This past weekend, Daniel and I ventured out to Patoka Lake in Southern Indiana.
Last fall, Daniel was driving home from Indiana when the car in front of him hit a large deer. Since it was already dark, Daniel decided to stop to make sure the people were ok. He ended up staying with the two women until a tow truck came. For the past few months, the women continued to send him e-mails thanking him for his help that night, and they continually offered us a weekend stay at their cabin near Patoka Lake. Finally, Daniel and I decided to take them up on their offer and we marked our calendars for our May 5-7 weekend away.
We stayed at Out on a Limb Retreat, a cozy cabin a mere 15 minutes from Patoka Lake. Check out their website, they offer great prices and the location is wonderful. You are just minutes away from Patoka Lake, where there is a beach, a marina, and miles of hiking trails. If you travel further west, you can get to Holiday World, if you travel north, you’ll get to French Lick in about 20 minutes, and the cabin itself is located a mere hour and change outside of Louisville!
We decided that this would be an early 1 year anniversary trip. Daniel just finished his semester at UK, and he starts his first round of summer classes tomorrow. He’ll have a weekend between this first session of summer classes and the second session, so he pretty much won’t have a break until August. We decided that an early one year celebration was better than nothing at all!
I made a special menu, went to the grocery and hung out with friends until we headed out Friday afternoon to the lake. We arrived (with growling bellies) around 5pm, and we immediately fired up the grill.
We even found a nifty bellow that we used to ensure that our charcoal was a burnin’.
We grilled up some steaks and zucchini and served them up alongside some garlic-asiago mashed potatoes and a side of baked beans. We also had some fantastic [yellowtail] tree-free Chardonnay (I really dislike the oaky flavor, but I loved this!)
Unfortunately, our zucchini tasted like sponges that had been soaked in lighter fluid. Gross. The rest of the meal was quite delicious!
We wrapped up our first night with some vanilla ice cream (Kroger brand Double Churned “Very Vanilla” is THE BEST non-specialty ice cream, EVER). Daniel was also kind enough to watch Mona Lisa Smile with me. We doze off to sleep in the KING sized bed!
The next morning, we woke up to a cloudy, drizzly day. I usually HATE cold and rainy days, BUT, it was the perfect morning to have a nice hot mug of coffee and a big bowl of oatmeal (and some eggwhites with ketchup, because I needed some “staying” power for our day)!
But who am I kidding? The oatmeal was the star of the morning
We wanted to rent kayaks, but with the combination of the cold and the rain, we decided that we might enjoy a hike a little more. We drove into the Patoka Lake area, paid the $5 fee, and started on our hike.
We were ambitious, we decided to do the 6.5 mile trail. About a mile into the hike, I tripped over a tree. A little while later, the rain started to get heavier. We decided to cut our hike short and take one of the “shortcuts” back to the parking lot.
I was a little disappointed that I didn’t see very many “fluffy” animals on our hike (we only saw a toad on the actual trail), but our shortcut let us run into some of God’s wonderful creation!
Isn’t this the most gorgeous flower you’ve ever seen?
When we got back to the cabin, we had lunch and we both decided that napping would be the perfect way to spend the rest of the afternoon. We woke up in time to watch some of the Derby, and then we decided to head up to French Lick Resort & Casino to putter around for a bit.
Before going to the resort, we went to a FREE wine tasting at French Lick Winery. We went to California in January of 2009, and we got to visit many wineries in the Anderson valley region. Each of the wineries was set in the vineyard, and the wines were absolutely delicious.
French Lick winery was located behind a CVS off of the main road in French Lick, the winery had a gravel parking lot and it looked like a warehouse, not a charming little barn or remodeled home like we saw in California.
We went in and sampled some decent dry wines, we had 1 or 2 of the “semi-dry” wines that we thought were ok, and we both wanted to gag when we tried a few of the sweet wines. Gross. It was nice to get to try some of the ‘local’ varietals, but man, Indiana grapes don’t compare to California grapes!
After the wine tasting, we went over to the French Lick Resort & Casino. Neither of us has ever been to a casino, and Daniel had some change in his pockets, so we decided to see what it was all about. The casino was smoky (no smoking ban in Indiana, yet), and it was quite a sight to see. We were shocked to learn that the “penny slots” didn’t actually have a slot that you could put pennies in! We ended up putting a $5 bill into one of the slot machines and we randomly punched the buttons. We ended up walking away with $50, and we still have no idea how those machines work.
We drove back to the cabin and had a wonderful seared tuna-steak with veggies, homemade tortilla chips (with cheese baked on, YUM) and some spicy salsa. I didn’t take any pictures because it was dark. I’ll leave you with some drive-by pictures of the lake. Because of all the rain, the beach area was closed, and the water was SUPER high.
We got to stop by my mom’s house on Mother’s Day, and then we came back home to our ,sweet animals (THANK YOU SO MUCH if you helped to take care of Silas and Mowgli this past weekend!)
We had a wonderful trip, and we would highly recommend that you stay at Out on a Limb Retreat for a relaxing and peaceful weekend!