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Archive for the ‘Mini Golf’ Category

Not sure what the weather is like where you are, but we’ve got snow-a-fallin here outside of Retro Roadmap HQ, so instead of going out on the roads, I’m looking backward down memory lane via my own photo collection.I figured I’d go back as far as I could in my own collection and start with Paragon Park, circa 1984.

Growing up, Paragon Park, a small amusement park in Hull MA just across from Nantasket Beach was my idea of the ultimate place to go, and we’d hopefully go there once a summer if we were lucky.

Paragon Park 1984While my mother caught up with her pal Betty, whom she hadn’t seen in years, and my sisters made new friends with Betty’s daughters I roamed around and snapped random photos with my new 35mm camera.

Paragon Park 1984 Guess Your WeightStill learning how to compose a photograph, I think back and realize that my penchant for photos without people in them was in force then, and I went as far as to scribble out the lady who was in the foreground of this photo of the Snack-a-rama. I’m so glad I caught the Art Deco lines and colors, as well as a bit of the ski lift ride as well!

Paragon Park 1984 Snack A RamaI have always been a fraidy cat about going on roller coasters, and I remember my mother telling me that when she was a kid she made my grandfather take her on the giant coaster, and it was the first and last coaster ride she’s been on! I thought it was pretty cool that the Paragon Giant Coaster was on the list of the Smithsonian’s Top Ten Coasters list.

Paragon Park 1985 6

I remember thinking that day that I would come back and photograph the place right, and get some good shots as there were rumors that the park would close after the next season.

Well friends, you never know what’s going to happen because the park never reopened the following season, and when I returned in the summer of 1985 I was greeted with this sad sign:

Paragon Park 1985 Public Auction
Not only had Paragon Park been permanently shuttered, but I had even missed the public auction of all of the goods from the place. I do recall later that year being able to pick up a trinket or two at Building #19, a local salvage and odd lot shop, but even now the sight of this sign makes me kick myself.

Paragon Park 1985 - Roller Coaster Giant Coaster Sign
I circled the site, which seemed so big when I was a kid, and realized how small it was, surrounded by chain link fencing now.
Paragon Park 1985 - Roller Coaster Cars

The Giant Coaster sat silent, and the undulating tracks looked like the skeleton of a dinosaur carcass, being slowly dismantled and eaten away at by the vultures that couldn’t wait to turn the site into a condominium complex.

Paragon Park 1985 - Demolition of Roller Coaster

All I was left with – besides a footprint on my backside for not taking more, better photos, when I did have the time, were my memories of having an all day pass – discounted by collecting match book covers – stapled to my shirt hem and spending the day riding the kiddie cars, the Congo Cruise, the merry go round and more, playing skee ball in the arcade and eating ice cream on a hot summer day.

Paragon Park 1985 - Exterior Arcade Sign

I still visit Nantasket when I can, thumbing my nose at the condos and visiting the carousel (PTC #85) that they saved and moved down the street. But it’s not the same. So folks, remember – tomorrow never knows – if there’s someplace or something you like – go there now, enjoy it, take photos, and do what you can to make sure it sticks around, because some day it might not be there anymore!

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Not sure why it’s called Victory Pig, but that name and the fun vintage sign shown below was enough to make me swing the Retro Roadmapmobile into the parking lot of this classic roadside restaurant in Wyoming, PA (between Scranton and Wilks-Barre PA). And I am pleased to report I got a winner of a slice of NEPA* or Old Forge style pizza here!

Victory Pig Barbecue Pizza Curb ServiceThe Victory Pig Barbecue and Pizza has been open since 1942 and still provides curb service, as the signs on either side of the stucco building indicate. Not knowing what was on the menu I opted to head into the restaurant. As soon as I walked in I was pleased to see a retro looking decor with brown paneling and orange accents, definitely original. And I didn’t take a picture of the interior because it was so full of families, couples and solitary diners that you’d see more people than vintage details.

Victory Pig Curb ServiceOverhearing the lovely older ladies at the table next to me reminiscing about checking their packages at the Rainbow Room (after a day of shopping in New York City, back in the day) confirmed my decision to stop here for a bite was the right thing.

*This area of Pennsylvania is famous for their distinctive pizza – known as NEPA (North Eastern PennsylvaniA) or Old-Forge style pizza, named after Old Forge, PA. There’s even a different lingo surrounding them, where these square or rectangular pizzas are not called pies, but rather “trays” after the baking trays they are cooked on, or perhaps the plastic trays they are served on. Also you don’t get slices you get “cuts”. Luckily I did not feel too out of place when I ordered a slice, and not knowing if that would be enough food I just knew I had to get a “wimpie” after seeing this sign:

Homemade Wimpies I later found out that a Wimpie is like a sloppy joe, and while it isn’t my absolute fave flavor of sandwich, I was proud of myself for being culinarily adventurous! I did not have any of the barbecue, but from what I read it also is a local interpretation of the dish.

You can see my wimpie right next to my “cut” of “pig pizza” and boy was that pizza tasty! The crust is somewhat crispy from being fried in the tray, the sauce was tangy and sweet with bits of onion in it, and the cheese was just the right amount and flavor to harmonize with this local trio of flavors.

Wimpy and Pig Pizza

Now I’ve heard some people compare this local interpretation of pizza to the frozen Ellio’s version but that does not hold a candle to this distinctive pizza flavor and texture that had me longing for another slice while on my drive home. And I am pleased to report that the ratio of cheese to crust does not allow too much cheese to stick to your teeth as some folks have complained about Old Forge style pizza doing.

Doing a bit of internet research I find out that the Victory Pig is family owned and operated and they are very proud of their secret pizza recipe and crust. They’re also only open on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday…because they can be! While part of me bums out thinking I won’t be able to indulge in Victory Pig pizza when Retro Roadhusband and I scramble up to Scranton on Sunday November 14, I think it’s kinda cool that someone in this day and age can make such odd business hours work for them. And from the hustle and bustle of that Saturday evening, you can tell that local folks make the effort to get there when they’re open!

If you’re feeling a bit full from the food (or beer and cocktails that are surprisingly available in this casual fast-food atmosphere) perhaps you’ll want to check out Rich’s Golf and Fun Center, located just behind “The Pig”. Or maybe you’ve just saved room for some soft serve ice cream?

Rich's Golf Fun Center Sign(you can see the Victory Pig behind this sign – it’s been stucco’ed over, but it’s still cool inside!)

I will warn you that it isn’t nearly as retro and picturesque as its sign, but it could be a fun way to shed some of the calories that you’ll consume once you taste this delicious pizza!

Victory Pig Pizza & Barbeque
905 Wyoming Ave
Wyoming, PA 18644-1360
(570) 693-9963

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I think I’ve been dragging my feet about this post because when I finish it then I have to come to grips with the fact that my summer fun is over. NOT that there isn’t shoulder season and autumn Retro Roadmap fun to be had, but summer went by too fast b/c of my broken foot!

As I mentioned, the North Fork town of Greenport NY is a wealth of old-time fun, stores and places that are worth giving more than this passing glance will give them. But hopefully this teaser of what you will find will inspire you to visit this great little community, regardless of the season. Now, where were we? Ah yes-

While walking towards a find that our hostess knew I’d dig I just had to snap a photo of this place – not only for the window obscured by the awning, but the name itself:

The Doofpot

En route to the theatre in the area I snapped a quick photo of this vintage liquor store neon sign. Dig that art deco design!

Wines, Liquors, Neon

We had walked past the Greenport Theartre on our way into town, and as we made our way back to the car I was pleased to be able to nose around inside, glad to see that it was a bit more gussied up than the austere exterior.

Greenport Theatre

Now this is a lousy photo, but I had to share it if only to admit that even someone who thinks they know their stuff can be wrong. You see, I was totally convinced that this decorative ticket booth was an original authentic piece.

Greenport Theatre Ticket Booth

But then, while I was checking out the “vintage” ladies room, my hostesses were chatting with the gal behind the snack counter, who had to admit that even though the theatre was built in 1939, it has been all redone in the past 5 years. You can read an interesting thread on CinemaTreasures.org where the progress of the renovations to the Greenport Theatre can be relived through the comments.

Regardless, it sure does harken back to the olden days of movie going, and the throngs of children swarming around me as I exited the “Ladies” and they exited one of the 4 screens showing Toy Story 3 was a testament to the Saturday matinee.

Greenport Theatre Ladies Room

You can also see a shot on the Greenport Theatre’s website of the original neon sign from the Beekman Theatre, now safely on display in one of their screening rooms. Love the script font!

And that my friends concludes our visit to beautiful downtown Greenport. NOT that we didn’t find a few gems on the way home that I want to share with you before we bid adieu to summer, but Greenport was a definite treat.

Much like the picture of All American Burger that got me out onto Long Island for a Retro Roadmap reconnaissance, a tip from Erin Mosley of LUPEC Boston made me put the Silver Sands vintage motel on the map, and I’m sure glad I did!

Silver Sands Motel Sign

We drove down the long driveway and the family sat in the car as I gathered the courage to go in and ask about rates. The woman behind the desk was everso friendly, and gave me some post cards and said I could take a look around the aqua and pink 1950’s era motel. This place is the REAL DEAL people. A cool old vintage motel with that old timey vibe. You can stay in the motel building proper, with its small but private beach, or do it up cabin court style, near the pool.

Silver Sands Motel Cottage

While we have a generous standing offer to stay with the wonderful Long Island RetroRoadfamily I spent the weekend with, I’m sorely tempted to book a weekend here with Retro Roadhusband. There were plenty of people staying here when I visited but the place was refreshingly low key. I was charmed as I saw a guest bring the (owner?) woman behind the counter a box of cookies from the local bakery, and she would not let me leave until she shared some with me, giving me a couple for the girls in the car. If staying here was as cool as visiting here, we may have a keeper (fingers crossed!)

Also of note, to wrap up this end of the island, is Drossos Motel, which combines not only a pretty cool vintage Motel sign Drossos Motel Sign

but miniature golf as well!

Drossos Motel Miniature Golf

If that isn’t enough, there’s also an on site snack bar!

Drossos Motel Snack Bar
That 3D plastic sign with a soft serve cone on it reminds me SO much of my childhood. Anyone want to join me in a bucket of chicken?

Now I will say, I have not stayed at either of these motels, so I make no promises about the accommodations. However, for vintage charm on a wonderful retro weekend, they get the thumbs up!

So there you have it – Greenport Long Island NY LI – a definite destination for a retro daycation!

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If I wasn’t so busy getting ready to go on vacation with RetroRoadhusband, today looks like a perfect summer Saturday to jump in the RetroMobile and head to Knoebles Amusement park, nestled in the hills near Elysburg, PA. We went there 2 summers ago with the Retro Roadkids and their parents and I just could not let this summer go by without strongly encouraging you to go to this wonderful almost historic amusement park.

You Are Here

The Wikipedia page for Knoebles Amusement Resort sums up all the good stuff nicely when it notes “Knoebels Amusement Resort is a family-owned and -operated amusement park, picnic grove and campground, located in Elysburg, Pennsylvania. Opened in 1926, the park has more than 50 rides, free admission, two wooden roller coasters, a 1913 carousel and a haunted house dark ride that was featured on the Discovery Channel.”

One of the many great things I loved about this park was the free admission policy, as I am not as into riding the rides as I once was, so I don’t have to pay for a wrist band I’ll never use! This make the park a great place for extended families, and we saw many reunions and parties setting up in the picnic grove as we walked from our free parking into the park.

Once we got in I was thrilled with the amount of vintage signs, buildings and rides, all well kept and looking great surrounded by the welcomed shade trees.

Whipper

The Loaf

Another wonderful thing that made Knoebels stand out in my mind was their food offerings- not just typical fried food, but more varied and healthy options from their cafeteria, full service restaurant The Alamo and even gluten free menu options- check out this link to see the menus, so many options! . Just pick up your tray from the pile, and get in line!

Lunch Trays

They also have one of my favorite amusement park snacks – cotton candy, or as this great vintage neon sign calls it – Candy Floss!

Candy Floss

And they’ve even got some old fashioned treats like birch beer and ice cream waffles, served under some wonderful vintage structures:

Ice Cream Waffles

 

A couple of more wonderful things about this place – before I get myself really wanting to head there! For the roller coaster fans they’ve got 4 roller coasters, one of which is the Phoenix which is a wooden coaster originally built in 1947 for Playland Park in San Antonio, Texas. While that coaster is the first one RetroRoadGirl rode, I was more happy with the sedate pace of the classic carousel, complete with brass rings. RetroRoadgirl seemed to like that part too.

Grab The Brass Ring

This carousel was built in 1913 and still uses original organs – not recordings – to play that classic carousel accompaniment!

There is a great kiddie area in the park, with rides for the small kids, and don’t worry they still have many modern rides for those more adventurous types. I can tell I’m getting old when I realize I’d rather tell folks about the Anthracite Museum located in the park, which gives a history of coal mining in the area, and also houses a great selection of memorabilia from Knoebels past, like this great sign:

Sady Hawkins Day

I really loved the dining area – perfect for parties- that was shaped like a giant birthday cake, replete with candles atop and being held aloft by peppermint sticks. So wonderfully old timey, I wanted to have my birthday celebration right there.

Best Birthday Cake

And they even have that classic game Fascination that I totally remember from Nantasket Beach (I wonder if that’s still there?). There’s also skeeball, my favorite sport!
Jackpot

The Knoebels website does a great job of showing all of their rides, attractions, foods, camping areas, pools and more, and once you see all the place has to offer, you’ll be putting this place on your list of summer must visit attractions too. I’m posting this early on a Saturday morning, get out there and go!

Knoebels Amusement Park
391 Knoebels Blvd Exd
Elysburg, PA 17824
(570) 672-2572

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While downtown Lake George may boast the site of the first original miniature golf courses in the world, I was totally won over by the psychedelic cheeriness of  the 1970’s era Goony Golf located on Route 9.

It's The Gooniest!(I don’t know when he lost his title but it seems as if Sir Goony Golf – once part of a chain of mini golf courses -is now just regular ol Goony Golf according to their website)

Though nothing rivals my hometown love of the Route 1 Miniature Golf Giant Orange Dinosaur in Saugus MA, I was glad to see cousin presiding over Goonyville during our game:

Giant Orange Dinosaur - Saugus Relative?

As we drove up to Goony Golf ( with a quick stop at the gift shop –oooh try saying that 10 times fast!) I was battling a headache and the sun was behind clouds. But as soon as we paid our greens fees under the watchful glare of Jack atop his bean stock (looking like an axe murderer practically) things began to cheer up immediately.
Retro Roadhusband and Jack's Beanstalk

I mean how could I feel so blurgh with all of these crazy miniature golf holes to play, and photograph? Take a look at just some of the snapshots below and you’ll see what I mean. Even the sun came out during our visit – and best yet, we had the place to ourselves, so I took photos galore! Please note, there are a lot of holes I did photograph but didn’t post here because, well there should be some surprises when you go play!

Miniature Golf Heaven
I couldn’t help but feel like I had stepped into HR Puffenstuff when walking around these brightly painted oversized cartoon characters and groovy  flowers- and could just imagine the Brady kids having a Sunshine Day here.

Water Hazard

Goony Golf Mad Hatter

Mother Goose Gets Mad

And there was even a harkening back to my own 1970’s childhood when, By Golly A Lollypop was Following Me- and I really didn’t know what to do!

Good Golly This Lollypop is Following Me!

So while I could note that the repainting jobs on these vintage 1970’s creatures could’ve been done with a little more love, and BOY I wish they’d give the Goonybird some eyes, I’ll take the brightly colored snakes, bears and dragons over a plain brown organic miniature golf course any day!

Goony Golf
Corner of Rte 9N & Rte 9
Lake George, NY 12845
(518)668-2589

http://www.goonygolf.com/

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After all these years of saying I wanted to go to Lake George NY and partake in the vintage vacation wonderfulness, Retro Roadhusband and I spent a long weekend up there, just before Memorial Day Weekend. While some of the town has been modernized to keep with the times, there were still plenty of Retro Roadmap worthy places to enjoy, not only in  LG proper but in the surrounding area.

Lake George Shop Gifts Souvenir

The timing of our visit was good price-wise, and quiet “have-the-town-to-yourself”wise, but some places were not open for the season, and others were closed on the days we visited. While this was a bit of a bummer, I think that just gives us an excuse to go back up there during the ON season!

Now onto some of our vacation slides- I think after seeing just a portion of what we were able to photo, you might want to put Lake George on your retro roadtrip summer schedule!

Retro Roadhusband at the Tiki Hotel we stayed at:

Retro Roadhusband at Tiki Hotel

Great old neon signs:


Mario's Restaurant, Italian Cuisine, Cocktails

Surfside On The Lake Neon Sign

Plenty of miniature golf options (more on where we played in an upcoming post!)

Golf Around the U.S. - Florida Orange

Ah, yes, Lake George – The LAKE!

Three Musketeers on VacationLake George has been called The Queen of American Lakes, is 32 miles long and is fed by huge underground springs. Since Thomas Jefferson’s time it has been a prized place not only for its beauty but for being a part of American history, in both the French /Indian wars as well as the Revolutionary war. Nowadays it’s a little more chill up there, but watch out for Americade, one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the US, I’m sure things will be a bit more lively that weekend :-)

Things we want to go back and explore:

Lakefront Log Cabin maybe?
Oooo Sullivan's Motel

or a roadside Cabin Court with shuffleboard?
Do-Rest Cabin Court Lake George NY

Authentic Worcester Diner in neighboring Bolton Landing – closed when we visited!
Bolton Beans - Closed on Mon!

Things we want to go back for but are not photographed: Magic Forest Amusement Park, One Of The Last Remaining Howard Johnson’s Restaurant, Mr. B’s Best Beef Restaurant, Davidson Brothers Brewpub and Cooper’s Cave Breweries in Glens Falls, a boat ride on the lake and also to redo the things we loved ( Martha’s, The Glen Drive In, more mini-golf) and so much more!

Do yourself a favor, and if you want an actual vintage vacation destination, check out the Lake George NY area, Retro Roadmap Recommended!

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As a final installment of “Oh The Fun We Had” with the Retro Roadkids, I bring you vintage miniature golf fun courtesy of Waltz Golf Farm in Limerick PA. A swell family destination that has grown to include 2 miniature golf courses, par 3, batting cages a snack bar and more,  my favorite part of it is their original mini golf course known as the Farm course. Wilkum!

Wilkum to Waltz Mini Golf

in 1964 The Waltz family converted their corn farm into a golf center and the Farm course has all the quaint things you’d expect from old timey miniature golf. There’s a bridge, a wishing well, a school house with doors that open and close, and more.

Wheel Barrow Mini Golf (Watch out! The wheel barrow tips!)

Though some folks may prefer the more modern Castle mini golf with its waterfalls and castle, I’m happy to see that Waltz still keeps its original old fashioned charm with touches like the stone Pennsylvania farm house, and the hex sign on the barn.
Mini Golf Stone House

I think the best thing about the old fashioned courses versus the more “challenging” modern ones is that the old ones  bring us the results we really come here for – a RetroRoadkid THRILLED with his Hole In One!
Retro Roadkid Gets Hole in One(“Mumma I got a Hole In One!”)

Alas, the snack bar, built in 1972 no longer carries the Broasted chicken that the backlit Pepsi sign on the roadside touts, but luckily we have Speck’s and the Hilltop to fill that void. But they do have ice cream and other treats to celebrate your mini golf victories!

Waltz Golf Farm
303 West Ridge Pike
Limerick, PA 19468
(610) 489-9922

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