Old Diary

Jelly Belly & Franks Diner

What better thing to do on a bright, sunny, autumn day than take a drive!  Tuesday’s destination was, on the surface, the Jelly Belly Tourist Welcome Center in Pleasant Prairie Wisconsin.  But mostly it was just about being out of the house and enjoying the fresh air.

Jelly Belly TrainVisitors here can take a tour, or buy scads and scads of Jelly Belly products — all sorts of them.  After taste testing the Tabasco Jelly Belly, storemy tastebuds were a little burnt out, but the rest of our visit was wonderful.

After Jelly Belly we stopped at the Pleasant Prairie Outlet Mall in search of some Christmas gifts — which we found.  So that put us in an even better mood; nothing like achieving a goal to make you feel good.  So from there we headed on into Kenosha for a bite of lunch at Frank’s Diner.

Frank’s is an anachronism.  Franks Kitchen Franks-diner-Kenosha-2 30329061 It started life as a railroad dining car and over time a brick shell was put around it — pretty much doubling seating inside this compact that’s only open for breakfast and lunch (closes @ 1:30).  If you sit in the ‘new’ section you can see the original name painted on the side of the train car.

This is one of those places that can and never will be remodeled.  If they ever applied for a building permit so much of the joint would have to be brought up to code that it would no longer resemble what it is now.  On the positive side, the staff (mostly college kids — no offense intended by the “kids”) do a good job of keeping it clean but there hasn’t been a coat of paint applied in a long while and you better be into shabby chic if you want to truly enjoy this trip back into Americana. It’s been here since 1926 and that’s saying something.  Not a lot of other places in Kenosha can say they are still serving the same purpose for as long.

Besides, who can NOT like a place that tells you as you enter that it’s motto is:


On the way home we finished up our pre-Turkey Day shopping — so that we would not have to venture into the grocery on Wednesday to battle serious food shoppers.  A nice easy day.

We’re beginning to formulate a route plan for the trip South.  Oh, and I’ve made a couple inquiries about places to stay! I’m taking a very laissez faire attitude about this set of plans because we’re unsure how much to tie ourselves down:  stop at several Florida campgrounds over three months that we find as we go;  make reservations for one three month stay and explore out in radiating day trips; or settle on three campgrounds and stay one month at each — trying to get a sense for Florida long-term facilities. We haven’t had much luck guessing medical outcomes this autumn — so I’m scared to make a reservation or put money down on a plan until we know we’re good to go. As much we we’d like to stay loosey-goosey, that may not be a smart idea during Florida’s ‘high season’, and we are complete novices about RV’ing in Florida.  We’re still a week away from what we hope to be our last doctor’s visit.

It feels good to have the beginning of a working plan.  Hopefully this one will hang together longer than the first three. Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.