Feb 09 2011

Something Really Big!

It’s no secret that our family enjoys stopping at roadside attractions.  Things that are really big, really small, really old, or really strange catch our attention, and we’re always good for a photo op and a chance to stretch our legs for a few minutes.

I realize that I’ve been remiss lately in sharing our strange stops with my readers, so today I’ll play a game of catch-up.

A game of catch (up) brings to mind the bronze home plate from Minneapolis’ Met Stadium.  What used to be the site of Met Stadium, home of the Minnesota Twins, is now Mall of America, and if you pay attention while you’re wandering around Nickelodeon Universe, you can see the plate in the floor that marks the spot where Met Stadium’s home place was anchored.

Met Stadium Home Plate

Slightly larger is what is billed as the Smallest Church in America, the St. Anthony of Padua Chapel near Festina, Iowa.  Oddly enough, there are several churches in the United States that claim the title “smallest.”  It seems like a strange thing to argue about, but maybe we’ll have to go check them all out and make our own decision.

World's Smallest Church

Moving to the big side of things, the World’s Largest Strawberry is located outside City Hall in where else but Strawberry Point, Iowa.

World's Largest Strawberry

There’s a chili-can shaped silo at the Hormel plant in Janesville, Wisconsin.  Pardon the quality of the photo, as it was taken while (my husband was) driving down the Interstate in rain.

Hormel Silo

If you want some vegetables to go with your chili, maybe the Jolly Green Giant can help you.  He’s visible from I-90, but you can take the Blue Earth, MN, exit to get up close and personal with him.

Jolly Green Giant

If it’s the real “Big Guy” you want to meet, perhaps a visit to St. Peter’s Pearly Gates is appropriate.  St. Peter, Minnesota, that is. And yes, they do have their own pearly gates.

St Peter's Pearly Gates

Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa, and the Field of Dreams Movie Site near Dyersville still welcomes baseball players.  Best time to visit is late summer when you, too, can disappear into the corn field.

Field of Dreams

Finally, this one just plain scared me.  Yes, it’s an alligator crossing sign, found along the bayous near Holly Beach, Louisiana, and it wasn’t so troublesome from the safety of my car.  What scared me was that it was right next to a fishing area.  I don’t think I’d be fishing in an alligator crossing zone, but that’s just me. I’m not ready to head to St. Peter’s Pearly Gates quite yet.

Alligator Crossing

To see more of the oddball places we’ve visited, check out the “Roadside Attractions” category in the sidebar.  My favorite site for finding roadside attractions is Roadside America, and a like-minded family blogs about their adventures at Go Big or Go Home.

Have you been to any of these places? Do you have a favorite roadside attraction? Or do you avoid them at all costs? Comment below!

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5 comments so far

5 Comments to “Something Really Big!”

  1. [...] writes about family travel at Travels with Children.  Her family enjoys seeing things both big and small. AKPC_IDS += [...]

  2. Traci on 10 Feb 2011 at 9:40 am

    All hail roadside attractions! I’m so glad there are other moms out there who love quirky sites, and have no qualms about forcing them upon their defenseless children.

    There’s a sign at Wakulla Springs in FL warning that alligators are attracted to pets and small children! Yikes!

  3. [...] we were vacationing in Iowa, we stopped first at the World’s Smallest Church in Festina and then drove up the road a few miles to Spillville to see the Bily Clocks [...]

  4. Nikki on 28 Apr 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Sure there are smaller Church buildings in the world, if you count the likes of Church-of-Eternal-Love-and-Gullibility in my neighbor’s backyard. However, The St. Anthony of Padua chapel or the Smallest Church if you will, is part of a legitimate, mainstream religion, namely the Catholic Church, giving its “smallest” claim more significance.

  5. [...] or even a car wash can be interesting.  Our family also stops for historical markers and the world’s largest (or smallest) [...]

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