Before we left the Cincinnati area, we had the pleasure of meeting friends at a park for the day. Sweet Pea met a sweet new friend at the Answers in Genesis conference VBS and they hit it off right away.
She and her family live a couple hours from Cincinnati and were so kind to drive in and spend the day with us at the park. The kids had a great time playing in the splash park, even though it was an unseasonably cool day, and we had a picnic lunch.
Then our friends taught us about geocaching! Here’s what we learned: get the geocaching app on your iPhone (try the free one first until you’re sure it’ll stick), find a cache you are interested in, then navigate using your iPhone or GPS to find it! Caches are “treasures” hidden by other geocachers and logged onto the website for others to find. They can be various sizes of containers which are hidden in public areas (they just can’t be buried). Inside is a log for visitors to write their names and the date on and sometimes little gifts (trinkets and toys, stickers, etc.) that can be exchanged if the visitor brings and leaves an item in the cache. We went on a hike with our friends to find a couple of caches, then spent the rest of the day back at the park playground and pond. It was great to get to know this like-minded and fun family and we hope they’ll come see us in Colorado someday!
The day after our visit, we headed north. First stop was Lexis-Nexis, near Dayton. Chad worked for Lexis-Nexis from Colorado for 8 years (his last “normal” job) and wanted to check in with some former colleagues and interview their innovation director. The kids and I had lovely time waiting in the RV in the parking lot right along the employee walking path. It was fun to watch people’s reactions to an RV parked there. Some totally ignored us, some turned around looking at it and talking about it, and some looked in the windows until they saw we were in there.
After our pit-stop at Lexis, we drove north for an overnight at Van Wert, Ohio, to see good family friends for dinner, then spent the night at the most pleasant Walmart we’ve visited. It was quiet, super clean, full of semi-trucks, and we had sweet little birds chirping around our camper through the evening (yes, I notice these things…).
The next day, we made it to Indiana Amish country—Nappanee. Chad met some folks at the RV Safety conference he attended before we left Colorado who had some gorgeous custom furniture made by this Amish craftsman in Indiana. When we determined we might be traveling through the area, Chad quickly drew up well-thought-out plans for a desk/shoe shelf for Carlyle at Focal Wood Products, and voila, several weeks later, we arrived at his house to have it installed!
I don’t have a specific “before” picture, but here’s the desk that was there. We left it with Carlyle.
I’m sure he blessed someone dear with it.
We spent the weekend in the area and had planned to visit Amish Acres, but when we asked Carlyle what he thought of it, he just shrugged and said “It’s commercialized.” He said the Amish don’t work there and it isn’t owned by Amish, and suggested that if we want an authentic Amish experience, to attend the Haystack Supper that night. He said “There will be other people like you there.” We thought that sounded just right, so we found the auction house out in the middle of the corn fields where it was held, parked the Mazda near the row of black carriages and horses, and joined in! We had the best time—delicious haystacks, sat across from the dearest older couple and chatted with them, watched the auction afterward—amazing assortment of products from garden hoses to a box of potatoes. It was a fundraiser for the Amish special education.
The service line. I did ask ahead of time about taking pictures, and one of them told me as long as I didn’t ask anyone to pose for a picture, it would be okay. I’m not so sure the little boy on the right is okay with it though…didn’t notice him until just now. Maybe I should have asked him.
Delicious haystack—rice, crushed tortilla chips, taco meat, lettuce, tomato, salsa, crushed Doritos, cheese, onions and olives optional.
Uh oh, someone’s not wearing her bonnet!
The guys checking out the generator-powered ice cream maker. It sure made delicious ice cream!
Before we left town, the kids and I took a lovely drive through the hilly, green, corn-lined countryside roads to Goshen, where my cousin and aunt and uncle live, and we had a lovely little visit with them.
We stayed at the Pla-mor Campground in nearby Bremen.
Next, it was on to see Grandma!!