Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Spring Time Day Trips

Florida seems like such a long time ago!  Here it is the middle of June!

The “tan train” has been back to the factory again - - but now it’s better than brand new!!!  The folks at the Forest River Repair facility in Goshen went above and beyond H’s expectations on fixing the trailer – even tho it is out of warranty! 

Of course, when we went to pick up the trailer – we couldn’t just drag it back home without stopping for an overnight stay somewhere!!  That “somewhere” happened to be the Elkhart County Fairgrounds Campground, which was about 2 miles from the repair facility.  A nice overnight place to stay - - with very clean bathrooms and parking pads that were long enough to accommodate both the trailer and the truck. While the sites were not overly large – they were still ample.  And plenty of freshly mowed green grass!!

Goshen is the RV/Trailer Capitol so everywhere you looked there were parking lots FUILL of RV’s waiting to be delivered.  Once out of town the countryside was rolling hills occupied by neat and tidy Amish farms, complete with black buggies and fields of grazing horses and black and white milk cows.
Linton Gardens 
Just north of Goshen and neighboring Elkhart, we found Linton Gardens, a spacious garden and gift store, surrounded by sprawling acres of various displays of uniquely named bushes, flowers and trees!  Interspersed were child sized Victorian houses and Oriental buildings and even a petting zoo in one far corner.   Inside the huge gift shop, the aisles meandered in and out of smaller rooms, each with it’s own unusual theme – from fairies to ferns and from succulents to shoes!!!  What patience H exhibited while I browsed!!!

Our other trips have all been of the “day” variety and mostly involved the boat and fishing!  Each week we’ve attempted to spend a day out and about – not worrying about the yard, the garden or the house.  We’ve revisited some of our favorite picturesque inland lakes that dot the landscape in southern Michigan!  On Evans Lake in the rolling hills of Irish Hills, H caught 2 fish and I caught 5 - all catch and release because Michigan’s Bass Season was not open yet!  North Lake – appropriately named is north of Ann Arbor and was calm and serene when the Tracker was slid into the water the next week.  We caught a few sweet pictures of some of the many doting swan parents and their fluffy gray, pretty soon to be white, cygnets!   This time H caught 5 fish and I only caught 2.  While we normally have the fun little contest of who catches the first, who catches the most and who catches the biggest – by far I believe this “mama” takes that prize!  It’s a good thing H had the net with us!  She was/is too big to eat and it still wasn’t open season so, yes, she is also back in her lake!   On Center Lake, between Napoleon and Michigan Center, the lake was SO weedy that we got tired of catching
North Lake
“GRASS pike” and only a few small bass.  That day we called it quits early and headed back home.  Our last fishing day was on another favorite lake – Baw Beese Lake up in Hillsdale.  It was a coolish day to begin with but the winds were so strong that H had the engine turned all the way to one side and still had trouble keeping the boat going straight.  No fish on that lake but after lunch we stopped at Bird Lake - a little further down and on a backcountry road.  Once the boat was in the water, I told H, “OK, so catch a fish!”    And he did!  I teased him that it was the first time I had told him to do something and he actually did as he was told!!   Giggle!!

My Gnome Village is all back in place amongst the clusters of hostas and the other small plants under the protection of the tall Spruce tree.  The noisy wrens are darting in and out of their house that hangs from a low limb.  The newest additions to the village are a Mickey Mouse and an antique looking red mailbox!   Mickey came from a second hand store in Florida!  In his previous life he was a sippy cup from Disney World!  Now he is the official “G’Nome Land” Greeter and stands under an arch made of children’s Duplo plastic building blocks!  The mailbox is a birdhouse from Joann’s and now has a red button covering the entry hole!  See – it even matches the red “telephone booth”!  Of course there is a snail by the mailbox and a gnome with a laptop sitting by the phone booth!  - - OF COURSE!!!

The vegetable garden is all planted and almost all mulched with layers of newspapers and grass clippings to keep the weeds down and the moisture in. We’ve cut back a little on the amount of tomato plants this year – only 14 and 5 varieties.  The plethora of gorgeous spring flowers has all faded.  The poppies are big, bright and beautiful but they too will soon be gone.  The summer’s collection of lilies and coneflowers are just budding. The ever-growing amount of weeds is momentarily under control.  The bugs have been sprayed for and the flowerbeds all fertilized.   Now it’s time to pack the “train” and head out for another adventure!  We’re heading for south central Ohio.  Wish we could see you there!