Sigh…I can’t believe our year of dates is almost over!
Saturday brought another daytime date for us. The plan was for us to explore the antique shops in Alton, IL, get some lunch at Fast Eddie’s Bon-Air, and then drive up the Great River Road to Grafton for the scenery and a couple more shops.
It just so happened that we got an absolutely gorgeous day for it, too…an unseasonably-warm 70 degrees and sunny before rain and highs in the 40’s returned by Sunday afternoon.
We started out in downtown Alton around 10:30am at Steve’s Antiques. Oh my gosh…one of the coolest places I’ve ever been, simply because it’s got EVERYTHING. This is not your typical, tidy antique shop. This place will make you feel like you’re a picker.
Located in an old warehouse, it’s dirty and breezy (due to some broken windows), so you have to be willing to get your hands dirty.
Also, you should know that there is:
-some scary, weird, GIGANTIC nude art
-THE scariest taxidermy I’ve ever seen. Pictured below is a goose with its tongue out. Not pictured is the standing-on-his-hind-legs fox with a small rodent in his mouth, that, when I turned the corner, literally scared me so badly I let out a small shriek.
However, there’s also just tons of cool stuff. I got this old piece of a mail slot for 5 bucks, and I’m putting it in our little kitchen memo area. The owner is verrry laid back, and much of the stuff isn’t marked, so you just have to ask how much it is. I get the feeling he’d be willing to make a deal on anything in there.
By 11:15, we decided we’d best head to our lunch destination: Fast Eddie’s Bon-Air, the classic bar-with-crazy-cheap food (for real: 1/2 lb cheeseburgers are $1.29…7 delicious chicken wings, called “Hot Chick on a Stick”, are $2.99). It’s a place you really just need to see – lots of history, TONS of seating that by evening is filled (lunch is the time to go – we only waited 20 minutes for food), and reasonably-priced drinks. So glad to check that off our bucket list!
There are several other shops on Broadway, with one (j & k Trash to Treasure) that had particularly neat stuff…you could easily spend a couple of hours here. We passed, however, on the Historic Museum of Torture Devices (yeah, no thanks…and a big ol’ “are you crazy?” to the mom and dad who enthusiastically took their 6 and 8 year old kids in while we were standing outside the shop next to the museum).
After all of that we headed up the Great River Road, along with about half a million bikers (a shocking number of whom were not wearing helmets – another “Are you crazy?” moment for me), looking for eagles, spotting a couple, and then stopping in Grafton, where we checked out a couple other small shops. I bought a cute vintage, orange and white gingham-checked half apron that I’ll wear to prepare our Thanksgiving feast this year. Oh, and it was $3, which again, I couldn’t believe.
That wraps it up! One more date to go, and that one isn’t planned yet because December is so busy…