Tuesday, 21 November 2017

West Baden Springs Hotel...

After viewing the trains at the French Lick Scenic Railway, we walked through two huge hotels in the area. The French Lick Springs Hotel is just across the road from the railway station, and we walked quickly through this historic hotel. We then drove to the nearby West Baden Springs Hotel, where we marvelled at this impressive structure. There is a massive 200-foot (or 61-metre) dome covering its indoor atrium. We enjoyed relaxing in the atrium, pretending we were staying there, before walking in the vast grounds outside. It certainly is a beautiful place!

 The French Lick Springs Hotel.
 The West Baden Springs Hotel.
 The dome above the atrium is massive.
 A close-up of the dome's intricate design.
 We relaxed on the couches for a while.
 Walking in the beautiful gardens outside.
 Lovely flowers. The hotel is partially hidden by the trees.
 Water fountain.
One of the former springs.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

French Lick Scenic Railway...

Riaan is a big fan of trains and railways at the moment, and so on Saturday, 28th October, we took him to see the trains at the French Lick Scenic Railway. He loved seeing the big diesel locomotive and passenger train, along with the steam trains and the small tram that operates between the two hotels in the area. It was a fun excursion for our family!

 Riaan and Candace next to a big steam locomotive.
 A side view of the same steam train.
 Another old steam train in need of attention on the tracks.
 Diesel engine that pulls the passenger train.
 Walking past the French Lick Scenic Railway train.
 The red caboose.
 The train going over the railway crossing.
 One of the small trams that run along the track between the two hotels.
A closer view as it went past us.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Sandborn Volunteer Fire Department...

The rural areas of Indiana are served by volunteer fire departments, and back on Saturday, 28th October, we were able to see a couple of newer emergency vehicles at the Sandborn Volunteer Fire Department. They organised a Fall Festival that day, and we thoroughly enjoyed the craft stalls as well as the firefighting vehicles on display. These men and women, who put their own lives in danger by serving the community, are certainly heroes. We are very thankful for all the volunteers in the area.

 Smaller fire response vehicle.
 Mascot on the front of this fire engine.
Brand-new fire tanker.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Pumpkin Spider...

I came across this unusual-looking spider, resembling a small pumpkin with legs, towards the end of October. But this is not a Halloween costume. This is actually a female marbled orb-weaver and it was the first time that I'd seen one of these spiders in the United States. It certainly is rather striking!

 The spider's abdomen is massive.
Crawling over our driveway's gravel.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Speedboats in southern Indiana...

I came across this sight while driving along near our home several weeks ago. There were two brand-new motorboats sitting on a trailer next to a soybean field. The scene was even more comical a few hours later when they were harvesting the field with the boats still there. The things you see in southern Indiana! (There are actually some large lakes nearby, and so a few people do own motorboats in the area. It's just not something you see every day!) :)

 Motorboats and their transport next to the soybean field.
The harvested soybean field a few hours later.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Harvest Retreat at Camp Illiana...

We attended our church's annual retreat at Camp Illiana, a short distance away, from the 6th until the 8th of October. We had a lovely time relaxing in the beautiful surroundings and catching-up with friends. It was a much-needed weekend of fellowship and fun! :)

 Kayaking out on the lake.
 I really relax when I'm out on the water.
 Beautiful colours of autumn.
 Colourful leaves floating in the water.
 Camp Illiana has an awesome zip line.
 They also have other fun games.
 Riaan having fun on his giraffe motorcycle.
 View down towards the camp fire.
 Lovely camp fire.
 Camouflaged moth blends in with the bark of this tree.
 View towards the Dining Room.
 Large bell outside the Dining Room.
Enjoying fellowship together over a delicious meal.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Kora Evening at the Library...

We went to the Washington Carnegie Public Library's cultural evening a while back on Wednesday, 4th October. They hosted a talented musician, Sean Gaskell, who came and played the kora, a traditional West African instrument. It was very interesting to hear this harp-like instrument and also hear stories of the vibrant West African markets and culture. It brought back many happy memories from my time in several countries of West Africa from 2007 until 2014.

People enjoying listening to the kora at the library.