A massive interactive Van Gogh display

Tomorrow we are off to the Indianapolis Museum of Art Newfields for the Indy version of the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit. Now showing in The Lume Indianapolis as described in this part of the Van Gogh display website:  “Nearly 150 state-of-the-art digital projectors transform two-dimensional paintings into a three-dimensional world that guests can explore while walking through 30,000 square feet of immersive galleries. THE LUME Indianapolis has 60 minutes of digital content that runs continuously and simultaneously in all the digital galleries.”

We are excited about seeing this huge display. Our tickets also get us into the rest of the museum, which is 5 stories of displays.  We’ll have a full report after our trip tomorrow. Stay tuned…

A couple of squirrels





It is a very cold day, highs only in the mid teens. These two squirrels were “frozen” in place for several minutes on the trunk of this maple tree. There were no predators visible from our back door, however these guys seemed to be in the classic “Don’t move or that thing will catch and eat us!”

A nifty wine accessory kit

This past Christmas our Seattle family gave us a very thoughtful gift. The wine accessory kit is most useful, and we certainly have appreciated it. Here is a video that shows how the battery operated cork remover device works.

This cork remover is easy to use, and makes opening that new bottle of wine an enjoyable chore.

A turn of the century sanitarium for addiction treatments

This stately brick home was built in the 1860’s in what was then the outskirts of Shelbyville, Indiana. In 1906 the son of a local judge opened this home as a hospital for the treatment of those with addictions.

The Hord Sanitarium building as it is today

View in 1906 Postcard from The Indiana Album

Back of postcard from The Indiana Album






Dr. Luther Hord operated The Hord Sanitarium Park from 1906 until well into the 1940’s. The Hord Sanitarium was known throughout the Midwest as one of the premier hospitals for the treatment of alcohol and drug abuse. Currently it appears that the multistory house is being used as apartments.

Burning tree now behind traffic cones and tape

                        Remember the burning tree we posted about nearly a week ago?                                           Here is the link to that post.

No smoke was visible when the photo was taken

Apparently the Fire Department or the Street Department or somebody decided that this smoldering tree should at least be roped off to keep the public away and safe. They first wanted to just let it burn and “it would eventually fall into the river”.

We took Anheuser-Busch brewery tour in St Louis

One of our favorite “tours” that we have enjoyed while traveling.


Mash tank in the brew house. The production areas were not only spotless, but the building interior painted and beautiful. Mash tank in the brew house. The production areas were not only spotless, but the building interior painted and beautiful.

Just now Sher and I took the free tour of the Anheuser-Busch brewery, home of Budweiser beer. We were able to park in the designated tour parking lot. We had time to visit the welcome center and gift shop before our tour started after a short 20 minute wait.

This tour is just amazing. Two tour guides narrated the tour with mic’s so you could easily hear. It takes about 50 minutes and does require a lot of walking. The first stop is the Budweiser Clydesdale stable. Talk about pampered animals!

The tour will give you a concise history of the company and you see the actual brewing vats and learn the brewing procedures as well. It was striking how big the facility is and how much beer is brewed there…

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Musings about our Whale Watching Cruise

We went on this trip several years ago. It is something we hope to do again this summer.


Sometimes you experience something that is so awesome that you wish everybody could do it. And that is what happens to me on the Island Mariner Whale Watch Cruise. There is just something about seeing those big, beautiful whales in their natural habitat coming up out of the water that is emotionally breathtaking. We share this world with some magnificent creatures and getting to see them is an experience I wish everyone in the world could witness. It made me realize how small we are in this big world and just how much there is to explore, how much man knows and how much he doesn’t know.

A most thrilling sight to see! A most thrilling sight to see!

Saturday turned out to be a perfect day for our trip. We arrived before the 9:30AM time that is recommended and unloaded the things we had packed to take with us, quickly got our tickets and got…

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Great bourbon starts with the good water at Lawrenceburg

Driving along US 50 through Lawrenceburg, Indiana, it is hard to miss the large complex of tall red brick buildings and multiple silver tanks that are part of the former Seagrams Distillery plant that straddles the Lawrenceburg and Greendale city boundaries. The current owner/operator of the facility is now MGP Ingredients, based out of Kansas.

This building has six floors (two of which are underground) of aging racks for the 550 pound barrels of whiskey

The Cincinnati Magazine published a fascinating and detailed story about the history of the Seagrams Distillery, its current owners, and the ins and outs of the distillery business around the country. Read that article here. 

This paragraph is from the Cincinnati Magazine article.  “According to (Master Distiller Greg) Metze, it all starts with the water. MGP Ingredients sits on an aquifer, just a short walk from the Ohio River (most of the facility is actually in Greendale). That 56-degree water—low in sulfur and iron, high in calcium, and limestone-filtered—lets MGP make a lot of whiskey, and also have a continuous source for cooling the equipment. That’s why there were so many distilleries in Lawrenceburg in the 1800s. MGP’s began life as the Rossville Union Distillery in 1847; after Prohibition, in 1933, it was purchased by the legendary Canadian company Seagram. Right next door was Squibb, which opened in 1846 (though another distillery, Dunn and Ludlow, was on that patch of land in 1807) and became part of the Delaware company Schenley in 1933.”

The tower houses multi-story continuous column stills

We drove by the facility last weekend during our day trip in the area. It is huge, and what we found was that unfortunately it does not offer public tours of this historic distillery. At one time the Seagrams plant employed over 2800 at the distillery and bottling plant. It is truly an iconic business with a rich and colorful history.

The Carroll Lee Cropper Memorial Bridge

Interstate 275 is the beltway that runs around Cincinnati, Ohio. A portion of this beltway crosses the Ohio River 20 miles west of downtown as it runs between Indiana and Kentucky. In 1968 construction began on a four lane continuous steel arch-shaped truss bridge. It was completed in 1977.

Approaching the bridge, Kentucky ahead

The bridge is 1,759 feet long, with its largest span being 758 feet. The official name is the Carroll Lee Cropper Memorial Bridge. Carroll Lee Cropper was a judge in Boone County, Kentucky,  where the bridge lands on the Kentucky side of the river. Cropper was judge for 20 years starting in 1942.

Looking downriver from the bridge, you can see the pier at the Lawrenceburg landing in the water. The pier is the header picture at the top of this post.

We crossed this bridge twice on our day trip last weekend. It is quite impressive, and stands out when you are on the riverfront in Lawrenceburg looking up river toward the bridge. This is also the bridge that ultimately was responsible for the end of service of a small local ferry.