FRENCH LICK WEEKEND

By: joealaska , 2:07 AM GMT on October 15, 2013

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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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12. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
1:26 PM GMT on October 20, 2013
joealaska has created a new entry.
11. osdianna
3:13 AM GMT on October 20, 2013
That's good news, Rotty.

Dotmom...he is a grillmaster extraordinaire, I have heard...don't know about the cooking bit though. One of my old boyfriends was a grill expert too, and it's just amazing what can be cooked on a grill. It's my meal of choice.
Member Since: March 5, 2009 Posts: 35 Comments: 647
10. Rotty3
8:13 PM GMT on October 19, 2013
Dotmom: is that a thinly veiled albeit public attempt to advertise JoeA on here ;) methinks a certain B'it'ish person would have some iss-yous ;)

Sorry osdianna for being incommunicado lately. With two computers down (both home machine and home laptop went the way of the dodo bird w/in a week's span - new big machine should be built by Monday) and two vet trips (expensive but well worth it), I'm a bit scarce on both time and moolah. So, I'm working off a borrowed machine or work computer when I can.
At this point, Enya is doing much better. Yea :) We're having rain today, and I need to run and grab feed for her since she went through about 15 lbs in 24 hours. Yippee. Still not out of the woods, but I'll post some pictures to my blog (well, links b/c they are bad looking) when I get a chance.

Just finished a long distance board meeting. Ummm how did I get myself suckered into being an assistant director to a soon to be official 501(c)(3) non-profit animal rescue group that is headquartered (seemingly) a million miles away? LOL. Well, another minor thing on the weekly list ... thank goodness I don't watch TV. Or I'd never get anything done. :)

Diving time again lol.
Member Since: January 6, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 1618
9. dotmom
11:46 PM GMT on October 18, 2013
Ylee, you are a jewel! I feel younger already!!!

I have to tell you all that JoeA made our anniversary dinner last night. Kabobs on the grill (with filet). He IS a good cook!!!
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1448
8. Ylee
3:30 PM GMT on October 18, 2013
Quoting 6. dotmom:
Oops! I see what he is saying - #80. Guess that is the next biggie. Scares me!


No worries..... 80 is the new 60....... :' )
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 109 Comments: 18676
7. osdianna
3:45 PM GMT on October 17, 2013
Rotty...wondering about you. Your own blog isn't very active so I am checking in here.
Member Since: March 5, 2009 Posts: 35 Comments: 647
6. dotmom
5:57 PM GMT on October 15, 2013
Oops! I see what he is saying - #80. Guess that is the next biggie. Scares me!
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1448
5. cybersuze
2:52 PM GMT on October 15, 2013
Yup that's right, JA, joke was on us!! And mom, the #80 is reference to YOUR birthday in May! our next reunion! wonder what that will be!
Member Since: April 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 299
4. insideuk
10:09 AM GMT on October 15, 2013
As very rickety train rides go, that was a very rickety train ride – or at least that is how one must judge it based upon the alarmingly different directions each of the carriages swayed side to side on the video.

Were the vast sections of abandoned loose track clearly visible 4 feet to the side of the railway line the missing links or something?!

I’m assuming the seating was capable of absorbing much of the bone rattling effect, certainly Cybercruze didn’t show any ill effects whilst taking full advantage of the resplendent exit arrangements – which, as it turned out, was a mere ticker tape parade short of a full on Lindbergh welcome.

I’m not sure the hip doctor would have approved such vigorous hat waving to the waiting crowds, but then again after that train ride I suspect Cyber will be walking sideways for several weeks. Just until the hip bone remembers it was originally designed as an east / west type arrangement and falls back into the more traditional sunrise / sunset alignment.

Meantime she may need help emptying her pockets come laundry day.

It all sounds like a fun trip was had, lots of good food in attractive surroundings. Great times to file into the memory banks of a shared family history.


It may be an idea, for next time, to make certain Joe has driven a minimum 600 miles each day to ensure he sleeps better. I think that may have been his plan after the Crazyhorse place. In the darkness, no road signs, who would even notice his slight detour into Ohio?

Damned that GPS device huh Pud…


A very happy 60th anniversary to Dotmom and Papajoe.



We finally have a single drying out day here, after 6 days of very frequent heavy rain showers. More wet stuff tomorrow.

Though that might just be on the kitchen floor.

My closest male relatives bickered for 4 hours yesterday whilst lying on the kitchen floor installing a new integrated dishwasher. You will have never met a father / son combo more badly suited to taking on such tasks together. Whilst one SPEED reads the instruction manual (all in diagrams, no wording – a style which suits the multiple languages in European countries – but helps zero ACTUAL Europeans come installation) the other sees fit to question every task undertaken, undermine every decision once made.

Much muttering under breath was going on.

Still they got it all in place, under the original fitted countertop, with original matching kitchen door frontage fitted and correctly weighted and balanced, levelled it all up, attached to outlet pipes, inlet pipes and electrics etc.

Clipped the baseboard back on.

Dishwasher door opened about 2 inches. Then jammed as it pivoted onto the baseboard.

Baseboard came off.

Chunks lopped off baseboard.

Baseboard back on.

Door opens perfectly.

They grinned broadly and congratulated themselves wildly whilst handing me the manufacturers 2 year guarantee forms to fill out.

Just one thing chaps, I said, checking which product details are required for my vitally important paperwork task.

Did either of you happen take note of the unique serial number etched on the rear of the machine?

Cue many actions which could only be properly conveyed pictorially but which could be understood in any language worldwide.

The memory banks of shared, OFT REPEATED, family history...


First proper wash cycle happens tonight. I’m sleeping in my wellies.
Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1625
3. osdianna
5:12 AM GMT on October 15, 2013
ps...the video was great! I particularly enjoyed the last minute of Cybersuze getting the royal treatment on the lift.
Member Since: March 5, 2009 Posts: 35 Comments: 647
2. osdianna
4:53 AM GMT on October 15, 2013
It sounds as though you all had a great time; family beats all don't they? Rib-eye off a grill...my favorite!

We are having a gorgeous fall week of weather, with plenty of sunshine...if a bit cool. Last night got down to 41. But Maggie (dog) and I had the beach practically to ourselves for our near-daily walk. I am enjoying it while we can.
Member Since: March 5, 2009 Posts: 35 Comments: 647
1. dotmom
2:36 AM GMT on October 15, 2013
JoeA had trouble sleeping on this trip and I am not sure he has really rested up yet. He mentions his brother - who is really his brother-in-law.

But I found out late yesterday that our car did take the correct turn on our return trip and the GPS car went the wrong direction, but with their device - found their way and never told us!!!We turned back and followed them unbeknownst to their shenanigans.

Before #80 Joe, we are aiming for #70!!!
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1448

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About joealaska

After moving back to the lower 48, I have bought an RV and have been living on the road.

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