Driver gains 500 pounds visiting Chicago

Hello potato fans, this is your friendly potato driver Paul! I’m filling in for your usual bloggers Kristie and Tyler, figured I’d give ya a taste of the driver’s point of view. Tonight they are enjoying a play in downtown Chicago, so I thought I’d give this a go.  Well, where do I begin? It’s been a long and enjoyable week with plenty to catch you up on. Let’s start with Indiana…

We began the week with a visit to Richmond, Indiana where we caught up with Dave and Dawn McConkey. The citizens of Richmond helped us welcome the Petrified Potato Artist to the City Hall. We got to examine close up Dave’s potato carvings. After checking out his work we came outside to find most of the city of Richmond checking out our giant spud. Lots of new friends at this awesome event. On the way out of town we made a quick stop at an elementary school where we “blew” the minds of an entire school of “tots”

Our next stop was a  visit to the “Egg Basket” of the country in Mentone Indiana. No tour would be complete without a stop at the giant egg. We can’t thank the good people of Mentone enough. The enthusiasm was more immense than the egg, if that’s possible.

Next we bring the Big Idaho Potato to the windy city, Chicago. This was a special visit for me for several reasons. First, I grew up here, so I got the chance to hit my favorite hot spot for the best Italian beef, Chicago style hot dogs, and the moistest (is that a word? if not it should be) chocolate cake you’ll ever eat, Portillos. Second, we got to fill our tummies at the NRA show and help out at the Idaho Potato Commision booth, where we made some hilarious music “tater” videos. Third, we got to have dinner with Don Odiorne, and the rest of the commissioners and reps, as well as food writers. Seems my reasons for enjoying this leg of the tour revolves around food, but that’s not all…lol. This was my 43rd birthday and I got to celebrate it with my family and with my friends from the IPC. I’d like to thank everyone for the warm birthday wishes, the cake, cupcake and pie, as well as the singing!

We also got to help open the newest member of the Shop and Save family in Downers Grove Illinois. Brian Holzkopf, manager of the store honored our big spud, with a huge spud sale and Mickey having fun with the kids. We wish them the greatest success in the world, its a beautiful store and I hope if you’re ever in the neighborhood you give em a visit.

Anyway, that brings me to the end of this “guest” blog, I’ve probably gained 50 pounds here, but it’s been worth it. Now down to Florida where I need to get back to hitting the exercise rooms at my hotels again. Keep an eye out for us, and keep on trucking.


Paul does much more than just drive the team. Here he is handing out postcards to the kids of Mentone, IN
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