Honoring Indianapolis Colt’s Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning was quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts for 13 seasons. On October 7, 2017, Manning was honored with the unveiling of a larger than life statue of Number 18  on the north plaza outside Lucas Oil Stadium.

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Peyton in bronze, 9 feet tall!

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Details of the remarkable records of a remarkable man

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True to life, Peyton always looking for his receiver

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Peyton captured in a pose so well known to his many fans

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Lucas Oil Stadium, also known as the House that Peyton built

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Indy’s White River Trail aka Wapahani Trail

The White River runs from northeast to southwest as it winds through Indianapolis. Adjacent to a little over 10 miles of the river in the central portion of the city is a delightful asphalt paved trail. The trail is suitable for walking, jogging, biking and rollerblading. Canoeing and kayaking is popular on the river adjacent to the trail.

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Indy skyline , the trail visible at bottom of picture

The White River Wapahani Trail is a work in progress. (Wapahani is the Delaware Tribe’s name for the river.) The north trail head can be found near the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the famous Crown Hill Cemetery. The trail runs south and currently ends on Raymond Street, south of I-70.

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Beautiful winding path of the trail

Many interesting places are located on or very near to the trail. Among them are the White River State Park, Indianapolis Zoo, White River Gardens with a large greenhouse, the Indiana State Museum, the Eiteljorg Museum of Native American History, and the IMAX theater. Of course downtown Indy offers the Circle Center Mall, Indiana Repertory Theater and tons of restaurants and bars.

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Geese are among the many species of wildlife that make the White River environment home

Currently the trail connects to the Canal Walk downtown and the Fall Creek Trail. Access to the Monon Trail and the cross town St. Claire street walkway add to the diversity of the Wapahani. In addition, plans are in place to connect to the Eagle Creek and Pleasant Run Trails.

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That is Lucas Oil Stadium, left on the horizon, home of the Indianapolis Colts

The trail is home to many species of birds. Ducks and geese are commonly seen. Great Blue herons are also regular residents of the river. Careful observations may reveal osprey, many types of hawks and golden eagles. Deer, coyotes and red fox are also inhabitants of the river environment.

Check out further information on the White River Greenway official website.

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A Dino Christmas at the Children’s Museum

The dinosaurs at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum are decked out in their Christmas regalia this year. Stop by and wish them a Merry Christmas!

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Even the dinosaurs are celebrating the holidays at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum

The Indianapolis Children’s Museum is not only the world’s largest but it presents the finest Christmas celebration with a marvelous series of holiday activities sure to please the child in everyone.

Make sure that you visit the Children’s Museum website for all of the details including times open and a list of the activities. There are ticket plans available that will save your family a lot of cash.

 

Indy’s Beef & Boards final Christmas variety show

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre is presenting for the 25th and final year the beloved A Beef & Boards Christmas variety show running now through December 23rd. Once again the immensely popular Indianapolis dinner theater presents for its audience a lively and spirited production that is guaranteed to bring you and yours into the Christmas spirit.

Both acts of the show feature favorite numbers.  Ron Morgan, director and choreographer and artistic director Eddie Curry have put together a vibrant and enthusiastic treat of both sight and sound. The choreography is superb, the music awesome, and the costuming is breathtaking.

Rocking Around The Christmas Tree

“Rocking around the Christmas Tree” with Kenny and Renée, center, flanked by the B&B Quartet

Doug Stark’s version of Santa frankly steals the show whenever he is on stage. He is the owner of Beef & Boards, and is having way too much fun during the B&B Christmas show. His Santa will bring a smile to your face as well as make you laugh out loud to rim shot worthy humor. Santa also greets children for selfies at intermission!

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Santa and dancers

Renée Jackson, fresh from her starring role in the B&B show Ghost, The Musical, is the featured singer. Kenny Shepard has been in the past 24 productions and hosts this years show. The B&B Quartet is comprised of past favorites Kyle Durbin, Betsy Norton, and Peter Scharbroug as well as Marisa Rivera who starred in West Side Story.

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The Chipmunks (Alvin still wants a hula-hoop)

Once again the B&B orchestra showcases the range of the talent shared by this remarkable group of musicians. Conductor Kristy Templet and her collegues both accompany the singers but also perform several instrumental numbers throughout the production.

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You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch

The easiest way to tell you about the 2017 version of A Beef and Boards Christmas would be to simply state “Don’t miss your chance to see this fabulous Christmas variety show”. I’ll ad the great singing, dancing, and music. Also, you for sure want to see Alvin, Simon and Theodore and of course Rudolph flying across the stage. (Yes, he really flies!) And don’t forget that mean ‘ol Grinch. Oh, and Chef Odell’s holiday buffet is one of, if not the best he has ever put together.Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Now for the details: for reservations, call the Beef & Boards box office at 317.872.9664 anytime between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays. For complete show schedule and other pertinent information, visit the B&B website.

 

Devils Tower: the first U.S. National Monument

Northeast Wyoming is home to one of the most remarkable landscape features in the United States. The towering mass of volcanic rock known as Devils Tower has long been the destination of curious travelers and is the source of several Native American legends describing the origin of the rock formation. We made a short detour on our way from Indiana to Seattle to see this striking and beautiful gift from Earth.

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Seen from a distance, this “tower” is one of the most striking features in Wyoming

One of the legends of the origin of the tower tells the story of girls who were pursued by a huge bear. The girls prayers were answered when the Great Spirit caused the rock to raise from the ground with the girls safely on top. The bear attempted to climb the smooth sides of the rock, and his claws made the distinctive shapes we see today.

Geologists tell us that the tower was made when volcanic intrusions of lava pushed up into thick layers of sandstone, now eroded away after millions of years. The rock, an igneous basalt type, took on the shapes of columns when it cooled. Called a columnar formation, this shape is not uncommon and can be found in rocks all over the world.

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Close up shot of the columnar structure. Each “column” is about 8 feet across!

The Devils Tower was the first designated US National Monument, so declared by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1906. The first Caucasians saw the tower in the 1850’s. It was the site of the famous finish of the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. 

We loved our time at The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

Sher and I loved our time with our family members who had converged on Disney World recently. While our kids and grand-kids stayed at Disney hotel resorts, we were able to get a campsite at Disney’s RV/Cabin/Tent park, named The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness.

Our site was a “full hook-up” accommodation. It had a large paved pad that would have held a large motor home. Our 24′ rig fit with plenty of room. Backing in was very easy, but I could see that parking a large class A or a fiver could be a challenge. There was a large area behind the pavement designed for a large tent. Many of the sites in our “loop” had both a motor home/trailer and a tent.

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Our campsite, #1705, was close to the bus stop.

Fort Wilderness is huge, to say the least. There are designated areas for tent camping, primitive camping and hundreds of cabins as well. The Settlement area houses four eateries, including a special Mickey’s BBQ and a musical review dinner show. There is also large gift shop and store.

There are docks where you can rent both pontoon and fast watercraft. Horseback riding, archery and kayaking is also available for a fee. Many folks bring their own golf cart, and carts are also available for rent at the park. Free things? Of course! There are long hiking/running/bike trails. There is a movie each night with a campfire so you can make s’mores as well as a sing along with Chip and Dale.

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We had three wild turkeys visit our site. They were just wandering through, and could have cared less that I was standing in the door of the RV taking their pictures.

Disney is famous for its internal bus system. Fort Wilderness is served by buses that run from The Settlement to the Outpost, with convenient stops along the way. We only had about a 3 minute walk to our bus stop. Buses run every 20 minutes (or so it is said). The Outpost is where you catch a bus to the theme parks.

We were at Fort Wilderness during Halloween. Let’s say that we did not know you could decorate both a campsite and golf cart to the extent that we saw! It was so much fun seeing all the decorated sites and golf carts. We also really enjoyed taking the boats from the dock. We road the boats to the Contemporary Resort and to Magic Kingdom.

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This boat runs the same times as the buses, and goes from Ft. Wilderness to the Magic Kingdom about every 15 minutes

While of course the parks are fun, we also found that you can really enjoy your time hanging around the Fort Wilderness Resort and enjoying the many activities offered. Make reservations early: It can be hard to book the times you need.

Been searching for this RV park

Recently Sher and I took off for a rendezvous with family at Disney World in Orlando. Never wanting to take the same route to anyplace (in other words we did not want I-75 south again), we headed from Indiana to Orlando by way of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

With the afternoon slipping away, we decided to find a place to stay for the night. Sher spotted an RV park south of Myrtle Beach on US 17. Pirateland Family RV Resort turned out to be the park we have been searching for for a long time. The fellow at the desk informed me that they had a spot right on the beach! A mere 30 feet from our full hook up site was a gap through the sand dune to a beautiful stretch of Atlantic Ocean beach!

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Enjoying the beach. Our campsite is only about 100 feet away!

Pirateland is a huge place with a mixture of RV campsites, tent sites, permanent trailer homes and a series of lakes in addition to the beach area locations. Rates vary according to season. Off season rates are very reasonable for beach area sites.

Security is terrific, with a 24 hour manned gate. All the facilities you would need are available, including seasonal snack bars and BBQ stands.

We ended up staying two nights at this delightful campground. We have looked for a campground on a beach for a long time. Turns out that we happened onto this one by accident. We heartily recommend Pirateland Family Camping Resort. Sher and I will definitely return to this friendly resort.

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Our full hookup campsite complete with a picnic shelter. The beach is behind the sand dune in the background