June, 2016

What a crazy month we have had since we left Camp Alexander! We have been so busy that I have forgotten most of it, its a good thing we take pictures to help fill in the blanks!! But half the time I even forgot to take the camera so no pictures!! Oh Well!!

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One of the hardest things we had to do at Camp Alexander was to put away all our chairs, empty the fireplace and store the yard art, so we could get ready to leave and head to Indiana. We were having such a wonderful relaxing time (ha, ha) listening to the birds, hearing the breeze thru the pine trees and visiting with neighbors we haven’t seen for a year. That is one thing with this life we lead is leaving behind family, as well as old and new friends.

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We headed out with Jo and Craig to an Escapees park in Tennessee just outside of Knoxville, it was such a short ride thru the mountains but was, oh, so beautiful thru the smokey mountains, the skies were so blue with of course the smokey haze that area is known for. We loved the small farms and towns, there were a few little craft stores along the way but with the small roads and no shoulder there was no stopping for us. As big as we are I think we scared most people.

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The above photo was taken by an unknown person on Hwy 20 in Pell City, Al by an unknown person, our son found it on Facebook and sent it to us. Big Brother is always watching!!!

Guy and I hung in Tennessee for a few days, we took a 7 mile bike ride along the Melton Lake River, toured the Oak Ridge National Laboratory where the atomic bomb was designed and made. Visited RVs for Less with JoLinda and Craig looking at new 5th wheels and listened to a blue grass group play and sing one night. It turned out to be a busy few days in Tennessee.

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We decided to leave 2 days early from Raccoon Valley and head up to Laurel River Lake in the Daniel Boone National Park, Kentucky. We had been there the year before and truly had a wonderful time. Once we arrived we felt as if we were back at Camp Alexander, with lots of trees, squirrels, and a beautiful lake.

Our site great as we were the only RV on our street, it was nice and quiet. We did nothing but walk, sleep and sit out in the rain while Guy did some banjo playing!! Took a walk to the lake and swam for a few hours, the water was a perfect temp and no one but us there.

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Friends of ours Cori and Greg were going to be in Shipshewana, In, the week before we needed to be in Decatur, In, for coach painting. We hadn’t seen them since last year and decided to head up there to hang with them. We knew this would be the one and only time we could meet up this year and were so looking forward to seeing them. They were headed to New Bern, Ohio for the July 4th weekend and then over to Pennsylvania to be with family for a month. Cori and Greg were in this area as they are redecorating their Country Coach and since this is the RV manufacturing Capital, with most of the RVs made in Northern Indiana, this was the place to check out the furniture maker.

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The work horses on the farm by the campsite

Jo and Craig had arrived in Shipshewana just before we did, and were also waiting for us to arrive.  It was a busy week, we tried to do and see everything we could, drove around Shipshewana, Middelbury, Elkhart and Goshen Indiana like mad hatters looking for fun exciting things to do..

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The guys decided that a trip to Bontragers in Michigan was a necessity! This place is a salvage yard for RV parts, there were 3 buildings with everything from tires to sinks and toilets. It was pretty interesting but I will say it is a men’s place

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The guys did find stuff that was a must have for them. It was a great score for Greg, who has a company called Solar Solutions, he installs solar on rvs, including ours.

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Greg bagging his loot

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Poppie with his find of the day

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Jo and Cori loving the surplus store

 

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We even drove 45 mins, to New Buffalo, Michigan for a late lunch, but due to construction on the road it took a couple of hours. We were looking for some awesome sea food with a great view of Lake Michigan. What we found was The Salty Dog, a few blocks from the beach and ok sea food. The wait for an inside table was over an hour so we all opted for the bar on the roof…it happened to be the hottest day of the week…yup, we roasted!! But the drinks were good and cold.

One of the places that I really wanted to visit was the RV/MH Hall of Fame. This is a one of a kind museum with 100 year old camping units on display.

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One of my favorites was the 1931 Chevrolet House car that Paramount Studios presented to Mae West when she started making movies for the Studio.

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Mae Wests touring car

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It was designed as a chauffeur driven lounge car and not a camper. It has a small hot plate stove, a small ice box and table so she could enjoy a spot of tea. It was used for Mae to transport her from the hotel to the shooting locations. It was reported that she had a rocking chair on the back porch and would sit enjoying the breeze.

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The Shipshewana Flea Market is open 2 days a week and boasts over 900 spaces and that they are the Midwest’s largest flea market!! It was large that’s for sure, we hoped they were selling Amish crafts, but instead all we found were booths with stuff from China,  bamboo sheets, sweatshirts, coffee cups, purses, all the spaces basically selling the same stuff!! So disapointing!!

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We watched the animal auctions as they auctioned off pigs, cows, horses, and hay. It truly was interesting, but did it stink!! There were a couple of the draft horses that I would love to have bid on, just loved how massive they are but sure wouldn’t want to feed them.

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I don’t have pictures as they don’t allow cameras inside. What I found amazing was  the parking of the buggies and horses that were lined up while the owners were at the auction.
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The Goshen Brewing was a must stop for lunch and a little adult beverage!! We sampled many of the beers but as a non beer drinker I only found one that I wanted to drink which was a light ale.

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Guy, Greg and Cori discussing what beer they wanted

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Driving down the highway scratching our heads on what to do Cori is on her phone and points us in the direction of Linton’s, a beautiful garden center with a gift shop, a little lake with rentable paddle boats, train rides and a petting zoo. There are also lots of awesome yard art pieces, also little houses with garden plants set around them.

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It was a great place to hang for the afternoon, I think we all were pleasantly surprised how much we enjoyed the gardens!!

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It was a great week hanging with Cori and Greg and very sad to see them leave but we also needed to head out for our week at the factory and our (we thought) final repairs. They did get all the repairs done but since it was 4th of July weekend our painter had taken off a few extra days. Which meant we needed to either wait for him to get back or have someone else finish our painting…we decided to wait for him and went back to Shipshewana.

So come on back and check in with us to see how we celebrate Independence Day in Amish country.

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