wait! There’s more…
Have you ever watched South Park? That show cracks me up. If you have closed captioning turned on, it shows you what Kenny is saying. His lines are some of the most raunchy of the show. Not that I’d know anything about that.
Anyhoo, if you aren’t familiar with the show then this post won’t make much sense, but that shouldn’t matter. Many of my posts don’t make much sense, so what’s one more. However, if you are familiar with the show…
…you should know there’s a giant gingerbread Cartman in Smithville, Texas.
Cartman, watching the clock in downtown Smithville, Texas.
The World’s Largest Gingerbread Cookie
As you can see by his name tag, his real name is Smitty. Smitty helped put Smithville, Texas, in the Guinness World Record Book for the largest gingerbread cookie. But, wait! There’s more…
I’ve been workcamping at a nice RV park since I moved to Deerville (near Touristburg and Soberville) six weeks ago. The job was supposed to go full-time (with pay after 15 hours) starting last week, but the current camp manager isn’t leaving as planned, which means they don’t need me to work full-time. So as the title implies, I’m workin’ harder than a funeral home fan in July looking for new opportunities. While I’m looking for new opportunities, I’ve been dreaming about where I’m going next.
I’d like to go to New Mexico, slowly making my way up to Wyoming. Everyone thinks I’m crazy to want to go to Wyoming – even in the summer – but it always looks so pretty in everyone’s photos! I have a friend there now and he pretty much hates being in the middle of nowhere. I can relate: Cow-Chicken-Oil town (pop. ~7,500) was MUCH bigger than where he is (pop. ~800), and it sounds like he’s farther from civilization than Pizzaville ever was. I’m not deterred. I want to see the plains and mountains and take my usual fuzzy pictures.
Another option is to FINALLY see one of the Largest Balls of Twine and Largest Frying Pans. The nearest Largest Ball of Twine is in Kansas… as is the Largest Hair Ball. Gee, Pye ought to enjoy both of those exhibits.
Of the (six?) Largest Frying Pans, I’m most likely to hit one in either Iowa, Kentucky or Delaware. If Pye is being a brat, I may put her in one of the frying pans.
Largest Ball of Barbed Wire = Close substitute for Largest Ball of Twine.
It’s not twine, but it is the Largest Ball of Barbed Wire, at least that I’ve seen.
While I’m dreaming and planning, I’ll share a little bit of the massive But, wait! There’s more…
My new location is loaded with Axis and Whitetail deer, which graze in the field behind my RV every evening. The teeny little fawns are adorable! I accidentally walked up on one the other evening and it took off like a shot, bounding away, big white tail in the air!
You might need glasses, or this could be a fuzzy picture of a deer. (One thing is certain, my photography skills haven’t changed. Just remember – certainty is a good thing.)
The fawn (not pictured) was a bit smaller than Pye (Pye’s not exactly one to miss a meal), but its white tail was the size of an adult deer’s tail – and it was as long as its little body! It was cute and hilarious all at the same time. It reminded me of when I was a kid and my guinea pig gave birth to babies – open-eyed, fur-covered babies with adult-sized guinea pig feet! The disproportionately large feet make the baby guinea pigs kind of funny looking.
Speaking of Pye, here’s what happened right after I parked. She looked out the window at the grackle (black birds about the size of a crow, but with a long tail and a big squawk). She’d never seen one of the large birds before.
Pye seeing a grackle for the first time.
The bird, oblivious to Pye watching from the window, hopped a bit closer the my RV. The photo below was taken seconds later right after Pye freaked out because the oblivious bird came closer. She ran away from the window. Yes, Pye is actually part chicken. But, wait! There’s more…
It’s time to get out of Dodge. There’s a storm a brewin’ and I’m a goin’.
If you watch the Weather Channel at all you may have seen that central Texas is now marshland. The state is like a doughnut of land with a lake in place of the doughnut hole.
By a marvelous twist of fate I was not anywhere near Pizzaville for the worst of it. (I was actually in a galaxy far, far away. I had a great time, and that will be in a later story.) I was watching the Weather Channel while I was gone, and that was scary enough. You all know how I feel about these big wind and water storms. I’ll take a good ol’ west coast earthquake over that any day. By not being in Texas for the storm, I’m sure I’ve saved years of my life. Years that would’ve otherwise been lost to the stress and fear of being right there.
Tornadoes touched down around Pizzaville (none too close to the RV park). Many people were evacuated from homes and RV parks all around south central Texas. Cow-Chicken-Oil town is completely flooded. Dams broke, river banks overflowed, roads washed away. And so did some homes. Several people lost their lives and more are still missing.
Today I moved But, wait! There’s more…
I hope you’ve had breakfast because this post might make you hungry. Or it might make you want dinosaurs. Hard to say.
Really, there is a town called Oatmeal in Texas Hill Country.
No, I don’t know why they named the town after a breakfast cereal. It’s not like they grow oatmeal in the area.
Welcome to breakfast, err, I mean Oatmeal!
Guess what they have there? Nope, it’s not oats, but nice try.
It’s a giant oatmeal box. Yes, I said *box. And it’s empty, so you’re still wrong about there being oats in Oatmeal.
A giant box of oatmeal in Oatmeal, Texas.
Although, once a year they do have… Want to take another guess? Sure you do! But, wait! There’s more…