Another trip to Holiday world (4 years earlier than the trip posted two days ago). The wonder of digital cameras over traditional film cameras. You can on the fly apply optical effects. This image taken with a digital camera and an optical fish eye effect. I like knowing the capabilities of the cameras I own. I am after all my father’s son, I have a lot of cameras including, all of dad’s old film cameras and his last digital camera. I think I am going to have a case made to display them. Digital cameras though have that one step above traditional film. There is an artistry of a film camera that is lost with digital. You don’t have to know the filters and change them, most digital cameras have built in light meters to adjust the image for you. It is like the nearly self driving cars that are being produced. It reduces the risk of the driver, but I wonder sometimes if that doesn’t expose new risk.
Barb and Nick combined putt-putt, hockey and a just get it done attitude in creating their own game. A single stroke only counts when the person is done chasing the golf ball and trying to hit it. Using this method the two of them scored a large number of holes in one. Until they were both told to stop. This is the putt-putt course that is connected to the hotel. The hotel is literally right across the street from the park. I began worrying about my son’s gourmet understanding of the world at this hotel. There was a large feeding trough restaurant and of course the boys pronounced it amazing food. It was, let’s just say, not optimal. Ok actually it was pretty bad overall. But they loved it and kept wanting to go back. It wasn’t even a good breakfast and it is hard to ruin breakfast in an all you can eat format. Oh well.
When the Xbox game Forza first came out we used to play, the four of us. You don’t play racing games with Barb however because when it comes to racing, game or go-cart, she is hyper competitive and will run you off the road. But when we played Forza many years ago I grew concerned with our children. Luke, Jakki and Nick were all three driving on the lower sidewalk that runs next to the Seine River. Not saying excuse me but running people into the river and smiling manically. I worry now that they are beginning drivers and a driver on the loose that in fact the world isn’t ready for them.
We still take day trips to amusement parks. Or now, to historical sites (like Colonial Williamsburg or the C&O canal sites to name a few) but the days shown in these pictures from 2000 are now long gone. The boys are as tales I am. Taller than both Barb and Jakki. We no longer live in Southern Indiana (although we still live in the southern part of a state, just southern Maryland). Sometimes when I am mistful and remembering I recall those days and miss them. But reality checks in and that feeling is gone fast. Every age you spend with your child is a treasure. Each one unique and wonderful. Just don’t tell my kids I said that.
when the sound first
swirling around me
leaving nothing else
Within the ebb and flow
the quiet and the noise
cupped to the wind
we cannot hear because
the road rise and
falls ebbs and flows the noise lifting from the ground
I see the eyes
see the lost moment
in plain sight. Will I
be free of the noise
pushing and pulling
around and between
Will I be ever free?
The Indiana Dunes State Park was a huge beach visit (barb loves beaches) when we lived in Indiana. The other huge visit (we went 3 or 4 times while the kids were little) was Holiday World. When I was a little kid and we first moved to Indiana in the late 1960’s it was called Santa Claus Land. It is (Holiday World) located in Santa Claus Indiana. It is a theme park devoted to the celebration of holidays. It has lots of amazing rides and a different view of the family park experience. Drinks at Holiday World are free. So kids can consume as much sugar as possible to keep their motors running the entire day. Normally, for Holiday world we would get up at 0 dark 30 and drive down. One year Barb wanted to stay at the Santa Claus inn. It was an interesting hotel, we only stayed there the one time. But well again it was an interesting hotel.
Nick, even when he was uncomfortable with a ride (although he is much less so now) would always ride with his sister. Jakki just seems to know how to communicate with the two of them. One of the things I find interesting is that she is the only person I know on this planet that is allowed to yell at them If I yell or Barb yells at them they get mad at us. If their sister yells, sometimes, they get made, sometimes they don’t. They always get mad when either Barb or I yell. I guess in the end (I know I love the phrase in the end) it is the story of relationships. Jakki has always been on their side, the big sister, the arbitrator. She has put in the time to learn the various natures of twins. Twins are easier from the sense of setting up playdates (you don’t need to) but so much harder when it comes to communication. They (twins) have a natural pattern they create when they communicate. If you don’t spend the time to learn it, they will run rings around you and you won’t even know it.
I am not sure when Holiday World joined the other amusement parks in adding a water park. They have a very nice water park. There lies the Delta between Barb and I. I love to swim in the Ocean and in Lakes. I love being in natural bodies of water. She also loves water but doesn’t like to swim in the Ocean or Lakes. She likes to swim in pools and water parks. And she will wade in lakes and the ocean but not swim. She says there is yucky stuff living in the water of Oceans and Lakes. I guess spending summers in the water of Lake Ripley Wisconsin I have a different view. I will agree that in the month of June its hard to leap into the ocean or one of the great lakes without freezing. But I would and still do. I grew up swimming on a swim team so for me, pools are boring. Barb still loves water, just if it is for swimming, then it has to be in a pool. I wonder if she is for Scuba?
Indiana is a land locked state, except on the very northern edge where the last glaciers as they retreated carved out a massive lake we call lake Michigan. Along the coast of that massive lake in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan are huge sand dunes. We went to the Indiana dunes quite a few times over the years. An interesting place set amidst the corn fields and limestone quarries. (Indiana is a lot more than that, but it is what the perception is sometimes of the state from outside in). The first time I went Mom and Dad took my sisters and I. I remember racing down the big sand dune. They have, because of the ecological impact of humans closed off more of the park now than when I was little.
This trip was Barb and the kids. I was working in Chicago at the time. I couldn’t get away to hang out with them so they had a blast without me. This trip is however, infamous in family history. There was, once a trip to Chicago where the boys forgot their bears. We ended up going to FAO Schwartz and getting them new stuffed animals. This particular trip Ma Bear (Nick) and Honey Bear (Luke) made it safely to the Dunes. They enjoyed their stay in the hotel. On the way back to Greenwood however, Honey Bear took a side trip to Chuckie Cheese. Actually they all took a side trip to Chuckie Cheese in Merrillville Indiana. Honey Bear (Luke’s) stayed. Barb and the kids had driven home on Wednesday. Luke was devastated that Honey Bear was lost. They didn’t find out about it until they got back home so going back to get Honey Bear was a 3 hour trip and not going to happen. Luckily I was coming home on Friday. Barb called Chuckie Cheese’s and they had found the bear, being a kids focused restaurant recognized the love (some would call it wear and tear) and saved it. I picked it up on the way home from Chicago on Friday and it was returned to its rightful place.
Such a magical place. Not an easy place to choose for wander Indiana (not as much non-scientific material and glaciers aren’t really jaw dropping and eye catching. At least not glaciers that built something 10,000 or more years ago.) So the Dunes were never a wander Indiana project. Hard to talk about a huge wall of Ice as much as 20 or more feet tall that moves about an inch a year. “really dad, does it do anything else?” “Well son eventually it will melt. As it melts it will form the hills that are Southern Indiana. It will do that by scraping Northern Indiana completely flat (not really, its a joke).” You get the idea. A hard sell for a kid they would have to put a lot of effort into that report.
Entering the Howard Steamboat Museum (Clark County Indiana) in 2004. This was another trip to Louisville, just stopping on the Indiana side to check out the museum. It is a very interesting view of steamboats. They once ruled the Ohio river. Going all the way down to New Orleans and back. They have narrow drafts so they don’t require as much water to navigate as other V hull boats do. In fact a guaranteed safe depth of water is called Mark Twain. Hence the writer picking that name, based on his experiences as a riverboat pilot before becoming a writer. They would drop a rope over the side of the boat with knots representing unsafe and safe depths. They stopped lowering the rope when it touched ground. Like the sextant a very reliable instrument for guidance, the weighted/knotted rope was accurate with or with out power or batteries every time!
As I was going in to wander around the museum I saw the docent escort this rowdy group out. Four very scary looking INDUHviduals to quote Dilbert. This is actually in the garden outside the museum for Steamboats. You can in the far distance of the background see the river. Also notice how low we are, when the river floods this area is covered in water. There are giant levies along many parts of the river. Not however here. When the river reaches flood stage the water has to go somewhere. You can’t block it all the way down the Ohio to the Mississippi. At some point you can’t build levies high enough. So there are areas along the river that were never protected from flood waters.
Nick and Luke from the earliest ages always walked on the most difficult path rather than on the sidewalk. That is Nick snacking and walking there on the left side. Jakki is on the far right and Luke is in the middle. This is the same 2004 trip to Louisville but I have no idea where we were for this picture. I suspect that is a Levy in the background. Some of the Ohio Levees near Louisville (and Jeffersonville on the Indiana side) are 20 and 25 feet tall. When we lived in Cincinnati we used to go downtown to the Serpentine wall all the time. The wall had a monument (a tall pole) commemorating each of the great floods. The flood that happened in 1935 was about 35 feet above where you stand and the water made it all the way to downtown Cincinnati.
At the Louisville Slugger Museum. It was a fun family outing. I am a huge sports fan. I grew up with the excellence of the motion basketball and man to man defense of Robert Montgomery Knights Indiana Hoosiers. I loved IU football and Soccer (we grew up really near the Yeagley’s). I love the Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and Cubbies of my youth. I followed the Celtics because of Larry Bird and the Yankees because of Derek Jeter. I followed the Colts because of Peyton Manning and followed the Broncos when he left Indianapolis. I love sports. When she was really little Jakki would swatch football with me. Other than that time (which ended many years ago, none of my kids like sports at all. So the wonder that is the Cubs this summer isn’t something I can share with my kids. That my grandfather who was an avid Cubs fan never saw them win it all. That I have never seen them win it all. I have seen the Blackhawks, Bears and Bulls all win a championship in my lifetime.
The falls of Indiana are located just across the Ohio river from Louisville. As the name would indicate they are a series of small waterfalls that are waterfalls usually during the spring. Normally as the river swells to near flood stages the initial flooding creates the falls of Indiana. They really aren’t water falls, more really rough class 5 or better rapids. So the first picture is of the three non-sports loving kids in my house. The next picture is of Jakki perched by a stump at the Falls of Indiana. I can only hope that someday significant others love sports and are as fanatic as I am so I have someone to watch with. The Falls of Indiana is another state park that we visited once. I don’t know why over the years we only went once. It was a beautiful park. I guess it was just one of those go once and well you’ve seen it now.
Ending up with the three of them together on the bleachers located in the Louisville Slugger museum. The museum which is the old factory for Louisville Slugger actually has a large bat outside the building. One of my favorite jokes (from the Indianapolis based Bob and Tom radio show) was the restaurant at the top of the bat. There isn’t one, but they often had a lot of fun with the bit. It seems only fitting today to share images of Louisville. I grew up a Muhammad Ali fan. I am not a huge boxing fan but I loved Ali. He really represented what was great about America. But he also represented what was great about himself. What believing in yourself no matter what others say to you can make you better. His intelligence, majesty and ultimately pure skills made the many fights that I watched of his magical. He was the greatest. Both human being and boxer.
Indiana students produce a Wander Indiana report during their 5th grade year. The boys choose historic Corydon (first capital of Indiana) and Jakki choose Marengo Cave. We wandered down to the cave early one Saturday. It was literally a 2 hour drive that takes 3 hours because you wander off the beaten path into the parts of Indiana that have fewer roads. Contrary to legend no people sitting on porches with Banjo’s and Guitar’s playing, either. The Cave was discovered by children playing. It has wonderful displays of various parts of cave development. The State of Indiana has developed a park around the cave now, and has guided tours that last between 45 minutes and the longer tour (4 hours). The longer tour ends up taking you further into the cave and is called the wet tour. Having taken it I know its called that because YOU GET WET!
Cool spring day and I suspect the bean threw a number of coins into the well (make it a little warmer please). They have a gold sluice by the cave now, they didn’t the first time I went. Although the first time I went to the cave was in 1974 so there are many things that have changed. The tours now, are much more controlled than they were, back in the day. As boy counts in 1974 we got to spend the night into he cave. Best camping trip ever (summer, includes air condition!). So I have many fond memories of the cave and the overall experience. I had taken Jakki to the cave when she was just out of first grade and apparently she remembered that as we went back in the spring of 5th grade. What a great experience all the way around! We took lunch and made it a day. We wandered around the park around the cave (tried to gold sluice but well still working so no big win there) and then toured the cave.
Jakki panning for gold, holding her Marengo cave banner, entrance to the drip stone (longer cave tour) and the stalagmites and stalactites. The last picture taken inside the cave. As I said it was an enjoyable day. We learned a lot about the cave, got out of greenwood for a day and learned a little about Indiana. It really is a wonderful place to grow up overall. I really enjoyed all three wander Indiana projects. This first one was a personal favorite because frankly I love caves. I spent hours in them while in Boy Scouting. (When dad was the Scout Master we spent a lot of time exploring Indiana and using Topo Maps. Dad used to cave when he was younger but we didn’t do that as much when he was the Scout Master).