Sunday, July 30, 2017


If American history is something that interests you, then Indianapolis speaks and teaches volumes.

Downtown Indianapolis Skyline from the
Historic Crown Hill Cemetery 
In 1902 a memorial was erected to soldiers and sailors who were Hoosiers and veterans of the American Civil War.  Monument Circle is also an amazing tribute to Indiana's soldiers who served in the American Revolutionary War and conflicts that led to the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War and the Spanish-American War.  Monument Circle was the first of its kind to be dedicated to the common soldier.  This huge, larger than life monument is only 15' shorter than the 305' Statue of Liberty.

Monument Circle - Indianapolis
Monument Circle - Indianapolis
Monument Circle - Indianapolis
The 23rd President of the United States, Benjamin Harrison, (elected in 1888 and died in 1901), was an Indianapolis native and his home is a National Historic Landmark in the Old Northside Historic District, and his gravesite at the historic Crown Hill Cemetery (the 4th largest cemetery in the U.S.) is designated a National Historic Landmark as well.

Home of 23rd US President
Benjamin Harrison

23rd US President Benjamin Harrison
National Historic Landmark Burial at
Crown Hill Cemetery - Indianapolis
The Indianapolis City Market, originally founded in 1821 and in its present location since 1886, was one of the most interesting markets we've ever visited.   Local farmers, nurseries and food artisans offer a beautiful assortment of freshness.

Indianapolis City Market - Downtown since 1886
Indianapolis City Market
Indianapolis City Market
Indianapolis City Market
Indianapolis is the home to numerous museums near the White River State Park where there are lots of preserved green spaces as well as the Indianapolis Zoo, the Eeteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art, Indianapolis State Museum, the NCAA Hall of Champions and the Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial.  Amazingly preserved architecture and historic sites all over the downtown area are all within a short distance of the campuses of Purdue University and the Methodist owned University of Indianapolis (UIndy).  The Indy Riverwalk opens up another way to enjoy the beautiful City of Indianapolis.

Hall of Champions
National Collegiate Athletic Association
Walking Areas near NCAA Headquarters

Indianapolis Arch
Indianapolis Riverwalk
White River State Park
Indianapolis, IN
Skyline -  Indianapolis, Indiana
There were so many interesting sites to see in the Indianapolis area, and we enjoyed as much as possible in the week we set aside after our busy schedule at the FMCA Rally.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Upon arriving at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Farmer's Coliseum we were a little shocked at the size of this city in a city.  The Fairgrounds, in existence since 1892, on over 250 acres, has over 1,000,000 square feet of event space.  This venue pays so much attention to detail we can see why they strive to be the BEST in the country!

Indiana State Fairgrounds and Farmer's Coliseum
Indianapolis, Indiana 
Family Motor Coach Association Rally - Crossroads To Fun
2017 -  96th International Convention
 Our parking place was on the infield of the "Track Of Champions" horse track where we hooked up to 50 amp service.  We were curious how they could possibly park about 1700 motorhomes and everyone have room to move around.  Very quickly we saw an organized and experienced network of mostly volunteers come together and people were actually being transported on dozens of trams as well as golf carts and personal vehicles, soon after they parked their motorhomes in designated and reserved parking places.  As they say, this was not their first rodeo!

Administration Building - Indiana State Fairgrounds
Registration - Agriculture/Horticulture Building
Indiana State Fairgrounds 
Swine Building - Indiana State Fairgrounds
Farmer's Coliseum - Indiana State Fairgrounds
Indiana State Fair Covered Bridge
Indiana State Fairgrounds
Just because all these strangers were around didn't mean the Fairground employees were not beginning to prepare for the Indiana State Fair on August 4-20.   It also didn't have any bearing on the trotter horses that practiced daily on the "Track of Champions", just as they have for the last 120 years.
Artist mural at the "Track Of Champions"
Indiana State Fairgrounds 
Practicing on Track of Champions
Indiana State Fairgrounds
There was one thing that made an impact on everything - thunderstorms, lighting and rain for almost 2 days, a record rainfall of 4" in a 24 hour period.  What an unanticipated mess, and at one time it looked like we may need assistance removing our coach at the end of our stay - but it didn't impact our fun or fellowship.

Infield - 50 Amp Hookups
Indiana State Fairgrounds
 The Family Motor Coach Association Rally,  the 96th International Convention from July 12 - 15, 2017,  was appropriately named Crossroads To Fun
Program For 96th International Convention
Indianapolis, Indiana
This is considered an international rally because many of our Canadian friends come to these rallies.  As a matter of fact, when we sing our National Anthem it is always followed by the singing of the Canadian National Anthem.
The Frustrated Maestros - A most talented group
of FMCA Members - organized in 1981
There were a myriad of organized seminars, special events, hundreds of new motorhomes and exhibitors with displays, nightly and daily entertainment, ice cream socials, as well as 3 classes of ARTitutde Adjustment Painting Classes - It's FUN art...not FINE art.  

One of the finished projects!
ARTitude Adjustment Painting Class - Indianapolis, IN
Finished Project -ARTitude Adjustment Painting Class
FMCA Indianapolis Rally
Thanks to several of our Florida friends from Florida Grande who volunteered to help, we were organized, on schedule, and everyone had a FUN time and consistently produced beautiful projects.  ARTitude Adjustment painting class is scheduled to participate in the next international rally March 15-18, 2018 in Perry, GA.

Manufacturers and Convention Exhibitors
Indianapolis FMCA Rally
Indianapolis State Fairgrounds 2017
We were so busy making sure every detail had been taken care of that we decided to extend our stay in Indianapolis by a couple of days.  Indianapolis is an exciting city with lots of history and had it not been for the Indianapolis FMCA Rally we probably would not have taken the opportunity to explore the city as we were able to do.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

HELP WANTED: $.30/day and a Shot of Whiskey

A few weeks ago we travelled to Celina, Ohio, the county seat of Mercer County, located on the huge Grand Lake's west shore in the middle of the agricultural heart of Ohio.

Welcome to Celina, OH
Lighthouse on Grand Lake in Celina, OH
Grand Lake - Celina, OH
Downtown Celina, OH
 Our home for the next week was in the beautiful Mercer County State Fairgrounds Campground.

Mercer County Fairgrounds - Celina, OH
Mercer County Fairgrounds and Campground - Celina, OH
Agricultural Buildings - Mercer County Fairgrounds - Celina, OH
Agricultural Buildings - Mercer County Fairgrounds - Celina, OH
We were guests and volunteers at a Monaco International Motorhome Rally with about 90 motorhomes.  I taught several ARTtitude Adjustment painting classes.
ARTitude Adjustment Class - Alcohol Ink Coasters
ARTitude Adjustment Class - Stenciled Area Rugs
We arrived several days before the Monaco International Rally began and it seemed to be in the middle of rainy season....good for agriculture...not so good for us.  There were several days with downpours which meant our beautiful grassy and park-like parking settings turned muddy and soggy.   This presented a problem at the end of the week when a few motorhomes were so bogged down it required a tractor to help get them out of the mud.  Our motorhome didn't require help but we all stood and watched huge diesel pusher motorhomes as their tires spun and were unable to get traction until tow trucks or tractors arrived to assist.

Tow Trucks and Tractors - Mercer County Fairgrounds - Celina OH
The weather didn't change our spirits or change our plans at any time during the week.

Good Friends From Florida Grande Meet in OHIO
Monaco International Rally - Celina, OH

Friends from Florida Grande - Webster
Volunteers at Monaco International Rally - Celina, OH
 All of us enjoyed the scheduled Monaco International Rally activities immensely and would like to thank the rally masters, Marty and Cathy Kimball,  for inviting us.

Rally Masters - Marty and Cathy Kimball
The town of Celina, founded in 1834, is beautiful, historic and surrounded by agriculture and the beautiful man-made Grand Lake.  The lake has the distinction of being a hand-dug lake started in 1837, and completed in 1845, at a cost of $600,000.  Also surprising was the known fact that the men employed to dig the lake in 1837 worked for thirty cents ($.30) a day and a shot of whiskey (for medicinal purposes), sunrise to sunset.  We were surprised the first time we saw the size of the lake as it covers 13,500 acres and almost 52 miles of shoreline (9 miles long and 3 miles wide).

The Lighthouse on Grand Lake - close to downtown and park-like settings
Celina, OH
Celina, Ohio has been twice named one of the nation's "100 Best Towns".  We loved the small town appeal and that it was loaded with history.  We had several opportunities to go into the town and found the people very friendly and warm to get to know.  In 2010 the census reported the population as 10,400.

The Mercer County Clubhouse - Celina, OH
One of the magnificent historical churches in Celina
The Immaculate Conception Church built in 1903
While we visited this part of Ohio we also visited the Airstream Manufacturing Plant in Jackson Center, OH, and the historic Bicycle Museum in New Bremen, OH.

Good bye, Celina - on to another large State Fairground
the Indianapolis State Fairground in Indianapolis, Indiana