A long holiday weekend to me means roadtrip!  And roadtrip means it's time to break out the iPhone and plan some roadside stops at yet more oddball things scattered around the U.S.  My latest roadtrip destination was Ohio to visit family over Memorial Day weekend.  Time limited the quantity of places I could check off my list, prepared with the assistance of Roadsideamerica.com, but I think I got some classic stops.  This Ohio edition of roadside attractions and distractions starts with baskets, baskets, and more baskets...

20 Foot High Longaberger Apple Basket, Frazeysburg OH

This was my favorite basket stop of the three.  It's a 20 foot high, world's largest apple basket that resides on the Longaberger Basket Homestead property.  You will have to turn into a parking lot, park the car, and walk a little ways onto the campus, but it's not far.  I put my dog in the photo at the bottom to give it some perspective.  


Longaberger Headquarters, Newark OH

Talk about an awesome headquarters building!  The Longaberger Company has been weaving handcrafted baskets officially for 40 years, but basket making has been a part of the family history for many years beyond that.  Today, the company is known for the highest quality baskets for both practical and decorative purposes, plus other lifestyle goods.

 Single Story House-Sized Wicker Basket, Dresden OH

It is Longaberger country after all, so I shouldn't be surprised a third oversized basket is in the area. This one is about the size of a small 2 bedroom home, just off Main Street!


Toy and Plastic Brick (a.k.a. Lego) Museum, Bellaire OH

If you follow my blog, you have to know that I'm a huge fan of Legos.  The man that owns this museum is an even bigger fan.  Of course, it's an unofficial museum and cannot use the Lego term.  Sadly, the hours were not conducive to my roadtrip times, so I missed out on going inside.  


Giant LL Bean Boot, Columbus OH

I like big things and I cannot lie!  This giant LL Bean rain boot is located outside the store property within a larger outdoor mall in Columbus.  This mall is particularly interesting to me because I visited it a long time ago when I was a financial analyst of retail companies in a previous career, and I was reviewing the Limited Brands headquarters nearby.  This mall served as kind of a "test kitchen" for their new retail concepts.


(Former) F-ART Statue

Sadly, a new structure has blocked the key angle needed to capture two sequential parking lot lamp posts to essentially generate the "F" needed to mock the ART statue.  The silly girl inside me was really hoping that this was going to work out! Fart.


Gambrinus - King of Beer Statue, Columbus OH

Located in the Columbus Brewery District south of downtown, the statue is of King Gambrinus is over 100 years old and has its history tied to the Gambrinus Brewery founded in 1906 by Bavarian immigrant, August Wagner.  It has been moved from its original location on the facade of the brewery building to a park and, now, to highlight the redeveloped brewery district.

Hug Me Jesus, Solid Rock Church, Monroe OH

Drive on I-75 from Cincinnati to Dayton, and you can't miss the Solid Rock Church on the east side of the freeway.  For years, drivers were treated to the comedic giant statue of a 62 foot torso and head of Jesus, next to a small lake, with its arms stretched up into the air, affectionately called by locals "Touchdown Jesus."  Sadly, in June 2010, Touchdown Jesus was struck by lightning and destroyed by the resulting fire.  In September 2012, TJ's replacement was dedicated. This slightly shorter, 52 foot statue is of the full figure of Jesus with its arms now stretched out to the sides.  The new locals nickname?  Hug Me Jesus!

Fort Rock, Monroe OH

Driving into the parking lot for Solid Rock Church, I saw this wild west town facade on the right, so I took a photo.  It's actual purpose is anticlimactic.  It's a cover for the ground maintenance shed. Random nonetheless!


Traders World!, Monroe OH

Just south of Solid Rock Church is a giant weekend flea market with so many fiberglass statues of animals and other randomness.  There are several colorful interpretations of giraffes, dinosaurs, and a (sadly) fake muffler man. 




The Cone, West Chester OH

Not only is the building cool, but the soft serve ice cream is delicious.  I went for the orange and vanilla swirl.  As delicious as any creamcicle could be!


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