Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Our Trip to the Ark Encounter

Disclaimer:  I've gotten lazy with my blogging and actually copied my Trip Advisor review here.  It tells the story.  HA!

We visited the Ark Encounter earlier this month and I'm so glad we did. This place is awesome and HUGE. Be prepared for lots of walking. We went later in the day on Friday around 4:00 (they are open until midnight the first 40 days). I had bought our tickets and paid for parking online, so we were able to walk right up to the ticket window and get our wristbands. There was no line or wait for tickets or to get on the bus that shuttled you to the actual Ark. I will say that the walk from where they drop you off at to where you actually get into the Ark is a bit of walk. Seems like they could drop you off alot closer to the entrance. 

At the time we were there, it definitely wasn't crowded and we were able to immediately go inside the Ark. It's truly an amazing and spectacular sight to see. It's definitely more than I expected. 

It is alot of walking and standing and reading and by the time we got to the 3rd deck, I was getting tired and spent more time sitting on the many benches they have waiting on my husband. We didn't get a chance to visit the petting zoo area. And we already had dinner plans for someplace else so we didn't get to try the restaurant, but heard great things about it.

We were there about 4 hours and had I not been spent already, we could of stayed a couple more. We went later in the evening because I was wanting to get some pictures of it at night, however it was still daylight when we came out and because of the time difference, it wasn't going to get darker until later. 

If we would of been staying near the Ark and didn't already have dinner plans 30 minutes away from the Ark, we would of left and then came back since we already had our wristbands and had our tickets still and could of just gotten back on the shuttle bus.

I'd definitely like to go back and revisit the areas that I didn't get to spend much time in.






















Monday, June 13, 2016

A Saturday Afternoon Drive Through Amish Country

Saturday morning Shawn and I got up early and got ready to venture out for the day.  We were headed north to Montgomery, Indiana, also known as Amish Country.  I've been wanting to take a little road trip for a while, but our weekends are always so busy with other things that we haven't had time to do one yet. So I made sure we had no plans this Saturday except for our road trip!  I wanted to eat lunch at Knepp's Amish Restaurant and then drive around the Amish countryside to take some pictures.  I knew Shawn would go with me, but I offered up the suggestion to drop him off to play golf at Country Oaks while I drove around.  It was a win-win for both of us!  

Our lunch at Knepp's was really good!  In fact, I'm ready to go back there for lunch again!  They have a buffet so it was all you can eat and they had fried chicken, ham, Salisbury steak, ribs, frog legs, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn and green beans, cabbage, stewed tomatoes, homemade dressing, noodles, lots of items for salad, homemade breads and spreads, and more I'm sure I'm forgetting.  And their ever-so-yummy creamy peanut butter spread.  That stuff is so delicious on their homemade breads!  I contemplated buying a jar of it and a couple loaves of bread, but decided not to.  I'm regretting that decision right now!

After lunch I dropped Shawn off at Country Oaks, and I was off on my way to tour the countryside!

I had spent alot of time googling Southern Indiana Amish, Montgomery, Indiana, and looking at the area on Google Earth Maps so I would have an idea of where to go and what to see.  By looking at the maps on Google Earth, I could somewhat figure out what areas looked like Amish homes and what looked like regular English homes so I would know which roads to drive on.  I had wrote down a few roads and stores on those roads to help keep me from getting lost.  And of course I brought the GPS just in case.  

Below is a mural on the side of a building in town.  I saw a few people post pictures of it on the internet so I had to stop for one too!


I started out on the road that ran in front of the Gasthof Village and knew that any of those side roads would work.  I passed by lots of Amish homes on that busy road but there was a car behind me the entire time so I couldn't really stop.  I decided to take the next cross road so that car wouldn't be following me anymore.  

It was a gravel road which was fine with me.  I could drive slower and observe more.  And chances are there isn't much traffic on these roads, so I could stop often for pictures!  And if a car came up behind me, I could just pull over and wave it around me without being rushed.

I loved driving along the roads and seeing their laundry hanging out.  Some on porches, others on clotheslines.  One thing that struck me was that alot of the clothes lines and such were in the front yards.  Those clean clothes had to be getting awfully dirty and dusty from the traffic on their roads.  Granted, there probably isn't alot of automobile traffic to stir up the dust, as I'm sure those horse and buggies weren't kicking up much dust.  But I know how slow I was going on the roads and how much dust was forming just from going slow.


My only hope on this little trip was to see a horse and buggy going down the road.  I honestly don't think I was expecting anything else, I just wanted to be able to photograph a horse and buggy going down the road.  As I was driving along my first road and nearing the intersection, I noticed a horse and buggy galloping down the cross road as it crested a hill.  AHHH be still my heart!!  I was in heaven and was so excited!  I immediately drove at a faster pace to try and meet the horse and buggy near the intersection so I could take some pictures of it, however I was completely dusting myself out and had to slow down so that when I did get to the intersection, I didn't dust them or myself out and could roll the window down to take some pictures.  My next trip there will probably be after a rain too so there isn't so much dust.  HA!  Throughout my travels today I saw alot of horses and buggies out and many different types of buggies!


Another thing I saw alot of  was big beautiful horses, and lots of smaller baby horses!


I saw a few ladies out mowing the grass.  I felt sorry for them because it was so hot outside on Saturday!



This horse and buggy was tied up to a post at Dinky's Auction House.  That is a place I would definitely like to visit.  On Friday nights, they have 4 or 5 auction rings with auctions going on in all of them.  I've read it's quite the experience.  


There was lots of big farms too!




At this farm, I pulled over under a shade tree and watched these little guys play and pester each other.  The donkey gave the horse a back kick a time or two as well!






This girl was out washing and shining up her buggy ;)


An interesting clothesline on a pulley system.  I didn't drive down the road that ran beside this house, but judging from the size of the house and the amount of the clothes, this is one of the larger families.




Do you see the little kitty in this picture?  


I call this one 'turtle planking'!


I saw lots of bicycles in yards while I was out driving around.  The blue bike has a headband light around the handlebars for night time bike riding.


Not sure if the duck is for decoration or if that's the bathhouse maybe?


Bailing hay!  After I took this picture, one of the gentleman turned and waved to me!  For the most part, everyone I drove past was friendly and waived hi to me.  And then there was a few that didn't and when I waved at them, they looked at me like I was ten kinds of stupid.  


If I haven't said it before, I'll say it now - there was lots and lots of pretty horses out!




Who doesn't love a good barb-wired fence picture!  LOL!




This road was probably my fave road!  THREE sets of horses and buggies on one road!  I drove behind them for a while because they were moving pretty fast and I didn't want to speed up and dust them out to pass them.  

See the fresh oil on the road?  I encountered quite a few spots with fresh oil down to cut down on the dust.  I drove even slower through those spots!  LOL!!



After that picture I figured I had better start heading back to the golf course to get Shawn.  I'm glad I had the GPS with me cause at that point, I had absolutely no clue where I was at.  When I first started my drive, I was able to keep up with which roads I have been on and came from, but at one point I just gave up and drove around.  Once I put the golf course in the GPS, I was in a completely different town from where I had started!  HAHA!

There was lots of photo ops that I missed by trying to be respectful about no pictures of their faces and such.  I passed by a couple homes with kids playing outside that I would of loved to have taken a picture of.  I also wished I would of taken a picture of the white vans.  I'd love to be a white van driver!  I wish I would of taken a picture of their gardens.  Almost all of those homes had gardens in their front yards near the roads.  They were all about the same size gardens and were smaller than I would have imagined them being.  In town there is an old grain station and a set of railroad tracks with a walkover bridge that I didn't get pictures of either.  All the more reason to start planning my next trip back there!

After I picked Shawn up at the golf course, we made one more stop before heading home. 

A round barn on the highway leaving Washington.  We've passed this barn before quite a few years ago when we were traveling and I've wanted to go back and take pictures of it every since.  I googled this barn and there is alot of history to go along with it involving the Klu Klux Klan.