2010 Vacation – Sunday: Fantastic Caverns, Zio’s Italian Kitchen, and Andy’s custard

First thing Sunday morning I got the internet connection up and running. That meant it wasn’t going to be a week of roughing it, Grizzly Adams style.

Krissy’s grandfather picked us up late in the morning and we headed back up to Springfield to the Fantastic Caverns, one of the few underground caves you can ride a Jeep through.

The tour was quite interesting. We were told about the rate of growth of stalagmites and stalactites, and were then told to approximate the age of the cave by the length of the stalactites. Using this equation, they are old.

The caves were quite historical, found during the Civil War (I believe) and kept from the government’s radar by the finder so they weren’t used by troops. They were underground storage areas, bars during prohibition, KKK meeting areas, and entertainment areas, with a full bar and stage. Yes, one cavern was actually that big!

We were quite hungry upon leaving the caverns, so we headed to Zio’s Italian Kitchen. The fare was probably Olive Gardenish, but the decorations were even better. It was an open floor, with Italian columns and ambiance. My salmon was a bit fishy tasting, but it was an overall enjoyable experience.

On the way home, we just had to stop and experience for ourselves the wonders of Andy’s custard. In our Bangor, Mainer minds, it was just a slightly different version of a Dairy Queen. The Blizzards are called Concretes. I had mine with peanut butter cup, and it was delicious.

Sunday night we just lazed around the room, which became our normal evening habit. This is when I got most of my reading done. I finished two books (one I had started before we left) and started another during the entire trip.

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