Thursday, August 6, 2009

2009 Quilt Garden Tour

If there are two hobbies I love it's quilting and gardening. For several years I have wanted to go to northern Indiana to see the Quilt Garden Tour. This year, we finally made it.

I admit I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The concept is that there are nearly two dozen sites on a self-guided tour. Some are flower gardens planted to look like quilt blocks. Others are painted murals on buildings. It's all free.

We didn't see all of the sites, but we saw enough that I'm hooked for next year. The sites were well-marked with signs. At each site, a map was available so you could find the other sites. Each garden was beautiful. The murals were outside and easily accessible.

Perhaps best of all, we not only saw some beautiful gardens, we discovered a new potential weekend getaway. Elkhart, Indiana is a lovely town with beautiful parks and a nice river. We also spent some time at the American Countryside Farmers Market. It's sort of an indoor farmer's market with lots of Amish products. It was fun to walk through the different booths and we went home with bags of stuff -- mostly food.

This trip is one we couldn't have made a few years ago when the girls were younger. The diapers, strollers, food, etc. would have overwhelmed us with too much stuff to pack for an overnight getaway. Now that they are five, it's a bit easier to take trips like this.

We did this as a day trip this year. It's an easy drive from the Chicago suburbs. Next year we might make a weekend of it. There are several hotels with pools and lots of cute restaurants. If we have a pool, hotel room and some outdoor activities, we'll all be very happy.

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