Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Playgrounds and Parks In Carmel, Indiana

This week's travel post is part two of a series of our visit to see our grandchildren in Carmel, Indiana.  If you missed last week's travel post where we visited Coxhall Gardens, you can find it HERE.

This past summer we spent a week with our grandchildren in Carmel, Indiana.  We spent a good part of our week visiting an assortment of parks that the little ones would enjoy, but the adults found them just as much fun as the kids!

One of the best parks we went to was Central Park.  It is a 159 acre park that has six miles of trails that wind through native prairies, wetlands, and woodlands. It also has a fantastic futuristic playground called Westermeir Commons. This playground is nestled into a hill with 25,000 square feet of play space. It is wheelchair friendly so children with all abilities can enjoy it.  A colorful, soft outdoor safety carpet covers the entire play space.  

Below Alethea and I are playing "Airplane".  She loved running up and down the small hills.

The Commons area also offers a picnic area, outdoor classroom space, restrooms, an open meadow, a lagoon, and a boardwalk.

Like I said earlier, us big kids enjoyed playing on this playground as much as the little ones.  Below is my son flying in circles on one of the playgrounds equipment.

There is also a splash pad adjacent to the playground.  The splash pad is designed to match the nature surrounding it.  There are spray features and geysers resembling cattails, flowers, and animals.

After we played a bit, we headed out to check out the lagoon.  A beautiful, wide paved trail meanders through a meadow and alongside the lagoon.

A boardwalk takes you over the lagoon so you can get a closer look at all the waterfowl and cattails.

It is so fun to be walking on top of the water on the boardwalk.  We thought the bridge looked so pretty and interesting, we continue our hike to see what lay ahead.

This pretty photo was taken from the top of the bridge.

My family:  Ashley in the front, with her hubby and dad pushing Atticus in the stroller.  My son Jordan is standing on top of the bridge and Alethea is with him, but is too short to be seen.

Underneath the bridge...what a photographers dream, eh?  I have so many photos of Alethea following her Uncle Jordan from behind.  Such a cutie pie!

Another "park" we went to isn't a park at all, but just a fun spot in downtown Carmel.  It was our first night in Carmel and after a long eight hour drive we deciding to spend our evening taking a walk.  Downtown Carmel is only a short walk from my children's old apartment.  Here there are lots of posh restaurants and shops, but also plenty to entertain the kids too.  My husband and son enjoyed a game of ping pong while Alethea looked on.

Atticus enjoyed playing on the playground equipment.  What a handsome boy he is turning out to be!

My husband and I are not ones to sit on a park bench and watch the kids play.  We always get right in and join them!  I think the grandkids really enjoy having Grandma & Grandpa play on the equipment with them.

Alethea loves to climb and here she is right at the top!  I love the safety netting.

And finally, just a quick photo of Grandpa with his grandson.  This adorable picture was taken at my son-in-laws school.  Jason gave us a tour of his office and his school, and we stopped a bit to let the kids play on some equipment while we were there.

 Playgrounds have sure changed a lot since I was a kid.  "In my day" a playground consisted of a singular metal slide, some swings like the ones pictured above, monkey bars with concrete underneath, a seesaw, and maybe one of those spinning circular things if you were lucky.  Yet, I remember we loved it!  We never saw ourselves as disadvantaged and I don't remember anyone getting seriously hurt.  My have times changed!  I can't even imagine growing up with the playgrounds kids have today.  I wonder if they realize how spoiled they are?  😀

Have A Great Day!  Amy

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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

End of Year Bible Journaling Pages

Once a month I like to share my Bible Journaling Pages and what God has been teaching me.  In the month of December I continued to work myself through the book of Isaiah.  Because of the holiday, I didn't have a whole lot of time to create my own pages so I basically just read the Bible and colored in the pre-printed images already in the "Inspire Bible" (available on Amazon). 
Unless otherwise stated, all the images are colored in with either gel pens or colored pencils.  I tend to color larger areas with pencils then get the more intricate spots with pens.  I high light my Bible with gel highlighters, and I usually use gelatos for my backgrounds.

The first page I have to share isn't a Bible verse, but an attribute of God with an intricate background design.  These aren't my favorite images to color.  I prefer to color simpler images with a Bible Verse so I can work on memorizing it while I color it.  However, images like this allows me to really think about the character of God.  As I colored I thought about Holy God is.

I really like this image and it was fun to color.  I kept the colors bright and cheerful as I thought the verse was very happy and celebratory.

It's been a tough year for everyone, and unfortunately I'm expecting even a tougher year in 2021.  I think I would be getting really stressed out if it wasn't for God.  But because I have God in my life, I can take comfort in His word.  He will give me "Perfect Peace" because I trust in Him.

God is not a confusing God.  He gave us His book to show us how to live.  He is very clear about the way we should go.

I really loved this pretty image.  It's one of my favorites in the Inspire Bible.  I colored the background with gelatos.

There are some pages in the Inspire Bible that cover the whole page, and this is one of them.  I colored the entire page with colored pencils.  It was a lot of work, but so worth it!

This is one of my favorite verses.  There are so many eagles where I live.  Not a day goes by when I don't see an eagle.  I am very blessed.  Every time I see an eagle, I am reminded of this beautiful verse.

This page isn't a Bible verse, nor an attribute of God, but a promise of God.  God promised the Israelites victory in Isaiah 43, but He also promises us victory in Jesus Christ!

This is the only page I created myself for the month of December.  It was a busy month with family here for the holidays, so I wasn't able to journal as much as normally do.  I loved this verse so I wanted to make art out of it.  I used craft paint for the blue sky, the clouds, the mountains, and the grass.  The trees were created using stamps.  The verse was made using a mix of stickers, stamps, and my own handwriting.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Coxhall Gardens, Carmel, Indiana

Now that all our fall hiking trips are over, I thought I would spend some time this winter blogging about our travel adventures this past summer.  The past two weeks I shared our anniversary trip to the Porcupine Mountains in the Upper Peninsula.  Starting this week, I am going to share our trip to Carmel Indiana and all the fun we had exploring that area and beyond!

My daughter and her family moved to Carmel last spring.  Her husband accepted a school principal position there.  It is a very beautiful, affluent area.  We went in early September and it was still quite warm.  We spend five days in the area, but we also went into Kentucky two of those days to see the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter.  I will cover all of our adventures in Indiana for the next five weeks.

Today, I wanted to share our trip to Coxhall Gardens.  Coxhall Gardens is a gorgeous, unique 125 acre park.  The land was donated to the city by Jesse and Beulah Cox.  It includes twin 90 foot bell towers and a recreational lake (pictured below).  There are three venues for weddings and other gatherings.  The Crepe Pavillion (also pictured below), and there is a stunning architectural marvel called "The Centerpiece", plus a mansion!  

The Centerpiece is an amphitheater design with tiered seating, fountains, and a gazebo.  What a romantic spot to have a wedding!

The steps leading down to the gazebo have water flowing down and into the moat surrounding the gazebo.

There are signs everywhere saying not to play in the water, but of course the little ones had to get their hands and feet wet.

The walk to The Centerpiece is so gorgeous.  The architecture and trees reminded me of Italy.

Isn't this a cute picture?  My sweet Alethea poking her head through one of the sculptures.

It was a long walk from the parking lot to the Centerpiece, so someone needed a piggy back ride from daddy!

The Cox Mansion was inspired by the Governor's Mansion in Williamsburg, Virginia.  It was closed when we there so I only got an outside picture. I'm actually not even sure if you can tour the mansion, but it used as a venue for weddings and other social gatherings. 

Well after doing all the "adult stuff" we then headed over to the Children's Gardens to make the grandkids happy.  But I found that I really enjoyed them myself too.  This is the entrance.

Of course we had to snap a picture of Grandpa and Grandson before we headed out.

Like most children's gardens, they are both fun, pretty, and educational.  This "mound" is actually a gopher home.  The kids pretend can see how gophers construct homes underground.

My favorite part of this garden was the colorful path that ended in a circle.  It reminded me of Dorothy's "Yellow Brick Road" in the Wizard of Oz.

There was plenty for the grand kids to do here:  play in the sand, water play, or taking a ride down a slide.

Another part of the Children's Garden I really liked was the "Butterfly Village".  It was a beautiful little town just for children.

We loved the bright red "Pharmacy".

What town would be complete without a jail?  

Even the local fire hydrant was so cute surrounded by red geraniums.

Dragonfly Island had a sand pit and a water feature for the kids to enjoy.

Atticus sure loved playing in the sand!

Coxhall Gardens really has something for everyone!  It is such a beautiful park in an even more beautiful community.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!


Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park - East and West River Trail

In last week's travel post, I shared that my husband and I went to the Upper Peninsula to visit the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.  In that post I covered the Lake of the Clouds, the Overlook Trail, and the Summit Peak Observation Tower.  This week I will show my favorite part of the park the East and West River Trail.

This is probably one of the coolest trails I've ever been on.  It is such a diverse trail because you see many different waterfalls, forests, the scenic Presque Isle River, great viewing decks, and the king of it all...the Great Lake Superior!  Wow! That's a lot to see in one trail!

The East and West River Trail is a 2.3 mile loop.  You start on one side of the river, cross over the river and go on the other side, then you cross back over again.  So you get two different viewpoints!  

The suspension bridge is at the start of the trail, depending on which side you start on.  It is such a beautiful bridge!  Look one way and you see the river and a waterfall, turn around and look the other way and you will see the river emptying into Lake Superior.

Here is a view of the waterfall as seen when standing on the middle of the suspension bridge.

And here is the opposite view looking at Lake Superior.

And here is a view of the suspension bridge itself.

We got off the trail briefly just so we could go down to the lakeshore to see the shoreline of Lake Superior.  It was only a short detour.

Once back on the trail, we got off it right away to explore this area.  You are able to walk on this rock and get so close to the water.  Some people were swimming, although there were a lot of warning signs not too.

It was fun to get in the center of the river and get great views without getting wet!

There are three major waterfalls on this trail along with several other smaller falls and rapids.

On the east side of the trail you are walking mostly through a forest on natural ground, whereas the west side is a lot of stairs and boardwalks with viewing decks.

The views are stunning, but different, on each side of the trail.

It just amazed me how many different and beautiful waterfalls on this trail there were to see.

In the picture below you can see one of the viewing decks on the other side.

You cross over the river at the end of the trail by using a vehicle bridge on the south boundary road.  The West River Trail seemed a lot more civilized and manicured than the East River Trail.

But if you don't like steps, this might not be the side of the trail you prefer!

The viewing deck overlooking Manabezho Falls.

The next few photos just show again all the board walks on this side of the trail.  They have a beauty of their own I think.

I hope you enjoyed our adventure in the Porcupine Mountains, I sure did!  Next week I'll begin a new travel series of our 2020 summer vacation.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!