Travel

Big Things, Small Town

I love to travel!! I’ve been to a lot of amazing places in my lifetime… some beyond where I thought only my dreams would take me. From the City of Lights to the City of Angels. From warm Caribbean beaches to the chilly Great Lakes. From booming metropolises to tiny quiet towns. Travel expands your knowledge of food, people, and culture… but it also teaches you empathy and compassion… and I am here for all of it! However, I have spent the majority of my life firmly planted in the Midwest… far away from anything most people around the world would find significant.

Let me tell you something. The Midwest is kinda weird! The weather is completely crazy… ranging from the frozen tundra to the surface of the sun… sometimes in the same week. The people are very friendly… uncomfortably so to people who aren’t from here. The land is flat and full of corn and kamikaze deer who enjoy jumping in front of your car. The Midwest is filled with small towns and “good old fashioned American values”. It’s the giant red spot in the center of the political map. And… no one bats an eyelash when you ask for a side of ranch dressing to slather on all your food. Like I said, the Midwest is kinda weird.

The Midwest is also home to many strange and wondrous roadside attractions for travelers to explore. (My guess is that they popped up to keep people from getting bored to death while traveling Route 66 through our flat, endless landscape.) In a recent road trip from St. Louis to Indianapolis, we stopped in Casey, Illinois. Casey is the home to many of the World’s Largest objects. They pride themselves on that fact. Sprinkled throughout this small farm town is a collection of world record breaking wonders.

Nestled just a mile or so off I-70, are the “World’s Largest” wind chime, rocking chair, golf tee, and pitch fork, just to name a few. There’s also an enormous mailbox to stand inside, a birdcage to swing in, and a mouse trap to get caught in. The town even has a giant teeter-totter! In fact, the village of Casey seems to be adding more oversized objects to their collection all the time.

However, the place isn’t just a spectacle of oversized wonder. It’s actually a quaint and charming stop to rest on a trip through the I-70 corridor. The town has a lovely coffee shop, cafes, and antique stores to explore. We were there on a crisp fall day, and the quiet town was an explosion of color… all orange, yellow, and red. It made a lovely place to walk around and stretch our legs for a little bit. If you need some lunch, or it’s time to gas up, Casey is a fun little escape!

Keep it weird, Midwest. What other Midwest stops should we explore?

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