Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Schlepping Around Shipshewanna

Elkhart, IN    High:  72    Low:  44   Fog

Yesterday we decided to visit the gorgeous Elkhart Visitor's Center. It's behind the Cracker Barrel Restaurant off Cassopolis Street very near the Indiana Toll Road entrance and exit.  It's very beautiful, there are many unusual quilts on display in the various areas of the center and a great selection of pamphlets and information about Elkhart County. Even though this is Eldy's hometown, we stopped there anyway to learn some new things about Elkhart County, like the Heritage Trail tour. It's a wonderful place to stop, sit and relax and read about all the things there is to do here. Don't miss this beautiful center when you are in Elkhart!

You can also get a free CD for the Heritage Tour that Elkhart has every year. The Heritage Trail Tour is all about the Amish culture that's so big in this area, the art, the area attractions, the treasure filled shops, the historic stops, and the Amish and other fine restaurants. (Sparky knows every fine restaurant in the area already, explains E.) Along the Heritage Trail Tour are the Quilt Gardens and Murals. We are going to do the Heritage Trail on another day, but just to give you an example, here is one of the quilt gardens for 2012. It's in front of the Menno-Hof Museum, a great place to learn about the area and the Amish. For 5.00, you can tour the big red barn and learn about this area.

Sparky is going to do that on another day....There is a TON of stuff to do in this area! Even though we've lived in the area for many years, there are a lot of things we've never explored. Time to change all that!

After visiting the beautiful Elkhart Visitor's Center, we hit the Shipshewanna Flea Market...It's really changed over the used to be household items, tools, crafts --people would come and sell HOMEMADE crafts, signs they painted themselves, garden art they made themselves, now it's just about all from China. Everything there is from China or India, including the quilts and rugs.  Phooey! But you still can see all kinds of stuff.....From big girl panties.....

To acres of socks, to tools, to discounted perfume to garden art, to FOOD....Oh, yeah! Sparky's eyes don't miss a single food booth...Dips? She's in...(Now where did that woman of mine go? wonders E.) Actually, he doesn't have to wonder...if he sees a DIPS sign, or a CHEESEBALLS sign, he knows Sparky went inside to taste test and perhaps buy some. Sparky LOVES taste testing...You know all those little dishes with a bazillion types of cheese ball mixes and you taste them with little pretzel sticks? Did she buy any? Nope! Didn't buy a single one this time, but did taste test a bunch! :-) She just couldn't decide what flavor to get!
What else did we see?   Hm-m-m-mmmmm....Hubby chairs for the guys to sit and wait....
And those Sky Lanterns!  We saw those for the first time on July 4th weekend in Tennesee. People light them and send them aloft in the sky...Great for weddings, great for memorials...Now before anybody gets upset about the environment, Sparky asked a lot of questions and read about them. The paper for the lanterns is bio-degradable. Each lantern has a small heat source such as a fuel pad or a flat candle. The heat lasts just long enough to fill the lantern with hot air. They rise about 1,000 to 2,000 feet, then the cooler higher air extinguishes the flame. Sparky only bought four. Two for five dollars, but you can find them cheaper on the internet. She thought this would be a cool thing to launch at Christmas time with the grandkids when they come for a visit.

If you have any complaints about the stuff you get at the flea market at a certain shop, pay attention and buyer beware! :-)
We had a lot of fun at the flea market today...tomorrow, it's the Old Bag Factory! Wait till you see what Sparky saw!


  1. I love flea markets. Or at least ?i did before so much of the stuff was resale imports.

  2. My mom loves quilting, and would love that area!

  3. Love fleamarkets, always a fun day of exploring!

  4. When we were in Elkhart, we too visited the Visitor's Center. It is one of the nicest ones we have ever seen.

    I have never heard of Sky Lanterns. Can't believe I missed that. They would make great gifts. So unique.

  5. The local news channels have been issuing warnings about the Sky Lanterns. They are like bullets what goes up must come down and in many cases still lit in residential areas. the big concern is the potential of starting buildings on fire when people are sleeping. Think seriously before you use them. Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  6. Hmm. I was intrigued by the sky lanterns too but after reading the cautionary warning above I am rethinking that! Sure look cool though.