It’s day 3 – leaving Normal. I guess you could say, day 3 – abnormal?

Leaving Normal sounds good to me. I’m definitely not going to stay at Motel 6 in Normal again. I’ve stayed at some Motel 6s that were okay. A lot of them always seem rundown, but this one… it’s just creepy and unmaintained.

I saw this cool door and wanted to get a picture. We we got out of the car I saw the sign above it said, “Mantiques”.

What a cool name for a store.

Charly,” I shouted, “Go stick your head through the window.”

“What are mantiques?” Charly askes.

“I guess they are antiques for men,” I simply replied.

“What? Don’t guys like antiques?” she said with a quizzical expression.

“Not the frilly stuff, but when it comes to old car parts, service station signs, license plates, …”, as I got cut off.

“You mean, old junk,” she said with a tone of disgust.

“I guess a guy could say that about an old vase, tea set, or some other girly thing,” I said mockingly.

“At least they aren’t all rusty!” she said getting a little defensive.

“Just get behind the sign,” I quipped.

Charly the Mantique
Charly the Mantique

We never did see where this “Mantique” store was. It might not have been right on Route 66, and I didn’t feel like looking for it. Charly would never let me hear the end of it if I did.

Skipping Around

I’m skipping around in today’s post. It’s hard to keep track of where we were when I took a specific picture. I find myself asking, “Was that after leaving Normal? Was that before getting to Lincoln?”

Speaking of Lincoln

Speaking of Lincoln, the president, he was born in Kentucky, but moved to Illinois where he ran for several political positions. Lincoln, Illinois, is named after him… of course.

“Hey, check that out Charly!” I shouted as we walked down the street having parked her car near the courthouse.

“Is that the theater where Lincoln was shot?” she asks.

“No, that was the Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.” I said while trying to to sound condescending. After all, Charly is the product of public schools in the 21st Century. I can’t expect her to know much about history or geography.

Quietly she responded, “Oh.”

Charly - A Movie Star
Charly – A Movie Star

The two young men placing the letters on the marquet were quite dedicated to their work. They weren’t about to let a pretty young lady distract them.

While I, on the other hand, must have watched too many Laurel and Hardy movies as a kid. I kept imagining a keystone cop running down the sidewalk, knocking over the ladder while the boy dangled up there holding on for life.

Here’s a little plaque we found while walking around.

Founding of Lincoln, Illinois, that's not in Wikipedia.
Founding of Lincoln, Illinois

Atlanta

“Hi,” I said to a stranger who looked like a local, and asked, “you look like you’re from around here. Where’s a good place to eat lunch?”

The man smiled and said, “If you like pie, you’ll need to go to Atlanta.”

Thinking he wasn’t quite understanding what I was saying, I responded, “No, someplace close by. Hopefully with a local flare.”

“Yeah, Atlanta,” he said, and added, “It’s just down the road a few miles on Route 66. The place is the Palm’s Grill. They make really good sandwiches, but their pie is the best.”

Embarrassed, I laughed, “Oh, okay.”

I think the entire misunderstanding went completely over Charly’s head.

“Charly,” I said, “Let’s go to Atlanta and get lunch… unless we see something else we don’t want to pass up.”

“Oh, you won’t,” said the stranger, “there’s not much between here and there if you’re heading that direction on Route 66.”

There’s nothing normal since leaving Normal.

Palm’s Cafe

It wasn’t hard to find Palm’s Cafe… or is it grill? Oh, wait, it’s Palm’s Grill Cafe.

We entered and there was NOBODY eating in there. Perhaps we missed the lunch rush. Perhaps leaving Normal has placed us in the Twilight Zone???

Holy crud. It’s 2:30 in the afternoon. I guess this is a late lunch.

“Well, Charly, let’s eat,” I said as I pointed to the counter as the waitress approached.

“We will just sit here,” I said, “I don’t think my friend has ever ate at a counter in a diner before.”

Charly just looked wide-eyed at the counter, and around the room.

Eying the menu, I saw a sandwich description that I couldn’t pass up, “I’ll take one of these, I said pointing to the menu.”

“And, for your wife,” the waitress asked.

I had already told Charly I was going to have fun with the person who asked if she was my wife, or implied she was my wife.

“My wife? Oh, no. She’s my girl friend. My wife’s much younger,” I said trying to be real serious.

Charly slapped me on the shoulder, “Knock it off. She might believe you.”

“What? That you’re my girlfriend, or that my wife’s younger?” I said while chuckling.

Not amused, the waitress stared over her glasses and said, “Okay, what’s your daughter going to order.”

I laughed again and said, “My daughters are all older. I’ve got grandchildren that are almost Charly’s age.”

I could see I wasn’t amusing the waitress at all. Thank goodness Charly stepped in to save me.

“That’s right. He raised seven daughter,” she added.

Suddenly, the waitress looked at me with a look of respect… or maybe it was pity. It’s hard to tell.

“Seven daughters? You must be a saint,” she said.

Charly gave her her order, and the waitress told us the food would be right out.

My Sandwich

My sandwich was a work of art. It oozed with goodness. The homemade sweet potato chips were cooked to perfection. Charly’s sandwich wasn’t quite as pretty as mine, but still looked good.

Pulled Pork Sandwich with Signature BBQ Sauce
Pulled Pork Sandwich with Signature BBQ Sauce

I finished my sandwich before Charly was even half done.

“I’m going to use the bathroom,” I said, “Waitress! Where’s your men’s room?”

She pointed me down the hall. As I passed the waitress, she gave me further instructions.

I soon found myself in a room with all sorts of pictures, and another hallway with a small “museum” of sorts.

Coming back from the bathroom, I said to Charly, “You’ve got to check this place out before we leave.”

Leaving Normal, we’ve now gone back in time.

Another Museum

After a slice of cherry pie (which the guy was right, it is GOOD pie) we headed outside to walk the main drag of town. On the corner was an open door. I stuck my head inside and there was a ROLLS ROYCE. It was a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud.

Rolls Royce
Rolls Royce

“Charly,” I said excitedly as I waved my arm to summons her to come look,”this is just like the one my dad had.”

The poor girl had no clue what we were looking at. I wasn’t sure I had the energy to explain about the ultimate decadence when it came to cars.

“This is just like the second one he owned. His first was a 1939 Silver Wraith II that was owned by Lord Mountbatten during World War II,” I said.

She didn’t know how to respond. I might as well have been speaking in Greek.