Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Spring Break Kick-off

Saturday and Sunday was our official kickoff for Spring Break 2008. My wife is a tax accountant, so (here is the States anyhow) the few weeks leading up to April 15th is a no-no for taking vacation time. So…we've traditionally taken the boys on a get-away weekend someplace close to home. We've found our best bang-for-the-buck is a stay at the Essenhaus Country Inn located in Middlebury, Indiana. It's in the heart of Amish country here in Northern Indiana. That means great food, lots of quaint shops and a place where you won't find 100 other people fighting for space in the swimming pool. Another plus is the fact that the Inn is only about 15 minutes from our house. Once inside the Inn, you feel like you're in the middle of a Country Living photo layout. The d├ęcor of the Inn is like no other place we've stayed. It's beautiful, and at the same time, very comfortable. You just don't want to leave. That's how comfortable it is.

Essenhaus Country Inn and Conference Center

The common area, just outside our room.

Sun room at the Inn.

Close up shot of the game table in the sun room.

Right across the parking lot from the Inn is our favorite place for breakfast – Das Dutchman Essenhaus. [This is where the great food comes in.] The breakfast buffet is the best. Belly-up to the bar get yourself a toasty-warm plate and pile on some real home-cookin'. The buffet includes scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, country sausage gravy and biscuits (yum-yum), ham, thick-cut bacon, pancakes, zucchini bread, nut bread, pumpkin bread, homemade pastries, fresh fruit and some semi-frozen concoction of orange juice and bananas. I'm sure I've forgotten about ten other things that are available, but you get the picture, right? And a great cup of coffee too. Wow! What a terrific way to start your day. Trust me: you won't want need lunch. The moral of this story is: if you go away hungry, you have serious issues.

Check-in time at the Inn was not until 3 p.m. so we decided to do some shopping. The entire downtown area is one little shop after another. Most of the shops are small houses that have been converted into retail space. They are all full of 'cute', 'quaint' and 'country' things. Also located downtown is the Davis Mercantile building. The original building burned to the ground about three (3) years ago. The new structure is a work of art. Much of it was hand-constructed by Amish craftsmen. The building is three stories tall and has several fantastic shops.

Quilt on display in the common area.

Ah, but alas! It's back to work now for the parental units. The boys will be sleeping in and watching Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies for the next few days. They're lovin' it.

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