Iâ€™ve only passed through Indiana so it was a fun reason to explore the state a little.
Upon entering I was greeted with signs promising Krazy Fireworks and Showgirls, along with Hoosier references.
Further in, however, the scenery changed to luscious green landscapes and I felt more at ease driving around.
I got a little lost along the farm roads, since I expected street signs to be more prominent than they were, city slicker that I’ve become.
I’m sure Red Mill has its charms too, but I was drawn to the description of wildflowers, which I knew must draw critters to them!
The park is lovely, with a dog park, horseback trails, and great paths for biking.
There is also a playground for children and a barbecue area. This is a great spot for families and ‘beginning hikers’ and seemed to have handicapped accessible spots as well. I even learned some rules.
The promise of wildflowers was fulfilled.
Cabbage whites and sulphurs were darting about.
Sometimes you only get one shot, which can be hit or miss.
I also spotted admirals and a crescent that didn’t sit still long enough. But a Tiger Swallowtail posed for me.
The aptly named (and frisky) Red and Black-spotted beetle.
I don’t know if this is a skipper or a moth, but its wings make a really cool buzzing sound.
Not sure whether Viceroy or Monarch, but either is beautiful.
I went into the wooded area, but since the area is a wetland, the mosquitos swarmed around me immediately.
There are options between the paved path and more woodsy earthy paths.
Stopping to take photographs of moths turned me into an instant meal.
So I had to track back in spite of my bug spray.
Â On my way out I met this dashing Blue Dasher.
It posed for a little while.
I meandered around the flowers a bit more.
This Black Swallowtail captivated me for some time.
I then crossed the street to another woodsy path, which fortunately wasn’t as mosquito-rich as the other path.
It was clearly a lover’s lane, with numerous initials carved into trees. I didn’t see an R&L though.
There was the right amount of shade and light.
I was led to a pond, where mosquitos swarmed me again, but not as badly.
These dragonflies weren’t the best posers, but lovely to watch as they patrolled the waters.
As I wandered back to the parking lot this tree stared back at me.
It was time to head for the B&B, which took me past the LaPorte County Fair.
The Arbor Hill Inn is a charming Bed and Breakfast near the lake of LaPorte, Indiana.
I had picked my Chateau Provence Room online, which is in the guest house.
The room is cozy and charming.
And the whirlpool tub was one of its perks.
The butterfly by the house was an affirmation as well.
Since it was dinnertime, I made my way back past the lake into downtown LaPorte.
Trattoria Enzo had been recommended to me by the innkeeper.
After the long drive and a few hours of walking I was ready for a hearty meal, which was delicious.
Across the street from the restaurant is LaPorte’s main landmark, the courthouse.
The Potawatomi Indian has a broken spear to symbolize peace with the pioneers.
It is INDIANa, after all.
Sadly there wasn’t much else to explore, so I made my way back to the hotel for a bubble bath and a good night’s sleep. Both mornings I was treated with a delicious breakfast.
The day after the wedding I sunned at the Indiana Dunes before going home.
The line got long on the gorgeous afternoon.
I took the more scenic drive of I-90 to Lakeshore Drive this time, though the tolls hurt my wallet ($4 upon entering Chicago after paying $2.30 between two stops in Indiana).
Hazy Chicago was a nice sight to behold.
It was a lovely weekend, and I look forward to planning another roadtrip in the fall. There is so much to see within 2 hours of Chicagoland, and between state parks and nature trails, it doesn’t have to break the bank.
What are your favorite places to visit?