Showing posts from December, 2017

Adolphus Hotel - Added to Coaster Collection

A week or so ago, I posted a coaster from the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs here in the [coaster collection] that made it the #21.  Today is another sweet hotel - the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas - that is now #22.  I stayed at the Adolphus for a few nights and had a huge room.  I guess I shouldn't expect anything less down in Texas, right?  I have a soft spot in my heart for vintage, old-fashioned hotels and the Adolphus lived up to it's billing.

Schlitz Lionel Billboard from Christmas Train Show

Over the weekend, we went out to Wheaton to attend the Great Midwest Train Show with my Dad for our annual visit.  We go every December to look through the tables and I get a big shot of nostalgia as I recall the trips to the train show that I took with my Dad when I was just a little one.  We always come home with some nice loot from the vendors and this year is no different. 

Above you can see a Lionel billboard with a Schlitz Beer card inside of it with the 1974 date on the bottom.  Just $1, too, which makes it all the more sweeter.  We scored a few other items that I'll post here on the blog this week, but this billboard is my favorite item.

We haven't had time to set up the Mantleburg line this year (shameful, I know), but when we do, this will go perfectly trackside next to some of the other accessories.  I also posted about some animated billboards that I picked up earlier this year here on the blog, but I don't remember if I bought one for Mantleburg or not.


Krinner Tree Genie XXL - Game Changer for Christmas Tree Stands

There are a few things in my world that I geek out about:  Disney World.  Pizza.  And Christmas.  I like everything about Christmas and even have a tub of shirts that we drag out that contains *just* Christmas shirts.  Part of one of our Christmas traditions is going down to the Tammen Treeberry Farm and cutting down a tree for our house.  Here's a post from 2010 that talks about that trip.  I also included the Tammen Treeberry Farm on my "favorite holiday things" list of 2010 and 2012.  
This year, we cut down two trees for our #newoldfarmhouse - which is one more than we normally do.  And that meant that we needed a second tree stand.  I went to the Wirecutter - where they (of course) have a piece comparing various standsThey recommended the Krinner Tree Genie XXL

They bill it thusly:
A unique design makes clamping a tree in the Krinner far easier than any kind of stand we’ve found. The Krinner grips the tree trunk with five claws that you tighten by stepping on …

Walt Disney Quote: It is my wish to delight all members of the family....

Yesterday, I posted another in the series of Walt Disney quotes on construction signs down at Walt Disney World in Florida.  All of them are sponsored by Stanley.'s another one.  This one hits me right in the belly because it is a big part of the reason why we keep going back:  The joy that I get to share with my children.  Together.  
This now has become a 'thing' on the blog where I can document the various versions of the construction signs at WDW.  This one, in particular was located on the same walk as this other longer Walt quote where the Skyway construction is going on outside of Hollywood Studios.  

Walt Disney: I want them to feel they're in another world

We spotted this sign on the walk from the Boardwalk to Hollywood Studios that features the longest Walt Disney quote of all of the signs that I've documented here on the blog.   And sums up the whole "Disney Bubble" phenomenon.

Hereare a fewothers.

Boyfriends of Instagram: Disney World Edition

Do you guys follow Boyfriends of Instagram?  Besides all the pizza nerdery that I follow on (as the kids say...) Insta, my favorite account *has* to be Boyfriends of Instagram.  For those of you new to this handle, it is a place where people share images and videos of people forced to take ridiculous instagram photos of their girlfriend/spouse/partner/friend/etc.

So, when I came across this weird situation right in front of Cinderella's Castle at the Magic Kingdom down at Walt Disney World, I knew that I had witnessed a 'Boyfriends of Instagram' moment myself!

Check out what this Dad (I'm assuming??) is doing to get *that* special photo of his daughter in her big, Princess dress.   This is taking place up the ramps that are open sometimes, like right in front of the opening that you take to go 'under' the Castle.  During a super busy time.  You can see all the other people just walking past trying to experience the Castle.  All the while....Dad is being a hero,…

Lionel Santa & Snowman Tag Boxcar -2017

The folks at TrainWorld just shipped a few of my 2017 Christmas Catalog pre-orders including this one:  the 2017 Santa and Snowman Tag Boxcar.  The box is not a normal O Gauge train box from Lionel, but a two piece top/bottom orange box.  The front of it only reveals the blue boxcar.  But once you open it up?

You see this:

That's the boxcar with the platform on top, Santa, Frosty and the 'bridge' that you put up for the boxcar to pass under.

Here's the side of the box with all the product details. 

I haven't set up our track yet, nor can I find this year's model being run on YouTube, but I *did* find this older version that gives you a sense for how it works.  Kinda cute, right?

Trader Joe's Chocolate Covered Pretzel Twist Assortment

Have you had these pretzels yet?  They're a fast-emerging 'favorite thing' of mine this Holiday season that I'm certain will make this year's list.  And, unfortunately, they quickly disappeared once they arrived in our pantry.  The peppermint and almond one?  Awesome.  The sprinkles one?  Fine, but always the last tray to empty.  I've mentioned to Natalie like four times that the 'next time you go to TJ's, can you buy more of these???', but it appears that they might be sold out already because our rations haven't been restocked.  Or perhaps it was the fact that I/we devoured these in four days that she's purposely not rebuying?

Moon Over Washington Street - Chicago

Caught this moon showing up strong just as the sun was setting on a walk to the train one evening.  Nat alerted me to the moon based on her view in the suburbs and sure enough, framed right down the valley of high rises and above the Gehry pavilion:  there she is!  Lots of buzz around the Christkindl market and theatre crowds arriving for early dinners, but it was still worth stopping and enjoying.

The Broadmoore - Added to the Coaster Collection

Now entering #21 in the [Coaster Collection] here on the blog.  This one from The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. a delightful place.  Turns out, it is owned by the same folks who own Heaven errr...Sea Island.    That explains a lot.  I have a few photos of my stay (which was entirely too short) that I'll post up here on the blog with more details at some point.

The most recent coaster prior to this one was Abracadabar down on the Disney Boardwalk.

You can find the full coaster collection here.

Tower of Terror - Look, Ma! No Kids!

That's a shot of Nat and I on the Tower of Terror down in Orlando at Walt Disney World.  It was taken at mile 10 of the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  And it was the first time that I had ever been on the ride.   Under normal circumstances, I would have been able to fend off the pressure from Nat to ride on something like this, but perhaps it was the half-marathon brain fog that weakened me and dropped my defenses. 

I pity the person who had to sit in my seat after we left.  I was soaked at this point from the humidity and my back was starting to seize up.  I left a pool of sweat behind, I'm sure.  You can also see the other people to Nat's right that were running the race, too.  The dude looks like he's reading his phone, though?  Total pro move, I guess?

Leaf Shower in Downers Grove This Fall

One morning in the past few weeks, I witnessed this weird event:  a tree in the front yard was shedding all of it's leaves at once.  Check out what seems like a shower of leaves falling.  One right after the other.  You can see from the pattern on the ground that this tree was dropping them all in a matter of minutes while the other trees still are holding on to theirs. 

You can also notice that there's frost on the roof across the street from us and I *think* that this might have been the first frost?  Could that have set off this reaction?

Dilly Dilly

Via the Kansas City Star:
...But “Dilly Dilly” wasn’t a pure stroke of genius out of thin air. According to, the origins of “dilly” are in a shortening of the word “delightful” or “delicious,” probably from the 1930s. On its own, it has come to mean “something or someone regarded as remarkable or unusual.” File this one away next to the "It's Wednesday, Gary."  "I know that Janet" one as gold.