24 October 2011

Getting Away to Brown County



Today marks our 13th Anniversary. I think every year since our wedding we have made a point of getting away in the Fall to celebrate, except for last year. My wife insisted we get away for a few days so we landed in Brown County last week.


Last week-when the calender said October, but it clearly was late November monsoon weather.



This wasn't our first trip to lil' Nashville. Fortunately for past visits the sun was usually shining and the leaves radiated their colors. What stunk about this trip is that I had purchased a new toy-a really good camera-and wanted to try it out. I took two shots of our B&B. But, short of the weather, we had a great time. This is what the week looked like for us:


Tuesday night, after celebrating the Michigan Road Byway at High Point Orchard in Greensburg, we drove to Brown County State Park, hoping for a stay at the Abe Martin Lodge. After being charged the $5 entry fee at 9:15 p.m. I asked if it was refundable if there was no room at the inn. I was glared at. There was a room, thankfully, and the next morning we had breakfast in their dining room and drove through the park to check out the nature center and the rain-soaked leaves.


Then we drove into Nashville and met my parents at the Daily Grind Coffee House (they were on their way out of town). My dad calls the owner grumpy, but after watching my dad constantly goad him, I can understand why. We left there and meandered through the shops that included two artists' galleries. The first's clerk asked where we were from and when we said Republicania County, she said that's where her ancestors were buried. I asked what their names were and she said Boggs. I said, "really? I just wrote a National Register nomination for the Boggs homestead." They were the same; I plan to send her the document. The second gallery is a favorite stop of mine. As we looked at the paintings I noticed that several prints were created by Jim Gray (not blogger Grey); Gray was the name on a print we received for our wedding. Then I noticed a number of original "Matt Gray"s. I asked the clerk if the two were related and he said that Jim was his dad, and he was Matt. The $1000 price tag on his work was the only thing that kept me from buying a second generation Gray.


We had a bowl of soup for lunch at the Hob Knob Corner restaurant. If you've never been, you really need to go. Aside from the Brown County Courthouse kitty-corner from the Hob Knob, the building is the most historic place in town and was listed on the National Register many years ago. And the food is excellent. We checked into our B&B on the northwest corner of the downtown. The Hester House was built during the 1850s by a local judge and has been restored and turned into a Bed & Breakfast; not only is it one of the nicest places to stay in Brown County, it is also one of the most economical.


That evening we had a late dinner at the Artist Colony Inn (late for me is 6:30); it is one of the coziest places to dine in Nashville. And later we got coffee at the Muddy Boots Cafe' just a block from our B&B. I believe the place is fairly new; there were crowds there two nights in a row and live music, though when we ate dinner there on Thursday night only part of the band showed so the guitarist called it an early night.


Thursday we drove to Bloomington to visit the Bloomington Antique Mall in the old warehouse district. My wife had been there a week before and had seen a dining room cabinet she thought would be perfect for our house. It wasn't there any longer. The clerks told us to call the booth's owner in case she just switched it out. She had, and she had painted it for her own use. But she was still willing to bargain but couldn't accommodate a visit until late that afternoon. I didn't want to drive back from Nashville, so that perfect cabinet is sitting in her house today.


We drove on to Story, Indiana where we had lunch at the Story Inn. The town consists of a few houses and the inn and is a pleasant half hour drive from Nashville. When we drove up we saw a tour bus unloading. This hidden little gem is always busy and also accommodates folks from the other world......yes, it is supposed to be haunted. Back in Nashville we toured a few more shops including one potter's studio near the old Ferguson house. We visit J. Mills' studio every time we are in Nashville; he does exceptional work and has been operating from that location for as long as I can remember. We also ran into friends from Republicania County....that's happened more than once in Nashville.


Friday the sun came out. We left for home by way of highways 9 and 19 to absorb some of that fall-time beauty across the countryside we wouldn't get traveling up 465 and 31. This reads more like a travel logue, but I wanted to give a shout-out to some of the great places Indiana's famous fall retreat center has to offer......I just wish I had more pictures to go along with it. These are of the Hester House B&B.

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