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 Ralph and Lori Tour the Midwest

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Ralph Melton

Ralph and Lori Tour the Midwest Wed, 07/11/12 11:26 PM (permalink)
We had been planning in a vague way to drive around the Midwest a bit in August. On Monday, we sat down to start planning an itinerary, and we discovered that we could attend the Wilder Pageant in Walnut Grove, MN - but only if we left on our road trip this Sunday. So we've shifted our planning into high gear, and I'm reading the website and trip reports (especially wanderingjew's) and trying to make plans.
This is the itinerary we're planning:
Sunday, July 15: Go through Ohio with a stop in Columbus, ending in Cincinnati. 
Monday, July 16: through Indiana up to Chicago.
Tuesday, July 17: mostly in Chicago and/or Milwaukee, with some driving down into Iowa.
Wednesday, July 18: south through Indiana to Kansas City.
Thursday, July 19: Kansas City, with dinner at Stroud's.
Friday, July 20: ambling northward through Iowa
Saturday, July 21: northward to Walnut Grove, MN
Sunday, July 22: east to Minneapolis
Monday, July 23-Wednesday, July 25: moseying through Wisconsin
Thursday, July 26: progressing through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Friday, July 27: driving down through the lower peninsula
Saturday, July 28: through northern Ohio to Edinboro, PA
Sunday, July 29: home again
Although I would welcome general suggestions for places to eat and things to do, I also have some specific questions: 
- What's extra good on a Monday in Indianapolis? I was so fixated on Hollyhock Hill (whose website says that it's closed on Mondays) that I'm having trouble choosing another spot.
- Would folks like to meet up with us in Chicago on the evening of Monday, July 16? I know that it's short notice, but we'd be happy to let locals pick the spot. We would also be happy to have local company during our Chicago touring the next day. (If folks are interested in meeting us in the evening in Milwaukee, we could come down to Milwaukee on Monday, July 23 or Tuesday, July 24, though perhaps not both.)
- What barbecue places in Kansas City ought we to try? We tried Arthur Bryant's on a previous trip and were disappointed, so I would prefer to try somewhere else.
- what tourist stops would y'all recommend on the drive from Kansas City to Walnut Creek, MN?
- if I want to sample lutefisk, where should I find a great lutefisk experience? 
- How might I find a restaurant selling chicken booyah in the middle of the week? It seems like the sort of thing that gets prepared for church suppers on weekends, but our schedule would not likely permit that.
- Is cudighi so distinctive an Italian sausage that I should seek it out in the Upper Peninsula?
I have hopes of making a time-lapse video of our travels, after seeing coworkers of mine do their own time-lapse video of a drive through the Mid-Atlantic. Unfortunately, the accelerated schedule raises questions of whether the car mount will arrive in time.
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