The Great Midwest Trip Continued Kentucky, Tennessee

If you are just joining me, let me catch you up to speed.
Our family of five just returned from what we call The Great Midwest Trip.
We flew from Seattle, Washington to Indianapolis, Indiana and drove 1500 miles on a two week long road trip in a rental van.
I've shared with you the stops that we made in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio.
Today  we continue on to Kentucky and Tennessee.

We started our morning with a quick drive from Ohio to Lexington, Kentucky.
Horse Country.
Also home to University of Kentucky.
 and Rupp arena
We had more than a few people tell us that we needed to stop for ice cream at Grater's.
We did.
It did not disappoint.
We spent some time touring the grounds of Henry Clay in Ashland
Before heading on to my family reunion in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
This is the view from our balcony at the resort.
The Great Smokey Mountains was our stop for five days so we took the time to do a few things while we were there.
Nine of the 16 went white water rafting
{on the border of North Carolina, which brings out states visited total to six now}
We went to the Tomb pyramid attraction, visited the Titanic museum, enjoyed the resorts water park {similar to Great Wolf Lodge} and spent two days in Dollywood.
This is a glimpse of the family that was able to be there for the reunion.
All of my siblings and my parents
My brother in law Will is an amazing photographer.
He took some great family shots, but also some amazing landscape shots as well.
The Great Smokey Mountains is a beautiful area!
We spent some time exploring it one day and took a short hike to Laurel Falls.
It was an easy mile hike to the falls that this group of all ages could do.
We even saw a black bear and her cubs on the way back down.
It was a fun stay in Tennessee and while we said goodbye to my family, we didn't say goodbye to the state.
Come back tomorrow to see our adventures in Nashville.
Recommended stops if you find yourself in the area:
Graters ice cream {Cincinnati, Lexington}
Titanic Museum
The Great Smokey Mountains
Dollywood {you must get the cinnamon bread, it's worth the price of admission}

The Great Midwest Trip continued Indiana, Ohio

As I shared yesterday, our family just returned from two weeks on The Great Midwest Trip.
We flew from Seattle to Indianapolis, where we rented a van and drove around 1500 miles.

After spending our first full day at our Alma mater Purdue, we drove through Carmel, Indiana the town that I lived in from 6th grade until I got married.

Here is a picture that I shared in the story of us when my husband and I started dating.

Here is that red tree in the background now!
The house is still there.

I grew up in this house.
An Italianate house was built in 1860 in Greensburg, Indiana.

I haven't stepped foot in the house since I moved on the last day of my fifth-grade year 25 years ago.
But for years, I have hoped that I could see the house again.
It's a cool piece of history.

Thankfully, we happened to be in town during the owner's lunch break.
They were home and were more than happy to show us around.
Being able to see the house was at the top of my list of things to do, so I am so happy that it worked out.

The coolest part is that the new owners were replacing the wallpaper that my mom had installed back in 1987.  Before the wallpaper went up, she let us draw on the walls.
If the new owner didn't believe me that I had lived there as a kid, the pencil portrait drawings on the wall upstairs were proof!

A huge thank you to the Russell family for allowing me back into my old home to take a tour of the place!

My oldest friend from across the street has now made her way back to Greensburg and we were able to reconnect and visit some of the old haunts in downtown.
It was one of the highlights of the trip.

The only thing that Greensburg, Indiana is famous for is the famous tower tree.
A tree that grows from the top of the clock tower.
It's a mystery how the tree got there or how it grows, but it's said that the springs in the clock water it.

After leaving Greensburg, it was an hour drive to Ohio,
which now brings the state visited count to three 
{Michigan, Indiana, Ohio}

It's not a real road trip in the Midwest if you don't stop to eat dinner at Cracker Barrel.

Suggested places to visit:
Cracker Barrel
 Clay Terrace, Carmel, IN
Monon Trail and waterpark, Carmel, IN
Courthouse Tree, Greensburg, IN
Decatur County Park, Greensburg, IN


The Great Midwest Trip

Traveling through the Midwest on the Great Midwest Tour

Our family just returned from a trip that we have dubbed "The Great Midwest Trip"
We spent two weeks exploring the great Midwest.
In July.
It was hot for these Pacific Northerners, but we had a great time!
This map shows you a few of our stops.

I swear I won't share with you every detail and picture from our trip.
There were a ton, you will thank me!
But I did want to share with you a few of the highlights as we traveled from here to there to everywhere.
So hold on to your seat people!
You are going to take a virtual trip with our family on the Great Midwest Road Trip!

We only stopped in the airport in Detroit for a connecting flight, but that was probably all we needed to see!
I'm sure those in Michigan will argue with me on this one.
I've been there.
I can't imagine Detroit has gotten any better.

After multiple delays
{I wouldn't quickly sign up to fly on Delta airlines anytime too soon!}
we finally made it to Indianapolis, Indiana.
Of course, we were greeted by this yellow Indy car.
This car will be important in our final days, so remember this moment.

Yep, definitely back in the Midwest!

We picked up our rental van
{which we quickly dubbed "The Colonel" since it had Kentucky plates}
and made a midnight run 
to Steak n' Shake.
Of course, we had the cheese fries

After filling our bellies, we hopped in the van and drove to West Lafayette, Indiana.
Wednesday turned to Thursday as we drove.  We were all happy to check-in for the night.
The next morning, we woke up ready to explore Purdue University, where my husband and I are both Alumni.  We met and spent the first few months dating in this residence hall.
Lots of memories at this place!

I'm a sorority girl, so I had to show my daughter my sorority house.
Unfortunately, we couldn't go in because major interior construction was happening.

But we were able to walk across the street to my husband's fraternity, where we were able to tour the house.  Fraternities are dirty.  Even in the summer!

That little boy in my arms is now bigger than I am!
But we found the old place and trespassed  posed for some pictures out front.

Our first full day of exploring ended with a delicious dinner with our old campus ministry friends.

Suggested places to visit in Lafayette:
Purdue {duh!}
Greyhouse Coffee Shop
Tour the Subaru plant

Garage Sale Finds Friday-a few things I've paid more for, but been happy I did Edition 49

Welcome to another week of garage sale finds Friday.
Where I share a few of my favorite garage sale finds.
This week, I want to share with you some of my name brand finds.
Those finds that I paid more than garage sale prices, but WAY less than store prices.
I haven't been able to suck up the cost of a North Face jacket yet, but it's sort of mandatory attire out here in the Pacific Northwest.
So I was thrilled when I saw the same North Face jacket I had been eyeing at Nordstrom for only $15 at a garage sale.
I wouldn't normally pay $15 for a jacket at a garage sale, but considering the price of the coat is  normally $130, and it was in perfect condition, I was happy with my purchase.
Speaking of North Face, I also bought myself a new pair of North Face snow boots for $15.
I wouldn't pay that much for my kids boots since their feet are still growing, but since mine are no longer growing, I sucked it up and paid it.  Again, getting a much better deal than retail, but a pricey garage sale buy.
I do sometimes get deals on North Face at garage sales.
I picked up a $75 kids jacket for $3
And a rain jacket for $1
I rarely see my most favorite brand of jeans {Hudson} at garage sales.
When I do, they aren't in my size.  
But this summer I scored.
My favorite pair of jeans {retail price $198} were only $5 at a garage sale.
One of my lady friends who garage sale shops with me, picked up a pair of brand new in the box Hunter boots for $15.  I would have snatched them up, but they were the wrong size.
The particular boot she picked up retails for $175!
Hunter Boots Watling Lace Up Gloss Boots
I just love garage sales!
I think people think that you can't find good stuff at garage sales.
This has definitely not been the case for me.
What has been your favorite find?
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