Family Vacation Adventures Part 1

As you might have read in the past couple of weeks our family was planning a vacation, so I will be sharing with you our vacation adventures over several posts.

Now I feel as though I have to start by sharing some of the craziness of the few days before our vacation was to start. Those days were of course filled with the normal tasks that fill daily life, cooking for the family, which I kept to a minimum to minimize any need for left overs to be kept around while we were gone, dishes would also have to be all done before leaving. Not to mention since it was also D-man’s last week at home, we had come up with a schedule so that we would both be able to get our laundry done during the week. Grocery shopping needed to also be done, since we would be trying to save a bit of money by having sandwich fixings, chips, granola bars, stuff for quick breakfasts, and juice to fill the coolers.

Now while one would think that those things would have been enough to keep a girl busy, and they were. I am however a glutton for punishment, and I had to add a few more things to my list. Like cleaning out the fridge so that I could get all of the dishes washed, and all trash taken out to the can, and ALL laundry clean…Now since the kids had just come home from camp, I pretty much spent the whole week doing laundry. On the Thursday before we left, I mowed our almost 3/4 acre lot with a push mower, to make sure it wouldn’t be overgrown by the time we got back.

To add to the chaos, though it was a wonderful time, the hubby had scheduled for us to drive up north a ways to visit with his aunt and uncle. Both of his cousins would be in town so they wanted to have a bit of a family get together, so as soon as the hubby got off of work, we drove the two and a half hours to visit for the evening and took the kids with us. The kids had a wonderful time filling their great uncle in on their time at church camp, but they love spending time with he and their great aunt anyway. They also got the opportunity to meet a couple of other cousins and spend some time just getting to know the family.

As for Saturday, I finally made it to the store to grab the necessary foods, finished the last load of laundry, and got the last of the dishes done. Then it was on to packing…wholly cow, I just did this for two a week ago! I pack the kids’ clothes and toiletries, and gave them the rest of their clean stuff to put away. Then it was off to pack my clothes and the rest of the toiletries that everyone would need. I spent every other free minute that I had trying to get some work done on my site…work that I had been trying to get done for two days. Partially because I was so busy with everything else, and also my hosting company was having issues that kept me from accessing my dashboard. So with everything going on, and trying to be super mom again, I ended up being up all night prepping for us to leave at 5:00 on Sunday morning.

We loaded up the car, kids included and we were off. We were heading to Indiana for a week, and we weren’t just hitting one place, but four different destination in three different cities. As we headed towards Fisher, Indiana for our first stop at Connor Prairie Historical Park, we got to watch the sun rise over the horizon and passed some very pretty country side.

Connor Prairie Historical Park is an interesting, interactive, historical park that is constructed to look like an old Civil War town. Just to the right of the entrance is a huge hot air balloon, sort of…it is actually a ride that is tethered by cables in the ground that raises in the air for a few minutes and then lowers. The ride is entitled the 1859 Balloon Voyage. The first stop however is the Welcome Center, where we of course checked out the gift shop. They had some very cute period piece dresses, bonnet’s, home wares, educational school primers…just like what might have been used during that time period of the 1850’s and 1860’s. Oh the things I could have bought! But then we moved on through to the first exhibit inside the Welcome Center, which included several different stations to demonstrate wind power, electricity, and energy. They also had a discovery area, and a craft area. And of course they had a Civil War cannon and other military memorabilia.

As we entered the main part of the park, they had a small set-up showcasing a Lenape Indian Camp, which included a small trading post with different items that the Indian would have traded with the settlers, a tanner with someone actually demonstrating how it was done, and a couple of wigwams. Beyond that we entered the Connor Homestead which provided the opportunity for lil miss to dip a candle in wax to see how it was done, touch the cows and goats housed in the barn, a garden, a loom house complete with a huge weaving loom that took up a good part of the room with a demonstration on the process, and finally into the main house with period furniture pieces to give the sense of what it would have looked like.

Then on from there we headed through an 1836 Prairie town, which was awesome! The town was really quite complete with a blacksmith, a couple of cabins, general store, school house, carpenter shop, pottery shop, Inn, and Dr’s office. Each of the buildings had their own period actors and lots of props. Working fire pit for heating the metal, product that you would have shopped for in a store, demonstration with pottery, and Dr’s instruments and medicines. In several of the building across the park a movie scene would play in screens in the windows or built into the walls, showing images of things that were happening in the area at that time. When we entered the store, we were immediately come upon by the store keep, who told us of the raid on the town by soldiers and the subsequent destruction of the store…which came complete with a bang and pans clanking from the shelves.

For the final stop of our day we entered the 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana, which we decided to ride the train to that section of the park. Throughout this section, which had a home, raided warehouse, field hospital, telegraph station, dry goods store, and a covered bridge. Again, there were period actors and demonstrations, lil miss got to grind some flour for dough and crack the eggs for “johnny cakes”. The final movie performance centered around the raid and the subsequent fight that the folks of that town and others like it displayed to keep the war from taking Indiana. After we had gone through the last of the building we went through the covered bridge, and took a few photos of the water that was under the bridge, there were even some good sized fish in there, but they were hard to see.

I have to say that we very much enjoyed this trip, and the first stop in our family vacation adventures. Now we head out to the next stop on our adventure…please join me again for part 2 of our family vacation adventures.