After moving back to the lower 48, I have bought an RV and have been living on the road.
By: joealaska , 2:07 AM GMT on October 15, 2013
The French Lick Weekend of 2013 is in the books.
Looking back, I am surprised at the interesting places our family has gotten together for reunions, anniversaries, and holidays. Sedona, Arizona (Twice). Lake Powell. Las Vegas. Santa Fe, New Mexico. Prospect, KY. Los Angeles. Not really surprised at the places, just that we could actually schedule and pull it off.
NOW French Lick, Indiana. It was a perfect choice. A bit over an hour away via country roads in Indiana. It is an OLD resort town. Mafia stuff. Speak Easy / bootlegging background. Oh yeah, and the PLUTO WATER.
It was the excuse they built the original resort. Then they added golf courses and a (legal) casino. Later they found out the water from the springs, the water that people from FAR away came to soak in, was actually only good as a laxative.
“If nature can’t, Pluto can.” This may be a paraphrasification. But you get the idea.
So midday Friday we headed northwest on Indiana Rt 150. Pumpkin fields and construction zones. We were in no hurry. We had made reservations for a German dinner / lunch in Paoli on the way. A place called The German Café. Paoli is not that big, and I found the place just by sniffing.
We arrived an hour ahead of our reservation. They adjusted and we all sat down. We were treated to a very nice meal, with everyone happy. Then we were off to West Baden / French Lick. It was a lot bigger than any of us remembered. The FOLKS have come to French Lick various times. Even myself and a friend came up for a golf weekend maybe 30 years ago. It was quaint back then. It is still pretty nice, but EVERYONE agrees. They are ALL here. Many vehicles, small roads.
Saturday we went to an art fair. Then off to the TRAIN RIDE. (Was it obvious the art fair was not a highlight for me?). At the train Depot, CYBERSIS needed assistance to board, as she was with broken hip. It is a manual contraption where she gets on and they crank a crank by hand. Up she goes to being level with the car, and they open the gate and release her to the train. It was actually fun, and the guys on the train were very nice.
We headed south out of town screaming along at 15 mph. Almost immediately we went by the old house where LARRY BIRD grew up. There was a guy on the microphone telling us about the local color. Once we headed into the woods, he did not talk as much.
The train went out about 17 miles, then stopped for a break. When we headed back, it was in REVERSE. To keep it safe and legal, a railroad guy (Scott) sat in the back door. I jumped up to establish position when we started back, but it was apparent this was now THE view. Everyone wanted a movie from the angle of train cow-catcher, and they got it.
We went back to the hotel for a little break, then headed off to dinner. My brother had found a dinner option, a semi-bed and breakfast ranch outside of town. The CRAZYHORSE. We killed a little time at the Resort and sat on the front porch. There was a grand piano playing.
We headed out of town for the 30 minute ride. But a LOT of it was gravel roads with minimal signage. Some of our party was questioning our goal. As I drove I knew it would either be one of the worst dinners we have had, or the best. Just when we all were wondering what the hell we were doing, we saw a ranch. THE ranch.
Once again, we were an hour ahead of our reservations. Does that matter?
But we found a cowboy who fired up the grill. We sat by a fire in the back yard, which was perfect, and waited for dinner. We went inside when it was ready. The place could handle 30 people, at the most. The food came out. I was handed the largest ribeye steak ever. Plus all of the sides. I was unable to finish it. Awesome.
We left in the dark, and it was an adventure leaving. I led the two car parade, but had to yield to the other car with GPS after getting mixed up.
I got about 3.5 hours sleep that night. But we got back safely Sunday mid-day to Louisville.
See you at #80 DOT MOM.
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