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Ann Arbour to Indianapolis …

We have a lot of distance to travel today, a lot of driving down to Indianapolis.
The weather was cool and dull with rain expected.
If it’s going to rain I’m pleased it’s on a day we are mostly in the car. And it did rain, quite heavily at times. Then the sun would come out for a bit.
We stopped briefly at a lakeside to stretch our legs, but didn’t stop again until we spotted Rachael’s diner in the oddly named village of White Pigeon. Obviously where the locals socialise, it cost us the princely sum of $2 for a couple of cups of coffee.

Indiana is cornfields, interspersed occasionally with a few trees, plus some other small crop about a foot high which we think maybe mint (but we really aren’t sure!). And farms, quite a lot of small farms, looking clean and tidy with tall silver silos and carefully painted farmhouses and outbuildings.

Our first, and it turned out our only, stop was at Amish Acres, a working Amish farm. We paid for a tour package of a brief documentary film, the house tour and the wagon ride. Unfortunately the wagon tour became a walking tour as the grounds were slowly being taken over by marquees for a two day festival starting tomorrow. Unfortunately too as it had been raining and it was a tad muddy, with me in Birkenstocks.
The documentary was brief and informative, charting the beginnings of the Amish exodus to this country. We were the only ones in there …
The house tour was worth doing. There were about ten of us in this group and we were shown all the different buildings the Amish use in their day to day living – smoke house, food drying hut and bake house, and the living areas. The Amish do not use electricity so everything was a throwback to the 19th century.
They speak Pennsylvania Deutsch and pray in High German.
The walking tour took in more structures in the grounds of the farm including a school house and ice house.
Of course we had to visit the bakery and fudgery before we left, especially as we didn’t get lunch 🙂
We saw a few Amish houses after the farm, and one or two horse-drawn carriages on the road.

We were planning a visit to the Kokomo glass factory, as we were passing, but we’d been so long at Amish Acres that it would have been 6pm before we got there. As I’d spent (ahem too much) at the Gathering, I didn’t mind missing it too much. Plus they make sheet glass and maybe wouldn’t be suitable anyway.

We were pleasantly surprised with Indianapolis. We’d come in along highway 31 and the houses were huge and beautiful. And so many of them. There were a few tall buildings but not many as we’d come to to expect in American cities. The hotel is one of those clapboard, interesting houses we’d been looking at since we arrived in America. It has steps up to the large porch, which also contains a set of table and chairs and a swing seat. The house is very large, with high ceiling airy rooms, tastefully furnished in the style of a bygone era with polished, wooden, creaky floors.

We walked the 15 minutes into the city to Mass Ave, the street for restaurants and bars. We had dinner in Macnivens, a Scottish pub, before going to the Chatham Tap where the Chelsea fans meet up to watch matches on the big screens there. They made us very welcome and we shared a few beers (they sell Strongbow *happy me*) whilst talking all things Chelsea.