Snortin' "66" Norton

Snortin' "66" Norton
"Humpin' to Please!"

Saturday, May 5

Day 1: Yes, Indiana, there IS a Santa Claus!

As our daddy used to say, we were off like a herd of turtles - we didn't leave Paducah until 11 AM Friday. Our plan for this day was to stop in Santa Claus, IN, see the giant Santa there, and continue on to Anderson, Indiana, where we'd be stopping for a couple of nights so we could attend graduation ceremonies at Ball State University in Muncie. As usual, plans changed - we decided to take the old road (Hwy 62) across Kentucky Dam, since it and the lake it makes are pretty giant things. Although a barge was locking through when we got there, we were disappointed not to be able to get down to the lock to watch the process. One of our earliest childhood memories is watching the barges lock through and being both terrified (K) and thrilled (J) by the thought that we might fall in as Daddy held us up on the railing above the water. We did go down to the Powerhouse and Peppy posed by the giant turbine on display there - you can see them on the Giant photos on the right side of our blog.

From the dam, we drove across the West Ky Pkwy and the Green River Pkwy to Owensboro, stopping for lunch at the Purple Onion in Central City, KY (home of the Everly Brothers). We crossed the Ohio River in Owensboro and went straight to Santa Claus. We passed a neat little building called the Candy Castle, pulled over to snap a photo or two, and then drove on. As we left, we noticed a sign advertising Frozen Hot Chocolate and decided that could be worth a stop...but we went on. Just up the road, on a hillside, we almost drove right past the original giant Santa Claus. I hung a quick left and we walked up through the long wet (it had evidently just poured down rain) grass to see Santa. After taking some pictures, we voted to try the frozen hot chocolate - were we ever glad we did!Not only was the frozen concoction delicious, the Castle's owner, Kevin, gave us a fantastic tour of the castle and told us the whole history of Santa Claus, Indiana, and Candyland, Toyland, and Holiday World. We met a friendly local family and just had fun finding out about Santa Claus and other area attractions. From here, we went to the town hall and the famous Post Office and then we drove out to Abraham Lincoln's Boyhood Memorial, near the site where Lincoln and his family lived in a pioneer community from 1816 to 1830.

We got to the Memorial just before it closed, but we had time to see the highlights there and then we were off for St. Meinrad. Founded by Benedictine monks in 1854, St. Meinrad is one of only two archabbeys in the United States and one of nine in the world. The church is gorgeous and offers a place for spiritual and peaceful retreats; it is also home to Abbey Press. You could also order and buy a custom-made casket there, but the casket factory had closed by the time we arrived. Hopefully we'll not be needing one any time soon! We got there just as dinner was being served to the people who were there for a retreat; unfortunately, we were quickly spotted as not being one of them! So we loaded up the car and got on the road to Bloomington, home of Indiana University.

It was graduation weekend in Bloomington, too, but we had no trouble getting a table at Opie Taylor's and having great sandwiches there. We saw what we could of the university in the dark - the downtown area was lots of fun - and then finally got going around 9:30. It figures that just after getting on an interstate for the first time all day, we got stuck in traffic and it took us over an hour to travel six miles. It was after midnight when we finally rested our heads of the incredibly soft pillows at the Hampton Inn in Anderson, IN. Long day, but tons of fun and 440 miles covered.

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

It was great to meet you both in Santa Claus. My youngest daughter went on a field trip to the Louisville Slugger museum today - out front there is a baseball bat that stands 2 stories high. You'll have to put it on your next Roadside Giant Trip.

Have a wonderful journey to SD. I hope you will post pictures when you get a chance.