In 1848, dairy cows grazed on the 30 acres that now host the Volo Auto Museum’s five showrooms. The mooing of heifers has given way to the imaginary roar of 200 collector cars and 100 gleaming autos that once graced movie and television sets—including a Batmobile from the 1966 TV series, a Herbie from the latest movie, and one of the first General Lees. After ogling the television and movie collection, guests can wander among vintage and antique vehicles and reminisce about the days when we still had to go places in person.
Nearby, the military exhibit’s realistic scenery surrounds vehicles ranging from a WWII BMW motorcycle with sidecar to a 1967 Bell helicopter shot down in Vietnam. After examining older artillery and artifacts, visitors can gaze at cases holding items retrieved from Saddam Hussein’s palace and from captured Iraqi soldiers. Those below driving age can explore kids’ attractions, including SpongeBob’s boatmobile.
Guests traverse the vast showrooms on foot or via a 1915, Victorian-style trolley, free on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Trolley tours begin by exploring autos that used to be stabled by the rich and famous alongside their unicorns. They then venture into the old dairy farm’s 19th-century barn, where activity by Civil War ghosts has drawn investigators from the Discover Channel’s Ghost Lab. Before leaving, visitors can refuel with an Angus-beef patty at the Betty Boop Burger Bar and Beer Garden or drop into four antique malls.
Green thumbs gain inspiration from garden furnishings and decorative wrought-iron pieces stockpiled inside Ingrid’s Secret Garden. Mini roses, indoor bulb arrangements, and topiaries bloom as shoppers peruse eco-friendly gardening accessories and organic products including pottery and planters, gardening tools, and organic teas and spices. A selection of ornate birdhouses sport curved balconies, miniature french doors, and other decorative flourishes to welcome chirping birds and garden fairies discussing which mythical crew member of the Dawn Treader is the cutest. Once customers have inspected the indoor inventory, they can follow the path behind the family-owned shop and discover a Tudor-style greenhouse packed with hanging baskets, annuals, and other vibrant plants.
The International Star Registry outfits customers with gifts not found on this planet. Literally. The company, which since 1979 has named stars for millions of recipients worldwide, including celebrities, dignitaries, and royalty, allows customers to name a star after themselves, a family member, loved one, or co-worker. With information in hand, they publish it in Your Place in the Cosmos for registration in the U.S. Copyright Office. Individuals whose names served as the inspiration also receive a custom package that contains a certificate proclaiming the star's name, a booklet on celestial bodies, and a sky chart that shows the star's coordinates, saving them from having to tether it to a fence post for future findings.
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When you get your first plate of Taqueria Los Comales’ signature Mexico-City-style tacos, you might be surprised by their size. Each double-wrapped taco is small enough to fit into your hand, a fact owner Camerino Gonzalez specifically had in mind when first making them in Chicago’s Little Village in 1973. Rather than have clients try just one of his signature meats, he wanted to allow guests to sample a wide variety of different options. Cooks stuff the soft tortillas with al pastor served in a secret marinade as well as more adventurous taqueria staples such as tongue or beef tripe. The restaurants’ homemade salsa and their own signature mix of pickled carrots, cauliflower, and jalapeños enhance these flavors, making meals as satisfying as the discovery that you’re tax exempt because of your cool haircut. Alongside the traditional tacos, chefs grill up meats for tortas, burritos, breakfast, and dinner platters, all of which can be paired with the shop’s glasses of creamy horchata or a range of Mexican and domestic beers.