Payne’s Restaurant

If you’re ever in Gas City, Indiana and have a hankering for some British food, I have just the place for you. Payne’s Restaurant is located just off I-69 on the outskirts of town.

Their menu is constantly changing and uses a lot of locally sourced ingredients. Plus, the atmosphere is cozy and service is great.

I’m going to preface the rest of this by saying that I am not their target market. Their menu is very meat heavy and there were no vegetarian options on the menu the day I was there. Luckily, I sometimes eat fish so I chose the fish and chips with a garden salad.

The fish was divine. The fries came flavored with vinegar. I don’t like vinegar. And the garden salad consisted of some vegetables and croutons with no greens and doused in vinegar.

It wasn’t quite what I expected.

All the same, I enjoyed the atmosphere and the fish. If you’re a meat eater, you’ll have lots of interesting things to choose from so give it a whirl! Ok is, they have a Garfield statue out front!

I asked the waiter how a British restaurant run by British people ends up at an interstate exit in rural Indiana. He said the owner came to Indiana for the James Dean stuff and just never left.

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Cambridge City, Indiana

I stopped for a picture here because I just liked the scene. The viaduct and the Chug-A-Lug Pub sign make a shabby but eclectic combination. Truth is, Cambridge City, Indiana isn’t a city at all. Their population peaked at around 2,500 in 1970. Today, about 1,750 people call this quaint town home.

Located along the historic National Road, I have antiqued here before. When I was there in April, it was just to drive through – although I did meander off the beaten path for a few minutes.

There are several nice murals that tell the story of the town’s history.

I live in Vinton County so I always look for this place along the National Road.

Worshipers were beginning to arrive for services at the Methodist Church when I was passing through.

The place is just quaint and lovely and clearly a source of pride for its residents. It seems like a nice place to live and it’s proximity to Richmond and Indianapolis are a plus to me. Residents can access the culture, healthcare, jobs and other amenities of the cities while maintaining their small town lifestyle.

It’s one of several cute small towns along the National Road in Indiana. If you’re a road tripper, I recommend following this route to get a taste of the kind of Americana you’ll only find in small rural communities. It’s a special experience so hit the road, brake for pictures, stop for diner pie and, as always, enjoy the journey.

One Cool Cat

If you are a fan of Garfield, you might enjoy following the Garfield Trail in Grant County, Indiana. I told told you about that yesterday. There’s also an exhibit about creator Jim Davis at the Fairmount Historical Museum.

This museum is mostly a destination for James Dean fans but they do have a room dedicated to Davis and his lasagna loving feline Garfield.

I told you a little about this place when I wrote about the exhibits regarding James Dean. They seem to be rebranding the James Dean memorabilia as the James Dean Museum. You’ll find a description of that collection included in this story.

The exhibit really is small but it includes some Garfield memorabilia.

Plus there are some comic strips and a few professional tools that belonged to Davis.

And, of course, part of the Garfield trail resides here. It’s Garfield dressed as James Dean!

I’m guessing this is the most photographed five foot tall James Dean impersonating cat in the world!

Indiana’s Garfield Trail

Garfield creator Jim Davis was born in Marion, Indiana and grew up in Fairmount. Educated at Ball State University, Davis had a career in advertising before creating Garfield in 1978.

His native Grant County honors Davis and his famous feline with large statues located around the county. These fiberglass statues are about five feet tall and depict Garfield in all kinds of fun outfits.

They’re pretty spread out so seeing them all in a day would be challenging. Still, I saw a few!

This one in Gas City honors the history of the gas and glass blowing industries of the area. It’s outside the Carnegie Library.

This one is located inside the Marion Library. It was one of my favorites.

This gardening Garfield is actually located at Minnetrista in Muncie.

Want to drive the Garfield trail? Click here!

Spring In The Country

This picture was made possible by a wrong turn. Luckily, it was a pretty Spring day in Ohio and we had some time to kill. Isn’t this a beautiful country view?

If this were a scratch ‘n sniff picture, it would smell like seasonal allergies or, more specifically, like cut grass.

Remember, you’re never really lost if you know where you are. Hint: you are here. No matter where you turn up, odds are you can find a place to turn around and retrace your steps. So don’t be afraid to see what’s around the next bend.

Just use some common sense, be careful to stay off private property and you’ll be fine. Oh, and don’t forget to slow down and enjoy the journey. Smell the grass, feel the wind on your face, study your surroundings and drink it all in!

Tin Man of Muncie

Meet the Tin Man of Muncie, Indiana.

There’s no yellow brick road here but there is Kilgore Avenue that takes you right to Delbert M. Dawson and Sons Metal Fabricating where this guy stands sentinel.

He’s larger than life and kind of a neat thing to see if you’re in the neighborhood. Roadside oddities and attractions are remnants of days gone by when road trips ruled and before kids had iPads to keep them entertained on long trips.

Weird as it may sound, this is the kind of thing I live for. Anything different like unique architecture, a classic car, an interesting statue, a covered bridge and yes, a man made of sheet metal, are the things that make road-trips fun and keep you engaged with your surroundings.

You never know what’s around the next corner and that’s an amazing realization.

So how about it? Is there a roadside attraction you enjoy?