Knee Deep in Summer

Holy moly.   July 4th has already come and past and we are knee deep in Summer and it is speeding toward Autumn.     I don’t even feel like we celebrated the fourth even though we had a picnic and pool party and we saw fireworks from our back porch for a week.  One evening the fireworks were every bit as good as our city puts on every year and we didn’t have to listen to the awful music they play during their fireworks.   Someone had a lot of fireworks because they were exploding for days before the fourth and days afterward. Belle and Molly did not like it much.  I was pretty much over fireworks by the fourth, too.

I did manage to make some patriotic looking sugar cookies. My grandkids love these.

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It was a spur of the moment thing which is pretty much how I roll anymore.

David and I celebrated our fiftieth wedding anniversary on the 7th.  Fifty years!  How can that be?  We have gone through a lot together in those fifty years.   Joys, sorrows, tragedies, accidents, blessings and more.  I wouldn’t want to live it all over again, but it’s been a very interesting fifty years.  We have had a lot of fun too and gotten to travel a lot and since we both love to travel, it’s been great.    I think about starting all over again and I think, “Nope, don’t want to go there.”   I look to the future and I know what my eternity holds so it’s all good.  There will probably be more good times as well as bad times. In fact, my sister- in -law, my oldest brother’s wife, just passed away this morning.   She has lived without Jack for several years so I can imagine the reunion in Heaven today.    She was one of the last few people who remembered me when I was a kid.  She married my brother when I was five or six years old.    I use to spend time at their house when I was a kid and play with their next door neighbor’s kids.  Carroll was always so nice to me.  I will miss her, but I look forward to seeing her again one day.

Anyway, David and I celebrated our fiftieth by going to West Baden Springs in southern Indiana.  In the early part of last century some businessman got the idea to build a big hotel surrounding the mineral springs that were there.  People would come from all over to drink the water and bathe.     The hotel was many things during the century.  It was a hospital,  a Jesuit school,  soldiers were housed there during one of the wars.  The Jesuits blocked up all the Springs. The hotel fell into disrepair.  Then several years ago, someone decided to resurrect the building once more and bring it back to the grandeur of its heyday.    My son-in-law’s place of business provided all the new carpet throughout the hotel and repaired much of the tile that was damaged or missing.  Here are a few pictures of the hotel now.

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Wish I had brought my swimsuit.

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Wish I looked like this in a swimsuit!

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The carpets were beautiful.

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I never could get a full picture of the hotel. It is huge and very beautiful. This picture does not do it justice at all.

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This was in the atrium, a huge room with sofas and chairs where you could sit and look at all the beauty.

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This was a balcony looking over the atrium.

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Statues all around the atrium.

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There was a billiard room where you could play billiards.

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At one time they had shoeshine men and men would sit on this marble stand and get their shoes shined.

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The halls to the rooms were luxurious.

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There were flower gardens everywhere. It was so beautiful outside.

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At one time there was a barbershop in the hotel.

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These are some of the dishes they used in the restaurant and for room service back in the day.

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Some of the commemorative plates they sold.

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Big, wide porches you could sit on and watch the world go by.  I didn’t get to do this. Must go back.

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Fountains on the vast lawn.

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These lights lined the drive.

Now David and I are more Best Western and Comfort Inn kind of travelers. We don’t stay in luxury hotels, well, not ever.   But this was our fiftieth anniversary and we splurged for a wonderful night at a wonderful place and we are so glad we did.

 

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When we got in our room there were flowers on the table and I thought, “How nice of the hotel to have flowers in the room.”  Then I saw another vase of flowers and thought, “Wow, they really go overboard here.”   I lay down on the bed and David said, “Aren’t you going to look at the flowers?”  And I said, “I looked at them, aren’t they pretty?”  And then David said, “Aren’t you going to read the card?”  and I said, “There’s a card?”  Then  I read the card and realized David had had flowers sent to the room. Oh, my.  Then I read a card next to the other flowers that read “Happy Anniversary” and we both thought they were from the hotel.   Then I found a card behind those flowers and discovered the second vase of flowers were from our children so I called our oldest son to thank him and he asked us if we liked the chocolate covered cherries and I said we hadn’t gotten any.  He said there were supposed to be twenty-five flowers in the vase and twenty-five chocolate covered cherries for David in the room.  Hmmmm.

We left to do some exploring around the hotel and when we got back to our room there was a plate with twenty-five chocolate covered cherries waiting.   I think our son did some calling.

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That same day we went to an elephant ranch.  Yes, elephants right smack dab in the middle of the country in southern Indiana.  These are rescue elephants who spend their Summers in Indiana and their Winters in Florida.   I was so excited about getting up close and personal with them.  While we waited our turn to see the elephants we looked at the other animals in the petting zoo they had there.

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Goats.

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Mama kangaroo.

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Baby kangaroo.

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A tortoise who really wanted out of his cage.

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There were giraffes. This one was slobbering so badly and throwing his slobber several feet from his pen.   I stood waaay back from this guy.  Or girl.  I don’t know.

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Giraffes sure do have a pretty coat.

And my all time favorite was there at the petting zoo.

 

 

 

 

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A chicken who didn’t seem all that thrilled about being caged with the goats.

Finally our time came to get on the bus to ride to where the elephants were and this is the funny part.  The elephants were probably a block away from where we were. We could have walked there just as easily.  We laughed about that.

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We all sat on bleachers while a man told us all about elephants.  He takes care of these elephants both in Indiana and Florida and use to take care of elephants in India.  He knew all about elephants.  They are such majestic creatures.

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What kind of people kill these animals just for their ivory tusks?  It’s terrible.   Don’t buy anything made with ivory.

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These creatures are extremely intelligent and once they have met you, they will never forget you. I tried to be sure one of the elephants got to know me. I hope my image is imprinted on her mind forever.     It was so amazing to be in the same room with three of these wonderful animals.    I got to pet them and they have very thick, stiff hairs on their bodies.    I told the lady she was blessed to get to work with elephants every day and she said it gave her great joy.

When evening came we sat in the atrium at the hotel and listened to sixties and seventies music played by these guys.

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They were really good. They sang the Everly Brothers’ song, “Dream” and David and I sang along with them.   Made me feel like I was a teen-ager again.  Ha.

At the end of the day we were really tired and went to our room where this very comfortable bed awaited us.

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And should I have needed to call someone from the bathroom, there was a phone nearby!

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We had a suite and I had to walk through two rooms to get to the bathroom.  I was hoping I wouldn’t get lost during the night.

I don’t usually sleep well the first night in a new bed, but David and I both fell fast asleep and slept all night.   In fact, when I went to take a shower and came back to the room, David had fallen asleep already.  So much for romance!  Haha.

And when we checked out the following morning, someone had paid for our room.  Wow.  What a wonderful anniversary we had.

Here’s to anniversaries and grand hotels. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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