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Road Trip!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

From Texas to Pennsylvania and back by different route.


Plenty of time to go off road and visit non touristy resale/junk/antique stores.

I like to repurpose my finds into things like lighting and furniture slipcovers and would love some suggestions as to where these little pearls of the junker world could be found.


Suggestions re cafes and other down scale (but clean and delish) lunch stops and coffee shops with a great bakery (natch ;))  are def welcome as well.


Don't have the routes laid out yet but our destination is Gettysburg (hotel booked for 5 days as our base of ops) as the fisherman is a huge battle theory buff and this is on his bucket list.


I will go nuts if I have to do Civil War museums and battlefields all day long and touristy is ok to a point , but I need a few obscure destinations where I can get my hands dirty sifting thru some barns or side of the road eyesores (if any still exist).

Yes I am up to date on my Tetanus shots lol.


Thanks for reading and TIA for any tips and suggestions you might have.



Edited by flipflopgirl - 9/21/14 at 8:09am
post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 

Forgot to ad ... willing to do a fair amt of driving (while based at Gettysburg) maybe as much as 100 miles in any direction for a chance at any junk.

Cooperstown (baseball mecca for those not into small ball) is on the list so I can get a pix of myself standing next to the plack of Mr Milo Hamilton (long time announcer for the Astros) who was inducted a few years ago.

Milo Hamilton.

What a voice!



post #3 of 18
There is( or was )a fantastic big flea market in Rogers Ohio. Its south of the turnpike, rt 76 that becomes the PA turnpike at the border. i havent been there since the late 90's but it was always an all day affair with pretty much anything you can imagine for sale somewhere there. I believe it runs two days a week but really have no accurate idea anymore. Definatly may be worth your time if your looking for hidden treasures. After your done you can head to lunch or dinner at Springfield Grille in Boardman Oh or maybe to Alberinis in Niles oh. They at least used to have good everything at both. if you happen to be passing that ares on a Sunday than stop in New Castle PA and eat dinner at the Ladies of the Dukes club. Only open Sundays from say 11 to 6 have the homemade ravioli or the home made cavatelli with meat balls. Service sucks but the food is as Soprano tasting as it gets( its been around for 50ish years ) I was there around 2010 the last time, still tasty as heck. If you in the area on anyday other than a Sunday go into Amish country, Mercer area or New Wilmington/ Volant areas of Pa. Again all on the western boarder not far from rt76 and even closer to I80. Speaking of I80, if your up there shoot over to Sharon pa and go to the origional Quaker steak and Lube. The wings are worth it and the decore inside is just,,,,,, well you decide just what, but its something. Have a good trip and keep in mind the speed limit in PA, rader and outta state plates there are a perfect combo for the troopers, and local law.
post #4 of 18

The Lancaster Central Market in Lancaster PA is a great place. In the heart of Pennsylvania Amish country, located in the middle of downtown lancaster. Large, old brick building with lots of stalls selling all kinds of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, sandwiches and ice cream. Very fair prices and Very fresh food. 

     If you end up in Cooperstown, not far is Sharon Springs, NY. An old resort town, once as popular as Saratoga NY, now experiencing a revival. Spring House Spa, owned by an old friend of mine, offers massages and related products. You may need a  massage by then. You can visit the website first of course. There are several other interesting business and several good eateries. 

Speaking of websites, will provide all the info you need to track auctions anywhere in the country wherever you are headed so you can time it accordingly. I have found auctions are often a great place to get deals on everything. The auctioneers often have their own antique stores you can visit as well and just about all have a web site of some kind. 

Roadside America, RoadsideOnline, RoadsideFans and a couple other iterations are great websites to discover diners,  and other eateries in advance of your arrival. Most have links to each other and many diner and diner/cafe related websites and locations, both actual diners and mom and pop cafes. 

Harpers' Ferry is not too far from Gettysburg and worth a visit. Several antique shops and the most of the buildings haven't changed much. 

Amarillo Texas has a lot of great antique stores.

NY and Pennsylvania are  loaded with side of the road eyesores, old barns, roadside fruit and vegetable stands and small independent antique and book stores, often in obscure locations so keep your eyes open. 

Safe travels. 

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

@Lagom and @chefwriter    wow .... I JUST opened this thread and have already been handed a bucket full of gold!

 Mere words cannot express my gratitude!

So shall I sing you something instead?

I know all the words to the Happy Birthday song as well as The Eyes of Texas.

Ya'lls choice :talk:.


Will get online now and research the hows and wheres and whens.



post #6 of 18


I think I will send the fisherman some really good places for Civil War reenactments. This time of year those all wool uniforms will just be really itchy instead for unbearably itchy:DOh yea, stop by the bakery and borrow my metal detector;) 

As kids we use to take trips to PA, I always remember Lancaster and the baked goods. an Amish town, 2 in the bush, or bird in the bush, I can't remember I'll call my dad. He 93 but he'll remember, he used to threaten me he was going to send me there if I din't shape up. LOL

Pop says it was a bird in the hand PA but that was 40 yrs ago

Edited by panini - 9/21/14 at 2:30pm
post #7 of 18

BIrd in hand is in Lancaster County Pa. Still there. Unincorporated village with lots of Amish. Somewhere among the farms was one selling home made ice cream. I don't remember which one. I do remember my father shutting off the car in the middle of the country lane so we could listen to the silence. 

post #8 of 18
Bird in hand is a lovely area, not to far from Paradise, which is yet another area that is lovely.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

@panini plz don't get him started on the metal detector thing. He is so OCD (that's what makes a great wade fisherman IMO) that I would have to just drop him off someplace and pick him up when it is time to head home lol.

On the other hand the Bird village has gone on my must do list as well as Harpers Ferry (thx chefwriter).

It is getting long and stretches wide (in miles) but @panini will agree with me that compared to how long it takes to just get from his house to mine I can cover all of Penn and some of western and southern New York.

Might only be able to stop for potty breaks (I am bringing everyone back a truck stop key chain for all their suggestions lol) but neither miles nor time at the wheel bother me.

Of course I read while the fisherman drives (hey look honey.... that homeless guy looks like Willie Nelson) and it works for me!


@Lagom.... did a quick search of the Rodgers flea market.

Held every Friday (the day of departure for home if I wanna go thru Tennessee and visit an old friend)) it is quite the place for me!

We are gonna check the town out anyway as a show that large and that often is guaranteed to have lots of stores for me to dig thru.

So thanks for that tip my friend!


I wanna eat pie!

Apple pie and cherry pie and lemon meringue pie and chocolate cream pie and peach pie and blueberry pie and chess pie (with or without coconut) and hand held meat pies and SHUT UP BUBBA and kindly get out of my head!

There is a couple who have written several books re eating in small town America.

They have a large following as well as a web site that supports a lively forum.

Can someone give a girl a hand with this?

Hope to download their AP which will make my life much easier.

I refuse to eat at another Cracker Barrel altho not adverse to stopping in for a bag of mixed candies lol (and they boast some very clean ladies rooms!).


Thanks everyone and keep the info coming!




edit for clarification

Edited by flipflopgirl - 9/22/14 at 8:00am
post #10 of 18



While you're in Gettysburg, check out Dobbin House Tavern. We ate there on our trip in 2011 and had a great meal. Regarding the spirits.......I especially loved the Rum Bellies Vengeance. They have a limit on how many you can order and believe you me.......a good thing too. But it is very tasty. We actually ate in the Spring House Tavern portion of the building and the same basic menu is available there as in the actual dining room. If I remember correctly, the DD had their Prime Rib, The DW had a chicken dish and I enjoyed the French onion soup. So mu that I ordered a second bowl and had that as my main course. We also ate at the Gettysburg Hotel and enjoyed that meal as well.


Regarding the history, I really can't find the words to describe what the experience of the tour of Gettysburg Battlefield is like then couple that with seeing and standing in the area where possibly the greatest words uttered by an American, President or otherwise, were spoke........



Anyhow, if you find yourself traveling near or through the Richmond area, send a PM. Maybe we can point you toward a couple places and/or maybe share a cocktail. Our area is steeped in the history of the first 90 years of our nation and the almost 150 years before that. FYI......The Historic Triangle (Williamburg, Yorktown, Jamestown) is a short drive of maybe 70 minutes and Petersburg National Battlefield, Lee's Headquarters and City Point (Grants Headquarters) are all just minutes from us. In fact, you can visit Old Towne Petersburg and see the area where they filmed Lincoln in 2012.

post #11 of 18

You may be referring to Jan and Michael Stern and their

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 


Dobbin House Tavern for the onion soup - checkcheckcheck

We once passed thru Gettysburg and only had time for one stop and the fisherman chose that cemetery.

I took time to stand and read those words and yes I agree.....


I was awarded with the route from Texas to Gettysburg yesterday (must have been the chicken I fried lol) and Virginia is not on it.

My family is from Richmond so who knows which way we will travel coming back.

Thanks for your kind invite ..... I may just take you up on it.


@chefwriter yes that is it! have you used it before?


Seriously we are not pack a picnic type people.

I will repeat my above statement NO Cracker Barrels this trip.

Maybe a few Waffle Houses when we get closer to home tho ;)



post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 

I just want to take the time to thank everyone for all the great info!

It is as if you were planning for your own trip (so keep it coming lol).

As always Chef Talk members have been kind and generous with their knowledge.....

This is probably the number one reason this forum has been around so long.... not just the food or the drink (or the knives lol) but the caliber of people who have drawn together to talk and laugh and share!

Thanks @Nicko for your vision and willingness to change when it is time for CT to grow (even if it takes some of us a bit to catch up lol).

Obviously you are doing a smash up job because it is working!



post #14 of 18

     I have not used Roadfood before. Although I know the all the people behind the roadside web sites I mentioned previously, I can't say I have used their websites very much either. While the Sterns have certainly been around longer than any one else, like everyone they focus on certain types of establishments. The roasideonline website has a big focus on diners, for example. 

     As a veteran of multiple months-long cross country road trips around the country, I would suggest that the biggest shortcoming of any road trip in the US is time. The biggest benefit is encountering the unexpected. So try to build some wiggle room in your schedule.

     Use the websites and our suggestions for general ideas but be prepared for places to be closed for the day, suddenly out of business, driving delays from bad maps/gps, road closures and detours, accidents,(hopefully not yours).  While searching for a must-see pre-chosen destination, you may come across just opened or unadvertised cafes, restaurants and other businesses, tourist attractions no one mentioned and scenic vistas that appear just after the curve in the road. You may run into an old friend or acquaintance in an unlikely spot or make a new friend and want to spend a bit more time with them. You may also find that the great suggestion we made is not at all to your liking for whatever reason.  I am hoping your biggest problem will not be what to see but what you don't have time to see. 

post #15 of 18

Mimi.....Check out, post in the "where should I eat" forum I'm a member over there, lots of help and knowledgeable people when it comes to roadfood type places, also a few pie aficionados, might want to start a separate thread for that one.

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 

@chefwriter  While we do love the unexpected on a road trip there are times when a little help from others is welcome.

Case in point... trippin' to Maine a few years back and had a late lunch.

Both of us were wide awake until around 9 pm when we decided to stop for the nite.

Of course we were between large towns (ironically  in Pennsylvania) so drove a bit further looking for a familiar chain hotel.

No luck .

Pulled off the freeway and checked in at a small motel (clean and safe with friendly employees) and asked where we could pick up something to eat.

Neither of us were starving so hit the drive thru at the QSR that makes the steamed roast beef sandwiches.

One bite was all it took.... words cannot describe the level of awfulness (is that even a word?) of that sandwich and the fries were not much better.

The Coke was even flat.

It is now a private joke when we can't decide what we want for dinner lol.


@chefbubba thanks for the suggestion.

Have loaded 3 restaurant related  apps and found roadfood,com to be the easiest to use.

I had been lurking around and the members seem really friendly and helpful.

Was thinking about joining up and your advice convinced me.

Thumbs up to the pie (which IMO should be a food group lol).



post #17 of 18



You're lucky!  While you are visiting Lancaster County PA you can spend quality time in the famous town of Intercourse  (what does its' name mean...  don't ask.). It's in the Amish country so you will find wonderful restaurants. Especially sample the sausages and other cured meats. :lips:   


Actually, the name is explained here - › … › Pennsylvania (PA) › Lancaster County

If one leg of the trip is via I-20, be certain to mark at least a half-day to visit the Civil War monument to the siege of Vicksburg. It's every bit as extensive and impressive as Gettysburg.  Grant's eventual success in the long siege marked the turning of the tide in the Civil War. (Maybe you know that as The War Between the States.) ;) 
My great-grandfather, a 14yo in a little town north of St. Louis when the war started, was in a southern-sympathizing community - Missouri was every bit as bitterly divided Union/Rebel as "Bloody Kansas."  Three times he ran away from home after dark to join a Southern detachment going through town, and each time his father caught him and brought him home,  The fourth time, a group marched through after dark, and this time he got away. When the sun came up, it was... a Union Army unit.  He went through the War, first as a Union drummer boy and them an infantryman. He may well have been at Vicksburg; there are monuments at the locations where each unit was stationed. Quite a few mark Missouri units.  About half of these are Union and half Confederate. Talk about brother against brother!
Whenever I tour a Civil  War memorial, I can't help weeping.  If the fisherman is a real Civil War history buff, he must not miss this.  A full day would be much much better.
If you use I-44 west of St. Louis on either leg, stop in Lebanon. There is an oak barrel factory there that makes barrels for every bourbon distiller in the US, except for Jack Daniel's: they make their own.  You can watch them machine the staves and assemble and char the barrels. The assembly is an art  in itself.  Their souvenir shop sells every brand of bourbon you have ever heard of, if you're interested in that kind of thing.
Also stop in Rolla- the  U S Geological Survey has a large plant there that compiles, updates and prints the USGS series of maps of the United States. We stopped and they were so thrilled that somebody was interested in what they were doing that we got a fantastic tour of the whole place and every detail of map production. I was interested because I used many of their so-called 7-1/2 Minute series maps in my work as a city planner/community designer.
I'll try to think of other places we've been that may be along your route. When we traveled, our main interest - aside from museums - was industrial sightseeing. You can get up-to-date books that detail which plants/industries  offer tours of their operation. 
Those, and special places to eat.
I hope you have a really wonderful trip. You should be catching some fall color as well.

Edited by MikeLM - 10/7/14 at 4:47pm
travelling gourmand
travelling gourmand
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 

I am really hoping for the fall color.

Have heard from a few friends that it looks like an early year :( tho.

The fisherman has promised that they will save some for me lol.

Checked his "have to see spots" and Vicksburg is like third on the list.

I think the action that interests me most has Stonewall Jackson and his troop pushing a canon around in a loop in order to flank Grant's troops somewhere near Gettysburg.

There is a marked 4 mile trail to follow and I plan to take this trek in order to have extra desserts when we visit the Amish areas.

Thanks for the great story!



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