Friday, March 01, 2013

Lunch c/o Ernie's Texas Lunch and Trip to Mr. Ed's Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium

Now I usually wouldn't rush and do so many posts back to back to back, but the truth of the matter is I'm about to embark on a vacation, and I know that I'm going to go overboard with photographic evidence of it, so I'm hoping to prevent total backlog that would lead to my blogging about the vacation three months after it happened. There is some wisdom in this approach, though I also have a 5 AM cab to take, so it may be a mixed outcome for me. In any case. The next morning we all did our own thing for breakfast (I went and tried a new place on the square, but the bagel I had there was so forgettable that I'm not even bothering). I would also generally photoshop these a little for color correction, but again I feel like it's better to power through this trip at this point (it was three weeks ago I think). Ernie's is closed on Sundays, and Monday was going to be a holiday, so in order to get enough Ernie's time in, we returned for lunch on Saturday. We also met up with our cousins F. and N., who have always been very nice folks. I don't know them as well as my mother or my uncle do, but they've never been anything but friendly. It's strange because everyone's getting older, and it's just weird to see. It's weird to see the fact that I have white hairs, and that I'm not 21 and K.'s not 24/5, and that our parents and elders aren't pushing 60 as much as past 70. It's weird. In any case. It was a bit more busy on a Saturday afternoon. The big table in the back and quite a few booths were taken up with Gettysburg College kids who had the look of recuperating from long previous nights. The place has been renovated since I was a kid; brighter red colors and whiter walls, but the basic layout hasn't changed a whit. I asked everyone if they remembered the older woman who used to sit at the last stool in the back, who I swear always seemed a bit in her cups. No one did. This either means I was a very observant kid (possible) or I made it up (also possible).
I thought I'd try something new. Ernie's does what it does and it's not too crazy about new things, so the variety of the menu is pretty limited. I went with a fried chicken sandwich. A step above McDonalds fare, but generally speaking if you go to Ernies, stick with the hot dogs and fries.
A., K.'s bf, ordered fries with gravy. We took up three booths between us all. I ended up sitting with A. the bf, M. the cousin and K. the younger cousin. The kids, of course, rotated a bit. I think A. the kid also spent some time with us as well. Once the food was pretty much eaten, but F. and N. and my uncle were still gabbing, I thought that K. the kid might be less restless if I played a doodle game I remember playing with my mother on plane rides. Basically she'd start a drawing of a face or an animal and then I got to finish it up. I'll need to find the Instagram (@carikuber) photo I took of some of the interesting and creative choices K. made. He seemed to think I always had an idea of what I thought it would look like finished (I didn't) but one particularly inspired image was of a 'three bottomed ghost' as in he had three derriers. I got a kick out of that.
I had gotten pretty excited about the possibility of taking at least some of the kids to the Land of Little Horses. Basically I have all these memories of things I enjoyed, or things that stayed with me in a non-traumatic way, that I'd like to share with family children. Perhaps one day I'll have kids of my own, but that is by no means a certainty, so the opportunity to potentially be the curator of their Gettysburg memories, even just a little bit, was appealing. Plus, whatever, I wanted to see miniature horses and buy a handful of feed for 50 cents and give it to them. I mentioned this desire to the kids' respective parents, and they thought that at least the older kids might dig it. And so that had been a tentative plan...especially because most of the adults wanted to go see the Gettsyburg College basketball game, which truthfully I wasn't as keen on doing. But alas. The horse place doesn't open until it's warmer and my back up non-basketball activity was an Elephant Museum/Candy Emporium and though I may not have kids of my own, I know that bringing kids to a place with crap tons of candy is, like, a totally bad idea and would only lead to sorrow for everyone involved. So, after lunch, we went our separate ways yet again. You know, I'm beginning to think we didn't walk to Ernie's on Friday, that it was Saturday that we walked. In any case, I did make the slight drive out of town west towards Chambersburg, to check out Mr. Ed's Elephant Museum. I only even knew the place existed because of our 2008 summer reunion, during which my father had quite the heart health scare and ended up in the Chambersburg hospital. I drove back and forth between the two towns a few times, and passed the museum each and was certainly curious. It's definitely something. A strange roadside attraction with a certain history and illusion of grandeur that I'm not sure is entirely unwarranted, but isn't quite warranted either. It seems that this collection of elephant knick knacks used to be quite a bit larger, but a few years back there was a terrible fire and a good chunk of the collection was destroyed. When you first walk in, it's a good sized room full of candy, but if you snake your way past the fill your own pixie stick dispenser you'll get to a long and narrow hallway lined with plexiglassed shelves just loaded up with elephants of all kinds. Some look like beautiful little trinkets, other cracker jack box toys from any number of decades. It's sensory overload in a way. So much is crammed on each shelf it's hard to really see any of it.

In addition to the many, many shelves of candy, they also have a fudge case of house-made fudge. You can get 8 different kinds for $13, which I did....but then forgot to document because sometimes I am an idiot.
Outside they also had a strange amalgamation of statues around the main building. It's right off the road so it's one part magical and one part just weird...hard to get lost in the magic when cars are racing by. It had snowed just a little over night, and while in Gettysburg there wasn't much of a trace left by mid-afternoon, the drive west included some rather beautiful vistas of snow covered hills and valleys. Adams County, PA is a kind of weird area, the little I know of it, but not without its charms and beauty...and very strange BYO strip joints (but we don't need to get into that).

Imagine my face there.
Elephant looking over a fish pond. I wondered how the fish didn't freeze.
And on the way west I saw this strange thing and decided on the way back it was worth pulling over on the side of the road to document because....what the hell?
And there you have it.

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