(7/2 – 7/7)

Indiana really wasn’t on our list of places to go.  I mean what’s to do in Indiana?  As it turns out, quite a lot.

We met Merna and Brian in New Orleans and really enjoyed their company, so we decided to take advantage of their offer to visit them. Their home (a building with apartments and retail shops),  abuts Central Park which runs along the St. Joseph River. Our “campsite” was behind their building, steps from the park and they had an outlet, so we had power.  With the park behind us, most of city within walking distance, and great camp hosts, the accommodations could not have been better.

Their granddaughter Sonya is staying with them and Merna’s sister Patsy and her dog Atlas live in one of their apartments.  Sonya is just a sweetheart of a kid – a big personality and a lot of artistic talent and impressive coding skills – her computer animations are fantastic!  It was great to spend time with Patsy, as in addition to being fun and lively she’s a fellow RVer having spent 25 years full-timing.   We would have dognapped Atlas, but it would have broken too many hearts.

We really enjoyed sitting behind their building chatting and enjoying the company with Atlas jumping from lap to lap, but of course we also had to see the town.  Brian grew up in Mishawaka and Merna near by so they know the town and apparently everyone in it, as they greeted and were greeted by folks everywhere we went.

At the local hardware store Atlas led the way as Dale the Owner and his colleague Jerry always have treats on hand.  There are lot’s of cool old tools and farm implements on the wall including a hovering lawnmower – really a neat old store.

The town is full of lovely parks including the Shiojiri Garden:

On the fourth of July we went to a great parade in North Liberty.  Lot’s of tractors, firetrucks, cars and, of course, a marching band.  A real middle America celebration:

Later that night, we had a panoramic view of the 4th of July fireworks right from where we were parked our motorhome back in Mishawaka.

Fireworks

It was fun to visit Shipshewana and because of the large Amish population there are some sites you don’t see everywhere.

We also visited Goshen, another cute town that had some fantastic life-size sculptures around the center.

Of course we had to check out some of the local restaurants including Doc Piersons,  the Hacienda, Dandino’s and the famous Rocco’s in South Bend.

We had a great tour of Notre Dame University, an impressive campus, and the Basilica is amazing.

Turns out, there’s lots to do in Indiana. We’ll be back … thank you Merna and Brian!