|On a beautiful (68 sunny degrees) day we drove around Northern Indiana's Amish country from our campground in Elkhart to Middlebury. First, we stopped at the Elkhart Visitor Center and obtained brochures and maps on 1) a Heritage Trail which has "Elk-on-Parade" throughout the communities; 2) quilt floral designs and murals planted or painted at various sites throughout the communities; and 3) factory RV surplus stores (you never know what you might see that you just must have). Although the quilt floral designs had been a scenic marketing tool for the summer months and many of the plantings were "spent" as the flower season was at its end, I enjoyed seeing the quilt floral designs we could find. Also, it was fun to follow the Heritage Trail and take pictures of the "Elk-on-Parade". Later, we printed out five of our favorite pictures (How to Succeed in School, Music, Jazz Player, Theater Admit One, and RV Motorcoach-of course!), framed them in magnetic frames, and displayed them in the motorcoach.
At the Factory RV Surplus store, we purchased a digital HDTV antenna, a telescoping broom, three quick plastic hose connectors for our water hoses, dial-type battery tester, an emergency gizmo by Coleman for the front of the coach as you never know if or when an emergency could strike, and a metal door holder as our plastic one will break at some future inopportune time and we would not be able to hold up the coach door.
We had dinner at Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury. This resort complex includes a hotel, conference center, restaurant, stores including a bakery of delicious handmade Amish goodies, and a "Buggy Trail" for horse drawn carriage rides. For dinner we enjoyed the family style dinner, basically a buffet served table-side by our delightful waitress, Kimberley. We ordered their famous fried chicken dinner which started with a salad tossed with their special homemade dressing (the best Ranch dressing I've ever tasted), followed by the fried chicken and real mashed potatoes with homemade gravy, made-from-scratch noodles, homemade bread dressing, green beans (could have had corn), homemade bread with homemade apple butter and/or preserves, fresh made tea, and pie for dessert (yes, we saved room)! We then walked around the property, stopping in the bakery to buy homemade cinnamon rolls and a jar of that delicious homemade Ranch dressing. Oh, I do love homemade food and goodies!
Driving back to the campground at dusk along CR 8, the sunset glimmered across the St. Joseph River. It was a beautiful end to this delightful day!