The beds and pillows were so comfortable at the West Baden hotel that no one wanted to get up. We eventually dragged ourselves out of bed and got dressed. I wanted to head over to Paoli, the little town we'd tried to drive to the day before but hadn't found. We found it without a problem this morning and I took a few pictures but there wasn't quite as much there as I had thought. My right knee is still really hurting from my fall on the ice a few weeks ago. It was getting better and then I did God knows what and it's been really bad again. I was not quite limping, but walking gingerly. We parked in the town square so I could take a picture or two. It was on a bit of a slope. When I went to get back in there was stuff all over my seat, so I got kind of halfway in, sitting on the edge of the seat with my right leg still on the pavement. Do you see it coming? Well, I didn't. I live in the middle of Illinois. I'm used to flat land for God's sake. Being on the higher side of the slope, the weight of the open car door swung it closed with force...right onto the middle of my knee. Yup. I screamed and the whole family jumped in alarm. I managed to pull my leg into the car, crying and laughing ruefully at the same time as I proclaimed myself an idiot. Good lord it hurt when that door hit it and shoved it into the frame of the car. UGH. Needless to say, my walking was somewhat limited that day...which sucked but hey...could be worse, huh? It still hurts like hell but seems to be getting better.
leaving the West Baden that morning:
We ate a a friendly but kind of lousy diner and headed west. We had passed an indoor go-kart place in French Lick which Owen had begged and begged for. I said no because I had the day planned but as we ate our breakfast I reconsidered. I talked to Leo about it while Owen was in the bathroom and he agreed. When we got back into the car I whispered to Ernie to go the go-kart place but not say anything. He pulled in and there was dead silence from the back seat. We all got out and Owen started saying hesitantly...."uhhhhh....I'm not so sure I really want to do this...." I said, "Oh NO...you're doing it" and pushed him along. He was a bit nervous but Ernie agreed to go along two so Leo and I found a nice spot to sit and watch. Ernie and Owen had to sign their lives away and watch a little video and then they were off. I watched as Owen sped around the track trying to figure out if he was having a good time. When they were done he walked out with an impassive face and I began to worry...then he grinned said, "Can I do it AGAIN?" We laughed and let him go one more time. Ernie couldn't because it had been too hard on his shoulder (sigh). Owen did even better on the second round....he was so happy. Are there any go-kart places around here?...I ask hesitantly....
We finally set off for New Harmony...took a bit more than an hour and a half. It was a quiet drive except for Owen. He talks non-stop. He's on a big Byrds kick right now so very often I'd hear from the back seat:
Owen: Hey Leo----do you wanna be a rock and roll star?
Leo, frowning and tipping his head to one side: NO Owen
Owen: then listen now to what I say, just get an electric guitar and take some time and learn how to play, and when your hair's combed right and your pants fit tight it's gonna be all right....
Sometimes this was spoken, sometimes it was sung. I gotta say....Leo showed great forbearance in not killing his brother and it amused the hell out of me.
We got to New Harmony and found it even quieter and smaller than I had expected. Truly beautiful and peaceful. New Harmony was the site of two different utopian communities...the first were the Harmonists, a beginning in 1814, and later the Owenites....yes, as Owen says, "my people" who introduced many social and educational social reforms. It's quite fascinating and the town is a gorgeous town filled with great architecture, art and a feeling of both peacefulness and focus, if that makes any sense.
We first stopped into an antique shop. Of course we came up with nothing but Leo ended up with an HO train engine and Owen got a light up Sony sign from the 80s. I was mad at him at that moment but I couldn't resist it. The 80s. Geesh.
The only reason they let me take this picture of the two of them with the sign is because we had just bought them things at the antique shop...and they aren't dumb....
the picture of the three of them on that bench just cracked me up!
We wondered around a little. My knee was killing me so we ended up also driving a bit despite the fact that it's more of a walking spot. We went to the Atheneum/visitor's center....a stunning building designed by Richard Meier. I'm not always a contemporary architecture girl but this building is truly stunning. I should use a different adjective but stunning keeps coming to mind. I can't say the $3 tour and movie was wonderful. The tour partially consisted of the tour guide showing us a wall chart and telling us we could read it. I kept whispering "SERIOUSLY?" to Ernie. The movie auditorium was well....you guessed it....stunning.....
Afterwards we were all tired for no good reason and I was hurting like hell so we went ahead and checked into the New Harmony Inn. It was quiet and lovely. The boys ensconced themselves on their electronics and Ernie and I rested a bit before going for a drink at the Yellow Tavern. Delightful place....friendly, nice big fat glasses of wine. We sat for a while, chatted, looked at brochures, nibbled on an appetizer and relaxed. We'd already decided we'd probably just get food to go from there for dinner. Not too many restaurants and some closed...I imagine it's more lively in warmer weather. The restaurant at the Inn looked lovely but was too pricy for us and despite the fact that the Yellow Tavern would have been perfect for the guys, since it's a bar as well under 21's are not allowed. I always forget that about Indiana.
It felt too early for dinner so we went back to the Inn. A crane (I believe) and a swan caught our eye so we walked around the grounds a bit. We went back in to the room and I rested my leg a bit before dragging the boys outside. Ernie and Owen frolicked a bit...Leo and I chatted. I came up, after another glass of wine, with a brilliant idea of doing a one day Americana music festival. They were not supportive. Oh well.
It started to get chilly so we headed in, Ernie ordered the food and he and Owen walked the two blocks over to pick it up. Breaded pork tenderloin for Ernie, German bologna sandwich for me. Woo-hoooo!
And with that...the second day of the 2015 Spring Break Tax Refund Southern Indiana Tour ended.