Shipshewana, Indiana – Visiting Northern Indiana Amish Country

Although a small town, Shipshewana, Indiana is one of the most visited towns in Indiana. Shipshewana’s close proximity to Indianapolis, Chicago and Detroit makes it a convenient destination for frequent day trips or weekend retreats for many people in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana. Shipshewana is home to one of the nation’s largest Amish communities and a trip to this Amish town will let you see and experience an Amish community firsthand.

The Amish families live in the community next to non-Amish (or “English”). There is not a settlement or area set aside where the entire Amish community lives. Amish homes without electricity and other modern conveniences are next to non-Amish homes throughout the entire community. Amish and non-Amish families interact on a regular basis in their personal and business lives.

Some first time visitors may actually think what they see in the Shipshewana area is a “show”. It is not. It is everyday life for those in northern Indiana Amish Country. Many Amish families own and operate small businesses serving their neighbors in the community and visitors to the area. Visitors will find plenty of shopping in Shipshewana and in the surrounding community. Most stores are open Monday through Saturday and treat Sunday as a day of rest. Generally, all businesses are closed on Sundays.

When visiting Shipshewana, expect to see things that you likely do not see too often such as horse drawn buggies sharing the road with cars and trucks or handcrafted, solid wood furniture in a renovated dairy barn or a young boy working in the field with a team of horses instead of a tractor. These rarities make the area unique and a place for many to visit, relax and remind them of times gone by.

Several large restaurants featuring Mennonite and Amish cooking provide the locals and visitors with a place to dine. During the summer one of the nation’s largest outdoor flea markets – the Shipshewana Flea Market is a favorite of many that visit Shipshewana. Lodging can be found in local bed & breakfasts, campgrounds or hotels.

Gaia Wines Contemporary Winery: An Emblem of Indiana’s Growing Wine Industry

ne making and wine tasting has long been a favorite American pastime, particularly in western states such as California – a subject humorously portrayed in the hit 2004 film, Sideways.

Yet, this pursuit seems to have traveled across the United States, with wineries appearing in the most unlikely of locations. Indianapolis, for instance, is highly valued for being a dedicated centre of sport; yet in 1996, Indianapolis saw the opening of Gaia Wines Contemporary Winery, the 19th winery in the area.

Named after the Greek Goddess of the Earth, Gaia Wines is owned and run by Cellar Master Angee Wallberry, and is the only winery in the US owned solely by a woman. Since its opening, Gaia Wines has tried to fit into its surroundings, but has also endeavored to create its own unique niche in the marketplace. Located in the central, up-market historic gallery and theater district on Massachusetts Avenue, only a few minutes away from the luxury Conrad Hotel, it has had to quickly establish a high reputation for itself – and to no little success: since its opening, Gaia Wines has managed to pull off the amazing feat of creating 14 new award winning wines, introducing tours and wine tasting events to the winery, as well as providing meeting rooms and playing host to public functions.

Gaia Wines Contemporary Winery also hosts various public activities, such as Sunday Jazz and comedy shows, along with monthly specials and wine appreciation classes. Clearly, Gaia Wines fits in well with Indianapolis’ growing wine tasting scene, which has been emerging since the 1990s. Among Indiana’s other wineries worth visiting are the Chateau Thomas Winery, and the Easley Winery, both of which offer free tasting sessions and regular tours, in addition to meeting space, events and activities.

The success of Gaia Wines Contemporary Winery since it opened ten years ago is not altogether surprising, as soil conditions and climate in Indiana are optimal for wine production – although this is not often acknowledged outside the state. In particular, Indiana’s conditions are great for cultivating the increasingly popular Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety. The impressive quality of Indiana wines has led to its vintners being more generally acknowledged in the wider vintner community across America and the globe. Though it may still not be regarded on a scale to California’s Napa Valley, Indiana is certainly gaining regard as one of America’s up-and-coming wine growing regions; and if wineries continue to be as successful as Gaia Wines Contemporary Winery, the future looks rosy.

What Happens When the Gods Come to Indiana

Mike Ball, the Michigan humorist who compiled his years of syndicated humor columns into three very funny “What I’ve Learned… So Far” books, has outdone himself with his latest volumes of smiles, chuckles and outright laughter with the publication of his new novel called, “Olympus, Indiana.”

Ball, an Emma Bombeck award-winning author, places the classic, better-known Greek gods and goddesses in the small town of Olympus, Indiana, where they acquire and operate a hotel, complete with a bar and Greek restaurant, while looking or Zeus’ missing amulet of Power. The amulet felt to earth while Zeus was engaged in an ancient battle and landed somewhere in the general vicinity of what would eventually become southern Indiana.

While the amulet is presumably the source of Zeus’ power, a few of the other gods and goddesses mysteriously begin to regain a limited amount of power only to lose it. It doesn’t take long for Ball to assemble the whole host, including Zeus, Hermes, Apollo, Athena, Aphrodite (and later an Aphrodite look-a-like named Dyo crafted by Hephaestus), Hera, Artemis, and Ares – with cameo appearances by Hades and Poseidon.

The fun begins when the mayor orders the hotel to build a new sidewalk in front, which Hephaestus does with his magic powers, only to be told the walkways violates city code because the concrete is “too hard.”

A humorous exchange takes place between human resident Sarah and Hermes. “If I recall my mythology class,” says Sarah, “you Gods did spend a fair amount of time ‘reproducing’ with humans.” Hermes replies: “Well, I’ll admit that it did happen, but it was a lot less common than those stories would have you believe. Plus, if you think about it, any time a little ‘Oops’ comes along, it’s pretty convenient to send out a press release claiming that ‘a God did it.”

And then Cronus attacks son Zeus and leaves him sitting “… in a shallow crater, his hair singed and smoking, wearing the shredded remains of his Rolling Stones t-shirt and a smoldering pair of Alvin and the Chipmunks boxer shorts. His thunderbolt, pulsing with energy, lay on the ground next to him, right beside the molten remains of the Lone Star belt buckle.”

And, in another funny exchange — “Where do Giants even hang out so nobody notices them?” asked Sarah. “Walmart?” said Hermes.

I won’t spoil the book for you with any extensive discussion of the plot. Hopefully, I have offered enough examples of Mike Ball’s offbeat humor to tickle your funny bone and encourage you to read “Olympus, Indiana.” I really enjoyed this book, and I’m certain that you will too.

Santa Clause, Indiana Lodging

Santa Claus Indiana got it’s name in 1852 by a child on Christmas Eve. The town just let the Santa cheer go. The surrounding lakes have Christmas themed names, like Christmas, Noel and Holly. The streets have themed names as well. The name of the town was very enticing for certain Holiday themed businesses. Today there are more attractions, like an 18 hole golf course, antique toy shops, Christmas themed museums and manufactures of everything from sleighs, to toys. Be sure to visit Holiday World, Splashin Safari, and Santa’s Toy Shop. Get the Santa spirit anytime of year.

Santa’s Lodge
Santa’s Lodge will get any Scrooge in a Santa mood, anytime of year. From the moment you step into the lobby with its enormous with 37 foot ceilings, you are in Christmas. The entire place is decorated year round with Christmas decorations. There are 170 rooms from standard to a full family suite, all rooms include coffee makers, small refrigerators, hair dryers, televisions and microwaves. Suites have extra features like hot tubs and extra televisions, and larger space. Each room is decked out in Holiday d├ęcor. Some of the beams used in the construction are from the original 1883 barn that stood in the same place. Saint Nicks Restaurant is nearby for room service or dining in. They serve breakfasts lunch and dinner. Come join the Santa fun all year round.

Santa’s Lodge
91 W. Christmas Blvd.
Santa Claus, IN 47579

Comfort Inn Ferdinand
The Comfort Inn Ferdinand, Indiana is about 6 miles from Santa Claus. The hotel features non-smoking environment, free breakfast, business center, indoor pool, and laundry facilities. The rooms feature coffee maker, internet, hair dryer, clock radio, and HBO. Discounted Holiday World tickets are available at the Hotel lobby. Make reservations early!

Comfort Inn Ferdinand
440 South Main Street
Ferdinand, IN 47532

The Best Western, Lincoln Land Inn
The Best Western, Lincoln Land Inn is in Dale, Indiana, about 7 miles from Santa Cause. A nice location to be close to everything that Santa Clause has to offer. The hotel offers an exercise facility, heated pool, hot tub, and free breakfast. The rooms feature, king size beds, free internet, long distance phone calls, alarm clock, iron, hair dryer, refrigerator and microwave. You can also choose adjoining rooms for larger groups. Leave your smokes in the car as this is a smoke free facility.

The Best Western, Lincoln Land Inn
1339 N Washington Street,
Dale, IN 47523-9688

Kat Oakley
F5MC Support
Article Writer

My vision is to have a steady income so that I can be a stay at home grandma. I welcome challenging subjects. I find researching a subject interesting. For me, article writing fosters life long learning.

Indiana Jones and the Skull of Crystal

Some people say I am “Illinois” Shapiro because I was born in Chicago and I wind up traveling the world exploring different mysteries. So perhaps I know a thing or two about what an “Indiana Jones” person might face – but in my real life journey to unravel what are the Skulls of Crystal about – or to be more precise the Skulls of Quartz Crystal – although sometimes it gets darn exciting so far I haven’t had any so-called bad guys chasing me.

However, I have had an opportunity to go look for a crystal skull in Peru – a vision if you will – but a pretty powerful one that has not left me since I saw what appears to be a “Blue Crystal Skull” – with a movable jaw.. when I was in Peru with a group of 50 Brazilians and one American in 1990 (I was the American of course) — an the archeologist who was sitting with us at our hotel for breakfast in Lima – who was to be our guide for Machu Picchu (as we were preparing to leave for the airport to fly to Cusco) – jumps up and points a finger at me and saids in Spanish (it was translated for me by my ex-wife):

“Joshua Knows Where There is a Crystal Skull in Peru”

Holy Toledo I thought, I do??? But then there came, what can we call, a vision (and I am not one of these people who can see spirits and beings in other realms or auras but this vision I did see in my mind’s eye) of a procession of Indian looking people – walking in a jungle area – and the person at the head of the line, a man was holding out from his body with both arms an object – well come on guys, it looked like a crystal skull that this man was holding. And then I played a joke on myself and thought, well if this archeologist is correct (and I don’t know what the heck inspired him to stand up and point at me but you know when you are in Peru you do crazy things – the energy there is out of this world) then if I know about a crystal skull in Peru it is probably my favorite color, sky blue. And from that moment till this very day – in my mind’s eye whenever I think about a “Blue Skull” I see it and feel it around me, mostly in front of me on my right side and slightly above my head.

So what is “Illinois” Shapiro to do – the vision of this “blue skull” gets more and more intense – my body is constantly being pulled to the northern part of Peru (of which I had not been to yet) – can I simply just lie here and do nothing while this vision, this spiritual essence of a skull keeps appearing to me and talking to me. Could you do this? Well heck no!! So in 1997, I made the leap, I couldn’t stand it any more, I quite my nice paying job as a computer programmer and took off for Peru, not knowing how long I would be.

Fortunately via my ex-wife we had contact with a tour agency in Lima and they helped us to setup to explore the Northern Part of Peru – so to make a long story short, we were lead (you know if you are spiritual you have invisible friends help you) to an archeologist linked to the ancient Moche site of Sipan, who told us about a place called Huancabamba which was high up in the Andes mountains where all of the shamans are trained. Well we know that crystal skulls have a link with the indigenous peoples of the world and the shamans hold each cultures sacred knowledge. But also in this area, a spirit called “The Lord of Sipan” (who was the ruler buried in Sipan uncovered in 1987 and is quite famous in Peru) begins to appear to me and acts as my protector. I couldn’t understand why this spirit would want to be linked to a crazy gringo, coming to Peru on a crazy mission but the “Lord” as I called him stayed with me for the rest of this trip.

Then I receive a new guide to help me to go to Huancabamba – as my Spanish is not much to speak about, we first go to Piura, a coastal city in the northern part of Peru to spend the night and then catch a 9 hour bus to Huancabamba the next day. At the Youth Hostal we stay, the owner knows the main shaman of Huancabamba and writes a letter for us. After escaping for our lives the bus ride, which goes up a mountain like 15,000 feet on a single lane which goes up and down – we arrive in Huancabamba and after getting our hotel, we take a taxi to see the shaman – he asks us to come back the next morning. Now the whole trip, quitting my job, spending a nice chunk of change to go to Peru – will hinge on the meeting with the main shaman in Huancabamba – to see if they can guide me the next step to find this “Blue Skull”. So we arrive and at first I listen to the shaman – who tells us about the local plants they use to heal people and the ceremonies they conduct – then when its my turn – (wondering to myself if I have wasted my time or not) I take out photos of various crystal skulls known in the world and ask the Shaman, if he knows anything about them – so what do you think his answer is?

Come on – do you think he said, “Oh Joshua, of course we know about the crystal skulls and it has been foretold that you would come to ask?” Well if this was an Indiana Jones film that is probably the way it would go but fear not, the shaman said he didn’t know anything about what I was talking about – so I took a deep breath and sigh, what to do next. But then, there is always a but then, the grandson of the Shaman shows me a photo of one of the sacred lagoons in the mountain where they take people for a spiritual cleansing — they are going there the next day – would we like to come along and watch and learn. Well, I did feel a powerful energy off the photo from the water of the Lagoon. I also learned later when we went into town that people reported UFOs showing up around this Lagoon, people walking on the water and some just disappearing into the water – so life was showing me the next step and we said ok, we would join them the next day. So the Grandson said, be ready at 4:30 AM, he would pick us up at our hotel. So we went to bed early and were ready in the morning.

But 4:30 AM came, 5:00 AM, 6:00 AM – no grandson – again a challenge, what is a crystal skull explorer to do – well being an Aries who doesn’t like to give up I said to my guy, “Lets go to the Lagoon in the Mountain (it was called Laguna Negra, the Black Laguna) ourselves – so we found the taxi driver who took us to the shaman at home but he was sleeping and drunk – we found the taxi that was going to take the Shaman but he said the Shaman cancelled as he didn’t have enough people and wanted us to pay for 6 people – I am Jewish what answer do you think I gave. And finally at 9 AM in the center of town we found a bus going up the mountain to take us where we had to go — a place below the Lagoon where we could rent a mule – so by 11:30 AM, I was there – and we made it up to the Lagoon — and when I was there – I knew this was the place I was looking to go (to camp for a few days) to seek the “Blue Skull” – because there was a face of a skull in the mountain behind the Lagoon. I was excited but… I didn’t have my camping gear with me so we had to go back down the mountain – took about 5 hours to get our camping gear to come back up the next day – but I didn’t care, spirit had guided me to the place.

Anyway again to make a long story short, because this article is longer then I planned (I am just typing spontaneously here) – we climbed on the mountain two times to look for an entrance inside to perhaps a city that might have the skull but we were unsuccessful. On the last day we were at Laguna Negra, I took a walk away from the Lake by myself, sort of like a robot with a force pulling me – I came to a slight incline and found a circle of stones, I sat down – then a voice spoke to me (I had a headache after this) in my head which said in this area, the ancient continent of Lemuria existed and the “Blue Skull” was in a temple in a circular room exactly where I was sitting but the temple had been destroyed due to a great catalysm (they say the Andes Mountains were in Lemuria sea level and when Lemuria sank, the Andes Mountains rose) — and that in this circular room were 13 skulls in glass cases on the wall – I was a Priest in this temple which is why I knew about the skull and was called to return to this area. Then when Lemuria was destroyed, the “Blue Skull” went to Atlantis – again I had a lifetime in the Temples of Atlantis linked to this skull – when Atlantis was destroyed, a group brought this skull and other sacred artifacts on a flying ship from Atlantis to Peru – it was returned to this area, to a group of people who lived in an underground city inside the Mountain by the Lagoon. I again had something to do with this group to bring the skull back. Then during the time of Lord of Sipan, some tall men came to him and gifted him the “Blue Skull” for a number of years – then he asked his councilor, the husband of one of his daughter to return the “Blue Skull” to the Talll People and his councilor was guided to the area we call the Laguna Negra and gave it to the tall people inside the mountain where it remains today.

Going For the Best in Dating Sites Indiana

If you are looking for the best in dating sites Indiana, you are after a perfect time with your date, or relationship partner. The good thing is that there are perfect dating sites in all Indiana where you can perfect your dating and relationship time. There is nothing like enjoying the best of dating with your partner in the best way possible, as you might be enjoying the best that a place like Indiana offers its visitors.

For instance, visiting Northeastern Indian, with a huge community of Amish and Mennonite will undoubtedly change your experiences forever. You can surprise your date with what the dating sites in Indiana from these areas have to offer, such as jellies, homemade candies and delightful jams.

If your dating partner is more into going to the beach or after maximum relaxation, the Indian Dunes might be a dating site to enjoy. It is located along the Southern part of the shoreline of the Michigan Lake, with the beach providing habitats for some numbers of unusual plants, which include around 20 distinct varieties of orchids. You might also come across prickly pear cactus species at the Indiana dunes.

Perhaps this place will make your dating partner after relaxation to enjoy the best that dating has to offer. The more dating and relationships you enjoy in a great place with your date, the stronger is your relationship, more so if enjoyed in any of the great dating sites in Indiana. The French Lick Springs Resort is another place that is a favorite spot in Indiana, giving you a decent place to romance your partner. You will be able to enjoy a relaxing getaway as you play some fabulous tennis, horseback riding, golf, buggy ride, and in a unique way, you might consider solving a murder mystery in the hotel.

This is because the hotel always has a murder mystery classical performance every Wednesday up to Sunday every week, and you and your partner plus the other guests have no choice but solve the mystery. As much as you enjoy the ensuing mystery, what makes the resort one of the perfect dating sites in Indiana is the prize to win, which is a weekend for two within the resort? You might be in the resort longer than you think.

Perhaps the great Indiana sites to enjoy are what will mesmerize your dating partner, with first having revved up your engine and depicted to your love the Indy 500 and even the vast Hoosier National Park, which covers most of Southern Indiana. You have the chance to delight your date with some of unique and surprising scenic views, as well as the great excitement of the Olympic white water rafting through the middle of a huge city.

With your lover, the best of dating sites Indiana might be at your fingertips. To enjoy every moment of your time, you need to carry such things as a perfect camera, comfortable shoes, a picnic basket, blanket and light rain jacket just if the meteorological department had it all wrong.

Places to Visit When Dating in Indiana

Indiana is a state in the United State. It has a population of about six million people. The capital city of Indiana is called Indianapolis. This state has a humid continental climate. The summers in this state are hot and humid while the winters are cold and cool. The cities in Indiana include Fort Wayne, Evansville and South Bend. Indiana is popularly referred to as the Brain Bank of the Midwest because to the many colleges and universities that attract a lot of people. There are a number of things you do if you are dating in Indiana. All the cities in these state have attractive sites and interesting things you can do for fun.

While dating in Indiana you can go to Indiana Beach Amusement resort. This place has fun written all over it. They have an inverted coasters that you can take a wild ride on. You can also stay in their Haunted Hotel or their scary campground. Whenever you stay in this haunted hotel for a night, you get two free ride passes. You can also take a hay ride in the Indian Beach Amusement resort. There are about eight beaches found in Indiana dunes. You can go to any of these beaches and enjoy the nice sun and a tan. There is the West Beach, Cowles beach, kemil beach and others. Seven of these beaches open at around seven in the morning while the West Beach opens at around nine in the morning. You can then do what you like best in these beaches. You can collect the sea shells or play a game here. Do not forget to carry with you a sun screen. You do not want to go back home with sun burns

You can go to the Historical Society Museum if you are dating in Indiana. This museum has wonderful displays of great things. They have many family heirlooms that includes tools and furniture. They also have an antique weapon. They have more than eighty thousand items for you to take a look at. They have with them a very unique square grand piano that you can go to see. The Old Lighthouse Museum is another place of interest you should go visit. You can learn about the history of Michigan city. You can also go see the steam equipment collection in Hesston Steam Museum. Their main attraction is the Czechoslovakian locomotive.

While dating in Indiana, you can visit one of their eating places to experience their wonderful food. There are so many restaurants. They have 200 restaurants that are good. You can almost eat out every single day of the year and never get to finish the restaurants. There are restaurants that offer American cuisine, contemporary American, Fusion and Italian. You can go to Oceanaire Sea food room, Oakley’s Bistro, Muncie restaurant and Hamada of Japan. You can also go to one of Indiana Theatres. There are live performance in this places. If you love ballet and children you should go to Indiana Ballet Theatre. This theatre is dedicated toward helping children.

Toetripping or Tiptoeing Through the Toe of Indiana

My friend moved from Terre Haute to New Harmony. “Good move,” I thought partly because I have always loved New Harmony, the site of an early experiment in communal living in the United States and partly because she found a good deal on an old drive-in restaurant which she converted into an art studio and living space. I decided to spend a couple of days visiting her and other friends in the toe of the state. It was only a four-hour drive from Indianapolis but seemed like a trip back through several decades of time.

We had dinner at the New Harmony Inn, beer from a local brewery, cheeseburgers and fries and checked out the Hoosier Salon artists in a main-street gallery. If the inn and its menu seemed time capsuled, we stepped back a few more years when we headed for the big event in town that night, a Hank Williams concert. In reality, it was a concert by the group HankeringforHank, a Hank impersonator who asked if anyone had heard Tony Bennett sing, “Your Cheating Heart” on the radio lately. A couple of jokes about the red G-string on the bass and going to the topless church down the street, seemed right on key, and everyone joined in for some heartfelt gospel singing at the end. We left longing for the “good ole days” before television and rap… but the Rappites might have disagreed. Like, “we dig socialism, but don’t you know man, we can’t agree on nothin’ so let’s just jam.”

New Harmony was founded in 1814 by the German religious group known as the Harmonists or the Rappites. When the Harmonists decided to move back to Pennsylvania, it was sold to Robert Owen, the Welsh utopian thinker and social reformer and William McClure. Owen recruited members to the community, but a number of factors led to an early breakup of the commutarian experience. It is easy to understand both his idealistic approach and the reason for its demise. As he himself admitted, “… It appeared that it was nature’s own inherent law of diversity that had conquered us… our ‘united interests’ were directly at war with the individualities of persons and circumstances and the instinct of self-preservation… and it was evident that just in proportion to the contact of persons or interests, so are concessions and compromises indispensable.” (Periodical Letter II 1856)

The community then became a scientific (entomology and geology) and religious center which it has remained to this day. It has a little over nine hundred residents and many of the old Harmonist buildings still stand and have been restored. Paul Tillich, the renowned theologian and religious theorist, is buried across from the roofless church, open to God and the universe. His words, “Man and nature belong together in their created glory – in their tragedy and in their salvation” still ring true today. The maze remains to encourage contemplation, and gardens, and art galleries enhance the town’s beauty. The search for knowledge is well served by The Working Men’s Institute, established in 1838, by William Maclure. It is the oldest continuously operating library in the state of Indiana and also houses a small museum.

I wanted to experience time travel on this trip and also try to “Keep on the Sunny Side”. Hank may have enjoyed this song sung by his contemporary musicians, the Carter Family. I must admit that even this experience had a downside as my friend had a raging tooth ache, and it was about 98 degrees on the “sunny side” of the street. We enjoyed our visit anyway, and after admiring all of her beautiful paintings, I set out enthusiastically the next morning to see the rest of the toe.

As I headed out of town I was soon humming Joni Mitchell’s Chelsea Morning as the sun was coming down like butterscotch in southern Indiana in summer, and the humidity added to the sticky metaphor. As I sped through the green countryside, a beautiful yellow swallowtail butterfly flew in front of my car. Unfortunately it hit my windshield and lay flapping in the road behind me. Everything else seemed cheery. My friend seemed centered and settled in her new studio, and I was headed toward Santa Claus, Indiana to celebrate Christmas in July. I planned to visit my daughter’s mother-in-law. This lady had been a successful business woman who decided to buy several acres of wooded land outside Santa Claus and live there with her three sons and their families.

She was no doubt familiar with New Harmony, but maybe not its demise. The sons did not agree with their mother or the wives with their husbands and moved away. After all, if the Rappites and the Owens couldn’t do it, how could they. I headed down highway 165 not knowing for sure where her farm was located and reluctant to ask my daughter who preferred separation of her relatives and wisely so. Blue cornflowers, purple cow weed, and white Queen Ann’s lace adorned the sides of the highways. Violet thistle and yellow goldenrod fringed the edges of the green quilted fields. I was mesmerized by the passing landscape and unable to slow my momentum through the honeyed morning even to stop for blackberries, corn, squash and melons advertised on a handmade sign.

My mood was broken by a more ominous sign that read, “Prepare to Stop.” A few miles down the road I saw the reason for the sign, a monstrous structure towering above the park, it’s top lost in the stratosphere. I was approaching Holiday World, and this was the world’s longest water coaster. I knew because my seven-year-old grandson had recently informed me with the greatest authority that he had been on it. I was horrified and asked how this could have occurred. Apparently, the last time he had been to the doctor to be measured he was forty-eight inches tall. Upon hearing this much-anticipated fact, he whipped out an advertising brochure and informed the doctor that he was now tall enough to ride the water slide at Holiday World.

I stopped at a filling station for a soft drink or a pop as they are called here. It is not my drink of choice, but somehow looked irresistible when imbibed by a jolly rosy-cheeked Santa Claus. I tried to figure out how to get to my daughter’s mother-in-law’s farm using the map. I didn’t really believe that I could find it, and eventually had to give up and call my daughter. After several tries on my cell phone which was rapidly losing power, I heard her voice demanding, “Do you have an emergency or something?” Well it seemed so to me as I was starving, my phone was dying and I was driving around in 98 degree heat in another era, so I screamed, “Yes!”. She told me she couldn’t remember how to get to the property, but she did remember a county road and some Wapati elk and buffalo across the street. This seemed like valuable information to me in my pathetic state and recalling another 60’s classic by Janis Joplin, I decided to “try just a little bit harder.”

Her directions proved helpful, and I was soon seated in an air-conditioned house with a glass of lemonade, hearing a tearful Donna describe how her beloved dog had died of the heat on the way to the vet the day before. I was deciding if the lemonade and air-conditioning balanced out this new tragedy when I was hit with another one. My grandson had fallen in the pond while fishing from the dock during his last visit and had been covered with pond slime. The next topic of conversation was about the coyotes on her property who frequently send the female coyote out to attract the cute little male house dogs, and then the male coyotes pounce on the dogs. Wiley Coyote is alive and well in Santa Clause land. As I headed out of town a giant Santa Claus beamed at me from one side of the highway while a small madonna smiled benevolently from the other.

My next stop was Adyeville, once a thriving town which used its nearby creek to ship cattle out of the countryside and down to the Ohio River. It now consists of two houses and an old store which another friend of mine calls home. He was retired from teaching sociology, and we enjoy discussing politics and philosophy. He wasn’t home so I discussed politics and water quality in the area with his donkey, Third and patted his dog, Second. Third was concerned about the state of the environment but Second was only concerned about enjoying long walks in the countryside. I think my friend was First but I am not sure as Second or Third might have been first. Third often came into the store/house uninvited. Abbot and Costello of “who’s on first fame” were also contemporaries of Hank.

Then I travelled up the highway to French Lick, Indiana’s Historic Playground. On the way I say a sign that said, “Eat here! Get gas and worms too. Beer(deer) hunters welcome.” Wow, what a place! I was becoming elated again until I saw a dead deer on the roadside which brought me back to roadkill reality. A sign for tomatoes and one for web design juxtaposed the old German agri-culture and the modern American cyber-culture on the side of the country road. But entrepreneurship was alive and well! And corn was everywhere, in small gardens, in yards, in giant fields by the roadside and next to the roofless church in New Harmony where it was framed by the stone church windows like a goddess in a shrine. Iowa may produce the most corn in the country but Indiana has Orville Reddenbacher of popcorn fame and the motto, “There’s more than corn in Indiana.”

Patoka Lake, in the state park of the same name, where I had spent many happy hours camping with my family, came into view. I’m sure the original native American inhabitants of the land enjoyed this area as well. Its Indian name means “log on bottom.” Its surface area is 8,000 acres, it has many campgrounds and hosts many sports related activities. It is also home to many varieties of birds, fish, animals, and insects. I had once camped there during a year of the cicadas or seven-year locusts. The roar from the woods sounded like a massive factory working the night shift, but was just a huge choir of cicadas that had been waiting for seven years to sing

When I arrived in French Lick, the first thing I saw was the French Lick Hotel and new casino surrounded by a moat of water. This is the only way it could have existed in this mostly landlocked state, with only a small shoreline at the point of Lake Michigan at the north and the Ohio River at the south. The state has a split personality when it comes to casinos which, by law, must be on a river or lake if they really have to be here at all. They are the work of the devil, but so is Pluto water which has been in French Lick from the beginning. So here it was with its moat, surrounded by little white frame churches with disapproving faces. They would rather have used the water for holier purposes.

Indiana Casinos

Indiana casinos are located in the “Hoosier state,” a Midwest state at the “crossroads of America.” Indiana, with a population of over 6,000,000 and an area of 35,867 square feet, is known for agriculture, manufacturing, and mining of decorative limestone. The capital of Indiana is Indianapolis, the “amateur sports capital of the world,” with a population approaching 2,000,000. The largest single-day sporting event in the world, the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, is held in Indianapolis.

Gambling in Indiana casinos is very popular and there are a number of riverboat casinos in the state, where the minimum age for gambling is 21. Some of the casinos are open from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 Midnight, seven days a week, and others stay open for 24 hours. Indiana casinos offer a variety of table games, such as blackjack, roulette, craps, and several types of poker, including Pai Gow, Draw, Stud, Let It Ride, and 3 Card, as well as frequent poker tournaments.

The majority of the larger Indiana casinos are open for 24 hours, such as Caesars Indiana, in Elizabeth, with 93,000 square feet of gaming area, 2,349 slots, 120 table games, including poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, and baccarat, 10 restaurants, and a hotel. Another large Indiana casino, the Argosy Casino and Hotel, in Lawrenceburg, is open 24 hours and has 74,300 square feet, 2,384 slots, 87 table games, and five restaurants. In addition, the Resorts East Chicago Hotel and Casino has 53,000 square feet, 1,966 slots, and 50 table games.

There are several smaller Indiana casinos, as well, including the Majestic Star in Gary, also open 24 hours, with 43,000 square feet, 1,600 slots, and 47 table games, and the Horseshoe Casino, in Hammond, with 42,573 square feet, 2,000 slots, 49 table games, several bars, and restaurants. Another popular Indiana casino is the Grand Victoria Casino and Resort, in Rising Sun, open Monday through Thursday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m., and Friday through Sunday, open for 24 hours. This 40,000 square foot casino has 1,497 slots, 36 table games, and four restaurants.

Indiana casinos bring an enormous amount of revenue to the state and the enthusiasm for gambling in Indiana is widespread. It is estimated that Indiana casinos in Northwest Indiana rank third in the gambling market of the United States. The worldwide appeal of poker tournaments and the excitement of gambling in Indiana casinos continue to attract more travelers, boosting the economy at a remarkable rate.

Finding the Best Luxury Cheap Hotels

While on tour to this wonderful city of Indiana you need not trouble much for accommodation, as Indianapolis hosts excellent hospitality. The hotel industry is one of the fastest growing industries in Indianapolis. Hence, there are plenty of world class hotels, motels, inns and resorts ranging from cheap to luxury in the city.

Indianapolis is a capital city of Indiana. This is Indiana’s largest and United State’s 14th largest city, not only known for sports but also for its rich cultural heritage, arts and historical attractions. This racing capital of the world houses everything right from wonderful tourist attractions to vivacious nightlife, popular industrial areas, several dining & lodging choices etc.

Some of the most famous places of interest in Indianapolis are -Broad Ripple Village, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Fountain Square Theatre Building, Garfield Park Conservatory and Public Gardens, Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Hall of Fame Museum, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens and President Benjamin Harrison Home etc.

While on tour to this wonderful city of Indiana you need not trouble much for accommodation, as Indianapolis hosts excellent hospitality. The Travel industry is one of the fastest growing industries in Indianapolis. Whether you are on vacation here or for some business meetings, you can find lodging of both types very easily. There are plenty of world class hotels, motels, inns and resorts ranging from cheap to luxury.

Luxury hotels -Travelers who want to spend lavishly to enrich Indianapolis tour can choose to stay in one of the luxury hotels. The list of best Indianapolis luxury hotels include – the Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn Indianapolis, Canterbury Hotel, Malibu Suites Hotel, Omni Severin and Hyatt Regency Indianapolis etc.

Cheap Hotels – There are many cheap hotels in the city but the most economical and the best suited hotels for the budget conscious travelers include – Jameson Inn Indy Carmel, La Quinta Indianapolis. These hotels are famous for offering top class services and comfort of luxury hotel at affordable price.

Hotels can be discovered in any corner of this city then weather you want to stay near airport or in downtown.

Airport Hotels – Indianapolis Airport Hotels are conveniently located near the Indianapolis International Airport and are also very close to many corporate offices. These hotels offer a full array of services which will make your stay at Airport hotels a memorable one.

Hotel Radisson Indianapolis One of the most popular Indianapolis airport hotels includes – Hotel Radisson Indianapolis – this fully equipped hotel offers both business and leisure accommodation.

Downtown Hotels – there are number of international standard hotels in downtown of the city that offer perfect accommodation that suits all budgets. The popular downtown hotels of Indianapolis include – Omni Severin Hotel, Hilton Garden Inn and Indianapolis Marriott Downtown etc. Out of these Omni Severin Hotel is most famous.

Omni Severin Hotel – located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, Omni Severin Hotel is very close to attractions like – Nordstrom, Circle Center Mall and convention center. This hotel is ideal for both business and pleasure seeking travelers.