2012 - 2017 Travel Map - Now in Dickinson North Dakota

Indiana Fun with Family

December 15 - 27, 2013   

Sunday the 15th we left NJ around 11 am and landed in New Stanton PA around 5 pm.  We had great weather but ran out of window washer fluid about 10 miles from our hotel.  I really don’t know how we got by without these years ago.  As it got dark and the windows got covered in road grime it was very hard to see the road by the time we got to the hotel.


We got checked in and walked to dinner at the (close by) Park and Eat Restaurant.  After dinner it was time for bed.  We have at least 5 hours to travel tomorrow to reach Crawfordsville Indiana.

Monday the 16th we got on our way around 9 am.  Our first stop was to get fuel and to purchase window washer fluid. The temperature outside was now 20 as I put the washer fluid into the reservoir.  After filling the reservoir I tried to wash the windows to no avail.  I believe the washer fluid probably turned to slush around the pump and was causing cavitation. This was going to be a problem as the temperature wasn’t going above freezing for the next few days.

We arrived in Crawfordsville around 4 pm.  We were about an hour later due to having to get out and put snow on the windshield to clean it every 50 miles or so.   We stopped at a local grocery store and picked up the ingredients to make Mac and Cheese with ham for dinner.  Who doesn’t like Mac and Cheese?  About meals; we usually cook dinner at my son’s house because we like to cook, we want them to relax (if that is possible with 3 young girls), we don’t want them spending money on us, and we don’t have anything else to do. 
From left (Granddaughters): Bailey, Savannah, and Livy

Due to the lack of hills, buildings, and trees, the snow never seems to be plowed off the roads.  This is what it looks like most of the winter in Indiana.

Tuesday the 17th Patty had a Dr. appointment in Lafayette IN about 45 minutes north of Crawfordsville in the morning and we both had our 6 mo. Dental visit in the afternoon.  Yea us that we didn't need any extra dental work.  

We are somewhat concerned about the dentist we are seeing in Crawfordsville.  This was our 4th time seeing him in a year and a half and we have yet to have an x-ray.  In fact we only see the dentist for maybe 2 minutes each visit.  
We feel that we will get a new dentist in NJ for our next visit in July.  We are in NJ as much as we are in Indiana and the dental plan covers many more dentists in NJ than in Indiana.

After the dental cleaning including the very lax dentist check we headed to my brother Roger and Sister Diana’s house south of Indianapolis.  We stayed with them for just one night.  They have a very nice turn of the century house in Acton IN that they have mostly restored now.  We always have a great time with them.  As usual, the conversation as well as the liquor flowed quickly and smoothly until just after midnight.  We managed to have a good diner at Red Lobster before we had too much liquid libation.

My sister Diana with her early Christmas present, a new Lexus SUV!

Wednesday the 18th Diana made us a nice country breakfast of eggs, bacon, and toast after we got up a little late for us at 9 am.  Most of the rest of the day we spent just talking and finishing shopping on-line.  Sort of boring some would say but we had fun just being together.  We wanted to get back to Crawfordville before dark so we left my brother and sisters house around 3:30.

The 18th is also our wedding anniversary and this one is our 14th.  We decided to go out to a restaurant eat by ourselves in celebration.  Well, that is easier said than done in Crawfordsville.  Just about every chain fast food establishment has a facility in Crawfordsville.  But if you want something other than fast food even if it is a chain there just isn't anything.  When Cracker Barrel is reputed to be the best restaurant in Crawfordsville you then know what we are talking about!  
Our Anniversary dinner at the Creekside Lodge restaurant.

We ended up going to a restaurant called Creekside Lodge.  We have liked this place in the past but not this time.   Anyway we had cold food and just bad service.  You could just tell that this restaurant was on its way out.  It just seems that regular sit down restaurants can’t make it in Crawfordsville. It’s a real shame!

Thursday the 19th we both had our regular Dr. appointments in the morning.  We then went to visit with my step-father Leon and his wife Barbara.  They live just outside Crawfordsville on the west side of town. 

After a while visiting at their home we went to eat lunch at, wait for it, Cracker Barrel.  For having a monopoly on the sit down restaurant business in the area the food really is not very good.  Anyway we had a nice visit and a nice lunch even though it was mainly due to the company and not the food.

We got some news during lunch that surprised us.  Leon let it slip that the next time we are there they may be moved. Of course we are like “where are you two going?”  It seems that they are pretty much set on going to an assisted living facility in the area.  They have friends who are living there already and have given good reviews of living in the facilities. 

I feel like it is a great thing to do at the stage of life they are in.  General mobility is starting to be an issue for them.  
Walking and driving has become increasingly difficult.  The up keep of a house is harder to do and, why even do it now?  
We for one totally support this move.  They will have better access to the things that really matter like social interaction without having to do things like house maintenance.  We don’t want to do house maintenance anymore either so we really understand.

Friday the 20th we didn't do much all day except spend time with the grandkids.  We decided to make baked Ziti for dinner.  Another thing about this area, they really do not have any food diversity here.  For pasta selection at the grocery we had one size spaghetti, elbows, and penne; that’s it! So we made baked penne which is basically the same thing.

The weekend of the 21st and 22nd I’m going to just glance over as we just visited Tony and Tracy and the Grand-kids, nothing extra special.  Saturday night we got pizza at Arni’s which was great.  It was just like the old Pizza King pizza.  

Then on Sunday Patty made stuffed peppers.  The kids had never before tasted stuffed peppers.  They are somewhat picky eaters and say they do not like peppers or onion.  So we chopped up the peppers and onions so small they couldn't see it in the pepper stuffing.  I can’t say they loved it but they both ate some and more than just a bite. So, good for them and us!

Monday the 23rd I found a guy who was willing to weld the dining room chairs.  The chairs were ours originally from NJ. The chairs have a metal rocking chair mechanism that had started to break at the weld.  Actually one of the chairs was already broken when we brought them to Indiana almost 2 years ago.  Now we have 3 wobbly chairs out of the six.  

The fix was a little more involved than I had thought but the fix still only took about an hour to complete all of the chairs. The guy did the welding outside and the temperature was just 20, so I was freezing just standing around watching him. 
The dining room chair welds are in 2 places.  They were not done right originally so they break.


Chairs ready to be taken to the welder.

Welder welding the chairs.

That evening we took Leon and Barbara out to dinner at the finest restaurant in Crawfordsville, the Cracker Barrel. Dinner was just OK again.  Of course Leon knew a lot of the people who came in to eat as he knows most people in Crawfordsville.  Also, since they frequent the restaurant he knows most of the servers too.  After dinner we went back to their house and just sat and visited.

Tuesday the 24th, Christmas eve, Patty was scheduled for an MRI of her back.  Patty had been having problems with both of her sciatic nerves while walking.  So far we have ruled out a diabetic cause so we are looking at something in her back.  Anyway this MRI was scheduled for 7 am 45 minutes away in Lafayette.  It was the coldest morning yet at just 2 when we arrived.  I for one am no longer conditioned for the cold after being away from it for 2 years now.  I use to be able to handle it but now I get cold so fast and it stays with me for some time even after I am inside.  

After the MRI we went back to Tony’s and made carrot casserole to take to the Williams' Christmas gathering. Williams is the family name of my first wife and the mother to my 2 children.  She came from a family of 14 children and their mom is still alive so the event is quite large.  This year it was held in the Walnut school cafeteria and Gymnasium. I enjoy seeing all of them each year.
Tony and Livy at the Williams Christmas gathering.

Picture taking at the Williams gathering.

My grandmothers old house.  This is where my mother married my father in the 50's.  Grandmother passed away over 20 years ago.

A little trouble after the Williams event.  Tony lost an alternator belt.

Getting ready to read the Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

That night just before we got everyone to bed, Savannah read to us all the Grinch Who Stole Christmas.  It was real nice and Christmassy with all of us sitting together quietly while she read from her book.  This also wasn’t something she was asked to do, she asked if she could do it.  That made even more special.

Wednesday the 25th Christmas, we were awakened by the sound of children giggling at around 6 am.  The kids had been told that they couldn’t wake anyone up until 7 am so they were just giggling until 7 am.  

We got up at 7 on the dot so we wouldn’t make them wait. Tony started with the stockings and then we worked our way through the presents under the tree.  Patty didn’t put names on the ones we brought to keep them all in suspense; she matched the presents to the child by the wrapping paper.  We finished up the morning with cinnamon rolls and then we took a long nap!




The only shot I got of Bailey with a Christmas present.




Christmas evening we prepared a large ham dinner.  Tracy’s mom Brenda also came over for dinner.  It was real nice to have everyone together.

Thursday the 26th was our last day in Indiana and our last day traveling for the holidays.  We have been gone from our RV for 32 days now and traveled 2,100 miles between Indianapolis IN, Buffalo NY, Keyport NJ, Crawfordsville, IN and then back to Indianapolis IN.  

We are not sure we want to do the same next year.  We have some ideas but we need to work some more on the future plans before we let anybody know yet.  Staying in other peoples houses for so long gets tiring after this long of a duration.

Anyway, today we took the whole family to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.  This is a really nice museum for the whole family.  Patty and I had decided to have lunch at the museum since we had left a little late in the morning.  
That turned out to be a bad idea on our part.  We ended up having plenty of time as we were done at the museum in about 2.5 hours.  Anyway, the lunch for 3 kids and 4 adults cost $53 with 2 of the adults sharing the kid’s food! It would have been much cheaper to have eaten outside the museum.   

Anyway, it worked out all right as nobody was hungry for dinner.  We were going to go to Olive Garden but at 4 pm it was too early and we were just not hungry.  So we said our goodbyes and we were off to a hotel near the airport and they all went home in Tony’s van.  We really hate saying goodbye!

The gang at the Children's Museum.

It was Dino time at the museum!

This was left in the parking garage after the Tut exhibit last month.


Savannah hatching dino eggs.

Livy hatching Dino eggs with help from Bailey.

Livy and Savannah fishing.


Livy


Savannah

Bailey 


Digging for Dino bones.

We stayed at a Quality Inn a few miles from the airport.  We had a few glasses of wine and then a sub sandwich around 8 pm.  We spent some time on the internet and I started this blog.  By 9:30 we were in bed.  Our flight was at 9 am so we needed to get out the door by 7 am. We had to repack everything in order to fit a box full of insulin pump supplies Patty received. Just another challenge conquered!

Friday the 27th we were up by 6 am and down to have the included breakfast.  They had biscuits and gravy so I had to have some.  I usually try to have this once while I am here. 

We left by 7 am, filled up the rental car tank with fuel and made it to the airport by 7:30.  As usual the security at the Indianapolis Airport was real slow.  We were told it was due to government budget cuts.  Makes me wonder then why was it slow all of the past times we have been here.  It always seems to me that the TSA here is more meticulous than anywhere else I have flown from.  By meticulous I mean, slooooowllllly examine and question everything.  The one good thing is that they are very much more pleasant now.  They use to have the rudest TSA personnel as well as being slow.  Now they are just slow.

Christmas Tree in the Indianapolis Airport.  Goodbye Indiana until June!

It was all OK though as we still arrived at our gate half an hour before the departure time.  Our trip to Brownsville was on 2 flights.  The first 2.5 hour leg was from Indianapolis to Houston, then a 50 minute layover, with the second 1 hour leg going to Brownsville.  

Both flights were on small RJ (Regional Jets) planes.  The inside height is maybe 5’ 10’’ with seating of 1 by 2.  I am claustrophobic and can’t stand these planes.  I bought upgrades on both legs so I could be in the first seat on the plane.  The first 2 seats are along the left side of the plane and are next to the galley.  This makes my space feel much bigger and keeps me from having a panic attack.  It was OK as the flights basically were on time.  As long as the plane is moving I feel better.  Just sitting with the doors closed not knowing how long we are going to be here really pushes my panic buttons.

Well, here we are now back in Brownsville TX.  Not real warm at 60 but still better than 30!

Tomorrow, Saturday the 28th we will pick up the rig and head 20 miles northwest to our winter spot in Edcouch TX.  Next blog will be after we get settled in.

Stay Tuned!

4 comments:

Phil and Rudee said...

sorry we missed you guys. We are "moochdocking" at our daughters in Jamestown and was in C-ville Monday (the 23rd). We will be Florida bound late next week.

Phil

Tracy said...

Glad to hear you two enjoyed your visit. After some of the...issues we had with the girls while you were here, we were worried that maybe you two hadn't enjoyed it that much. See you in June - love you guys!

Mark and Patty said...

Phil and Rudee: We will catch up to you guy eventually. We are in South TX now. Hope your weather is better than here. Today is to be only day to reach 70 for the next week.

Mark

Mark and Patty said...

Tracy: Issues, what issues? They are kids, it's expected. If not for issues life would be boring and it is a good way to see them in their natural habitat!

Mark