Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Gandview Bend Family Campground

Name; Grandview Bend, PO Box 185, 4630 N 100 E, Howe IN, 46746, 574 220 9554
Date; 5/16-5/28/13
Staff/owners; Very friendly manager
Price; Coast to Coast $10., Passport America $12.50, Escapees $14. no club affiliation $30.
Site Description; Back in on grass, not to level, 50amp electric and water. There is a dump station and they also offer a pump out service for $10. No privacy between sites, but you have no one in front or in back of you. Roads are gravel and dusty when its dry. Sites are close, but while we were there we always had 1 to 2 empty sites between us, so it didn't seem close. But if all sites were full it would be very close. There are 40 sites the private campground rents out and it was not even half full  over Memorial Day.

Our site

Looking down the road at the sites that are rented out to CTC, PA, etc. members. See our nearest neighbor on this side.

This is our nearest neighbor on this side. Never anyone closer then this.

Big Rig Friendly; Yes wide road and deep site. The road to the dump station is a little tight, but no problem.
Amenities; There is a heated pool, river access with a small boat/kayak launch on the Little Pigeon River, 4 bath houses with showers. No clubhouse.
Laundry; No laundry
Phone/Wifi/TV; Verizon was 4 bars, Wifi in park but we were at the farthest site or had a poor signal . TV over the air only one major network, open for satellite.
Dog friendly; Yes lots of grassy areas to walk a dog.
Night; Very quite and dark
Book exchange; Yes small book exchange at what use to be the check in gate shack.
Opinion; About 12-15 miles west of Shipshewanna. Nice quite country location with a short ride to the very touristy area. About 30 miles from Elkhart and 50 miles from South Bend. This is a private campground with many families. There were a lot of children over the Memorial  Day weekend and there was no noise by us. The sites they rent are along the side were you enter the campground. There was smoke, as the park was very full over this weekend and almost everybody had a campfire. Everybody was friendly. We stayed 12 nights using CTC membership. A very small town with a small farmers market on Saturdays. The Post Office will accept General Delivery mail. Nearest grocery is about 15 miles, its possible there is one closer, but we didn't see one, most listed were in Sturgis MI. We would stay here again.

Let us out

What are you looking at

Monday, May 27, 2013

Notre Dame University

We did get back to Notre Dame for a walking tour. The tour takes about an hour and fifteen minutes. Students guide you on the tour. We had a very informative guide that gave us much information on the school and its founding in 1842. The university is located in Notre Dame IN, adjacent to South Bend. They have their own zip code, fire department etc. The school encompasses 1250 acres. There are 8,000 undergraduates and 3,000 graduate students. After the tour, we spent some time in the bookstore and walk around the campus for a second look at some of the buildings. It was a weather perfect day for a walk.  We wore jackets, and that was overkill, we didn't need them.

      A look around the campus

There are two small lakes on the campus.

    On the left, Linda in the red jacket lighting a candle at  the replica of the Grotto of Our Lady Of Lourdes .The grotto is about 1/4 the size of the grotto in France.

Inside the Basilica, there was a special event going on and we could only get a few pictures from the foyer.

The gold dome, and a very large mosaic of Jesus holding our his arms. This mosaic I believe we were told was 14 stories high. The mosaic was named by football fans, "Touchdown Jesus"

The main entrance to the stadium, and a shot of the field.
Another statue, this one is named "first down Moses" , see his finger pointing up.

Here we are in front of the mosaic of "Touchdown Jesus", and the reflecting pool.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Touring around Nappanee and Shipshewana

     While staying at Pla-Mor RV Park in Bremen we did a road trip around the area. We found a neat country store in Rentown, The store was called  Rentown Country Store.  We did get some great baked goods. They had a 2000 pound block of Mild cheddar cheese.

Over 80 varieties of cheese. They also sell a lot of bulk foods. There is also a small snack  bar.

     We also purchased some good smoked cheese. After leaving the store a short time later we came across a lake named  Lake of the Woods. It was small lake, but power boats were allowed.

  There were a few fishermen on the lake. We found a nice bench along the lakeside and sat and just enjoyed the view and the sunny fresh air for a short time. We were visited by a red wing blackbird. He kept coming back and chirping at us. I think we must have been near his nest.

   We then took another country road and came out near  Amish Acres. There is a round barn  that is now a theater. There are also a number of shops. Its a little touristy, but that's ok as much of this area is touristy. They also have buggy rides. They do have  craft demonstrations, but none were working the day we were there. 

     A short distance from Amish Acres is the Dutch Village Market. There is a very, very large antique, craft and home d├ęcor area. It looks like there are 100's of different  consignment booths. You could spent a lot of time looking at all the different items.

     When we were in the Middlebury area we had dinner at Das Dutchman Essenhaus. The dinner is served family style. It is very good. The great thing here is the homemade pies. they have 30 different flavor pies, plus there are 6 that are also available sugar free. Here are some fun facts about Das Dutchman; Restaurant seats 1100, serves over 7,000 on a busy day. Between the bakery and restaurant they may use up to 2,100 dozen eggs, 2,700 pounds white sugar, 3.5 tons of potatoes, 3,600 chickens, 3,090 pounds of roast beef, etc.. One day the bakery produced a record 2,130 pies. In  one week 42 tons of noodles. Some interesting facts.
     We also went to the Guggisberg cheese factory. They make about 40 different type cheeses. You can sample many of them. You can watch them making cheese from 8:00 am  to !2:00 pm. They also sell other Amish goods. 
      Friends Jim and Linda S. told us to go to the Elkhart Visitors Center and get a driving tour CD. Thanks Jim and Linda. It was a great way to tour the area. There are two CD's that make up the driving tour. The CD gives you  a lot of information and history of the area you are driving through.  There were many interesting facts and stories about the Amish and early settlers of the area.
     We did spend some time in Shipshewana. There is a very large flea market that is open on Tuesday's and Wednesday's. There are also a number of craft, souvenir type shops in town, along with a few bulk food stores and cheese/meat shops. Touristy yes, but some really good foods. We got some good bologna and more cheese. The one bulk food store had a super collection of  old toy petal cars, wagons etc..

When in Amish Country there will be "Quilts". This is just a sampling of the 100's we saw.

On the road trip we came across this candy store. The jelly beans are "super size". This was the Wakarusa Dime Store, in Wakarusa.

Then there is the Shipshewana flea market. The buildings hide a lot of the market, but it is a very large flea market, open Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Thanks for following along. Next a walking tour of Notre Dame University.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pla-Mor RV Park Bremen IN 5-2013

Name; Pla-Mor RV Park, 2162 U.S. 6 East, Bremen IN 46506

Date; 5/14-5/15/13
Staff/owner; Very friendly staff
Price; $30. + tax, they do have weekly and monthly rates, no discounts of any kind
Site Description; We had a pull thru full hook up with 50 amp electric. Not all sites are full hook up.We had a cement pad. Not all sites have a cement, ours was a seasonal site that was empty. We had a picnic table and fire ring. No privacy between sites. We were on a corner site and had a lot of room on our door side. Most roads are packed gravel. A few are paved. We were in an open area, but some sites are in wooded areas. About 550 sites.

Our site

 Soon sites in the woods
Sites around pond

Seasonal sites

Big Rig Friendly; Yes, roads are good width. Most sites are back ins.
Amenities; Several ponds, one for swimming, other for fishing. Mini golf, driving range, ball field, playground(being rebuilt while we were here), LP Gas, pavilion, volleyball, store and smack bar.
The neat mini-golf

Laundry; Yes, but didn't check it out
Phone/Wi-Fi/TV; Our Verizon had 4 bars, Wifi was good, our site was good for satellite
Dog friendly; Yes very large grass areas to walk a dog.
Night; Very low lighting at night. Some train noise.
Book exchange; Not sure
Comments; Great area about 5 miles from Nappanee. A very clean and well kept park. Many seasonal sites, but very neat and clean, no junk laying around.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

South Bend Indiana, part 4 The South Bend Chocolate Company

. .
  After we had museum overload we went to the South Bend Chocolate Company. We wanted to do the factory tour and got there just in time for the last tour.  We did the "Inside Scoop Tour". You get behind the scenes and get to see how South Bends Chocolate candy is made. We did get some samples. We also got a discount in the store. Well who can refuse chocolate. Well Bob is not a chocoholic, but did enjoy the different flavor chocolate cover pretzels. We did walk out with four different bags of chocolate cover pretzels. The tour took about 45 minutes and cost $4. a person. See www.sbchocolate.com

Nice hats.

White chocolate rice crispy treats, chocolate shower and cooling tunnel.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

South Bend Indiana part 3 Oliver Mansion plus....

   Included with our combo ticket for the Studebaker Museum was a guided tour of the Oliver Mansion. Unfortunately  we could not take any pictures inside the home. What made this home different then a lot of other mansion we visited was that almost everything in the home was original to the home. The Docent that was our tour guide told stories as if she lived in the home. I can never say how great it is when  these dedicated volunteers and paid docents can make for a wonderful experience. The home was the home of J.D. Oliver who started with a farm plow and grew it into the Oliver Tractor Company. Later the White Tractor company went through several other name changes. Check out www.centerforhistory.org for more great stories. You can find a great Oliver family history at this site.

The workers house, we could take pictures inside this house.

   The Center for History was housed in the lower level of the Studebaker Museum. There was one section highlighting the "Women Who played Hard Ball". Told the story of All American Girls Professional Baseball league. Another section was the Ernestine M. Raclin Gallery of Notre Dame History.  Another gallery was the Voyages Gallery, told stories from prehistoric times to the underground Railroad. There was also a" Sweet" gallery, the story of The Wonderful World of Chocolate, Candy and ice Cream. This is in the Changing Gallery featuring changing exhibit's. This is were we learned about the chocolate factory tour.

The original sign from the "drive in".

Thanks for following along

Friday, May 17, 2013

RV updates - Residential Refrigerator installed

     Had a few emails about our updates on the RV. First we went to Fox RV in Middlebury.  We had a 30amp plug installed behind our hitch so we could plug in our generators from the bed of the truck. We had all our slides adjusted.  We had our waste water drain shorten. We had our water pump moved to make it more accessible. Had a shut off valve put on the water line for our toilet. The big thing was we had a 21.6 residential refrigerator installed. That was a big job and took a lot more work then Larry Fox anticipated.  This was the first change over he has done. We also had an invertor installed. It took time to run the water line for the ice maker and the wires for the inverter, but it all got done.


Old frig coming out

Empty spot
New frig going in, note door and frame removed

Almost in

Made it

Looking in through the old refrigerator vent

And the finished item

Fox RV, where we stayed while work was being done

        Expect to spend time at Foxes, because he is so good at doing RV projects that he is very busy and short handed. We spoke to at least 5 other customer's, while there,  who have been coming to him for years. Some drove several hundred miles to get some work done. He was also highly recommended by many of the Carriage Club members.
     We then went to Mor/Ryde to have the Independent Suspension and disc brakes installed. We also had a new brake controlled installed. One teck worked about 14-15 hours on our rig for two days and finished completely without jumping around to another  job. Very professional. The brake controller was installed by Dan's Hitch. Also very professional.
     Then we went to Bigfoot and had our system checked out and our rear jacks turned around.  Took about 3 hours and was very professional.
    Next we went to Focal Wood to have Carlyle trim the new refrigerator. He did a super job. We also had him build a table surround for us. We had seen his work on several other carriage Club members RV's and decided to have one made for us.


After, the table is pushed all the way in, it is on a slide, our original table with a different leg

The table pulled out, there is 16 inch leaf  stored in the table
Set for dinner for two

At Focal Wood

      We have spent a lot more time in the area, but all the shops were very busy. Make sure you make an appointment if using any of these shops. We were  please with all the work we had done.

PS anybody need a 4 door 12 cubic gas/electric refig? It is at Fox RV, asking price $2450. about half of the original price. Larry Fox will install it for you.