Friday I NEEDED to get out of town and French Lick has been on my mind for a while.
Packed as quickly as I can, and tried my best NOT to feel stressed about time – reminding myself that it doesn’t matter when we get there, the ‘doing’ of stuff will be tomorrow anyway. But, knowing me, that’s a struggle. I’ve been a time keeper for too many decades now to relax all the way.
First stopped to check the horse's water. Remember I was [need to find another word for] COMPLETELY PISSED OFF on Thursday, August 25, 2022, when I went to check water after only a couple of days absence and [the other boarder's] water trough was COMPLETELY BONE-DRY TO-THE-DIRT EMPTY. This shite is angering me to my core. DOES HE EVER DO ANYTHING WITH HIS HORSES WHO ARE HIS RESPONSIBILITY???????
Thursday, I was leaving mine dry so to clean it in the hot sun, and had to rinse his out and refill it. Glad I went back on Friday before leaving for the weekend, because it was more than half empty again. Is the glass half full or half empty – well obviously, IT’S EMPTY BECAUSE FOUR HORSES ARE DRINKING FROM IT - AND ONLY ONE OF THOSE IS MINE!!!!! I don’t move her to a single paddock because she likes her friends there, but this shit is getting – no – has gotten TIRESOME. So, with that, and my house remaining a huge mess no matter how many hours I put into cleaning it and purging it, and TRYING to make it a house and not a hoarder’s paradise, it remains something that always needs cleaning. And the FLIES. Yep, I NEED to getaway.
Thankfully got the horses enough water for a couple days away. And doggie and I set out … well obviously not without leaving a Smörgåsbord of food options for my cats (who DID NOT EAT ANY OF IT!!! Enter ANOTHER problem to fix. -ugh.).
Do we stop at our usual pee stop? No, we just did that at the farm. Trying to push on to get to another state. We get to Indiana and I feel like it’s time to stop and enjoy some, so it’s a pit stop to Turtle Run Winery. I think I left her in the car with the fan on, and I hung out with Angie, the older lady who is lots of fun, and did a tasting, and bought two T-shirts. Talked to a couple who are from Indiana near St. Louis and are staying in MT. STERLING tonight for a concert in a town neither me nor the other KY person had ever heard of. Must have been a Christian concert .. I’ll look it up … It was Country – Jon Pardi and a couple others I’ve never heard of.
I tell Angie that I might return on our way back!
I see a man in a camper van with the Texas license plate of "NO GRID". I assume that is his house and all his belongings and he’s also on a road trip!
Was headed for Patoka Lake, and found out it’s beside the road to French Lick. Glad I pulled over to look at the map because I saw a big bird in a nest up high next to the lake, and would have missed it if I had sped by. Got out my Merlin to identify by sound … it was screeching and screeching and screeching … and then I found out why --- ANOTHER bird was flying back to the nest. I have no idea if it was a partner coming back with food, or the mother coming back with food, or what, BUT, it and they were osprey! Add THAT to my List! I had to laugh. I'm a BIRDER now! Too funny.
Left at 2:00, and now it’s 5:30 and we’ve made it to French Lick. It’s actually 6:30 my time, but we gain an hour! Was welcomed by the sound of an old timey Rag Time Band playing on the front porch! How Lovely!
Happily, I had enough energy and was feeling good.
We strolled the grounds, and went inside, where they are dog friendly, and no one blinked an eye.
Took pics of my girl at French Lick. I swear I think I’ve taken her here before, but maybe not. It always seems like she’s with me, even when she’s at home.
What am I wearing? My gray Biltmore T-shirt, of course! And SWEAT under my eyeballs. It’s HUMID here tonight! Got my hair up in a high bun with one of the pink Buff’s A. B. got me started on. Looks like a rag on my head, but I don’t care all that much.
Doggie got to walk down the stone corridor … the promenade that leads to the games area! Cool!
Now we’re sittin’ on the front porch in the green cushion white wicker comfy chairs … well I’m sitting, doggie is laying on the cool stone floor – original to the building, mind you! And we are enjoying more of that Rag Time Band! Of course, do I need to say it … reminds me of Granny!!!
Then when the band takes a break (they play until 9:00!) we walk inside! I always feel strange walking my dog inside a place, but not tonight. No glares, no one even notices. That’s good.
Now we’re outside strolling the grounds. And now I’m getting tired. Tired of sweating! And body tired, too. We walk to the back where the original sulfur springs were, and through the new little water feature garden and have to ask some employees sitting out back how to get back INSIDE! We had to walk through the restaurant – the one I ate at last time, more bar-like – again I felt like “oops, sorry”, but all anyone wants to notice is how pretty my dog is. I feel like Teri Shields, Brooke’s mother. EVERYONE wants to pet my dog and say “How pretty”, and no one notices me anymore. Resentful much? It does get tiring, tho. “No, you can’t touch my dog.” over and over again. Do I go up to your husband and grab his head and tell him how good looking he is? Then do me the same favor.” At least they are asking. One good thing that came out of Covid.
Make it back to the car and sweatily drive/meander over to West Baden and along our drive I/we see a whole family of deer! I did not take a picture. What was most funny was that they barely noticed us – they were looking at this man in a motorized wheelchair who was making his loop whilst wearing what looked like his night robe!
Once parked (found a new place behind the hotel and an easier – if not a bit awkward way in – no hill to climb!) I get a Korbel and we sit inside their amazing atrium listening to classy piano music. I need to listen to more music. It’s calming.
There IS another dog in the atrium with it’s humans, too, so I don’t feel like “should we be in here?”.
AND … wait for it … a MAN comes over to us to CHAT with ME!!!!!!!!!!!
He was very nice and seemed kind. Not my type exactly, cowboy boots, Wrangler jeans, but cute-ish, and it was lovely talking to him … about dogs. He has a ‘bully’. Never heard of it. I made my joke about how my dog isn’t a lap dog, but she is a lap of luxury dog. I think I’m funny. Don’t know if he got it or not.
But how nice to just sit, sip, and RELAX for a few minutes in such an opulent area with my doggie.
7:45 my time. 6:45 theirs.
Oh! There are Porsche's parked inside, too! I later find out that Porsche is having a conference there! Now THAT’S how to ‘find a man’! [This is a joke, sort of. Words that Mom & Granny used to say. I'm glad womankind has evolved from that type of thinking.]
There was no room at the Inn, neither of them! So my plan was to eat at the German Café and then mosey on down to some other place looking for just a room, like a Hilton or similar.
Because of the Porsche conference – and a KY Dental Conference – they were swamped. I saw a group sitting outside with their dog, so I planned on doing exactly that. Had to wait kind of a long time for them to pay and leave, but I got seated and brought her food over so we could eat dinner together.
Sat waiting way too long, but what else was I going to do? Needed to eat.
Didn’t have a bed for the night and was getting a bit worried about that, too.
Tried to just relax and enjoy hanging out with my girl in a cute village watching people.
Finally the beer came. Then the salad. Oh, that’s right, I had to go inside to find someone to pour my damn beer. You know I was already getting mad if that’s the case. She was ‘just on her way out’ with water for doggie and my salad.
Then the food arrived. I had sat there at least 40-minutes just waiting on the damn beer. I had ordered the special, so THREE sausages/wursts, some spätzle, cole slaw, and “Hunter’s gravy” which is just brown gravy with mushrooms. I had that last time. I really like their spätzle and it’s dry without gravy, they charge for gravy as a side item. Their salad comes with corn, green beans, and some beet looking stuff that was really good. Other than that it’s just cheap lettuce, but edible.
It was DARK now. The sun had set. I had no glasses to wear for night driving. Whoops.
There is a Comfort Inn up the hill, so we went there, but they were ALSO booked solid.
I gave up and headed home. Or at least to LOU where I knew something would be available.
Made it to Corydon, and found a cluster of hotels off the interstate. Glad for that. It’s late, I’m tired, and I don’t need to be driving any more. Plus, I DID want to spend a Saturday ‘on vacation’.
Stayed at the Hampton, a Hilton Hotel, but I was too tired to explain the gift cards, so I just gave a cc. The lady, Lori, with a heart over the i, was nice.
VERY glad to have stopped, and found this hotel. I was pooped.
But strange. I got two Queens (for 2 Princesses) and usually doggie is so excited she jumps on BOTH beds before I can take the duvet off one and put it on mine, but tonight, she just laid on the floor. Slept on the floor all night. Didn’t even get on the second bed, that I had laid a towel on, just in case she pees. Hmmm. Not a great sign. I’m having a hard time realizing that she is indeed 12, and bodies don’t last forever. I think about this way too much and it stresses me out. Doggie is kitties best friend and I can’t imagine his grief. PLEASE don’t die while we are in a hotel without him. It would break his heart.
Of note – I had to laugh – in the bathroom was the awful Neutrogena small bottles that no one steals, and a little facial soap from JOSE EBER! WHAT??? I wonder how that got there? And, if anyone else but me knows who José Eber is? Yes, probably some other old woman who remembers the 1980’s … “Oh, HE used to do ALL the celebrities”!!! And, yes, he did, and still does, I think! But, SOAP???
I slept well and so took a pic of the bed. It’s a Serta Perfect Sleeper – Dream Structure 11 for Hilton. I might just buy my next mattress via a hotel avenue! Lots of them are doing this now. And I do need a new one, just have been dreading it.
8:00 am – I woke up a little bit before 8:00 and stretched with my TV show that's on KET2 (that they have here! We’re only about a half-hour from LOU, so I suppose that makes sense) and then went down for a swim and then ate half a bagel with cream cheese and brought the other half up for doggie, with two eggs, and so we got to have breakfast in the room together. Then took her out for a poop and pee walk and now it's 11:50 and I've had a shower and I'm ready to head back on the road again. [REALLY loving that my checkout is a no rush whatsoever 2:00, even when I don’t need it.]
Today’s adventure is to … ANOTHER WINERY! Why do I do this? Well, it’s because they are typically in the country, they are usually beautiful, it’s fun light chatting to people, and you get to try new things.
This one is the only other one left in this area. Covid took out a few. BEST Vineyards. REALLY out in the country. At least from Corydon. I later learned that FROM Turtle Run it’s actually a better drive. Live and learn. Isn’t that what some of this is about?
I was sort of getting the impression that the wine would be shite because of the remote location, but we were nearly there so onward and then I’d know.
I wasn’t half-wrong.
No one there.
VERY country people who were there.
Not that that’s bad, just an observation. I don’t think they would disagree with me either.
The one lady came out of the bathroom and I asked for a tasting. Looked at their offerings and realized it’s the same junk you find at most of these. BUT, on the other side of the menu they had a liquor tasting! OK, something different than the same ole cheap-ass home-made ‘wine’. Unfortunately for me, it was also kinda cheap-ass moonshine with flavorings. I got five tastings. I had to mix all of them with Sprite to make them drinkable. But that’s me. I don’t like straight booze. I kind of regret this afternoon drinking. They were all very strong, some 70 proof, and even 5 was too much for me. Set my stomach not on a good path. You know when I have ANY bourbon it kind of makes me icky and stays with me far too long? That was this. They had blackberry liquor from their own vines, and a pineapple, a lemon, etc. And some rum type hooch. I blended the pineapple with the spiced rum (which was pretty good, but probably where I got the whiskey aftertaste and effect … do I still taste it a day later? Kind of. Bleck.).
What I did find nice was their sign. As you are leaving, it has their logo on it, plus, arrows to the other local wineries and Casino. No competition here. Cooperation. Nice.
The roads are nothing – and I do mean nothing – but corn and soybeans. Is this what is wrong with America? I think so.
Now on to a more familiar winery – the one we were just at YESTERDAY – Turtle Run!
[Also of note, I have been here before, but without doggie, and I had asked if I could bring my dog and they said, ‘sure’, and so now here we are together!]
Interesting at both of my passes to Turtle Run was as you pull into their long country driveway, you hear BIRDS – LOTS OF BIRDS – but, you don’t SEE any!!! Yesterday, I stopped and listened and had my suspicions that they had recordings of birds to keep out any birds that would eat their grapes – and I was right! Today, I pulled out Merlin to get a sound ID and it’s a Cooper’s Hawk with all of it’s sounds. Interesting.
Today at Turtle Run, it’s HOT, and they are cutting grapes and hauling them over to the separator!
A bit busier than yesterday, but not as busy as I was preparing for with elbow-to-elbow people crowded into that small tasting room.
Angie was doing tastings in the hotter storage room because they too thought it was going to be busy. As always, it’s nice to have light banter and hear what’s going on there. It’s definitely a family business and volunteers were coming and going. Including one HOT muscular dude who stopped for a refresher, where I suggested the one I had yesterday that was too tart, but would be great on a day just like this when you come in from the heat, sweating under your eyeballs, and that’s when tart is refreshing. He typically likes Riesling. Me, too. Whoops, there’s The RING. Oh well, it is still fun having a light flirt. And with someone who reciprocates, unlike those stodgy KY men. Bleck, again.
I’m starting to feel my moonshine and it ain’t good.
I need food. Grab the only thing that soaks up booze best and it’s the last thing I need to be eating: cheese. Gotta do something. Grabbed doggie and we sat on the porch eating cheese. The cat came over but soon saw THE DOG and ran off. I tried to tell her my doggie is a catdog, and has a black cat as a best friend, but he didn’t want to risk it. Hung out close by, so that was nice. I had the brilliant idea of bringing this new amazing fan with us and sat it on the picnic table so I could cool off whilst relaxing outside with my doggie and friends. (the cat).
Went ahead and bought some of the tart wine that I will use on those sweaty eyeball days (over ice and maybe mixed with Vodka!), and we pushed back towards LOU. I still need real food. Was hoping for good seafood, but couldn’t find any in this area, but remembered the one Eric took me to in LOU … River House. Called ahead but they said ‘the computer’ wouldn’t let her book me 20-minutes from now. I have no idea why. Sounded strange, and like a Little Britain episode of “computer says no”. Drove on having no idea if I was getting to sit down and eat or not.
Google was right, it was only 20-mins, and I walked in and told them my name. “Oh, you’re the one who called.” The tall lady seemed to really know her stuff and got me a table, saying it didn’t matter if I sat at the bar or got a table since they were on a staff shift change and everyone was busy. “Um, lady, it’s only 4:00. HOW are you busy at 4:00??? But I was glad to get to eat at what I remembered as an upper-level restaurant with great seafood.
It started well.
Apparently, one of the bartenders was going to be my waitress. She was joyful and enthusiastic. So was I. I was looking forward to some amazing oysters, and they did not disappoint. (Well, one out of 6 did. It was a bit off, but I ignored that not wanting it to ruin my day. I would just hope for the best later.).
Then I enthusiastically ordered off the specials menu something I have never had before, Salmon COLLAR! And paired that with some CRAB risotto! Water to drink, thank you very much! “Phew”.
And I sat there waiting
Me no likey waiting on anything, especially food.
She brought around some cornbread that had been cooked in a small cast iron skillet thing. It was delicious. A bit sweet. Like dessert. I didn’t want to scarf that down and ruin dinner … no, lunch … no, what? Linner? [This is a word I got from another British show, As Time Goes By.]
So I picked at it trying not to fill up, but it was getting harder and harder not to just eat the cornbread and leave.
I sat. And waited. And kept waiting. Getting pissed off now.
Finally what looked like a manager lady who was wearing street clothes (no uniform) came over and SAT at my table next to me. Uh-hum, I have a LIST of restaurant “Don’ts” and THIS is on the top 5. You are not a guest at my table. I have not INVITED you to sit with me. And with COVID still prevalent, and you working around all kinds of people all day long, DON’T FUCKING SIT NEXT TO ME. She wanted to “apologize” for the slowness. You could have done that while standing next to my table, lady. Don’t piss off the already pissed off.
F-I-N-A-L-L-Y after what must have been a 40-minute LONG waiting to be fed, it finally comes.
She comes back. “How does everything look?” My only answer was, “Interesting.” “I’ll come back in a bit to see how it tastes. And she does. And my answer is still the same: “interesting”. But now I’m more than tired and don’t want to sit here until nightfall, so I ask someone … anyone … to wrap the remaining food up for me, and that I would like a Tiramisu CAKE to go, too.
#2 on my Restaurant List :: DON’T just bring the fucking styrofoam packaging and drop it on the table for ME to have to pack up my food. This irks me more than most things, but it’s a LONG list.
The young dude does exactly that.
“Whatever”. I’m tired and I want this to end.
I get my meal into the to-go box and not onto my lap, thankfully, and then have to ask for a bag … I’m just at a loss for words at this point. I thought this was a NICE restaurant. What the hell happened to SERVICE, especially in an expensive, upper-level restaurant???????
THEN I WAIT FOR THE BILL. Half ready to just dine and dash carrying out a three-pack bag of stuff out with me.
Had to ask SOMEONE/ANYONE to “please bring me the bill”. WTF? Why is the customer ASKING for the bill???
I wait and wait on that, too.
This place is not busy. What the [blank] is going on here???
Finally, it gets dropped on my table with a feeble ‘thank you’.
I am actually expecting to see a courtesy of a comp'd dessert as their "apology", but alas, no such luck.
It’s nearly $85.00 - for one person. I knew that going in. And I was totally prepared to drop a hunny for a marvelous meal and extravagant experience. I mean they sell wine that’s over $3,000 a bottle for Pete’s sake.
BUT, a tip isn’t something I give out of peer-pressure, it’s for SERVICE – either showing it was done well, or in this case, was NOT done at all. I rounded up to $85, and saved the $15 to give to myself for my torture over this NOT REFRESHING pit stop. And, because I’m me, I left a note explaining why. A short note. I was actually quite speechless at that point. What the hell just happened? It STARTED off so well. Then they just dropped the ball entirely. Inexcusable. And my ‘tip’ indicated exactly that.
Back on the road trying to forget about what I had been formerly excitedly looking forward to.
I still wanted to do something with my dog, and remembered a nice large park area that we’ve done before, but it’s so large, maybe we could possible do it from a different angle. Found just the spot. It’s The Parklands of Floyds Fork. Discovered a new entrance off of Shelbyville Road. “Good”, something different for us to explore. But my mind and body were not in sync. I wanted to hike and go and go and go, but body was stopping. We did find a cute lake and she got to poop, but I’ve now had enough with stopping, peeing, smelling EVERY twig, and pulling her from place to place. Or is that the other way around? HER pulling me.
Got back into the car and onto the highway yet again.
Getting so tired.
It’s now 7:00 and we’re back.
Phew. I’m TIRED.
Sunday – Guess what I’ve been doing? WRITING all that you just read! Now I’m even more tired, and I still want to go out and clean MY trough for MY horse.
*Dear Readers, I write FOR ME. I post publicly so that I have a record of my life.
Most names are not given because they are no one's business.