Thursday, November 2, 2017

October travel highlights...

Well, our two-week trip may be over, but I'm enjoying going through the photos.  Here are a few.  I decreased their size for the blog, so they may have lost some quality, but I hope they look okay.

It may be odd to start a vacation with a trip to a cemetery, but this was first on our list.  My sister (who took the journey with us) and I hadn't been to Nebraska (almost 900 miles from my home) to visit our parents' graves in a long time, so we started with that at the top of our list.

They are buried in an old cemetery along with previous generations of family, so I took the opportunity to take some photos to document dates, names, and locations.  The one above is the monument marking the graves of my dates from 1889...there is a group of little headstones near the foot of their monument belonging to their five children who died in childhood.

From there we headed east into Iowa and began seeing a bit of autumn color.  We stayed two nights in Lake Wapello State Park near Drakesville.

After that we went on to Indiana where we spent two more nights at Chain O Lakes State Park near Albion.  We took a day trip up to Shipshewana to visit their Amish and Mennonite shopping district. 

Then onward to Ohio.  We passed this landmark office building in Newark, Ohio which was (formerly?) Longaberger headquarters.  We stayed three nights at Dillon State Park near Nashport, Ohio.  As our trips progressed, the cabins we stayed in got better at each park.  We really liked the one at Dillon.  My sister and I agreed that considering some of the odd rent houses we had each lived in early in our marriages, if we had come across a little house like the cabin we stayed in to rent back then, we would have been in heaven.

We took day trips during our stay there, and saw lovely Amish communities east of Columbus.  There were great Amish thrift shops, and I wish we had been able to visit more of them, but our time was short.

We took a full day to drive up to Cleveland and visit A Christmas Story House Museum.  We love that movie so much, and this has been on my bucket list ever since I heard about it years ago.  I wouldn't describe myself as a 'fan' of very many things that would warrant making a visit a high priority, but I associate this movie with so many special memories and wonderful times with friends and family.

From Ohio, we headed south to Kentucky, and spent the night with my friend the other Kathleen.  She had dinner in the works for us, but I was a thankless guest, and asked her if we could please go out instead.  (Not that I don't like her cooking...when we lived in the same town, we used to prepare multiple meals at a time for the freezer and trade them with each other regularly to add some diversity and happy surprises to our menus.  In fact, she called me recently to tell me she had broken the last of the bowls we used to trade back and forth filled with meals.  We had shopped for the bowls together for our freezer meals, and we each had maybe four or more originally.  I still had four, two of which were in an upper cabinet never used, so I took them with me on this trip to deliver to her.)

Back to the dinner out.  Since we would only be in her town one night, I wanted to celebrate my birthday eve with my favorite sushi roll from my favorite sushi restaurant.  That's my favorite roll there wrapped in foil amid the flames!  SO good and SO much fun!  :)

On the morning of my birthday, we went to Berea, Kentucky where I started out a very lucky birthday by finding the perfect parking spot on their busy main street.  We got some shopping in at the shops featuring beautifully crafted handmade items...I only spent $9...there wasn't much room in the car for souvenirs.  Berea College is a tuition-free school, and claims a tradition of educating the head, heart, and hands of its students.  Craftsmanship, design, and marketing are alive and well, and many students work in its student crafts department.

photo credit:  Boone Tavern website
We stepped a few doors down and had lunch at the fabulous Boone Tavern. 

photo credit:  Boone Tavern website

We really weren't all that hungry, but who could pass up the opportunity to celebrate turning 60 in this luxurious setting? 

I started with a yummy cup of Creamy Pimiento Soup.  

photo credit:  Boone Tavern website

Carey and I shared a beautifully-presented Hot Brown, and he had coleslaw with his.

Then we proceeded to our last state park at Cumberland Falls inside the Daniel Boone National Forest.  The cabin I booked had 26 stairs to get to it, so I opted to change cabins.  They had a more access-friendly cabin that was two bedroom (one with two queen-sized beds which was super as the other Kathleen stayed with us one night) and two bathrooms.  It was a higher rate than the originally booked cabin, but they gave us a discount, so it was affordable and gorgeous.  And the scenery was definitely the prettiest autumn scenes we saw on the trip. 

 Beauty beckoned to photograph distant vistas...

 ...and spontaneous vignettes.

The falls were teeming, and though we weren't there during a full moon to see one of its famous moonbows, the sun played beautifully in its mists.

 We had gorgeous weather during the entire trip.  Cool and sunny, just like I'd hoped for.

To quote Anne Shirley (and L.M. Montgomery) of Green Gables fame, "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."


  1. What an unusual and interesting trip. I would like to hear more about The Christmas Story Museum. Love the quote from Anne!

  2. What a great trip. I agree about the weather. I never was so glad as when we got home to an English Autumn after visiting Florida. Cool and sunny does it every time.
    I’d love to hear about the souvenirs you bought in the thrift shops. We have a free weekend so letter writing is on the agenda! Keep well x

    1. We are warm and humid at home right now. Ugh. Look forward to hearing from you!

  3. I wish I could have gone with you. Looked like a wonderful trip.

  4. Great photos! What kind of sushi roll did you order? Looks intriguing. I had to Google Hot Brown, had never heard of it.

    1. The restaurant is called Umami, and the roll is called ‘Secret of Umami.’ The menu describes it as: Spicy crab, fried shrimp, avocado, topped with cooked shrimp, mozzarella cheese, with a special sauce, served on a flaming plate. Sounds a little odd with the melted cheese, but it is SO good.

      Thanks for the photo compliment. I didn’t take as many photos as I usually do. I took a more compact camera, since we were really short on space. It has higher megapixels than my other camera, but it doesn’t have an viewfinder, just the glossy digital display on the back of the camera which was really difficult to see in the sunlight due to glare. I got frustrated and decided to just enjoy the moment and take mental pictures for the most part.


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