Shipshewana – the very word makes you smile.

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Looking across the street from the campground

After our service visit in Nappanee, we made the short drive to Shipshewana, Indiana for some R&R. This quaint little town is home to less than 800 people, many of them Amish and Mennonite.

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It’s famous for its auctions and flea market (the largest in the Midwest). Also famous for its homey little shops and eateries. We chose the Shipshewana South Campground for our stay.

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There are several other campgrounds including one right on the flea market grounds. We had a perfect site where we could hear the whinnies of the horses next door and the clip-clop of the buggies on the street and bull frogs in the pond.

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The place was neat and clean and friendly.

While we were here we went to the flea market (and walked and walked and …) and ate Amish food at the buffet in the Blue Gate Restaurant. We also enjoined walking to the shops and browsing through the various items for sale including battery and propane run appliances suitable for the Amish. They make and sell a lot of outdoor furniture here.

We’ll be back.

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Art in Nappaneee

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Who would think that the sleepy little town of Nappanee, Indiana would be so involved in the street art scene?

We are at Newmar corporation for some warranty issues and general maintenance on the motorhome – and staying in the parking lot (affectionately known as Camp Newmar). We have posted before on Camp Newmar and won’t bore you with the details of having service done here.

We were surprised by the new sculpture art installations around town. These join the apple statues already in place and the famous quilt gardens in the area.

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Waiting 1985

There are 56 realistic life-size sculptures by Seward Johnson in the towns of Elkhart, Goshen, Middlebury, Bristol, Wakarusa and Nappanee. 10 of the sculptures are in Nappanee.

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Tom and his new friend

The detail in the sculptures is incredible.

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Allow Me 1981

They depict people engaged in everyday life.

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Latte? 2014

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Sightseeing 1987

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Weekend Painter 1994

The Seward Johnson sculptures co-exist with the giant apple statues placed in 2013 to promote the annual apple festival here.

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Roni’s favorite, of course

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Another attraction in the area are the quilt gardens. One can pick up a brochure of their locations and make a day of visiting the gardens.

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Example of a Quilt Garden


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There, Now you can Grow 1994 – Sculpture at the Quilt Garden at the Nappanee Center

Well, our service is complete. Our wallet is a lot lighter. And we are headed to Shipshewana just down the road next.

Fun with Family in Indy

We came to Indianapolis for the Newmar Region 6 Rally and to visit with our daughter, son-in-law and grandkids. We took a break from the festivities at the Rally (sadly missing the potluck dinner) to attend our kids’ church festival. St Simon theater group presented selected songs from their presentation of Cinderella and Luke and Abby performed.

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Abby was one of 10 finalists selected to compete in St Simon Idol. Fashioned after American Idol with judges and everything.


The judges

She performed Meaghan Trainor’s Me Too. She did a great job and didn’t seem nervous at all. We were very proud.

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It was fun to see the community turn out for a fun evening.

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We also were lucky enough to be around to attend Tom’s Aunt Mary Ann’s 80th birthday party. The party was in Harrison, Ohio and Tom drove about 6 hours by the time he picked up his dad and drove him back, and then came back to Indianapolis, but it was worth it!

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Aunt Marilyn, Uncle Don, Bob and Aunt Mary Ann

Mary Ann is a wonderful woman, parent, grandparent and great grandma and is an inspiration to her entire family. She was surprised by her family and friends. All but one of her grandchildren attended (one is in Navy Seal training).

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Grandkids and spouses


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The larger family group

Anytime we get to hang out with this little cutie is a good time.


Newmar Region 6 Rally Part 2

Our Rally continues in Indianapolis.

(Apologies for the indoor photos. The rooms were very dark)

After an ‘off day’ from touring, our group again had a very busy day touring downtown Indianapolis.

We visited the Scottish Rite Cathedral – the home of the Scottish Rite for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.

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It’s a magnificent example of Tudor-Gothic architecture and is the home of member activities as well as being available for rent. We all agreed it would be a wonderful site for a wedding reception. It is listed on the National Register of Historic and built between 1927 and 1929 at the cost of $2.5 million. We were escorted through some very ornate and interesting rooms.

The Tiler’s Room was designed as the main entrance of the Cathedral. It is a perfect cube of 33 feet, which serves to remind us of the time Christ lived on earth and the highest degree of Freemasonry. The windows above the entrance doors contain many emblems found in Masonry, from the First Degree of the Symbolic Blue Lodge to the 32 of the Scottish Rite.

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The ceiling is hand-painted plaster, and the walls are Italian travertine marble. The marble and woodwork are hand carved. The floor is a reproduction of the floor in the Inner Chamber of King Solomon’s Temple. In the center is a polished brass medallion which contains the 12 signs of the Zodiac and the symbols of the four bodies of Scottish Rite Masonry, including the Double Headed Eagle in the center for the Indiana Consistory.

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The Ballroom is 99 feet square and 45 feet high. It has a mezzanine on all four sides of the second story supported by 15 large fluted oak columns.

The large chandelier above the ballroom floor is of gilded bronze with crystal beads and pendants. It weights about 2,500 pounds and contains about 200 light bulbs.

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The Lounge is 99 feet square and is divided into thirds. The side walls and columns, including the arches separating the colonnades from the lounge, have wood wainscoting from floor to ceiling.

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The windows on the east side of the lounge are dedicated to the arts and sciences.

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Two of MANY Stained glass windows

The art glass windows on the west side of the lounge each contains a scene relating to the degrees from the Fourth through Eighteenth and the Thirty-Second.

The Theatre is one of the most beautiful rooms in the Cathedral and is the center of Scottish Rite ritual work, stage plays, and other entertainment. It is 99 feet square, 45 feet high, and 175 feet from the rear of the stage to the back of the fourth floor balcony.

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There’s a large pipe organ. About 1,100 persons can be seated in the theater and another 200 on chairs in the arena.


We also visited the Stone Room where we learned about the construction and saw stones representing all the United State and a display of stonemason tools and the Dressing Room where the members prepare and dress for the elaborate ceremonies associated with Masonry and the Scottish Rite. Our group then ate lunch in the Double Eagle Café on site.

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The Scottish Rite Cathedral from the War Memorial Plaza

With bellies full, we took the short walk to the Veterans Memorial Plaza, then continued on to the Indiana World War Memorial. This building was erected to serve as a monument to World War I. Construction began in 1925. General John Pershing commander of the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe laid the conrnerstone on July 4, 1933. The building itself rises 210 feet above street level and has three floors.

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Our tour started in the Pershing Auditorium with a short talk on the history of the building. This room remains as it looked when the building opened.


On the upper level is the impressive Shrine Room symbolizing peace and unity and is made of materials from all over the world, symbolic of the world wide nature of the “Great War.” The room is 110′ tall and 60′ square. The 24 blood red pillars made of Vermont marble support the ceiling. Hanging in the center of the room below a field of blue lights, is the Star of Destiny made of  crystal. Below that is the flag of the United States.

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In the center of the room, below the flag, is the Altar of Consecration, the altar to the flag. In the early history of the building shortly after the first world war and before the second, people would bring flowers and wreaths to place on the altar in remembrance of fallen friends and family.

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The Altar

The building also houses a museum portraying Indiana’s military history from the Revolutionary War through modern times.

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Given more time, one could visit all of the Indiana War Memorial Plaza Historic District which contains two museums, three parks, and 24 acres of monuments, statues, sculptures, and fountains in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, making it second only to Washington D.C. in acreage and number of monuments dedicated to veterans.

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Veteran’s Memorial Plaza and Obelisk