Your humble blogger/ radio host needed an extra day to recover from an epic toy run trip, so this week’s new Radio Free Charleston will debut on Thursday. Today we’ll be running an encore of episode 100 on The AIR at 10 AM and 10 PM.  You can point your cursor over and tune in at the website, or you could just stay here, and  listen to the cool embedded player found elsewhere on this page.  

Just so’s we don’t have a blank post here, let me give you a few teaser images from our trip to Caryville Tennessee, Atlanta Georgia, Richmond Kentucky, Columbus Ohio, Morehead Kentucky and back home, in that order. We did that in five days, covering two big toy shows, three visits to Buc ees, lots of interesting driving adventures and your PopCulteer’s birthday, which mostly happened on the road. So that left Mel and I both worn out on Monday.

I’ll be devoting lots of photo essays and one big video to the trip. Here’s just a taste…

Our hotel the first night of the trip overlooked Cove Lake, in Tennessee. It’s a lovely, peaceful place with calming interstate noises and smoky-assed mountains.

Our first night on the road we decided we wanted breakfast for dinner, so we stopped at a Waffle House. During our very nice meal, Mel looked out in the parking lot and said, “Hey, there’s a couple of chickens out there!” At this point, our waitress overheard Mel and relayed the story: A couple of weeks earlier, a lady had eaten there, but when she went to leave, she discovered that her late-model Cadillac had broken down and would not start. The staff told her it was okay to leave it there, and she walked home. When she returned the next day on foot, she was followed by two black chickens, apparently a mating pair. She still couldn’t get the car started. The folks at Waffle House asked if those were her chickens, but she told them she’d never seen them before they started following her, and to be honest, she was a little scared of them. Reportedly, the chickens will get hostile and attack if you get too close to them. Complicating matters is that the chickens have decided that the Cadillac is their home, and they spend most of their time under or on top of it. The lady has become terrified of them and is afraid to retrieve her car. So it’s still there, and they now rule the Waffle House parking lot. This is that Cadillac.

We made three stops at two Buc ees during this trip. This is the promised land.

Right after this photo was taken, Buc ee grabbed my ass.

Eventually we made it to JoeLanta. You’re going to see much more of JoeLanta via photos and video in the next week.

I went in to take a few pictures during the set-up of JoeLanta, and this is just a tease for Chris Dortch’s incredible USS Flagg modification project, which will get it’s own photo essay. This is when he’d just started assembling the aircraft carrier.

And this guy had Shogun Warriors, a toy too big and exensive for me to start collecting now.

One other shot of JoeLanta. Expect dozens more in the days ahead.

From there we made it to the final day of PowerCon, about an hour after the doors opened. This meant that the lines were nearly non-existent.

Don’t worry, I got tons of photos of the cool action figures to show you.

Mel spent the entire trip saying “I know I’m not going to find any SpongeBob stuff at PowerCon.” That’s her hand forking over money.

They had a little bit of plush there, too.

I didn’t quite have room for this ten foot tall action figure from The Four Horsemen.

Lastly, this is NOT a family photo. We’ll have more stuff from the trip for the next week or so here in PopCult.