Like many other families these days, we have not been able to get away for a traditional vacation for several years. Our Daddy’s job (for which we are very grateful!) does not provide for any paid time off, so we have to do all of our fun family adventures on the weekends. But we live by a lake so we get to do lots of fun stuff, even though we can’t go too far from home!
We also live in an area that we think has some of the most beautiful places to visit anyway, so a day trip or even one overnight at a hotel with a swimming pool is cause for great excitement and celebration around here. In fact, that is one of our favorite things to do . . . . we meet up with our Grandma and Grandpa, or some of our older kids and their families and hang out around the pool at a hotel in our little town.
Or, when we are really feeling adventurous (and have the money!) we take a drive about 45 minutes from our house to Shipshewana, Indiana where there is a beautiful Amish community. The farms and gardens are absolutely gorgeous in the spring and summer; we love to watch them planting their fields in the spring and harvesting in the fall.
I especially enjoy driving through the peaceful, quiet countryside to see their gardens in the summer. They often will plant their gardens with a flourish of brightly colored flowers in with the peas, beans, squash, and cucumbers. And they are typically so tidy and orderly!
Most Amish farms are pictures of a gentle and quiet lifestyle, leaving me with a feeling of peace and tranquility. It seems that every time we take a day and drive up there, I catch my breath and slow down, even if it is only for the day ;o)
On the way up to Shipshewana (if you take the back roads!) there is a little, old-fashioned general store in the village of Emma. The Emma Cafe takes you on a journey back in time with the 1930s soda fountain, freshly baked pies, hamburgers and hand-dipped ice cream.
This is one of our favorite places to go on a day trip through the beautiful northern Indiana countryside. If you ever find yourself in this part of the country, you really don’t want to miss the Emma Cafe!
This weekend for Father’s Day, we might take a little drive over to the small town of Plymouth – the Heartland Artists’ community is located there so I just might check that out while we are there! There is also an old-fashioned drive-in movie theater in Plymouth, and it might be fun to take the girls to a place like that to remind us that we haven’t always had televisions with 473 channels (only three of them we actually ever look at!), or computers with instantaneous information and entertainment, or iThingamajigs to keep our minds overloaded 24 hours a day.
So when I think about vacations, it actually seems a bit overwhelming to me to consider the effort, time, energy, and money that it would require to take a traditional, week-long, far away from home vacation. We’ve got tons of stuff to do around here within just a few short miles. And the drive is gorgeous all along the way, no matter where we decide to go for a little “staycation.” Even our own back yard would be great for camping (the bathroom is close and the tea kettle is always on the stove!), and the lake is just a few steps from our front door. Why would we want to go anywhere else?
I hope you will join us for Friendship Friday at Create with Joy – just leave a link to your blog post today so we can come and visit you, and then you can take a break later today and visit some of the other participants in this week’s Friendship Friday! Hope to see you there ;o) Nina