We were in Baltimore for Matt and Erin’s wedding. This gave us the rationale to spend the prior week at the Maryland Shore. A week well spent, Sun, Surf and Seafood. The wedding was at the Old Otterbein Church downtown with the reception at the American Visionary Art Museum. What a great place for a reception. This poodle was on the ground floor. This is a mixed marriage, Erin is a Redskins fan while Matt roots for the Eagles. Dan almost started a riot by referring to this arch rivarly in his Best Man’s toast. I thought he looked familiar, I have a photo of him at the Baltimore Visitors Center, you can see it below.
Matt’s Wedding Poodle
Ah, the Shore. In this case the Maryland shore at Ocean City. As a veteran of Ocean City, New Jersey it was good to make a comparison. Lot more high rises, probably since they draw a lot more people here from Baltimore and Washington, DC. As expected the minature golf courses and small amusement parks cry out for Big Things. In this case it was a tilt-a-whirl type ride on the OC boardwalk at Jolly Roger on the Boardwalk. If you’re daring try the “slingshot ride!”
At the Jolly Roger Amusement Park in Ocean City, Maryland on the Coastal Highway at 32nd Street, where it becomes N. Philadelphia Avenue we spotted a Big Pirate and stopped to grab an image. You can see him on the Big People page. While we were getting a shot of the pirate we spotted this Bear Car on a tilt-a-whirl (like the monkey on the image right below) and knew we had gotten one of the rate two-fers. We wandered around this part of the park before realizing they weren’t open for business. We beat a hasty retreat.
Ocean City Bear
We were in Detroit for Erica’s graduation party in June. She is the youngest of the “cousins” and on her way to Grand Valley State University. Deb and I went to the Chicken Shack in Royal Shack to pick up the chicken and ribs for the party. On the way back to Meg and Greg’s house we spotted this special chicken outside Blossoms, a florist located at the intersection of Woodward and S. Adams Rd in Birmingham, MI.
Early Friday morning we were traveling from our mountain-top cabin in Gatlinburg through Pigeon Forge on our way home and spotted this Big Steer. Naturally we circled back and grabbed this opportunity. I love getting these unplanned Big Things. In this case it was a restaurant featuring beef and fish. Looked like a nice place from the outside, unfortunately we spent our time in Gatlinburg and didn’t get a chance to sample the menu here. If you stay in Pigeon Forge you might want to try the “Bullfish Grill.”
Pigeon Forge Bull
A little farther up the road we hit a jackpot with multiple Big Thing hits. It was early in the morning when we stopped at Adventure Golf. This octopus was guarding the second hole. Pretty scary, sure to throw you off your game. I got a little too close but thankfully was saved by the groundskeeper, the only person nearby at this time of day. I didn’t get his name but did leave him with one of my business cards. Hopefully he get in contact. What a lifesaver!
Not learning my lesson escaping from the octopus I immediately nearly fell victim to this Big Shark. He was ready to chomp down on my leg as you can see here. Fortunately Chief Brody, Professor Hooper and Quint were vacationing in Pigeon Forge and saved me from this Big White. Some set of jaws, (get it?)
Our last Big Animal on the Spring Break trip to the Smokies. Actually we noted this on the way down just south of Exit 134 along I-75. Take the exit in Caryville, TN go east about 100 yards and turn south on John McGhee Blvd, Rt. 116. John McGhee was the son of the railroad magnate Charles McClung McGhee active in railroad building in eastern Tennessee. Anyway, this dragon is south about 1/2 mile, just past the Motel 6 at the site that was once the Thunder Mountain Fireworks. We didn’t see any sign of Thunder Mountain except a concrete pad. Oh well, the dragon still looks pretty good, enjoy!
Pigeon Forge was loaded with Big Thing opportunities. Case in point was the 3 Bears General Store. A shopping landmark since 1979, the store gives you many opportunities to spend your money. Among them are the Mine Your Own Gemstones, Make UR Own Bear, and the NASCAR store. They really do cover all the bases. I don’t know why you would need to shop anywhere else. If they added a miniature golf course it would be a complete experience. They even have a hot dog stand. See the Food and Drinks page.
Pigeon Forge Bear
On our way down to Smoky National Park and our cabin in Gatlinburg we were traveling down I-75 in Tenessee and spotted this Big Chicken at exit 141. We needed gas and thought it would be a good time to fill up and also get a shot of this chicken in front of Stowers Super Store. A very interesting place with lots of stuff out front. This patriotic chicken caught our attention. Just had to get it.
Freddy Hill Farms is more than the name implies. We stopped by with Andy and Lindsey to get some fresh milk to make cheese, but soon fell prey to the many delicious ice cream varieties, even though it was December. The Seipt family learned how to make rich ice cream while at Penn State, but they have added many more reason to visit. They have a mini-golf course, driving range, pro shop and more. Lucky Andy lives nearby Freddy Hill’s located on Sunneytown Pike in Lansdale, PA. Stop in if you want some super rich ice cream.
Freddy Hill Cow
A found image from our trip down to Columbus and Nashville, Indiana during Fall Break (one day) 2011. Shopping is in order in Nashville, an artsy village in southern Indiana. I’m not quite sure what these big dogs were doing in front of “For Bare Feet Too” a store dedicated to selling socks. More bewildering was the dog wearing the number 18 jersey, which was Peyton Mannings number. Remember this is the 2-14 Colts season when Peyton didn’t play. Go figure.
East Peoria, our last stop on our Out-West trip and the target was this Big Rooster with a top hat. Not only does he have brightly colored plumage but is wearing a top hat. If you look closely there is a string of lights that almost looks like a veil.
We made our way through Minnesota to the Mississippi River and took a right planning to follow this Mighty River down to the Quad Cities. Along the way we were passing through Jan’s home town of Clinton, Iowa. This city was a treat, much larger than I imagined with a nice riverfront park. Just south of downtown we spotted this Big Chicken. While he is a pretty common variety of Big Chicken he does advertise Angelo’s Pizza & Pasta at the corner of 11th Ave S and S 4th Street. Angelo’s was closed when we stopped or I might have stopped for a slice.
Clinton, Iowa Chicken
The fine feathered friend wears a top hat to advertise Bridges Restaurant in Princeton, help Iowa, an old river town along the Mississippi. He sits on the top of the roof to avoid any possible floods. Not sure if the restaurant is still open.
This jackalop is also located in Mitchell, SD. We waited until morning to get the correct sunlight. Only then did I find that you could climb up and take a ride, which of course I did. Giddyup!
Next to the Corn Palace Motel at the corner of Burr and Havens is this Big Steer advertising Chef Louie’s Steakhouse. After checking in to our hotel we came back to eat at Chef Louie’s which was a very good decision. We had an excellent dinner in a super pleasant environment. I wish it were closer to home.
Chef Louie’s Bull
We were spending the night in Mitchell, SD, famous for it’s Corn Palace. Interesting place to see, but better yet the city with many Big Things. This buffalo is in front of the Corn Palace Motel and may be related to the Big Buffalo below in front of Big Al’s.
Corn Palace Bull
Now this is a Big Buffalo! He stands in front of Al’s Oasis Motel. Just off I-90 in South Dakota, we were on our way home. Fortunately it is not far off the highway and I am glad we didn’t pass up this beauty.
Al’s Oasis Buffalo
I was finally able to get this image, originally spotted by the intrepid Bird Dog – Olivia. Her report last year inspired me to get out to The Ranch Store in Cactus Flats, South Dakota. Not only was this big concrete Prairie Dog on display but the fields around him were filled with regular sized live prairie dogs. I wonder if they look at him as some sort of Prairie Dog God?
Olivia’s Prairie Dog