They also have air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, three flat-screen televisions, a refrigerator, microwave, oven, and dishwasher. Lovell says Lake Rudolph is able to offer comfort while still giving families the outdoor experience.
But this year, there was no question: Belle of Cincinnati Capt. Alan Bernstein immediately conceded. It was only fitting, he said, that the Belle of Louisville should be the winner in the year she turns Built in , she is the only U. From Oct. At the same time, a boatload of other exhibits and activities in museums and venues across Louisville and Southern Indiana will pay tribute to this grand old lady that has outlasted and out-paddled any other river steamboat in American history.
She was first used as a ferry while a bridge was being built between Memphis, Tennessee, and West Memphis, Arkansas, according to a timeline provided by the Louisville Waterfront Development Corp. For the next decade the Idlewild was used as a day packet, or freight, boat. She also was outfitted for excursions, which would prove to be her salvation. By the early s, packet work had just about dried up as the railways became the primary means of moving goods.
The Idlewild shifted to what was known as tramp excursion work, traveling from town to town to offer short pleasure trips on the Missouri, Mississippi, and Ohio rivers. During this period, windows, additional passenger seating, an open dance floor, a bandstand on the second deck, and crew accommodations were added.
In the offseason, the Idlewild helped with the war effort by towing oil barges by day and serving as a USO nightclub on the Mississippi River by night. In , the boat was sold to J. Herrod Gorsage, who changed her name to the Avalon the following year. He sold the Avalon to a group of Cincinnati investors in Because the Avalon could navigate in just 5 feet of water, she could travel just about every navigable inland waterway in the U. But by , she was in terrible shape.
Unwilling to pay for repairs, the owners decided to scrap her. Fortunately, an enterprising Cincinnati newspaper reporter came up with the idea of putting her up for auction instead. A judge granted a court order to halt her demolition just two days before it was scheduled.
By April 30, , the Belle of Louisville was ready to run against the Delta Queen in the first-ever Great Steamboat Race and to resume her career as a seasonal excursion boat. She was designated a National Historic Landmark on June 30, On an early morning in August , hundreds of people crowded the wharf to view the unhappy sight of the Belle listing to one side, her stern partially underwater.
A valve to a freshwater pipe had been left open overnight, filling her with water. Happily, the Belle was refloated a week later and put in dry dock at Jeffboat, across the Ohio River in Jeffersonville, Indiana, for repairs.
She was back in business by the following spring, operating just as she did when she was built — powered by steam and driven by a paddlewheel.
But as you stand at the stern, feeling the breeze and watching the paddlewheel churn the river water into foam, there is no quicker way to touch history.
Tickets and info: festivalofriverboats. Schedule: Oct. Rechristening of the Belle of Louisville; dinner cruises; fireworks Oct. Spirit of Peoria, p. Spirit of Peoria, 8 p. Belle of Cincinnati and American Queen, 3 p. The coal trains are gone now, as are the tracks of the old Monon Railroad, which met the Southern line in French Lick. But, thanks to dedicated volunteers and a community rebirth, the tourism business is booming again.
Last year, about 46, people hopped aboard a train of the French Lick Scenic Railway. The regular trains travel about 10 miles to the south, then return to the depot in French Lick — a one hour and 45 minute trip. Along the way, trains pass through the 2,foot-long Burton Tunnel and into portions of the Hoosier National Forest. The railway recently underwent a major track improvement project, and many pieces of rolling stock that were no longer serviceable have been removed. Renovations to the French Lick depot are nearly complete.
Another big project is the reintroduction of an electric trolley service between the historic hotels in French Lick and West Baden. New trolleys, funded in part by a grant from the Department of Transportation, could be in service soon. All trips depart from the depot in French Lick. For more information about the French Lick Scenic Railway or to order tickets, visit indianarailwaymuseum.
Though the name of the company we have sailed with has changed, the experience of sailing on a tall ship through the Caribbean remains the same — paradise!
On the Mandalay , we are the excursion. For nearly 10 years, my husband and I, often accompanied by friends and relatives, booked annual sailing trips with Windjammer Barefoot Cruises.
The legendary company, which was established in and sailed five tall ships in its prime, filed for bankruptcy in , ceasing operations. Windjammer fans and employees were loyal, though, and the freewheeling sailing culture the company created was extremely popular. In , an investor group including former employees of Windjammer formed a new company, Sail Windjammer, and purchased the gem of the sailing fleet, S. Mandalay , before she was scrapped. To celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, we booked a spring sail aboard Mandalay , departing from Grenada.
The foot barquentine Mandalay was built in for financier E. Hutton and his wife Marjorie Merriweather Post. Post, who asked her husband for a larger ship. He complied, and in had the same shipyard build her the foot Sea Cloud.
The Sea Cloud sails still today, too, as a luxury passenger ship. Ironically, of all the ports where she could have been, we saw her in Grenada and spent a day at Union Island with her, too. In , Mandalay began service for Columbia University sailing more than 1. Evidence gathered on her voyages confirmed the theory of continental drift and mapped ocean floors. We were pleased to see Mandalay as we remembered her, and improved.
We sailed Mandalay to the San Blas islands of Panama in The new owners improved the navigational bridge, added air conditioning in all cabins, and expanded the galley kitchen, among other upgrades. We were also pleased to see crewmembers with familiar faces — many were handpicked by Captain Sly Sylvester Dzomeku from the old Windjammer. Captain Sly was taking a week off when we sailed. At the wheel when not in the hands of passengers — yes, you can steer the ship was Chief Mate Bernard.
The West Indies native did a fine job escorting us through the beautiful Grenadine Islands, surprising us daily with our destination. They are divided between the island nations of St.
Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada — the countries we would report travel to on customs documents. Other islands in the chain include Petite Martinique and Mustique — the private holiday island frequented by celebrities. On beach days, the crew set up beach bars and tendered lunch to us on the beach.
A splendid day was on an uninhabited island in Tobago Cays. Lunch was sandwiches on galley-made focaccia, spicy salads, and rum punch, under a palm tree. On islands with villages and small commercial districts — Bequia and Carriacou — passengers can sign up for an island tour separate but affordable fee.
Meivon, the purser and activities mate and also a West Indies native , suggested restaurants when dining in town was an option. In Bequia, we enjoyed an amazing lobster pizza — not another chunk of lobster could fit on the pie. For early risers, the galley staff bakes sticky buns and serves Bloody Marys at a.
All of our meals were delicious, dressed up with West Indian flare and spices. Snorkeling gear is rented on board, and nearly every day there were snorkeling opportunities, either from the beach, or through an excursion offered. At the Tobago Cays Marine Park, we swam with sea turtles. Unlike a cruise ship, nightly entertainment is more of the make-your-own-fun variety.
Meivon led passengers in various games, including the famous crab races — when the only bets of the week were made. Mandalay is sans casino. Under sail, passengers generally spend time chatting with each other and crewmembers, reading, gazing, enjoying Caribbean beer and rum drinks, and relaxing. Each day, a special tropical cocktail is featured.
On our anniversary, April 1 which was shared by another couple, also celebrating 25 years of marriage and who had honeymooned on Mandalay , the galley staff, led by Boston, baked us cake and sang to us. Is sailing with Windjammer for everyone? On the other hand, if your suitcase is light, carrying only shorts, T-shirts, and cover-ups, and you want to feel aged teak on your bare feet, you might begin searching those flights to Grenada.
When You Go. For , the company is adding at least two sailings departing from St. Flying to Grenada is not difficult, but limited flights arrive and depart daily. With any cruise, I suggest arriving the day before departure. As well, plan to stay over in Grenada a day or two when you disembark.
American Airlines operates flights to and from Miami daily. Sail Windjammer recommends several hotels and resorts in St. Georges, Grenada.
We booked apartment style rooms at the Gem Holiday Beach Resort. The resort is located on the more isolated Morne Rouge Bay and offered a swim-up beach bar, beachside pool, and good local restaurants within walking distance. A beach barbecue is featured on Saturday nights. We particularly enjoyed Sangria, a newly opened Spanish-influenced restaurant Grenada lies just 95 miles off the coast of Venezuela owned by a Scottish expatriate who moved to Grenada to teach at St.
For the past three years, St. I have just returned from a lengthy 25th anniversary cruise, encompassing almost two weeks out of the country. The majority of it was spent sailing through an archipelago off the coast of Grenada.
Must be an oversight. So I made some mental notes obviously brief ones about what I learned along the way. Sorry, Captain Bernard. He could not have been any nicer. Slow down I watched and heard the wonderful gospel music from my beach chair. Does it surprise you that we live in the second-largest wine appellation in the U. Wineries, each with a distinctive style, dot our rural landscape. Tasting rooms, like Winzerwald Winery, are opening shop on city streets.
Wine destinations — think Healdsburg, Calif. Being Labeled. The hillsides, ridges, and knobs of South Central Indiana are not known for producing bushel-to-the-acre corn. But growing grapes and making wine is a different story. Department of the Treasury. For wine enthusiasts, the use of AVAs is an exciting indication that the U. Early in the comeback, wineries might copy a French name, such as Burgundy or Champagne, to attract consumers.
But as they developed their own distinct wines they wanted to be recognized as such. Before the AVA system was adopted, they were allowed to label their wines by state or county, the so-called Appellations of Origin. But political boundaries do not necessarily identify special wine-producing areas by which U. It has always been a general rule that the smaller areas of origin produce more distinctive-flavored and higher-priced wine.
To qualify to use the AVA designation on a label at least 85 percent of the grapes in the wine must have been grown in the area. Dan Adams is another winemaker happy to be changing AVAs. The owner of Winzerwald Winery of Bristol, Ind.
Butler says he already has the Indiana Uplands AVA term on some of his wines but consumers are not likely to see the designation on other wines until the vintage, now being bottled, hits the market later this year.
They are both hilly called knobs in parts of Indiana with rather poor, thin soils mostly over limestone. These characteristics combine for good grape growing, Butler says. The poor soils help hold down yields which means fewer grapes but grapes with more concentrated flavor that, in turn, produce more distinctive, flavorful wines.
And hillside vineyards tend to have advantages over flatland vineyards in ways such as hours of sunshine, milder temperatures, pruning requirements, and length of growing season. The underlying limestone helps facilitate good drainage and flavor. Bradley Beam, enology specialist, winemaker and educator in Illinois, says the purpose of any AVA is to promote a region that has a unique set of growing conditions, topography, soil types, elevations, and other features.
While still somewhat new, the development of the AVA should really help promote these vineyards, wineries and grapes as they continue to develop their regional identity. One other aspect of the AVAs is important. Our winemakers on the other hand are forging ahead. This is especially true in the Midwest where winemakers are planting new grape varieties developed mostly at our universities that are cold-hardy and produce wonderful wines.
They are installing modern equipment and adopting innovative vineyard and winery techniques. As a result industry insiders, such as Beam, believe Midwest wines are getting so good they will challenge the very best. High and Dry.
There are now 73 wineries in Indiana, which is about eight times more than existed in Sweet flavors are not all the same, and some knowledge about the sensation of sweetness is helpful to appreciating wine. Two kinds of sugar in grapes and wine are fructose and sucrose. The natural fructose in wine tastes sweeter than sucrose, which is commonly called table sugar.
This means a small amount of fructose will provide the same level of sweetness as a larger amount of sucrose. Leaving just a little natural fructose in wine is not an easy skill to master. For wine drinkers, it can also take time to distinguish between ripe fruit sweetness and table sugar sweetness.
Tasting different wines is the best way to learn the difference. These wineries are all located about two hours east of Evansville, an easy day or overnight trip.
Turtle Run Winery, Corydon This winery is known for having a range of wine styles, but the specialty is dry and sweet wines. To make crisp and fruity wines sweeter, Turtle Run stops fermentation during the winemaking process. The subtle and complex wines from Turtle Run pair well with many kinds of foods. Dauby points out how we perceive sweet flavors: If sweetness is offset by mouth-watering wine flavors, the sugar in the wine is often barely perceptible.
The Daubys make two styles of chambourcin, a French-American red wine grape: one with European oak and one with American oak. One of the main qualities of oaked wine is a vanilla flavor.
European oak also adds coffee and chocolate flavors. Best Vineyards, Elizabeth This rural winery and vineyard is best known for its wide range of fruit wines, but the dryer wines are worth the trip too.
Cab franc is normally associated with Bordeaux, but it takes on an earthy character in Southern Indiana. For more information about Turtle Run Winery, call or visit turtlerunwinery. Variety Show. The tasting room is in an attractive building, with post-and-beam timbers framing the displays of bottles and cases of wine along the walls.
A central bar offers space for guests to meet one-on-one with winery employees, or in groups of two or three or even more. Conversation rises and falls as bottles are pulled from cases or coolers, poured, and tasted. Three fulltime landscape architects are on staff to provide an attractive entrance experience, and deeper into the property, visitors can enjoy a picnic area. Most visitors come from Indiana and nearby areas of the Midwest. Among them are amateurs and oenophiles from throughout the United States, and parents with their nearby Indiana University students.
Seasonal vineyard tours, Saturday concerts, and occasional special events add sight and sound to the experience of tasting some of the 30 or more wines available any time of the year. There are two labels. Oliver wines are available locally and in many states. Creekbend wines are produced from 57 acres of grape vines on the property and usually available only at the original Oliver Winery north of Bloomington, or at the new Oliver Winery downtown on the courthouse square in Bloomington.
His father, William, had helped influence the passage of the Indiana Small Winery Act of , allowing wineries to sell directly to the public. He opened the current tasting area in and added large stainless-steel tanks for increased production.
Camelot Mead honey wine , the wine that put Oliver on the map and is said to produce no hangovers , is again achieving popularity and awards, along with hard cider and fruit wines. For more information on Oliver Winery, call or visit oliverwinery. Blending Family. Why did Daniel Hedinger and his family start a winery? Zellers spends a lot of time hosting visitors at the tasting room.
Her brother Daniel is the vintner. Brother Andy is who discovered a 19th century plat map referring to their farm area as Monkey Hollow. A sister, Tammy, helps out on weekends. Monkey Hollow Winery near St. Meinrad, Ind. The family started planting grape vines in and sold some of the first fruits to other wineries. After setting up its own production facilities and building a tasting room, Monkey Hollow opened in It was quite an opening year, with medals for six wines at the Indy International Wine Competition, held annually in conjunction with the Indiana State Fair.
The honors continue, and in its raspberry and blueberry wines won Double Gold awards at Indy. The winery does all production by hand, including one-at-a-time bottling, corking, and labeling. Local organic products — meats and cheeses — are available, along with local crafts.
Summer Saturday evening concerts feature local and regional musicians on the new patio, for picnics and wine by the bottle or by the glass. The tasting room, built by Amish craftsmen, of native oak and poplar may call to mind an old-fashioned barn but a modern geothermal system provides heating and cooling. Visitors come to see the vines and taste the wines and to see the farm scenery and cattle in the nearby fields. He is looking forward to expanding the vineyards and production space eventually to create more room for events and family gatherings.
The vineyard is part of the American Viticulture Area, newly designated in and the first such designation in Indiana. Monkey Hollow is one of eight wineries on the Hoosier Wine Trail. For more information about Monkey Hollow, contact or visit monkeyhollowwinery. There is a party waiting at the end of the drive.
DeWeese had a vision for what was simply a horse trail. Four years ago, DeWeese put his plans to open a winery into motion by clearing trees and moving dirt to build a tasting room and facilities for winemaking.
The tasting room is beautifully lined with finished wood as antiques decorate the walls. A canoe hangs behind the bar, which has a foundation built with brick found on the property. We do not grow our own grapes, but anything we can get from Lakeview Orchard also in Rockport , we use. DeWeese wants to keep the winery in the family and pass it down to his four grandchildren. Tastings are free, and there are always more than 20 wines available to try.
The winery allows visitors to bring in their own food, order from local pizza places which will deliver to the winery , or buy a platter of Oberle cheese and sausage and Steckler Grassfed cheese, with Ritz or Club crackers. Tell City Pretzels also are for sale. The winery is open year-round and offers live music three Saturdays a month during the winter, and every Saturday in the spring and summer and sometimes on Sundays.
It is also kid-friendly, making grape, orange, or Coke slushies. Homegrown Feel. Ruby Moon is located just south of Henderson, Ky. It was relaxed and chill, and we had a great time.
One day, we were in a winery and we started looking at some homemade wine equipment much like we have for sale at Ruby Moon. One crazy thing led to another and here we are. In the spring of , the first acre of grapes was planted. On Nov. The winery expanded in September after completing a new building adjacent to the tasting room, which houses a banquet hall, a one-bedroom suite that can be rented out nightly, and the wine making and bottling operations.
Visitors to Ruby Moon can sample its award-winning wines in the Tuscan-inspired tasting room, taking a seat at either the wooden seat at the bar, at a table in a large living space, or outside on a blue stone patio adjacent to the vineyards. Ruby Moon grows eight varieties of grapes including both American and French American hybrid varieties.
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