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Cultural Enrichment in Las Vegas

neonmuseaumYes, it’s true! You can have a culturally enriching experience in Las Vegas. It was a sign, a neon sign that convinced us.  Las Vegas is known for its bright lights and glitz. Without it, Las Vegas is just another dry desert town.  Well the folks at the Neon Museum in Las Vega have a real class act. They’ve taken on the responsibility to tell the real story of Las Vegas by way of iconic lighting fixtures and the signs of days gone by. The museum docent was amazing and obviously had a passion for her job and the Vegas story.  The tour took us through the “Boneyard”, the largest outdoor collection of vintage signs.

The museum lobby and visitors center is housed inside the former La Concha Motel  (moved from its original location) designed by architect Paul Williams in 1961 to create a futuristic feel to the Vegas Blvd. The motel closed its doors in 2003 as the landscape of the desert city was evolving.  In 2006, the structure was moved to the Neon Sign Museum and restored to its former glory as the visitors center of the museum.  A must see during your next  visit to Las Vegas.

Kudos to the Neon Museum for sharing tales of light that may have otherwise faded into the dust.

We’ve seen the light!
The Humbleweeds

Meadow Makes Her Way West!

Meadow’s road trip to Colorado! #humbleweeds (at Colorado/Kansas Border)

Kansas City’s Blue October

Kansas City….We had the privledge of visiting Kansas City during Blue October, the KC Royals run for the pennant. The city was alive and connected with excitement of their beloved hometown team. We connected with friends in a suburb of KC on Lake Tapowingo. We were treated to a weekend of all things KC. We began with the Boulevard Brewery tour in Kansas City. Not only did we get tasty beer samples, but we were throughly entertained and educated by our tour guide Adam with a mix of humor and hops.

Then there’s the food…Porky’s BBQ is a foodie treasure trove. The place is only open Friday-Sunday from lunch time until the meat is are all gone, which is usually only a few hours. The food is extraordinary and the concept simple, do what you do best and specialize in it!
Further in the city, there’s The Flea. A quirky historic flea market turned restaurant, provides a glimpse into the past of old downtown KC. Boasting their award winning chicken panini, The folks at The Flea were fun and engaging. The restaurant still saves room for a few flea market bargains, so shopping is part of the experience.

We love the spirit of Kansas City and their championship attitude! Thanks Mark and Jacque for sharing your great city with us.

Heading west,
The Humbleweeds
Eric and Lori

Fargo, Just North of Normal

There may be other reasons to go to Fargo ND, but for us there is only one reason to go…to see the infamous wood chipper used in the Coen brothers cult classic film, Fargo. The welcome center hosts two wood-chippers, a replica outside and the original movie prop is inside. The friendly folks at the Welcome Center will provide you with additional movie props for fun photo opportunities. “The Woodchipper “has its own Facebook page and website. Just south of Fargo is town called Normal. Of course, we had to see what Normal looks like…simplicity at its core.

Geez,
The Humbleweeds
Eric and Lori

Minnesota Folks Sure Are Friendly!

Minnesota folks are so nice! We had the most delightful time in Minneapolis, don’t ya know. We had dinner at a local Culvers, a local fast food chain. We ordered burgers, fries and cokes and found our way to a table. In the corner of the dining room was a gathering of musicians (all senior citizens) delivering a classical bluegrass gospel sound that was merry and bright. I think we may have stumbled upon a senior’s local hang out…but we were welcomed just the same, don’t ya know.

Nice matters!

The Humbleweeds
Eric and Lori

Wisconsin’s Cheesey

Wisconsin is cheesy…literally. Leaving the Appalachian foothills in the rear view mirror, we made our way west to witness the Wisconsin autumn leaves and they did not disappoint. The state is also synonymous with cheese, cheese, and more cheese, oh, and don’t forget beer! From the countless cheese shops and breweries throughout the state, cheese and beer are the key ingredients to a good time in Wisconsin. We stopped at Market Square Cheese in Wisconsin Dells and met a true cheese expert who gave use his undivided attention. He discussed cheese processes, protocol, and tasting and then proceeded to fill us with cheese. We left the cheese shop with the two key ingredients for a Wisconsin good time, cheese and beer.
The Wisconsin drinking culture was an eye opener. With a strong German influence, beer is big business and part of the states rich history of alcohol consumption. To our surprise, young people under age 21 may possess and consume alcohol beverages if they are with their parents, guardians or spouses of legal drinking age; of course, at the discretion of the licensee. A bit of a shock coming from the east where underage drinking is a major taboo.

Cheers,
The Humbleweeds
Eric and Lori

Take Me Home Country Roads!

“Take me home country roads…”
Nothing like autumn in the rolling hills of WV. We’ve spent a few months visiting family in a tiny little town called Elk Garden, population 221. This tiny community is filled with big hearts. Rural and rustic, everyone in town knows everyone else in town. The local corner store, attracts the morning customers with a fifty cent cup of coffee. This hidden gem is a general store that offers everything from cheese to tractor parts. There are no franchises or big box stores. Traffic slow downs consist of a herd of deer gingerly crossing the road or the occasional farm tractor heading to town. The locals take great pride in a dark night sky, clean air, safe streets, and home grown food.

We witnessed first hand how this small community builds strong values. A local man, his son and nephew spent an entire day repairing the road to my recently widowed mother-in-laws home. Family after family brought food and drink to help offset the recent tragedy of losing our family patriarch. These acts of kindness are common here. The outpouring of love and support seems to be a an innate quality common in the genes of the generations of families who called this small town home.

While millions flock to cities and urban areas for the perceived necessities of life, the rural communities slow things down to a crawl and remind us to simply love one another and the earthly gifts bestowed upon us.

Humbled and blessed,
Eric and Lori
The Humbleweeds

VOM FASS – A Tasting Experience!

VOM FASS- a worldwide tasting room.
A extraordinary tasting room of gourmet items and epicures like no other we’ve ever encountered. From the moment you walk in, you are greeted by the knowledgable and friendly staff. Shoppers are teamed up with a staffer for a very personal tasting experience. With choices of oils, vinegars, spirits & liqueurs, absinthe, grappa, cognac, brandy, and whiskey, whew…where to begin? We spent a good hour tasting and sipping things foreign to our taste buds and reveled in our new discoveries. A few unusual items included: coffee infused olive oil, fig chili balsamic vinegar, lavender liqueur, and an interesting presentation with absinthe. We procured a bottle of Ginger Sesame Oil to cook up something special when we return home.

VOM FASS is German for “from the cask” and have 200 locations around the world, with 21 locations in the U.S. If you should encounter one, indulge yourself in something special.

A tasty life,
Eric and Lori
The Humbleweeds

thevillages.vomfassusa.com

Hemingway’s Havana Country Club, The Villages, FL

“It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey, that matters, in the end. ” Ernest Hemingway

Inspired by Papa Hemingway, and it’s not Key West, but The Villages in Florida. Hemingway’s, at the Havana Country Club is a place of fine food and incredible libations. In a quest to find the perfect “Bloody Mary” in a place where alcoholic beverages run rampant, our search is over. Thanks to an incredible staff of bartenders, but one in particular stands out among the rest…Whitney. From the moment we met her she was engaging, intellectual, and most importantly…kind. With an affinity for art, culture, and history, she exhibits a spirit for mixology that entertains and captivates her guests.

In a place with 60 restaurants to chose from, Hemingway’s keeps us coming back with an incredible menu and staff. We’ve found the “MacDaddy” of Bloody Mary’s along with our new favorite appetizer, Lavash!

I think Ernest Hemingway said it best….“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.”

Among the Village People,
Eric and Lori
The Humbleweeds

Coffee Cupping with The Village People in Florida

There is more than sweltering temperatures in Florida, there is hot coffee! Held at the Eisenhower recreation center, and sponsored by the local Starbucks in Lake Sumpter, this coffee tasting was informative, fun, and delicious.

The Starbucks coffee masters presented two arabica coffees, a blonde and a dark roast. First, we examined the coffee beans to see the difference in color and smell between a light roast vs a dark roast. Using a French Press, our coffee masters brewed the blonde blend giving attendees a sampling with a pairing of a fruit cobbler. We were instructed to slurp, swish, and sip our coffee sample, keeping core coffee characteristics in mind: aroma, body, acidity, and flavor. Then we tried the pairing of cobbler with the next sip. Wow, what an awakening to the taste buds…the buttery oats and fruit was evident. We used the same method with the dark roast paired with chocolate and caramel…mmmm, chocolate never tasted so good.

The Starbucks staff did a fabulous job schooling us on the topic of great coffee!

The Humbleweeds

Eric and Lori

@thevillagesFL

@vdailysun

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