Friday we hiked a couple miles on a nice trail down to Lake Monroe. It is a huge lake and there are many recreation areas with campgrounds, marinas and boat ramps along the shoreline, which is all part of the Hoosier National Forest.
The weather here has been almost perfect since we arrived, other than a thunderstorm last night and some clouds today. It’s been in the upper 70’s to mid 80’s, and getting in the low 60’s at night, which feels wonderful.
Our friend Ellen came over to see our “house” Friday night, then we went out to dinner. We think the last time we visited her and Doug was circa 1992 when they lived in Dallas, but we aren’t positive.
This is a photo from the late 80’s when they lived in Pensacola and Ellen worked for the state with Jim as a probation officer. She is now a children’s librarian, quite a change in careers. (Hope you guys don’t mind I put this in the blog!)
We ate dinner at the Scenic View Lodge and Restaurant, only about 10 miles from the campground. They have a huge outdoor deck with a beautiful view of Lake Monroe. It was a lovely night to watch the full moon rise over the lake, and our vegan waiter recommended a unique pizza for us that wasn’t on the menu. Barbeque sauce, red onions, capers, fresh spinach and candied walnuts. It was one of the best pizzas without cheese that we’ve ever eaten.
Yesterday we picked up Ellen at her condo, which is really in a great setting on a golf course, and drove into downtown Bloomington. She took us to the county library where she works, then we toured the campus of Indiana University.
These are the Sample Gates, leading into the historic Old Crescent area of campus, where a wedding party was hamming it up for the cameras. There is a pretty chapel nearby on campus, and according to a sign there were three weddings there yesterday.
We also walked along a pedestrian/bike trail downtown, which has some interesting sculptures on the trail, like this huge dining table.
We ate a late lunch at The Owlery, a vegetarian restaurant in a cute old house. Our grilled tempeh sandwich was really good, but not as good as the pizza Friday night. Ellen had the coconut Macadamia fried tofu dipped in peanut sauce, which even tofu haters would have to love.
Today we had breakfast at Panera in Bloomington, bought a new GPS at Target, and tried it out on a 15 mile drive east to Nashville, IN. It is billed as an artist community, and it was a really cute town with blocks and blocks of shops and restaurants but it was mostly touristy stuff. All we bought was a bag of Pennsylvania Dutch butterscotch candy, which we thought was funny considering we’re close to Indiana’s Amish country.
We’ve had a great weekend in the Bloomington area, and really enjoyed our time with Ellen. We decided to stay until Tuesday so we can just hang around the park tomorrow.