Five years ago, my sister and I loaded up my mom and my nephew in a rented van and headed west.

Mom's in her 80s and her two siblings are, too. Thing is, THEY live 1500 miles away in New Mexico and nobody's getting any younger. We just wanted to get her out there one more time so they could all spend some time together. I doubt we'll do it again. Also, my nephew is the only one in the family who had never been, so THAT had to be rectified.

On our trip out there, in southwestern Missouri, we could not believe our eyes when we came upon a STUCKEY'S. Even though it was missing that trademark blue teal roof (it HAD a roof; it just wasn't that color), the sign was unmistakable.

We didn't really need to stop, but we ABSOLUTELY stopped. It was Stuckey's. It was part of our family's vacation DNA. It was a must...

...UNTIL we got inside and realized it was no more than a garden variety convenience store.

Gone were the cheap souvenirs. Gone was the restaurant. And, worst of all, gone were the signature pecan logs.

It was a Stuckey's in name only. Cue the sad emoji.

Essentially...GONE was Stuckey's.

I found a video from a guy who is just as enamored of the iconic roadside stop as we all always have been. And, in fact, I'm pretty sure I've been to this one:

He said it's on I-24 between Nashville and Chattanooga, so I absolutely have been there.

This video really got my hopes up, but it's from 2016 and, guess what, this Stuckey's is now abandoned:

Thing is, Stuckey's is not out of business. There's a website. You can order stuff from it, even pecan logs.

But, honestly, it just isn't the same as going INTO a Stuckey's and getting the pecan log, yourself.

And it REALLY isn't the same if that pecan log isn't stale.

I don't know why we were so excited about a little gift shop/diner when were kids, but we were. It was an essential part of vacations back then.

An online Stuckey's just isn't the same.

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