Adventures with JP, Episode 1

It was a dark and stormy day . . . isn’t that how Snoopy starts his great American novel? Well, this time it was true when we took off for niece JP’s annual birthday trip. We’ve been doing this for several years and never know what adventures lay ahead. This year she decided we’d go to SW Indiana, Sullivan to be exact. I picked up her and sister V. on Friday afternoon and we headed out.
We made it to The Front Porch in Worthington for lunch. We all thought they closed at 2:00 but they were open later since it was a Friday. We enjoyed some home cooking: tenderloin and fish sandwiches and onion rings. Then it was onward southwest through the rain.
I’d made reservations at the mobile home (they don’t like to call it a trailer) at the Sullivan County Park & Lake. JP had camped here a few years ago so I looked it up and found they had a few cabins and the MH for rent. JP knew there was a shortcut off the highway so we took off down the back roads. Maybe if it hadn’t been so rainy, she’d have remembered the landmarks but somehow we ended up on the opposite side of the lake. I called the Park Office and asked for directions. The lady said, “My, you’re making it difficult. Let me think about where you are and how to get you here.” She did talk us in and we got checked in. The MH probably has not earned a lot of stars on any rating site, but it suited us. It was clean, had hot water and appliances and three bedrooms (although JP’s was on the porch).
JP called Cousin M and asked if we could pick up dinner and come over and watch the IU game. We knew she’d be in front of the big screen since she’s a huge IU fan. So, a quick stop at the town market to pick up food and off we went. We yelled and coached from our chairs but it didn’t do any good, IU lost. We did get caught up on local family news and saw pictures of the newest grandbabies.
The rain stopped during the night and we had some sunshine as we headed out Saturday. We got a late start so thought we’d grab lunch in Sullivan. Well, most of their eateries DO close at 2 p.m.! We finally found the bar & grille at the bowling alley was open. As we were paying our check, we noticed a flyer for the local high school’s presentation of Mary Poppins. Wow – that would be fun! So we had to be back by 8:00.
We crossed into Illinois to find a winery – we always try to tour a winery on our adventures. We found an antique/flea market open in Palestine so took a look around. Since we gained an hour, we took our time strolling through the aisles. We asked about a winery and the proprietors said the closest one was at Vincennes. We were running out of time so that wasn’t an option; we headed back to Indiana.
We made it to the high school just in time. It was a typical amateur production. The sound was bad, the audience noise was distracting but somehow we were transported into the story of the Banks family and Bert & Mary. The students did a good job of singing and even made their English accents believable.
Sunday morning was even brighter and warmer. We’d noticed a couple of trash to treasures shops in town so off we went. Well, everything was closed on Sundays; we forgot we were in small town America.
So, time to head back North. When we stopped for gas, JP ran into some folks she knew so caught up with them. Lunch was back at Worthington again at the 67 Grille & Ice Cream Shop. This time, JP ran into someone she went to school with so more catching up. Back to Morgan County and home, sweet home.
Lessons learned:
– There’s more than one way to get to your destination
– You never know who you’ll run into on an adventure
– You’ll always find an IU fan
– Check county parks for rentals – cheaper than hotels
– Remember what time zone you’re in
– Go to a high school musical – always enjoyable
– Take wine with you just in case

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