Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Break Road Trip, Part 2.2

The second part of our day, we traveled to Kellogg - a whopping 10 minutes from Wabasha.  We visited the LARK Toy Store which is supposedly the largest independent toy store in America.

Maddie and Jake signed us in and we started walking around!

Mostly I was anxious to see the Carousel I had read about.  It is entirely hand-carved.

We headed to the back of the store where there was a cafe.  After ordering, we heard the announcement that the carousel would be running (it runs once every 30 minutes).  The kids and I ended up being the only people to ride!

While our lunch was prepared, I walked around taking a million pictures.  The work and details on this carousel are truly amazing!

(The guy above was just added for detail on the back of a boar!)

(Again - more detail.  These were the eggs on the back of a cart!)

The original owner of the toy store began sketching the animals in 1988.  He met with a local wood-carver and the two started working together.  A local woman did the painting and some man from Ohio put it all together.  It officially opened in 1997 - nine years of planning/creating! It doesn't run on wheels along the bottom, everything is suspended on a center pole.  Can you tell I found it fascinating?

After lunch we walked around and looked at the wood carvings that just sit around the carousel and are used as decoration.

Unfortunately I couldn't get a picture of the Stegosaurus.  I thought my nephew, Austin, would have appreciated that one!  I guess he'll have to take a trip there with his family.

But, there were other sites to see.  There is a big hallway that is lined with all sorts of antique toys.  Some have been donated by people from all over.

I have to say it was sad to see what were considered "antiques".  Care Bears?  Pound Puppies?  Aaagh!

I was disappointed when I saw these pots and pans...

I played with those exact sets when I was a kid.  I'm old enough to have "antique toys"?  No.  Maybe these sets were handed down to me from my mom.  Yeah...that's it...all my mom's original toys.  (Sorry...I'm totally throwing you under the bus on this one, mom!)

There were a couple mirrors we all got a kick out of...

Oh yeah - and there were toys.

(All the wood toys were made by the Lark Company.  This is only a small sample!)

(These quacked me up.)

Jake found the hat section.  I thought it was kind of small, but it surrounded a little stage where kids could don the hats and boas and other costume-y items for a little show.

This hat was perhaps my favorite of the day...who hasn't sat around seriously studying a toy while wearing a pizza hat?

There's a whole room of books and another of just baby toys.  

The kids bought some souvenir toys.  I was happy to see they really did pick out items that they couldn't find normally at Target.

On the way out we tried to take a picture near the only Kellogg sign we could find.

We tried to get the kids to look like they were leaning against the water tower.  This involved me standing across the road yelling instructions on a super windy day with a freeway right behind them.  It also involved Mike standing halfway between us interpreting my instructions to the kids who still couldn't hear anything.

As Jake would say:  "Epic Fail."

No comments: