Sunday, August 8, 2010

NORTHERN INDIANA

Upon arriving at our campground in Shipshewana, Indiana,  the campground hostess spent quite a bit of time suggesting places to see while we are visiting in the area as well as giving us several periodicals, brochures and magazines about the area.  One of the items contained 2 cd's, and turned out to be filled with information rearding a self-guided Heritage Trail driving tour.  This was a turn-by-turn, easy-to-follow tour  through a winding 90-mile loop of Amish Country.  You could see plenty without using the cd's, but this was somewhat  like dessert, and probably why the editors of LIFE named this part of the country "One of the 100 Places to See in Your Lifetime." 



This is the third year the Amish country has planted 17 intricate gardens that honor 17 super-sized outdoor quilt-inspired gardens as well as created 17 handpainted outdoor quilt-themed murals, all in the heart of Northern Indiana's Amish Country.  We saw several of the quilt designs during our visit, and could have spent an entire day traveling from each of the 7 welcoming communities to see each colorful display.  The exhibitions are free and can be viewed from Memorial Day through October 1.

Another side trip we enjoyed was to South Bend, Indiana, home of the University of Notre Dame.  We saw many of the recognized historical campus landmarks, including the "Golden Dome" and "Touchdown Jesus".  What an incredible campus!   When we return to this area, we would love to see the Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes, and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.  Our short visit was most enjoyable.  We went as far as we were allowed in the car; however, this is a walking campus, so get ready for some beautiful long walks (or bike rides) when you visit the campus.  South Bend is also the home of the Studebaker Mansion - Tippecanoe Place (now a casual dining restaurant).  Also in the same area is the Studebaker Museum, which  gives us another reason to return.

After leaving ND, we drove to downtown South Bend and visited the College Football Hall of Fame.  Not only was it enjoyable, but also educational.  The tour could be done with or without a headset.  Because of time constraints we decided against using the headset, and even then I think we were there over 2 hours.  As you would expect, there was a lot of blue and orange as well as garnet and gold on display.  The exhibits were very professional and we saw many recognizable faces, i.e., Bobby Bowden, Fred Biletnikoff, Charlie Ward, Steve Spurrier, Tim Tebow, and Wilbur Marshall, etc.  The list just goes on and on, and RV was really enjoying himself.   The history of college football is covered in photographs, movies, large exhibits, statues, and we can't imagine any details that may have been overlooked.  On the outside of the beautiful building is a 35-yard synthetic turf football field, complete with field markings and a goal post, used for hosting large outdoor events as well as the annual Enshrinement Festival.   This was another sensational day, and we marked a few more items off our "bucket list".   


In case you wonder where we are, you can see us right here.  Also, after you access the map, you may wish to play around with the keys on the upper right of the map...satellite, hybrid, etc. This is a map we use whenever we relocate so friends and family will know approximately where we are staying....or we can see where many of our friends are who are on the Tiffin RV Network Forum. Tiffin is the manufacturer of our coach.
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