Today we drove about three hours from Dale, Ind., to Paducah, Ky. We loved passing through this pastoral part of the country with rolling bluegrass hills and fields of corn. And we were thankful to spend more time in the car because the temperatures increased to a sweltering 90 degrees. It was actually amusing because our first stop was in a kitschy Christmas-themed town called Indiana and my son said, "Mommy, I thought Santa lived in a cold place!"
Breakfast: free at hotel
Lunch: $37.33 (Moonlite Bar-B-Q)
1) Santa Claus, Indiana
In the middle of Indiana farm country, we found Santa Claus. The jolly man in a red suit was standing in front of a herd of grazing cows and a beautiful old red barn. Huh? We had stumbled upon America's Christmas Hometown.
In the winter, this town puts on a spectacular Christmas festival, or so we've heard, but in the middle of summer the only sights to see are the Christmas-themed businesses.
thousands of letters addressed to Santa Claus every December and volunteer elves respond to answer each one, a tradition that has been going on since 1914.
Ornaments in the middle of June? Yes, they're sold year-round in Santa Claus, Indiana.
2) Moonlite Bar-B-Q, Owensboro, Ky.
Jennifer Reese who writes the Tipsy Baker blog recommended this spot for barbecue. She sent a few suggestions for restaurants along the Ohio River but this is the one place where she said we MUST stop—and so we did and we were not disappointed.
3) Route 60, Indiana
4) Paducah, Ky.
Max's Brick Oven Cafe and were lucky to get in without a reservation.
What's up next? We're driving to Cairo, Ill., where the Ohio River meets the Mississippi.