Sunday, February 5, 2012

Roadside Highlights: Tyler, TX

If you are anything like us then you agree that it's the odd roadside attractions that make a trip go from good to great. The weirder and more arbitrary, the better. But, like us, you might not think that they all deserve their own blog entry. If that's the case then you might group several geographically approximate roadside attractions into one blog entry.

What a coincidence, so did we!

And since we're currently in Tyler, TX, we'll start here with our first "Roadside Highlights" entry. On our last visit we checked out the historical markers and memorials in downtown's courthouse square but there was one we missed. It is under this unassuming tree on the southeast corner of the square:

And it memorializes Tyler's most beloved squirrel, "Shorty."

Shorty was the beloved courthouse mascot and upon his tragic passing he was honored with this tombstone.

And if dead animals are your thing you can find plenty at the Brookshire's World of Wildlife Museum:

I was going to go on and on about the seemingly endless displays of exotic taxidermy but there is clearly one stand out:

Yes, "Monkeys Playing Monopoly" is truly a work of art and is eerily reminiscent of a recurring childhood nightmare I used to have quite a while ago. Take a moment to soak in all the elaborate details from each player's individual name takes to the one monkey brandishing a "Get Out of Jail Free" card.

If that's not enough animal hi-jinks for you then stroll down Teddy Bear Lane in the Children's Park to see two giant wrestling teddy bears.

It's a nice little park that's hidden away yet relatively close to downtown...and it has wrestling teddy bears. Can't beat that.

Lastly, when you are on your way out of town you can stop and get some coffee at Kickerz. It's easily identified from the road because...well, you know.

This one is technically in Whitehouse, TX which is just south of Tyler but the draw of a giant hat shaped coffee shop is easy motivation for the 5 minute drive. I recently learned that they are hoping to start a franchise so I'm sure that cowboy hat shaped buildings will soon start popping up everywhere.

And that would be awesome.

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