Now what do these 4 things have in common? Well absolutely nothing – but it does mean a ROAD TRIP!!
The Saturday started out kind of uneventful. I asked Daryl if he wanted to go to the sock sale and he was wondering what in the world I was talking about, but he finally gave in. Well the sock sale that I wanted to go to was in Caledonia Minnesota which is about 1 hour and 20 minutes from our house. OK, if you’re thinking this is a long way to go to get socks, well you’re probably right. But I heard this sale advertised on the radio and was anxious to check them out. The socks are supposed to be good for running and helps with circulation, so I guess we’ll see if it’s true or not. I bought the 6 pack socks on sale for me and I only bought one for Daryl. Now for my defense his socks were $18 a piece on SALE. Yea, not a cheap date at all! When I told the sales person that $18 was kind of a lot for socks, he said they were normally $35! Wow! I must not have bought socks lately. But I could get a ‘packaged deal’ for his socks and it was going to cost me $80. Well, I think he should just try one at first to see if he likes them right? So after we went to the sock sale we headed downtown to grab something to eat. Neither one of us had been to this town to eat before and when we saw this sign outside the restaurant, we figured it was a fun place to stop for dinner! While we were eating, there were some people talking about the balloon race that was cancelled this morning but they were hoping that it was still going to be on this afternoon. Well of course my ears perked up and what I found out was that Caledonia has self proclaimed themselves as the Hot Air Balloon Capital of Minnesota. They have two rallies in a year and this weekend was the second one – SCORE! We found out that these balloon competitions are kind of like a poker run if you’ve done that with cars or snowmobiles before. They have certain spots that you have to go to and then do certain things with the balloons. Well of course we had time after dinner so off we went to the High School where they were setting up. The morning race was cancelled due to either too much wind or not enough (we weren’t sure) but after checking out where they were supposed to take off, the same problem with the wind was also for the afternoon race. No balloons in sight, and what a bummer that was.
So next on our trip was to get a Christmas tree. We wanted to end up in Marquette Iowa to see the Holiday Train, so we headed south to find our tree. Well do you think we could find a tree farm on our travels? We found some pretty amazing roads that we want to take the Chevelle on next year – but no trees. After around 40 minutes we ended up in Waukon and were told that if we wanted to get to a tree farm that we needed to go to Decorah. And also if we wanted to see the Holiday Train in the dark then we should go to Lansing. Both of these ideas sounded good to me and back we got into the truck and headed east. We made it to the tree farm in Decorah and we found a perfect one for our family that we liked right away. We wanted to wait on getting our tree until this weekend because we’ll be celebrating Christmas a little later this year and we wanted the tree to last. After a good shake to get the needles out of it, into the bag it went. Now we needed to head back to Waukon to be on the right roads to get to Lansing. Back to Waukon we went and then off to Lansing. This drive wasn’t too bad, it’s only around 45 minutes from Decorah to Lansing and now we found ourselves getting to town too early. No problem, we found a place that served some really good wings and fries and along with some cold refreshments all we had to do was to wait for the train. There are a couple of things that I really Love — and trains are by far the top of that list! So with having to wait in the cold for the train to come wasn’t an issue at all for me. It wasn’t terrible cold and Daryl and I waited with a couple of other thousand (?) people to see the train pull up to the stop. It was AWESOME!! When some of the younger kids would yell out that they could see it coming down the track, all you could see was this train decorated with over the top lights on it. It kind of looked like the Vegas Strip on railroad cars.
But it wasn’t decorated gawdy – just perfect. When the train stops the one section of the car opens up and then they have entertainment for about 45 minutes. It was funny because with all those people there, we still saw quite a few people that we knew there that night. The trains are a fund-raiser for food banks in Canada and the U.S., the Holiday Trains — one travels through Canada, the other in the U.S. — have covered over 100,000 miles and raised close to $9.5 million and 3.3 million pounds of food since the program started in 1999. The Holiday Trains stops in communities across the service area, offering free concerts from their traveling stages. Over the three weeks of the program, the musicians on board the trains will play more than 150 free concerts from their boxcar stage. OK, pretty cool right? I had a video of it, but it was too large to download to this site. But take my word for it, it was definitely something to see.
So after the long day, we headed back home with our socks, Christmas tree, and Christmas songs stuck in our heads. What a totally fantastic day this was!! We definitely need to do more Road Trips next year!