My kids didn't do anything..........like that.
No, this year we didn't do the traditional thing of heading to Columbus to be with one son and daughter-in-law.
This year we didn't even make any plans.
This year...our kids did the planning!! And we just complied!!
They put together a combination Mother's Day/Father's Day trip for us in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Fort Wayne is a "mid-way" meeting point for the Columbus kids and us. They chose the motel (Marriott Courtyard) and paid the bill for two nights, two rooms. Our St. Louis son could not meet with us, but sent a gift card to cover miscellaneous expenses on our trip. We didn't have to plan anything or pay for anything.
We had pizza Friday night at the room, and yakked until midnight. Saturday morning we headed downtown Fort Wayne to Cindy's Diner. This diner can feed the whole world...15 people at a time. It has one counter with 15 bar stools, and that's it! It's the smallest restaurant I've ever been in. They have a special called "Garbage", which we all ordered. It's eggs, onions, ham, and cheese all scrambled together. It was okay, but I really liked the atmosphere in the diner...a kickback to yesteryear.
From there we walked to the Fort Wayne County Library...a very impressive building with lots of things going on. It houses the second largest genealogy research lab in the country. That day they had a special event for bikers...a big display down through the center hall.
On this cold and windy day, we continued our walk around town and located the Fort Wayne Old City Hall Museum. It even had the old city jail in the basement. Not a pleasant place to have had to spend any time. At one time Fort Wayne had the reputation of being the most lawless city in the United States. The museum itself had quite a few interesting exhibits. I guess Johnny Appleseed came out of Fort Wayne or there abouts.
It was a Saturday morning and some of the downtown buildings were closed, such as the Court House, which is a grand structure being refurbished. The city is a mixture of historic buildings and modern buildings...lots of interesting architecture going on there. Our last stop of the morning was at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. That particular day there was a lot of local artists' work for sale. For one who likes to study art, as does our son, the museum was a disappointment.
As we drove out of town, we went by the local minor league baseball stadium...Parkview, home of the Fort Wayne TinCaps. We would have gone to a game that day, as they were playing the Lansing Lugnuts but it was just too cold to sit outside. So, instead, we went shopping at an Ashley Furniture store, which we don't have close to us in Michigan, and then we went bowling. We had planned to golf, but again...weather was TOO COLD AND WINDY! So we bowled a couple of games...something none of us do too often. We were lucky to break 100.
After supper at a Golden Corral, where we could all choose our favorite foods, we went back to the motel to play games until after midnight. We played several rounds of Sequence, and then a card game called "Seven".
Sunday morning we slept in and then checked out of the motel and went across the street to this mother's favorite gathering spot...Cracker Barrel. It was Mother's Day, and we had a 45 minute wait to get seated, but all the more time, therefore, to shop and browse the old time store.
Our kids went back home to Columbus, and we headed back to Michigan, taking the back roads...the scenic route. On the way we came across a large complex which caught our curiosity. We stopped to look it over, and a local historian was there who could give us quite a few details about the place. It was a Catholic health spa, built in 1895, run by the Sisters of Precious Blood from 1902-1976. They added to the original building across the years, and there are now enough beds to accommodate 700. A few of the rooms are private suites with private bathrooms. The dining hall seats 200. We did not tour the whole building...just a few rooms near the entrance.
In it's prime the health spa was self-contained. They had over 200 acres, their own farm and 80 head of cattle, and a slaughter-house. They raised all their own food. Many of the original structures, including this barn, are still standing. They have their own power house, if I recall correctly.
In 1976 the Sisters sold this property to a cult called "The Way Bible College". By 1999 the cult had lost most of its membership and could no longer afford to operate the facilities and sold it to the Community Foundation of Noble County, who in turn sold it to a private owner in the following year.
The buildings and grounds stand vacant, waiting for new owners. It's so sad to see such a fine facility sitting empty, wasting away. Surely somewhere there is a purpose and a need for this property and all that it contains. It sits next to Sylvan Lake in Rome City, Indiana. For anyone interested in more details, go to http://www.oltiv.org/
Anyone reading this blog that has suggestions for our next trip to Fort Wayne, things you found very interesting, please leave me a comment. It's only a couple of hours from us, and I am sure we missed some golden nuggets while we were there. We had a great weekend, though, and we have our sons and daughter-in-law to thank for that!!