Autumn has arrived at Indiana’s oldest and largest winery…Oliver Winery

Oliver Winery in Bloomington, Indiana has stunning scenery…stone landscaping, sculptures, beautiful flowers, and tranquil seating areas.  For my annual girls’ weekend this year, five of us visited the winery this past Saturday.  It’s one of eight wineries on the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail.  The day before, a few of us went to the Butler Winery, which is also on the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail, and really enjoyed our time there.  They are very different from each other.  Butler Winery is much smaller, has a more homey feel and natural beauty, and only a handful of people were there.  As you’ll see from these photos…Oliver Winery was very crowded, but beautiful!

DSC_0272

Dee is taking our photo here…

DSC_0025

Continue reading

Hiking the Rock Shelter Loop Trail

I love hiking and so do my girlfriends, so on our recent girls’ weekend, we went hiking on the Rock Shelter Loop Trail in Morgan Monroe State Forest, Indiana.  I had researched hiking trails in the area, and this trail seemed to be a good choice.  The trail was only supposed to be 20 minutes away from our Vacation Rental by Owner (VRBO), but getting lost on those back country roads made it seem much farther.  We couldn’t find the trail head once we were in the State Forest, but luckily I had the phone number for Morgan Monroe State Forest with me, so we called its location.  We weren’t going crazy…there was no sign for it.  The large sign said Low Gap Trail and then once you park and start that trail, there is a small sign (see below) indicating that the Rock Shelter Loop Trail is part of that trail.

Anyway, it was supposed to be a three-mile hike, but ended up being four miles.  I took a photograph of this leaf that was on a slick rocky portion of the trail.  The sunlight was illuminating it…

DSC_0105

Continue reading

Girls Gone Wild

OK…so we’re not really girls anymore…more like ladies…but we did get a little wild!  Here are some photos from the 24 hours we spent together (excluding sleeping time).

Dee (the Chiropractor…the 2nd photo down on the right) gave us a partial Pilates class Saturday morning, so Cindy put on an outfit she had bought recently that makes her look like I Dream of Jeannie.

DSC_0010 2

I can’t divulge what story Gina (in the middle) was telling us, but it was obviously very funny!  Cindy (on the left) was also a bit appalled!

DSC_0303

Continue reading

Hiking at Elm House

For my annual girls’ weekend, I found a Vacation Rental by Owner in Bloomington, Indiana (aka Elm House) that had everything we were looking for—a home located on 100 acres with hiking trails, three bedrooms for five of us, two bathrooms (a must), a hot tub, and two wineries located within five miles!  If you read yesterday’s post, you’ll recall our first stop was a winery located five minutes from the property.  From there we found the house, unpacked the car and took a quick tour of the house.   Elm House has three short maintained hiking trails on the grounds, so we laced our hiking boots and headed for the longest trail…a one-miler.  There were only three of us at this point.  Two of the ladies weren’t arriving until around 6:00pm.

Here’s a beautiful view from the house looking down at the sawmill that is located on the property.

DSC_0007

Continue reading

First Stop on the Girls’ Weekend…Butler Winery

When I prepared the itinerary for my annual girls’ weekend this year, I included a stop at two of Indiana’s beautiful wineries.

After driving three hours from Cincinnati and getting lost a few times on the back country roads, we were ready for a glass of wine!  I had Google map directions and my friends had smart phones, but some of the streets didn’t have signs and we lost signal with the phones.  Butler Winery, located just five minutes from the Vacation Rental By Owner, was a convenient and fun stop!  They offer six complimentary tastings.

Notice the reflected vineyards in the window…

DSC_0062

Continue reading