Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago

Park of Aub’s graduation trip to Chicago in May of 2018 to see Hamilton included our first stop at the Garfield Conservatory. I love plants! And this place had them! It’s one of the largest conservatories in the country, often called landscape art under glass. They have lots of programs and on the day we went, they were giving away some lilies I believe, but unfortunately, they ran out right before we got to them! Shucks! A nice lady in the parking lot was leaving when we arrived and filled me in on the goodies! I hated to inform others it was too late as we left and headed for the entrance to the conservatory.



The other thing I like to do is take pictures. And, now with my Pixel Xl , I can take more and better pics! Yippee! And the girl likes to get some body part in many pics.


The main room entrance is stunning. The pond reflects the glass roof. There is an artist that displays her animals seen in the canoe!

There is room after room after room filled with plants. I was mesmerized!

They had a labyrinth I took the time to walk. I can never get enough of these!

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-11-23,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y The kids had fun too!

I really hated to leave but the big city was calling!

More on Chicago later!

Travel on my friends!


Health, Travel

Mountain Biking at Griffin Bike Park

Griffin Bike Park is just outside of Terre Haute Indiana in Vigo County. It just opened in 2016 I believe. They honor those who have lost their lives serving our country. The Griffin family experienced this first hand with their son Dale. This is a unique mountain bike park, it has all kinds of skills apparatus and loops for little kids, terrain park with short hills you can do tricks on, and trails for all levels. Me, I just roll over the mounds, and have fun on the little kids tracks. Noah is really good at helping me be brave for the drops. He tests any drops on the trails to make sure I can roll over them without tipping over! Normally you need to get some air to land the front tire properly.

Now here is a drop a will not try but he has no issue with!!!


This park is very unique with the training aspect of it. I really wish we have something like this closer to me. There is a park being developed in my county that potentially could have something like the balance course. Mountain biking is extremely popular with plenty of youth development teams and colleges with biking programs. There are even 3 bike shops in my area. It’s good clean fun, albeit a bit dangerous, but what sport isn’t.

Noah has raced with the DINO series since he was about 8 and still enjoys racing though he doesn’t have much time to ride now with college and work.

I really enjoy riding the easy trails. I still need to get stronger to make it up the hills. But, I’m always proud when I have small successes and it’s FUN! Wheeeeeee…..

DINO also has kayaks for rent. There is a nice little lake at Griffin Park, they even have a bike jump into the water! And a bike trail over the water! We have fun cooling off on a hot day!

Our next stop will be Potato Creek near South Bend, Indiana. Will be pulling the pod with a full load of kids, they will always be my kids no matter how old they are of course, they just take up more room now!

Happy trails! ~Amy


Camping at Fowler Park, Indiana with the r-pod!

Fowler Park is on the outskirts of Terre Haute, Indiana on the western boarder with Illinois. The park is run by the county if Vigo. There is a lake with fishing, swimming, and you can have trawling motors and canoes, etc. but the lake is very small. There is a pioneer village and campground. There are 3 fingers of the lake that host electric camping spots, no water but there is a water source just past the dump station coming in and at each finger, but I’d load up the camper with potable water at near the dump station coming in. There are NO RESERVATIONS, and it is CASH ONLY! Be prepared. It is just around down the road 1/4 mile from Griffin Mountain Bike Park. There are 53 electrical hookups and 14 primitive sites. We had a 30 amp site, I’ve seen reports there are only 50 amp, we had the converter attachment just in case. The r-pods are 30 amp. It was actually cool enough that first night to leave the windows open on the pod, I tend to run hot so that is unusual. I actually slept very well,  which is also unusual. The newer bathhouse was nice:

We were able to get there at about 7:30pm on Friday and it was almost full! Lots of fishermen, families, and mountain bikers there for the DINO race, as we were. There is a KOA down the road a ways, we were hoping not to have to see if it was full or not. Our camp site had a lovely view of the cat tails. Not sure whey they only had them at our spot. But, it was a nice park none the less. It had rained a lot so we didn’t even break out the chairs. We played games and road our bikes around the lake. There is a swimming beach, pavilion available for rental, and a pioneer village that is pretty interesting, though all the buildings were locked up.

We got up and I fixed us some eggs and bacon in the Pod, bacon was sooooo good, we don’t have it often, but it’s so messy. Harder to clean up in the Pod, as is everything without a disposal. Always being water conscious. Have to wipe everything with paper towels and I re-use Kroger bags to store the trash.

We walked over to the Pioneer Village. Seems they created it by moving log cabins from all over. Lots from southern Indiana. There was a church, school house, mill, trading post, and lots more.

One of the cabins had burned down. I found this article about it.

Glad no one was hurt! Curious about the cause of the fire.

There is also this crazy ass playground at the park. We ventured in and immediately I was sorry. I hopped on to this circle thing and Noah came and pushed me around and I yelled for him to stop as I fell off the darn thing! Not sure how you are supposed to ride it safely but obviously I didn’t choose the correct way, not sure why I didn’t take a picture of it! Well, then he go on that swervey post with the green thing on top and it twists in circles at a speed where your feet don’t keep up with your body. Ha. That black maybe slide looking thing looked cool but it wobbled side to side, not sure how anyone walks up or down it. Maybe we should have hung around until some little kids showed us how to do it!



In the next post we venture into kayaking and the bike park! Stay cook, and venture on! ~Amy


Virgin Voyage with the Podder

Honestly, I don’t know what to call my new, sweet little R-Pod 190. We are still working on the name.  I bought this small RV in April of this year, 2018.

Our family bought a nice, used, pop-up camper, um, probably 10 years ago. My son does the DINO, Do Indiana Off-road, mountain bike race series each summer. The pop-up has been a great way to attend these race sites all over the state of Indiana at the state parks. Our kids grew up camping. After they got so big, it was time to get me off the ground, out of the tent and into a camper. It has been such a great way to get outdoors, hike, bike, attend informative nature sessions. True, you might call it glamping, having AC, heat, kitchen, and even a potty with shower. Sweet!  For like 5K we got a wonderful camper that served us well for years.

Upon the divorce, I knew I wanted to continue camping. I wanted a way to continue bringing my now about adult kids along with my son’s gf with me but also be able to go by myself if I wanted. The pop-up really requires 2 people to pull out and set up the beds, etc. I did’t want to change my TV, tow vehicle, a Chevrolet Traverse with the tow package. Over the years I’ve watched the RV’s get smaller and lighter. And, finally, I found the Forrest River R-Pod. We have been out twice so far on with the new podder! Here is the first voyage.

We went to Brown County State Park, one we have visited often in the past 15 years. We have our favorite spot. Close, but not too close to the restroom with the shower. The kids prefer the restroom. BCSP does not have water at each camp site so we have to preserve. I only took one short shower and we were out of water from Friday to Sunday. We use water for cooking, cleaning, brushing teeth, and for me going to the potty, lightly if you prefer.

Kids being silly with mom photographing, Boomer being himself

We had some challenges with the hot water. The RV dealer had winterized it in the sense that they turned the valves off to go through the hot water heater. See the next post for details on how we dewinterized the rpod and got our hot water running.

Boomer loves being with us no matter where we are.

It was raining all weekend so we spent time indoors playing games and listening to Hamilton in preparation to see the show in May. The rp190 has a dinette that seats 4 and doubles as a bed for 2. Boomer and the kids above are on MY bed at the other end of the camper. 😉 It’s a tight fit for 4 but we make it work when all of us are together.


Here’s to many more years enjoying family outings in the pod!