Category Archives: Travel

St. Francis Xavier Basilica

After we left the Field of Dreams on Sunday, we visited the St. Francis Xavier Basilica. It is one of only 53 Basilicas in the United States.


Field of Dreams Road Trip
Random Flower

Field of Dreams Road Trip
Spires

Field of Dreams Road Trip
Spires

Field of Dreams Road Trip
The Church

Field of Dreams Road Trip
Altar

Field of Dreams Road Trip
Stained Glass Window

Field of Dreams Road Trip
Sanctuary

Field of Dreams Road Trip
Spire

Field of Dreams Road Trip
Willy

Field of Dreams Road Trip

Field of Dreams Road Trip
Jay

Field of Dreams Road Trip
Dessert in Jesup

Field of Dreams Road Trip
Traditional Road Trip Photo

The height of each spire is 212 feet.

The term Basilica is a Greek derivation from “Basileus” meaning a royal or kingly building. In the day of the pagan Roman Empire, most cities had a large building of special architectural design to accommodate large audiences for orators of the day. They were called basilicas. In her earlier centuries, the Catholic church conferred this title on churches of unusual architectural and spiritual significance. Their number is small. Some hold the title by a special Papal edict as is the case of the Dyersville Basilica.

The Basilica is often referred to as the Pope’s church for his use in the event he should ever visit the area. There are Major and Minor Basilicas. The Major Basilicas of which there exist only five, are all in Rome, the best known being St. Peter’s. The Basilica of St. Mary’s in Minneapolis was the first church in the United States to be raised to the rank of a Minor Basilica in 1926.

St. Francis Xavier was the twelfth church in the country so honored. It is unique in that it is one of three in a rural area; all the others are in metropolitan areas.

There are now 53 basilicas in the United States. St. Francis Xavier Basilica is one of the finest examples of the true medieval Gothic architecture. Its graceful and pleasing lines are reminiscent of some of the outstanding Gothic cathedrals in Europe.

-Basilica Pamphlet

Field of Dreams

Jay, Willy and I made a little trip to the Field of Dreams on Sunday. Have a look.


Field of Dreams Road Trip
Lunch

Field of Dreams Road Trip
Independence, Iowa

Field of Dreams Road Trip
Field of Dreams House

Field of Dreams Road Trip
The Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams Road Trip
Jay

Field of Dreams Road Trip
Coming out of the corn field.

Field of Dreams Road Trip
The Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams Road Trip
Rounding 2nd

Field of Dreams Road Trip
Going for Three

Field of Dreams Road Trip
Wily and his Camera Phone

Field of Dreams Road Trip
Souvenir Shop

Field of Dreams Road Trip
The line between the ghost world and the real world.

Field of Dreams Road Trip
1st Base

Field of Dreams Road Trip
Willy sunning himself on the bleachers.

Field of Dreams Road Trip
This is actually what Jay looks like when he watches baseball.

Field of Dreams Road Trip
Enjoying the game.

Field of Dreams Road Trip
“I love this guy.”

Field of Dreams Road Trip
The remnants of when the Field of Dreams was owned by two feuding families.

I had never been there before. I think I got much more out of the experience than Willy and Jay. I only wish I had brought a glove and a ball.

Back to Civilization

After desecrating the Lincoln statue, I had to make amends by visiting the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Lincoln’s Tomb. This we did on our return trip to civilization.


Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Traditional Road Trip Photo

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Ernie

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Waffle House Turtle

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Springfield

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
The Lincoln Family

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Booth

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Lincoln Portrait

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Generals

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Douglass

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
White House

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
“War is old men talking and young men dying…”

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
I don’t really know this guy.

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Old State Capitol (Where Obama announced his run for the White House.)

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Teresa

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Presidential Library

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Presidential Museum

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Statue

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Lincoln’s Tomb

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Lincoln’s Final Resting Place

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Inside Lincoln’s Tomb

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Inside Lincoln’s Tomb

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Lincoln’s Tomb

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Lincoln’s Tomb

Visiting Springfield was an incredible experience. I highly recommend it to anybody that can make it there. You don’t even have to be a history nerd.

Kentucky – Day 3

Sunday of the Kentucky trip consisted of going to a Southern Baptist church service and visiting Ernie’s pond.


Kentucky Vacation - 2008
What 1500 bucks buys in Kentucky.

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
President Lincoln

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Church Sign

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Church Bus

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Sculpture

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Sculpture

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Teresa and Ernie

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Home of some great fudge.

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Kentucky Dam

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Crane


Lunch


Ernie

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Desecration

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Unofficial Southerner

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Citizen of Ernie’s Pond

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Ernie’s Pond

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Cat Tails

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Berries

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Ernie’s Sister

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Ernie’s Tractor

All that was left to do was to head back to civilization.

Down South – Day 2

On Saturday we visited a tobacco farm, went to Newson’s (home of the famous hot dog sauce), visited Paducah and then ate at Lambert’s. The impetus for this trip was the PostSecret display at the Paducah Art Gallery. The display was certainly worth the trip.


Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Teresa and Ernie

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Tobacco Barn

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Ernie in the Tobacco Barn

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Tobacco Farm

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Tobacco Fields

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Tobacco Farmer

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Ernie and Teresa

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Tobacco Field

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Hanging out with Tobacco

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Teresa taking a picture with the camera phone.

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Ernie showing some tobacco tools.

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
I couldn’t stop thinking about tomacco the whole time I was there.

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
The Gravity Pull Hill

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
The Gravity Pull Hill Mailbox

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Newsom’s

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Newsom’s (Also home of some tasty ham)

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Some Peaches

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Kentucky Prison Farm

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Barges

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Taking Some Pictures

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
The Art Gallery


Camera Phone Picture

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Ernie

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Lambert’s

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
90 Minute Wait at Lambert’s

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Y’all is not a word.

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Check out the size of that ham!

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Very annoying detour.

There was a 90 minute wait at Lambert’s and it was well worth the wait. If you are ever in Sikeston, Missouri do yourself a favor and stop there and eat. It is incredible.

The South – Day 1

Friday was day 1 of my odyssey to the South. I took a few pictures. Here are some of them.


Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Lunch

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Superman II Astronaut Costume

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Superman Museum

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Teresa

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Classic Family Portrait

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Metropolis, Illinois

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Superman Statue

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Superman Statue and Teresa

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Superman Statue

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Superman

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Reflection

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Metropolis

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
I like big statues.

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Small Baptist Chapel

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Knuckles on Praying Hands

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Cross from Southern Baptist Church

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Whitehaven

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Whitehaven Windows

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Kentucky Dam

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Day 1 of the trip ended with a meal prepared by Ernie that included the largest potato I have ever seen (to the best of my knowledge, not grown near a nuclear power plant) and some tasty pork steak.

That night we loaded back up into the car and toured Ernie’s town of Kuttawa and the nearby town of Eddyville. We experienced a gravity pull hill and then drove around a maximum security prison.

It was a good first day.

The Big Jesus

Last Friday Jesse and I embarked on a road trip that we lovingly named The Big Jesus Road Trip. Our final destination and epoch of the trip was a 33 foot tall stainless steel Jesus statue.

A plan was hatched and a route was devised. The plan was set in motion. Considerations were made. Including starting the road trip by listening to the Audio Adrenaline song Never Gonna Be As Big As Jesus.

I could move to hollywood (yeah)
get my teeth capped i know i could
be a big star
on the silver screen
just like james dean
i could be a star
i could climb the corporate ladder

maybe be just like the beatles
melodic rocking heavyweights
i could learn to sing and dance
if i only had a chance
i could be a big rock star

i could be anything i wanted to
i could do anything but one thing’s true
never gonna be as big as Jesus
hand
never gonna be as big as Jesus
never gonna build the promise land
but that, that’s all right,
o.k. with me (bop bop bop bop ba dop, ooh!)

i could build a tower to heaven
get on top and touch the sky
i could write a million songs
all designed to glorify
i could be about as good
good as any human could
but that won’t get me by

But in the end, we just headed out on the open road to the sound of the Taurus.


The Big Jesus Road Trip
The Open Road – Highway 17 – Goodell, Iowa

We passed through the following cities:

  • Stanhope
  • Webster City
  • Blairsburg
  • Belmond
  • Goodell
  • Klemme
  • Ventura
  • Clear Lake
  • Miller
  • Duncan
  • Britt
  • Algona
  • Cylinder
  • Emmetsburg
  • Mallard
  • Pocahontas
  • Cherokee
  • Meriden
  • Cleghorn
  • Remsen
  • Le Mars
  • Merril
  • Hinton
  • Sioux City
  • Lawton
  • Moville
  • Correctionville
  • Early
  • Lake View
  • Auburn
  • Carroll
  • Glidden
  • Jefferson
  • Grand Junction


We did important things like:


The Big Jesus Road Trip
Take the Traditional Road Trip Photo

The Big Jesus Road Trip
Visit the Surf Ballroom

The Big Jesus Road Trip
Visit the plane crash site that claimed the lives of Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritichie Valens

The Big Jesus Road Trip
Feel the pain of finding out that the World’s Largest Cheeto had been kidnapped.

The Big Jesus Road Trip
>Feel the thrill of seeing the World’s Largest Cheeto when the waitress brings it out for a special appearance.

The Big Jesus Road Trip
Meet this awesome guy!

The Big Jesus Road Trip
Kiss the Blarney Stone

The Big Jesus Road Trip
Got a honk and a wave from the friendly folks in Mallard

The Big Jesus Road Trip
See the world’s ugliest statue.

The Big Jesus Road Trip
See the Big Jesus (and Mary too).

The Big Jesus Road Trip
See the Sgt. Floyd Memorial.

I hope to go into more detail about the trip in the near future. Until then, you can check out many, many more pictures from the trip in my Photography 139 Gallery.

THE BIG JESUS ROAD TRIP

BSVRR!

I mentioned that I was going to celebrate the peak of fall colors with a little train ride. The pictures from the train ride are now posted. Just follow the link below:

BOONE & SCENIC VALLEY RAILROAD

It was a very overcast and dark day. That meant a large aperture and slow shutter speed, which is the worst possible combination for landscape pictures from a moving object. Hopefully you will still get the idea.

Letters from Spain

E-Mails that Willy has sent from Spain:

Letter #1:

I don’t mean to give you a heart attack, but yes I am sending an email. Just to show you how ignorant I am on emailing, I couldn’t figure out how to send this to more than one person. I hearby authorize you to send this email to others.

Today was the first day of my hike after 4 days in Madrid. The scenery here reminds me of the West Highland Way. The mountains are not very high, but the feel is the same. It’s as though you are nestled in a valley most of the time you are hiking. There is a feeling of community even though I have only been on the trail for one day. I MET A GROUP OF PEOPLE FROM SOUTH AFRICA YESTERDAY AS THEY ARRIVED FROM ST. JEAN IN FRANCE. I walked up with them today along the trail as we hiked from roncevalles, where we started this morning, to our end point for the day in Zubiri.

Please forgive the caps lock, as I couldn’t figure out how to shut it off on this dam Spanish keyboard. The message would have been longer but the Spanish chick at the hostel was mumbling something about shutting down the computer( I think)

Letter #2:

I was going to figure out the multiple address thing,but, that would make sense, and is therefore not the Mcalpine way. I talked to Jay today, and he is going to post a blog of my travel tales.

THE CAPS LOCK THING HAPPENED AGAIN DAM IT! I FIGURED OUT THE PICTURE I SHOULD SEND YOU. THE PICTURE IS THAT OF WHAT I WOULD CONSIDER THE TYPICAL IRISHMAN. HIS NAME IS PADDY (PERFECT) AND HE LIKES TO SMOKE A PIPE AND DRINK. I HAVE TALKED TO HIM OVER THE LAST FEW DAYS AND I THINK I HAVE EARNED HIS TRUST ENOUGH TO ASK HIM TO POSE FOR A PICTURE WITH HIS PIPE. HE IS 63 OR 64 AND IS PLANNING ON HIKING THE WHOLE CAMINO THIS YEAR. LAST YEAR HE DID A WEEK ON THE TRAIL, AND OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS HAD PROMISED HIMSELF THIS WAS THE YEAR TO TRAVEL THE WHOLE TRAIL.

I HAVE REALIZED THAT HIKING THE TRAIL IS WHAT YOU DO TO EARN THE PRIVELEDGE TO SOCIALIZE WITH YOUR FELLOW TRAVELERS. I STAYED IN A HOTEL LAST NIGHT TO HAVE MY OWN SPACE, AND ALTHOUGH I NEEDED THE TIME ALONE, I INSTANTLY MISSED THE SENSE OF COMMUNTIY WITH THE FELLOW TRAVELLERS. I HAVE ENJOYED THE HIKE SO FAR, AND MAY CONTINUE ON THE HIKE UNTIL THE END OF NEXT WEEK. I WILL PROBABLY LEAVE 3 OR 4 DAYS FOR SOME FUN IN THE SUN IN SOUTHERN SPAIN.

ADIOS, FROM WILLY

Letter #3:

It is hard to think about leaving the trail tommorrow. I was thinking about skipping ahead to do the last 100 kilometers to Santiago, which entitles you to a pilgrimage certificate, but you get a little depressed, thinking about the friends you have made so far; and you don’t want to leave them behind. That’s the great thing about being on the trail, you know that you will meet new people every day. There are an incredible number of people that are walking the entire 500 miles of the trail to Santiago, and you kind of feel unworthy of skipping ahead to see Santiago.

Tonight there was a group of 8 that got together and made dinner. There was 3 Americans, 2 New Zealanders, 1 Australian, 1 english woman, and 1German girl. It’s almost unfair the variety of people and cultures you encounter along the trail. There is no way to have this kind of interaction in your ordinary life.

I think this might be an apropriate place to end my hike tommorrow, in Logrono. I think I will head to southern Spain and spend some time on the beach, as well as head to Seville; and possibly still Morrocco.

The hardest thing about travelling is having to pick and choose where you go. You can’t see and do everything, and knowing that, you want the experience to be as broad an experience as possible.