Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Ride to the Eighth Wonder of the World?

In the spirit of the original inspirations of this little blog, we were back on the road again today to explore the back roads of Southern Indiana. Of course, we were on the Harley and M & R joined us on their BMW. We started out with sunny skies but they didn't stay with us for long. At least we avoided any rain showers and though chilly, didn't compare to some of the temps we've been riding in lately.

First stop, Schneiders Nursery. This is a huge garden center and nursery with more trees than one can imagine. Their grounds were beautiful. No purchases for us today - it would have been kind of hard to tie that big arbovitae on the trunk of M's bike. I've become fascinated with dogwood trees right now. Wondering if the soil in our back yard would be kind to one, so more research will have to follow. Of course, this will have to be placed on the long-range landscaping plan. First on the list is the replacement of the deck with composite materials. There's nothing more dangerous than garden centers with gorgeous landscaping - well maybe a quilt shop full of yummy yardage!!

Next stop, West Baden Springs. With the opening of Indiana's newest casino at French Lick, a nearby historic hotel has been totally re-furbished into a five star resort. The West Baden Springs Hotel is a gorgeous place in the middle of nowhere! Originally built in 1901 in the style of grand European spas, it was first a world class hotel, then after the stock market crash in 1929, a seminary. It was called the eighth wonder of the world with the world's largest free-span dome (until modern day sports stadiums). D & I were here about seven years ago when it sat empty except for a few guided tours by the Historic Landmark Foundation. We were fascinated by the fact that such a gorgeous building existed for so long, and no one had taken on the task of remodeling.
Heading down the tree lined brick driveway. (Kind of rough on a motorcycle, though!)
A view from one of the rooms with an interior facing balcony. M & D discussing the remarkable feats of the original 1901 engineers. Note the millions of tiny tiles that make up these gorgeous floors.
We asked for and were graciously given a tour of one of the guest rooms. Not your typical motel room ! At least not the ones that we stay at!
Custom made antique reproductions and huge bathrooms. Who would need to visit the spa, golf course, tennis courts, shops (including a H-D gift shop!), restaurants or pool? (We did have a pleasant lunch at one of the restaurants here, complete with live jazz!)
Some of the pretty blooming trees on the grounds surrounding the hotel.

Well, this is it for today's trip! Maybe this is not the highlight of the week. We can officially say we felt the great Midwest Earthquake of April 18, 2008! D forgot to change the alarm clock so we were awake when the house began to groan and squeak as if the wind had come up, but with no wind sound! He thought there might have been an explosion somewhere and living near a rock quarry, we hear (and feel) those occasionally. I told him I thought it might have been an earthquake! I was right! But thankfully, no damages here. Not even a crooked picture or a jostled pantry item! How many of you felt it?

Have a good week! See you later.......;-)


Cheryl said...

Thanks for the wonderful tour. What an amazing hotel that is..great photos.

sarah said...

oooh. i want to visit that hotel sometime. so pretty!

Janet said...

I'm thinking it would make a great location for a girlfriend's getaway! The spa sounds great there!