Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Potato Creek State Park and Grandkids

Our younger daughter had a week of vacation from July 15th - 21st so it was a perfect opportunity to take the camper to a local state park just south of South Bend, IN which is about 20-30 minutes from her house in Osceola. We had heard good things about Potato Creek State Park and decided we needed to give it a try. We also wanted to show the camper to the grandkids and our daughter. In order to save some vacation time of my own we made a reservation from Wed, July 17 to Sun., July 21st. We were able to get a nice site in the Family Campground area. We took I55 North to I80 East and then to I94 North then we took Route 35 to Route 4 and several small communities until we reached the entrance to the park. There is a main gate and when we stopped we were informed we had to pay an additional $7.00 for our vehicle($5.00 if we were from Indiana) on top of the campsite fee. Then we were directed to the campground gate to do the actual check in. In my reservation I told them we would have 6 people and 2 vehicles so my daughter could have a window tag to hang in her car and won't have to pay each time she came to the park to spend time with us during the week. It would have been $5.00 each day that she came back(4 days = $20.00 saved). We checked in and got our site set up and then called her to let her know to come on out.


Our daughter has 4 children from 15 to 6 years of age. So we knew it would be a hectic camping trip but lots of fun too. We also set up a tent behind our camper so if someone wanted to sleep there it was an option. Sommer(our daughter) came out after her husband, Todd, got off work and brought all the family.


From L - R: Jasmyne, Caden, Sommer, Ryleigh, Todd and Brooklyne

Everyone really liked our little camper and Brooklyne and Ryleigh wanted to stay with us overnight. Caden is really into electronics and is a little shy so he decided not to stay. Partly because he and I would have had to sleep in the tent due to limited space in the camper. (It only sleeps 4). Jasmyne was taking driver's education class so she couldn't stay. Everything worked out great.  We made the dinette in to a bed for Brooklyne and the small couch into a bed for Ryleigh.


Ryleigh enjoyed playing in the tent

The next day Sommer and Jasmyne came back out and we decided to try out the beach. We heard there was a warning of the growth of Blue-Green Algae so we asked the park ranger about this issue. She said that as long as you don't drink the water and shower with soap and water after swimming there would be no issues. I don't know about you but if I go swimming and get my face wet, I typically will get some water in my mouth so we were a little concerned since young kids tend not to worry as much about that when swimming. Well anyway, we warned the kids and off we went. The water was refreshing and we had a great time. Once we got back to the campsite we all got our change of clothes and headed to the shower house. No Worries, Mate.

Sommer went back to her house to get Todd after work and they headed back so we could have some dinner. We grilled chicken breasts over the fire pit and made some potato and carrot packets. Along with that we had a great watermelon. We played some Ladder Ball and since we had our bikes we took turns riding around the campground loops. Sommer, Todd, Jasmyne and Caden left and we got Brooklyne and Ryleigh ready for bed. The couch and the dinette really did make nice beds for the kids.

The next day(Friday) we just had Brooklyne and Ryleigh most of the day so Sommer could wait for Todd to get off work and come out to stay the night in the tent. That meant that everyone would be staying overnight. That meant that there would be 8 people trying to find a place to sleep overnight. At first Caden and I were going to sleep in the screen room tent we had put up but there was a threat of rain overnight and we didn't want to have to run indoors and then wake everyone up and find places to sleep. I hadn't brought my larger tent so that meant that only Sommer and Todd would be able to sleep in the tent and no one else. It took some arranging but we did it. Ryleigh and Brooklyne shared the dinette bed and Jasmyne and Caden shared the couch bed. I know everyone was very squished but everyone had a place to sleep. Also that meant that I could sleep in my own bed. I liked that too. Well of course it didn't rain but it was very humid and it would have been a very uncomfortable night in the screen room tent. So actually things turned out pretty good. I forgot to mention we had the air conditioning on too so that really made us all happy.


The screen room tent
 
 
Saturday morning Sommer decided after sleeping in the humidity all night(even with a fan blowing) that she needed to go home for a shower so Jasmyne and her went home while the rest of us had some breakfast, rode bikes and explored the campgrounds and played games or worked on crafts.
 
 
 
 
 
The state park has a nice paved bike trail of about 7.5 miles to ride on. They also have a mountain bike trail and numerous hiking trails. We took turns riding with Ryleigh and Jasmyne then Brooklyne and Glenda then me, Brooklyne and Ryleigh. We had so much fun and each night we slept very well. Saturday night would be our last night together since we would be leaving the next day. Sommer happened to be watching a Travel Channel show a week or so before and they did a expose' on an ice cream shop in Nappanee, Indiana called Rocket Science Ice Cream. Nappanee is about 25 miles from the state park and more than 3,500 Old Order Amish make their homes in and around Nappanee. There are numerous businesses where you can see handmade furniture, quilts, cabinets, antiques and baked goods. We wanted to check out the ice cream shop.  The cool thing about the ice cream shop is they make the ice cream right in front of you. They use ice cream mix, add individual ingredients and then quick freeze it with liquid nitrogen. The portions and very generous even if you order the kid size.
 

 
 

 
 
 


 
Hence the name Rocket Science
 
 
You Tube Video by RV Geeks
 
 
 
 


 

Everyone enjoyed their own blend of ingredients in their ice cream. I had Mocha Coffee and Glenda, had an Almond Joy(she loves coconut), I can't even begin to remember what everyone else had. All I know is it was DELICIOUS and we will be going back the next time we visit our daughter. We sat around out side the ice cream shop and talked for awhile and then it was time to day our goodbyes. No one was staying the night since we would be packing up, hitching up and leaving by early afternoon. We had such a fun trip and the opportunity to share something we love with our family. I look forward to being able to visit and stay longer when we retire next year. The nice thing is we can visit and still be at home all at the same time. As you know we also have an older daughter, son in law and grandson and look forward to sharing with them too. Our son isn't married yet and no children so we only have the 5 grandkids to keep us busy. I think that's pretty good. That's one reason I am writing this blog so I can have a record of these times and those to come and have them to look back on as the memory fades and the family grows up. Looking forward to retirement and it won't be long.