From The Desk Of Eleni Mandell: Wilson, Kan.

After nine albums of sterling folk/pop/rock, Eleni Mandell had no need to alter her creative methodology. A chance stroll through the history of country music in the cradle of its development gave Mandell the blazingly clear vision to simplify her process on what would become the new Dark Lights Up. Mandell will be guest editing all week. What she will be writing about: “My kids are four-and-a-half years old (twins). We travel with my ex-boyfriend (not their father), who helps out as the ‘nanny.’ They have toured across the USA many times, but now they’re older and have opinions. The tour lasted five weeks, and we had a blast looking for fun things to do. Two places to avoid: Walmart and Cracker Barrel unless you want to listen to your kids hassle you to buy them stuff for hours on end!” Read our recent feature on Mandell.


Mandell: This town is barely a spot on the road. It was getting to be that time where we needed to find somewhere to stay. We followed the hotel signs and wound up two miles from the highway in a teensy little town. The only hotel happened to be the beautiful Midland Railroad Hotel. I think it was once the train station. I fell in love with this town. The train runs right through the middle of it. We took the kids for a walk around town, which took about 10 minutes, and they loved it. We even found a gorgeous, mid-century post office. Even better: two phone booths with working phones! It’s like stepping into a time machine. Turns out, Wilson is also the Czech capital of Kansas!

Video after the jump: