Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Jellystone Park, Fremont IN

July, 2014
Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park in Fremont, IN

Marc didn't blog on this trip, so I decided to write something up after the fact.  I always like looking back and remembering our trips, so here we go...

We finally pulled out the motorhome for the first time this year!  I gave it a good cleaning and packed everything we needed into it for a four night camping trip.  It takes a lot of organizing to fit everything in neatly that our family of seven needs.  We had the motorhome parked outside our house for several days before the trip and the kids played in it for hours whenever we would let them.  We should have been testing all the systems out during this time.
We plugged the motorhome into the house power the night before our trip to start the refrigerator and load the groceries.  The refrigerator and freezer would not cool off.  Bummer.  The next morning, the refrigerator was still warm and the freezer actually felt hot I guess from it trying to work.  We loaded coolers with the perishable food and stopped for ice on our way.  

The kids were all excited to get our trip started.  Zach especially appreciated being in a carseat where he could see what was going on.  It was quite a change for him since he's usually still in a rear facing carseat.  
I made calls to RV dealers in Elkhart, IN where we would be around lunchtime and also to a RV dealer adjacent to our campground in Fremont IN to see if they could check it out for us.  No luck.  

It wasn't too long before we were entering Indiana and then surprisingly we found ourselves on an unexpected detour in Michigan (wrong turn.)  The kids were getting bored with the games they picked and I turned on the generator so they could watch a DVD.  Miraculously, the refrigerator and freezer started to cool off with the power from the generator.  I still have no idea why, but am grateful it started working and we were able to use it for the remainder of our trip.

Things were really looking up now.  We found our way back to Indiana.  We all enjoyed lunch at a Dairy Queen in Elkhart where the kids were given window markers and invited to draw on their windows.  Their meal deals are very reasonable for kids and adult meals and all included some kind of ice cream too.  Happy now, we loaded back into the RV for the short trip over to the RV Hall of Fame.

In case you aren't aware, Elkhart IN is known as the RV Capitol of the World.  Many, if not most RVs are manufactured here.  The museum was small but interesting.  The biggest and best part of it is the area with old (and I mean old) RVs on display.  Here are a few pictures of this area...

I like how they set up the displays.  Instead of just rows of RVs.  You ambled down a road, over bridges and rivers and it really added to the experience.  There were signs to tell us which year each was built and other special facts about the RVs.
The kids can never resist sticking their faces in the cut outs!
Even Zach!

Another section of the museum had brand new RVs.  There were only about eight.  This section also had an audio "tour" of how an RV is built from frame to finish.  Jacob listened intently and moved along the display case as prompted to completion.
It didn't take too long to go through the whole thing and it was interesting to see once.  Marc and the kids have been into geocaching lately, and found out there was one to look for  near the RV Hall of Fame.  We all looked around for a few minutes, found the hidden canister, signed it, and hit the road again.

The "Baby Zs" don't make anything easy on us!

Our next stop was Shipshewana.  That's Amish country and there is a big flea market held there every Tuesday and Wednesday.  We weren't sure if we would arrive in time, but did manage to catch the last half hour of it.  We picked up some delicious blueberries.  Wish we would have bought more, we ate the pint we bought before we even got back in the motorhome.  Upon tasting them, even Marc said, "How do they make the ones in the store taste so bad?"  We also bought a few peaches and some sweet corn.  

We went in a few stores and a meat and cheese market where I wish we had bought all of our groceries for the trip.  Everything looked so good!  Everything closed at 5:30 and with our hour time change the day had sped by.  We wanted to eat at an Amish restaurant for dinner.  We had really enjoyed the family style dining at Amish  restaurants when we were in Lancaster County PA.  We went to the biggest one in this area which meant a little back tracking.  It was a buffet. I'm not a big fan, but I think everyone else liked it.  While Marc was paying the bill, I bought the kids outside where Jacob carelessly misread a sign and asked if he could go sit in the "Quiet Garden."  Sure, sounds good to me.  They all sat quietly on the bench while I snickered inside.  We really need a Quiet Garden at home.

It was only about another hour to get to Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park in Fremont.  The teme of the week was "Christmas in July."

This was the Park of the Year last year and that's what prompted us to camp here.  There are over 500 campsites and cabins .
There are also a lot of playgrounds, several swimming pools,jumping pillows, a lake, and a catch and realease pond.  They're currently  building a nice splash area.  You can pay additional fees for mini golf, big water slides, and water wars (water balloon fights), pedal carts, and boats on the lake.

Zach will go for a game of Pat-a-cake anytime, anywhere.

We enjoyed many campfires. We even cooked our breakfast over a fire one morning.  I forgot paper sacks for the eggs and bacon in a bag, so we just made "donut snakes" from refrigerator biscuits and cinnamon and sugar.

We made a mild effort to decorate our site for Christmas in July.  The boys were funny though, thinking we had a chance of winning the decorating contest.  There were a few sites, mainly permanent residents, that really did a good job decorating.

This was a relatively relaxing trip. We had no plans except for whatever daily park activities Jacob wanted to participate in.  Feeding and cleaning up after five kids takes up an awful lot of time though.

Also, we found out that our shower and kitchen sink faucet were leaky.  I dealt with the sink, but the shower was not usable.  (Should have checked everything before the trip, but unlikely we could have fixed it anyway.)  Luckily a "Comfort Station" with showers was very close to our site.
See holes in a sign?  Must stick our faces in it until you take our picture.

Zoe loved the jumping pillows, once she was brave enough to give them a try.

Jacob loved playing Dodge Ball

Everyone loved whatever 'smores variation we made after dinner.  These are campfire cones with chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, strawberries, and bananas.  Another night we made classic 'smores and another night 'smores with white chocolate instead of milk chocolate or Oreos instead of graham crackers.

It's surprising how well popcorn turns out over the campfire.  Marc had to cook three batches before he actually got any.  Somehow we never had time to watch a movie.  But I did get some time to read occasionally.

The most anticipated activity was tie dying t-shirts.  I had a feeling when Marc suggested I take the three big kids to do this, that Zoe would pitch a fit.  When we got back to camp with the shirts, she did just that.  Even with the promise she could pick out a souvenir at the store, she would only settle for a shirt like her siblings.

On the off chance that we could still do one for Zoe, I grabbed some more money from Marc, loaded her up in the stroller and booked it to the other side of the campgrounds.  We just squeeked in before they disposed of the buckets of dye.

She could not have been happier with her shirt!

Zach loves to wave and is pretty irresitable when he does.  He lures me right in.
I get too close though, and he ends up in my arms again.

All in all, it was an enjoyable trip.  It sprinkled rain on us a couple of nights, we had a teething baby and little sleep, but it's always nice to spend time hanging out with our kids and seeing new places.  My favorite Jellystone Park for the record is still the one in Warrens, WI.