Summer Fun Retro Roadmap Style – Lotsa Photos! Hope You’re Having a Fun Summer Too

Retro Roadmap Readers – I don’t know about you, but I always feel like I need to cram in as many fun things as possible into the 8-10 short weeks of the season we call summer. Maybe it’s because I have a summer birthday, maybe it’s because of all those years of being in school, where I dreamed of all the fun I’d have once I was released from the shackles to my desk, but all I know is, when summer comes, Mod Betty is off and running!

Mod Betty on the Derby Racer Rye Playland NY
Me o my wild-eyed steed on the Derby Racer at Rye Playland – this 1928 era ride still thrills with a galloping ride round the track – hold on or be thrown off!

The one place I haven’t been lately is shackled to my desk, writing in detail of the cool places we’ve been, and you’ve probably noticed that. If you’re a Retro Roadmap Facebook Page fan you may have gotten a glimpse of some of our adventures in the last month or so, but if not, hold on tight and see what we’ve been up to (and why the posts here have been few and far between!):

Weirs Beach, New Hampshire

Even though it was raining, Mod B and Retro Roadhusband made like the best aunt and uncle ever and took the Retro Roadkids to this small lakeside hamlet, where we let them play arcade games to their heart’s delight (while I snapped photos of as many of the vintage games as I could find!)

Weirs Beach Neon Sign
This is probably the most “Vegas-y” sign in all of staid and stoic New Hampshire – and it’s right across from the Drive In movie theatre!

Chicago Coin's Basketball Champ

Road Trip to Atlanta GA

Retro Roadhusband had a rock gig, so Mod B made the most of the drive down, and I’ll have some swell photos of places to show you from our trip – we discovered some cool vintage signs and businesses and unexpected surprises in neat little towns all along our route both up and back!

Mod Betty Harper's Lawn Ornaments Harrisonburg VA
This place wasn’t even on my Retro Radar, but when we saw Harpers Lawn Ornaments in Harrisonburg VA, I made RRH turn the car around so we could pick up a “little something” for the Hacienda. Alas this pony boy wouldn’t fit in the car…!
Simple Simon Restaurant Spartanburg SC
We ate at the Sugar n Spice down the street, but again, this was an unexpected find en route to that planned stop – we’ll definitely be checking out the Simple Simon on our next trip down through Spartanburg SC!
Vintage Inspired USA Map Table Cloth
Mod B could not resist (yet another) vintage map inspired tablecloth – I got this at the awesomely retro gift shop at Tallulah Gorge GA where we also got ice cold Nehi in glass bottles!
Bristol VA Sign - Virginia and Tennessee
Yet another unexpected delight – this awesome sign celebrating the fact that Bristol is in two states – Virginia and Tennessee! Loved that we had the opportunity to photo it as the train went by.

Hometown Fun at The Colonial Theatre Phoenixville PA

Beach Blanket Bingo!

Mod B’s fave beach party movie is Beach Blanket Bingo, so when my fave theatre played my fave movie, I had to make it an event!

Mod Betty at Beach Blanket Bingo
We had beach balls to give away, a raffle for a BBB poster, my pals the Thrifty Discount DJs were spinning vintage surf tunes on vinyl in the lobby, and I even got up on stage to share trivia about the movie – Bingo! An awesome time was had by all!


Yes, Mod B loves her little town, and the big event of the season is always Blobfest, where The Colonial Theatre celebrates her appearance in that great 1958 sci-fi kitsch classic The Blob. This year Mod Betty (and Retro Roadhusband!) was mightily involved in each day of the 3 day fest:

Backup Singer and Friday Night Run Out Hostess!

In reality this combo is called Steve & The McQueens (because I said so ;-)) but this year at Blobfest we became “Terry Antula & The Black Widows” to keep with the bug related theme of this year’s Blobfest, and opened the Friday night festivities in the theatre with – THE BUG!

Steve & The McQueens DBA "Terry Antula & The Black Widows" Blobfest 2013
Yes, that’s Retro Roadhusband getting into the spirit and donning a wig even! If you want to see the video of our performance and hear his crooning of THE BUG, here’s the link

We even made it to the local news (kinda) as we held the doors to help usher out the screaming patrons during the famous Running of The Blob ( you can see us at :35)

Retro Roadmap Booth at Blobfest Street Fair

Trying to get the word out about a “virtual” place like Retro Roadmap is a bit of a challenge in the bricks and mortar world, so I decided to share some info from some great Retro Roadmap supporters and sell of my vintage souvenir collection to folks at the street fair – what fun!

Mod Betty at the Retro Roadmap Booth Blobfest 2013 Phoenixville PA
Those Burt Bacharach inspired Beware of The Blob signs were a Mod Betty invention – and I was super psyched to be able to give one to Wes Shank – caretaker of the original Blob! See our photo here.

A special Retro Roadmap shout-out to these supportive folks who sent me brochures and info to share about their cool vintage places:

The Caribbean Motel – Wildwood NJ
Franklin Fountain & Shane Confectionery – Philadelphia PA
Old Sledworks Antiques and Vintage Arcade – Duncannon PA
The Society for Commercial Archeology – USA!
Strictly Hey-Wake Heywood Wakefield Refinishing – Hagerstown MD
Unshredded Nostalgia Antiques & Collectibles – Barnegart NJ
Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of Connecticut – Windsor CT

Historic Tour of The Colonial Theatre & Thrifty Discount DJs

To round out the weekend Mod Betty gave a tour of the historic Colonial Theatre to a group of fab folks, then we all headed over to Steel City Coffee House to listen to a curated collection of vintage vinyl finds, spun by our pals The Thrifty Discount DJs – what a weekend!

The Thrifty Discount DJs at Steel City Coffee House Phoenixville PA
Cool tunes on vintage vinyl – a great combo!


Virginia 36 Hour Getaway

So technically this was supposed to be a no-work weekend as Retro Roadhusband didn’t have a gig, but when a vintage diner is kinda in the area, we had to stop!

Exmore Diner Exmore VA
I highly recommend the fried oyster sandwich!

And this horsey gal got to see the vintage movie theatre where Misty of Chincoteague made its debut in 1961

The Island Roxy Movie Theatre Chincoteague Island VA
This is also when I realized the phone function on my vintage smartphone was not long for this world – sorry about the fuzzieness!

Massachusetts Bound – Via Rye Playland!

When Mod B did the math and realized it was a good 10 years since she and Retro Roadhusband had stopped at Rye Playland Amusement Park in Rye NY (instead of whizzing by on 95) she made the executive decision that we needed to pull in the parking lot and ride some rides, even if it made us extra late to get to Massachusetts:

Mod Betty on the Carousel Rye Playland Rye NY
Can’t believe we let 10 years past since we saw these painted ponies! And considering the fate of this park is uncertain, we’re so glad we made the stop.

“Retro Roadhusband” ¬†Cliff Hillis and Rhett Miller

And finally (actually there is no finally, we’re always doing something!) we made it to Massachusetts, where Retro Roadhusband (in real life, musician, songwriter Cliff Hillis) had a couple of gigs with our pal Rhett Miller of the band The Old 97’s.

Mod Betty, Rhett Miller, Cliff Hillis
Mod B is a lucky gal to get to hang out with such talented (and cute) boys – even when we’re all a bit sweaty after the gig!

Even with those gigs going on, I still managed to pick up a few kitschy Cape Cod souvenirs, make sure the Wellfleet Drive In was still open (yep!) check up on the Rosebud Diner (still closed) and get home in time to work a full week at her regular 9-5’er in Cubeville.

So now you see why I haven’t been posting properly – I’ve got a lot of livin to do!

Hope you’re doing the same!

xo – Mod Betty


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Add a Comment

  • Lizzie
    August 4, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Oh, you have been very busy!

    Funny coincidence, I was in Bristol yesterday and took a photo of the 2 states sign. The state line really does run down the middle of the main street in town. It’s preferable to shop on the Virginia side because the sales tax is quite a bit lower that that of Tennessee!

    • Mod Betty
      August 4, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      We didn’t have time to stop, but I was wondering if there were any advantages to one side of the street vs. the other- RRH and I were saying it would be funny if last call in one state was an hour later – everyone would just cross the street for their last beverage!

  • that Toddly Mann
    August 4, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Retro Roadmap!!!
    ALWAYS an inspiration to hit the road.
    Zig THIS way, zag THAT way.

  • Rich Goyer
    August 5, 2013 at 12:40 am

    Good stuff

  • Jen
    August 5, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Wow, you’ve been all over the place this summer! I love all of the photos. What a shame you could not bring that horse and rider home with you…I’d have been disappointed, too. But you DID get to bring home a great-looking tablecloth.

    That big sign in Bristol is amazing…and surprising, because it wasn’t there when Hubby and I went through a few years ago! Then again, we were probably so distracted by the old Robert E. Lee Motel that the Bristol sign paled in comparison.

  • Mr. Modtomic
    August 11, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Nice shot of the Simple Simon sign! We drove past that (Again!) this summer on our way between Hot Springs NC and Myrtle Beach SC. I didn’t realize it had become a diner of some sort, last time I stopped for photos I think it was a dry cleaners!

    • Mod Betty
      August 12, 2013 at 6:11 pm

      you know, it could’ve very well been a dry cleaner at one point. but when I think of Simple Simon all I think of (besides HoJos) is Pie!

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