Friday, August 30, 2013

One Last Chance to Do the Summer of 1973

This Sunday, September 1st, Bob Stroud closes out his four-part trip back 40 years ago to the summer of '73. These will be songs on your radio and in your record collection from back then.

This will take place between 7 AM and 10, Central, and streams live at That would be 97.1 FM WDRV, The Drive in Chicago. Well worth a listen if you're from that era.

Liz and I listened to cassette tapes from the first three shows all the way out to Galena, Illinois, and back these last four days as we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary.

In addition, today, Stroud will be going back to 1972 on his Ten at Ten show at 10 AM (and 10 PM).

Brings Back the Memories. --RoadDog

Speaking of Wisconsin-- Part 3: Out to the Abbey

Continued from August 22nd.

We decided not to take Wells Street (the old US-12) into Lake Geneva because of the Venetian Night celebration going on there tonight (August 11th). Expect back ups and delays every day during summer in Lake Geneva, but especially during the weekends and even more so for events. All those Flatlanders going there, you know.

So, at Co. H and Wells Street, we turned to the west and took some roads to skirt Lake Geneva and then had a cruise along South Lake Shore Drive along Geneva Lake's south shore. The town is called Lake Geneva, but the lake is Geneva Lake, but most folk don't know that and call both Lake Geneva.

This is a very pretty drive in itself, although none of it along the lake, but there are plenty residential streets you can turn off and see some water. The road gets especially pretty as you approach Delavan, where the Abbey is located. Talk about you roller coaster rides up and down hills. But watch the low speed limit.

Then, There's the Abbey!! --RoadDog

Winning Weiner-- Part 6: Home depot and Tastee Freez

GURNEE HOME DEPOT: (Three Dogs) Overwhelming recommended by the Lake County Journal's readers, Red Hot Chicago Dogs served from a cart at the exit of the Home Depot store. Service is quick and they build the dog for you.

We have a similar stand at the Fox Lake Home Depot. I haven't eaten there yet, but they should be banned as the great smell of those hot dogs is too tempting.

TASTEE FREEZ-- GRAYSLAKE-- (Three Dogs) They evidently were not very impressed with it. Why would you chose Tastee Freez in Grayslake, when there are two Dog 'N Suds places in Lake County and one in McHenry County?

I Feel the Need for a Hot Dog. --RoadDog

Winning Weiner-- Part 5: Dockside Digs in Waukegan

Continuing with the best of the dog in Lake County, Illinois.

I have not gone to these last thre eplaces on the voting, but will.

DOCKSIDE DOGS, WAUKEGAN: They especially liked it because the condiments were on a cart so you get to make it yourself, something that I like best of all for my hotdog. There was some worry about people being hygienic.

"The hot dog was a royal mess, but I'm the one who made the mess. Extra points for the location on the Waukegan beach. You sit outdoors and watch boats traverse the blue waters (of Lake Michigan)."

And, when I make a hot dog and get to put the stuff on it, I pile it high and wide. A HUGE MESS, but MY MESS.

Some reader comments on the place, "Great dogs and brats-- with a lakefront view, sailboats and big sky!"

"Not just the best dogs, but sun, water, and a lake breeze."

What I'd Call a Million Dollar Dog View. --RoadDog

Monday, August 26, 2013

Is There a Condiment I Don't Like on My Hot Dog?

Good question for a guy who believes firmly in The More the Better. However, I don't much like sport peppers. A bit too hot for my taste buds. Well, in Chicago fashion...NO KETCHUP OR CATSUP!!!!!! 

Mustard is definitely ok.

Liz likes her hot dogs plain. I don't know how she can eat a plain hot dog. I'd have a hard time choking one of those down.

And, I will write down some of my favorite hot dog places when I finish the rest of the Journal's rankings.


Winning Weiner-- Part 4: Scotty's in Round Lake Beach, Illinois

SCOTTY'S, ROUND LAKE BEACH (Four hot dog rating)

"Best value by far, fries come with the dogs for only $2.80. The bun was a tad too long and too doughy. But the dog was cooked to perfection, if that is possible.

After all, can anyone really screw up cooking a hot dog? Extra points for having cucumber and sauerkraut as some of the toppings."

Living in Round Lake Beach for 17 years, we ate there many times. It is possibly the oldest place in their survey, opening back in the 60s. And, mighty small in size, but there are picnic tables outside.

I've had the hot dogs, but usually get the Polish sausage. Very, very greasy, but delicious.

Or, Do We Say "Weining Weiner?"  --RoadDog

Winning Weiner-- Part 3: Talking Sammie's

Continuing with the Lake County Journal's Top Dogs in the county:

SAMMIE'S IN GRAYSLAKE, ROUND LAKE BEACH AND LAKE VILLA (Four Hot Dog Rating): "We liked the home-made relish all by itself and would pay big bucks for a jar of the stuff. Loved the addition of a cucumber, but please put the celery salt somewhere else but atop the cucumber."

I've eaten at the Sammie's in Round Lake Beach many times, but never had their hot dogs as their gyros...WOW!!!

Guess I'll have to have a dog next time I'm there. Hey, even better, a cucumber AND a pickle.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

What a Long Strange Trip It's Been: 40 Years Married Today

Well, here Liz and I are, 40 years after the fact.

We were married 40 years ago in Dekalb, Illinois, and honeymooned in Galena, where we'll soon be heading. As My Dear Old Dad Used to Sing....

Right now we are celebrating with boating almost everyday. Yesterday, we went to Wauconda and sat out on the deck overlooking Bang's Lake and enjoyed cocktails and a deejay. We then ate dinner at a really great Chicago-style hot dog stand, Fratello's, and then went to Captain's Quarters on Fox Lake and saw the band 1969 playing music from that era, our era. You know, 40+ years ago.

Just got back from boating and we'll be going out for an anniversary meal at Docker's on Pistakee Lake and then back to Captain's for our favorite local band, Soda.

Celebrating, Anyone?  --RoadDog

OK, Stopped at Fratello's for a Hot Dog

After writing about the hot dogs at Fratello's in Volo, Illinois, receiving the Lake County Journal's recommendation as the county's best hot dogs, I felt the need to munch one.

Yesterday, on our way back from Wauconda, we saw it coming up on the driver's side of our vehicle on US-12, and pulled in.

I can't even remember the last time I had one. And, it was every bit as good as the Journal said, only, at $2.75, a lot more expensive than what you'd pay at a lot of places around here for a dog just as good.

For another $3 you can get fries and a drink.

Mighty Good, Though. --RoadDog

Saturday, August 24, 2013

America's Prettiest Towns-- Part 3: Galena, Illinois

ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA*--- Gorgeous scenery...and Biltmore. I'd like to add, very expensive gas.

LEAVENWORTH, WASHINGTON---- A slice of Bavaria in the Pacific Northwest. A favorite weekend get-away spot for Seattle.

GALENA, ILLINOIS*---- The town that time forgot. A slice of 1840s America. Anyone who thinks Illinois is just a flat state should drive US-20 from Freeport, Illinois to Dubuque, Iowa, passing through Galena. We're going to Galena Monday as that is where we went on our honeymoon 40 years ago.

HOLLAND, MICHIGAN*--- A slice of the Netherlands in Michigan. Anybody think tulips?

FISH CREEK, WISCONSIN*---- Hey, Door County.

Yep, That Is a Bunch of Mighty "Purty" Towns. --RoadDog

America's Prettiest Towns-- Part 2: Athens, Ga.

More information and pictures at the site.

FORT BENTON, MONTANA----"Birthplace of Montana"

ATHENS, GEORGIA*--- Big music scene: B-52s and REM. I went to UGA here for a year.

LAMBERTVILLE, NEW JERSEY---- On the Delaware River.

KAPA'A, HAWAII---- Onspoiled "old" Hawaii. Featured in the film "Descendants."

EDGARTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS-- Martha's Vineyard. Too rich for me.

"Glory, Glory to Old Georgia." --RoadDog

Winning Weiner-- Part 2: Fratello's in Volo, Illinois

Continued frim July 27th.

These were ranked as the Top Dogs in Lake County, Illinois, by the Lake County Journal. And, I have eaten at the Top Three.

#1 FRATELLO'S, VOLO-- (Given Five Dogs) Even more impressive, the place started right here in Lake County. "The bun was soft, tasty and fresh with the important element: poppy seeds. The dog was hot with soft meat inside. The twisted ends gave it a classic ballpark look.

If cars in the parking lot are any indicator, especially on the weekends, this is a top spot. The folks driving US-12 to either the Chain of Lakes or Wisconsin sure know it.

I haven't eaten there for many years and will have to get back.

Eatin' Them Dogs. --RoadDog

Thursday, August 22, 2013

America's Prettiest Towns-- Part 1: Watchin' the Eagles (I Mean Birds, Not Football or the Band)

From Forbes Magazine. Based on Foddors.

I've been to some (shown with *) and plan on going to others:

NEW IBERIA, LOUISIANA*-- near Avery Island, you know, Tabasco. (On our New Orleans trip in '95)

CAMDEN, MAINE*-- "Prototypical small town New England seaport" (On our Boston-Maine trip)

ANNA MARIA, FLORIDA-- just south of Tampa and not overdeveloped

DECORAH, IOWA-- Norwegian town (And where we watch the eaglets in their nests most springs.  But that was watching on the internet.  Note, we have since visited Decorah.

BRECKENRIDGE, COLORADO*-- Ski town. (Went through there in 2006 coming back from the end-to-end Route 66 trip. Who says interstates are boring?)

Three for Five. (Now Four)  --RoadDog

Speaking of Wisconsin-- Part 2: Out to the Abbey

This past Sunday, we drove US-12 from the house, through Spring Grove and then hit about a mile back-up in Richmond, something that happens regularly on weekends as Illinoisians, the Flatlanders, head for Wisconsin. They are considering a by-pass which would be a great idea. But, Richmond is a very pretty town with lots of antique stores.

A short drive north of town is where you either get on the US-12 expressway or continue on to Genoa City and get on County Highway H, the original US-12. Co. H is a pretty drive. Once south of Lake Geneva, it now goes to the expressway, but originally entered town on Wells Street, which still advertises itself as two miles of motels.

Before the expressway, this was US-12 and there were many motels along the stretch to the downtown. Many are still there and several remaining ones show the continuation development of motels from individual cabins to attached units to two-stories.

A real history of the development of motels/hotels.

Are We There Yet? --RoadDog

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Speaking of Wisconsin-- Part 1: Lake Geneva and Flatlanders

I write a lot about things to do around here in northeast Illinois during the summer and that's not even mentioning southeast Wisconsin, located just eight miles from the house.

Probably the best place to go is Lake Geneva on Geneva Lake. You can get there either on US-12 (an expressway from Genoa City, Wisconsin) or drive the original US-12, now County Highway H from Genoa City. 

Either drive is pretty (and on the expressway you pass signs warning you to be on the watch for low-flying aircraft who land at an airfield/subdivision for folks who commute to work by air or like having their plane in their garage).

Once I stopped to take a picture of the sign (how often do you see a sign like that?) and a state cop pulled up behind me asking why I had stopped. When I told him I was taking a picture of the sign, he just shook his head and walked back to his car. "Dumb flatlander," he was thinking.

 Flatlander is what some folk in Wisconsin call us folk from Illinois.

Dumb Cheeseheads!! --RoadDog

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Time For McHenry and Antioch to Get Their Calendars Straight

Well, I am going to have to do a little bit of complaining because the two very close towns to us here in Illinois like to have their summer festivals on the the same days.


Fiesta Days run for ten days and Taste runs for four. But the biggest days of Fiesta Days are on the biggest days of of the Taste of Sumer.

As if that isn't bad enough, they tun two other weekly events on the same day during the summer.


Both weekly events occur on Thursdays.

Time to change somebody's days. I can't be in two places at the same time.

Come On, Give a Guy a Break!! --RoadDog

Here's Some Road Food-- Part 5: Dem Dogs

Then, the Epic Deli has an assortment of my favorites, the hot dog. Of course, there is the CHICAGO DOG: ($3) mustard, relish, onions, tomatoes, celery salt, dill pickle spear and sport peppers.

TYLER'S FAVORITE: ($4) This is the one I really like. bacon-wrapped deep-fried hot dog topped with barbeque pulled pork and cole slaw on a pretzel roll.

BROOKLYN DOG: ($3.50) topped with pastrami, Swiss cheese and coleslaw.

FRITO DOG: ($3.50) chili, cheese, onions and fritos.

Good Eatin', Maynard. --RoadDog

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Last "It's Thursday" Concert in Antioch, Illinois

This past Thursday, after boating, we drove to Antioch, Illinois, about ten miles away, for their eighth and final "It's Thursday" concert.

The band, Chicago Tribute Anthology,. played. They are a tribute group for the band Chicago and have seven members, including a three-piece horn section, of course. Another mighty good band as all have been. 

We like to go early and eat at a local place, usually the Sequoit Lodge which had 35 cent wings on Thursdays. Concerts are held at the bandshell behind Main Street (Il-83).

Waiting for Next Year. Maybe they could come up with a better name.

Good Times in the Area.  --RoadDog

Here's Some Road Food For You-- Part 4

These are just a few of the offerings. The ones that have me the most interested.

THE D. ROSE ($8)-- (If it doesn't sit out a year.)-- cocktail meatballs, bbq pulled pork, bacon, mozzarella and grilled pineapple.

THE GILLY ($10)-- Italian beef, chopped Italian sausage, bacon, hot giardinera, gyro meat, tzatski sauce and mozzarella.

PANINIS-- They have 15 different ones, all but one $6 to $7. The $9 one is below.

THE JIM TOM ($9)-- Fried chicken breast, white peppered gravy, bacon and a fried egg served on a spicy corn waffle.

 Many Interesting Choices. --RoadDog

Here's Some Road Food (Well, Boating Also) For You-- Part 3

Still going through that Epic Deli menu. 

You can see it yourself at or on Facebook. 

MEAT CHEESE MEAT CHEESE ($7)-- Italian beef topped w/mozzarella, topped with Itallian beef topped with more mozzarelli with hot giardinara or sweet peppers.

CHEETO-WICH ($7)-- Ham, roast beef, cheddar, mayo, lettuce, tomato and topped with Cheetos.

THE WAILER ($7)-- This is what Kevin and Kelly split. When I acked what they got Kelly said what I thought was "A Whaler" so thought that would be fish. But with "Wailer" spelling, it became a Bob Marley & the Wailers thing.

It has Jamaican jerk chicken, pepperjack, mango salsa, grilled pineapple.

Got Me To Salivating. --RoadDog

JAB'D: One River, Three Towns, Four Stops-- Part 2

Leaving the Foxhole, we boated upriver, to Pistakee Lake and over to Docker's where we carefully avoided the sea gull droppings and went in. This was Kevin and Kelly's final passport stamp (we still have Granny's Diner now).

Quite an old-timer hangout with old-timer type stories. Final stop was back at the Legion for a few celebratory cocktails and then home.

A Good Day Boating. --RoadDog

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Here's Some Road Food For You-- Part 2: The Viking Quest Challenge

The Viking Quest is another sub offered by Epic Deli in Johnsburg, Illinois. At $10, a bit pricey but not so much when you look what comes on it. You get turkey, pastrami, salami, bacon, ham, pepperoni, roast beef, pepperjack, provolone, cheddar, banana peppers & ghost pepper ranch dressing. (Well, I'm not so sure about that last ingredient, perhaps I will substitute something else, as I have heard about those ghost peppers.)

This is a sandwich that would even inspire Dagwood. I'd like to see someone order one.

But, if $10 is too much, you could get one for free, well, actually two. It's called the Viking Quest Challenge and if you eat two in 45 minutes, they're free. So far, according to the Wall of Shame/Fame, only one guy has succeeded and some thirty have fallen to disgrace.

I Don't Think I'll Take the Challenge. --RoadDog

Here's Some Road Food for You-- Part 1

As mentioned yesterday, I will tell you about the Epic Deli in Johnsburg, Illinois, right at the Johnsburg Bridge over the Fox River. You can drive your car or boat there. Famous for their subs and some of the many:

EPIC CORNED BEEF: Half pound of homemade corned beef. Make it a reuben for .75 more. All sorts of toppings. $10// EPIC BLT: Over half pound of bacon on Texas toast. $10

THE DUDE: UFC's Clay Guida designed-- turkey, pastrami, capicola, pepperjack, roast beef, hummus, artichoke, banana peppers and dijon. $8.

THE APORKALYPSE: ham. pepperoni, salami, pulled pork, capicola, bacon, procuitto, pepperjack, white bbq sauce topped with coleslaw. $10.

Good Eating, But Wait Till You See the Viking Quest. --RoadDog

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Well, We Woulda: Da Cubs and Da Sox Both in Town

Today marks the third straight day both the Cubs and Sox play in Chicago. Back before the Cubs got their lights, that would have meant one or more trips into Chicago to see them. However, since the lights, parking cost increases and night games, we don't go.

 The teams both played at night the last two days and both have afternoon games today against the Tigers and Reds. Back when the Cubs only had day games, we'd go to Wrigley in the afternoon then drive across town for the Sox game at night.

 That way, we'd get our Chicago double header.

 Those Were the Good Old Days. --RoadDog

JAB'D: One River, Four Stops, Three Towns-- Part 1: Eatin' and Drinkin' Our Way Down the Fox River

Kevin and Kelly met us at the Legion and picked us up for the ride down the Fox River to McHenry, Illinois. They had just two more Chain Crawl passports stamps to get (we have just two left as well). A bit cooler so we were wearing sweatshirts, plus, a little threatening rain, but we didn't get any.

First stop was at the Epic Deli by the Johnsburg Bridge, (in Johnsburg) noted for the size and great taste of their sandwiches (more on it tomorrow). Liz and I got hot dog variations and they split a Wailer.

Very full, we cast off for further downriver and went to the Foxhole in McHenry by the Rt. 120 bridge. It is in the basement of an 1880s hotel and noted for their food. Every Wednesday night they have entertainment. Liz and I had gone here this past Thursday when we ate at Vickie's Place across the river and had seen New Odyssey at Veterans Park.

And, remember, I don't have to steer the boat!!

No Pirates Captured Today. --RoadDog

Is There Such a Thing As A BEST WAY to Go Boating?

You bet there is. And the best way to go boating is in another person's boat where you just sit back and go along for a ride. No worries, no effort, no captaining!! No shirt, no shoes, NO PROBLEM!!

That is just what happened yesterday when we took a boat ride downriver to McHenry in our friends' boat. 

A-Boating We Go, And No Worries. --RoadDog

Doing My Lincoln Highway Centennial Thing-- Part 9: Deep-Fried Cajun Potato Salad

Figuring this would be a good time to finish the busy day I spent June 27th when the Lincoln Highway East car convoy rolled through Dekalb on its way from Times Square to Kearney, Nebraska, for the big centennial festivities and Lincoln Highway annual conference.

Last stop was at Fatty's on the Lincoln Highway, east of the NIU campus. This is headquarters for Huskie sports and also where you can get a heaping plate of the really-bad-for-you, but oh-so-good Deep-Fried Cajun Potato Salad.

Three of Denny's traveling partners also came. Two were a couple from Bavard, North Carolina, driving a '72 car and one was from somewhere out by Geneva. None of them had ever heard of deep-fried Cajun potato salad. All liked it as we shared a big ol' plate of it.

I was, however, surprised to find Fatty's didn't have beer nuggets, a treat that probably started in Dekalb back in the 70s at Sgt. Pepper's. They were running behind for their stop in Franklin Grove for tonight's festivities so had to leave right away so bid them adieu and proceeded back to Spring Grove, stopping at several places looking for Blackhawk Stanley Cup gear and found some.

One Hundred Years, That's a Long Time. --RoadDog

Sticking Around Here: The Vietnam Wall-- Part 2

Continued from the July 27th entry.


After leaving the classic boat show at Famous Freddie's in Fox Lake, we drove over to McHenry, Illinois, and visited the traveling Vietnam Wall at the VFW on Il-120. Our friend Jerry, "Mayor of Tom's Cafe" and gung-ho Marine,  had told us about it. We had seen it once before on one of our trips along Route 66 and I had seen the real one in D.C. a couple times.

The wall always caused me reflection about all those names and all the things left at its base in memory of people on it. No charge, but donations accepted, which I was glad to give.

This is a war that had deep impact on me as it was one I never thought would end. It started when I entered junior high, went through that and all of high school and essentially all of college. And, with a draft lottery number of 22, I was going.

Fortunately, the war ended for the U.S. before I got out of college in '73.

Thanks McHenry VFW for Sponsoring the Wall.  --RoadDog

Saturday, August 10, 2013

On Docket This Weekend

TODAY: We'll be leaving for the American Legion summer picnic in just a few minutes. Tonight we are going to the Lakemoor Festival with those outstanding fireworks. Well, it's either there or to see the Lakes Area Swing Band playing outside at the classic car show at the Ingleside Dog 'N Suds.

TOMORROW: The Rally At the Lake Classic Car Show at the Fox Lake Lakefront Park. Then St. John's Parish Fest in Johnsburg, Illinois, in the afternoon. One of our favorite groups, New Odyssey, will be playing. Then, the McHenry "Keep the Spirit of 45 Alive" fourth annual national day of remembrance for the Greatest Generation. The Lakes Area Swing Band will be playing. See my World War II Blog, "Tattooed On Your Soul" from yesterday for details.

Lots to Do Around Here. --RoadDog

Sorry About Not Posting These Last Two Weeks

I am still having problems with Blogspot. I can only make entries in html which is why all the paragraphs are run-on.

Well. That's the Reason, Anyway. --RoadDog

Today is September 20, 2018, and I am going through all the blogs tp put in paragraphs between July 20143 and April 2014.

Not So Much Driving This Summer, Just Enjoying the Local Area


 We had been planning on boating, but I got tied up with the yard.

Drove to McHenry, Illinois, and did some shopping, then ate at Vickie's Place on the deck overlooking the Fox River. They have a fantastic selection of unique burgers (even better with a buy-one-get-one Chain Crawl coupon).

We went to Fox Hole in the old 1880s Riverside Hotel on the other side of the river for passport stamp and then I went to Vinyl Frontier (mom and pop record store) and bought a Roomful of Blues CD.

Then, we went to the Veterans Park and watched New Odyssey play at the gazebo. Liz's former classmate in Chicago, Michael Feddick, is a member of the band.  They put on a fantastic show and were well-received.  They're heading to Springfield the next two days to play at the state fair and then will be back Sunday to play at St. John's Parish Fest in Johnsburg.


JABD: Tenth Day Out Boating

JABD-- Just Another Boating Day. This is turning out to be a boating season that is just hard to do. With two different floods and then some real cool and then real hot weather, it is just difficult to get out in the boat.
However, we did get out for our tenth JABD yesterday. We did a boat float in Mineola Bay, Fox Lake and then picked up Kevin and Kelly and slow-cruised over to Stormy Monday, sat out on the deck and enjoyed watching a bunch of drunk guys attempting to play voleyball.

Later, the Usual Suspects ambled in for the Bears preseason football game, which was watched out on the deck.