We expected a day of more gardens than gabbing, but we got some unexpected results.
My sister and I decided about a month ago that we’d sign up for her church’s bus trip to Cathedral Gardens in Henryville, Indiana, on June 4. Never heard of the place, but the descriptions sounded very nice and we were curious. Besides, we could have a new experience, since neither one of us had tried the bus trip thing.
We started off the day with a surprise; being chosen for seats on the overflow, 16-passenger, van that was accompanying the 45-passenger, full-sized motor coach. Oh well, our fellow passengers were good-natured and we had a jovial driver, so our two-hour trip to Henryville was fine. There was only one tiny hint of a possible glitch when the van almost didn’t start after our restroom stop. And, the weather was looking gruesome all the way, even though the forecast was only 20% rain. We remained optimistic.
Well, it happened. As we were just at the end of our tour guide’s intro, it poured and poured and poured, for over an hour. The informative tour guide ran low on stories about the owner’s life, the planting routines and the origin of the statuary, as we all smiled and kept our sheltered seats. Meanwhile, the rains were weighing down many of the blooms. Regardless, when the rain break did come, we had an enjoyable tour. The colors and the spectacle of the gardens were impressive. My favorite part was probably the expansive lily pads blooming with bright pinks and yellows on the ponds sprinkled with rain drops. With draping willow trees along the edges of the water, those views seemed calming on a mostly-rainy day. We did have clearings and enjoyed some beautiful blooms as well. See a few more scenes below:
So, after the rain delay, our 2:30 lunch stop at the KFC in Scottsburg was more than welcomed. I thought of the times we’ve stopped on the road at a similar restaurant only to see a bus parked outside and drive right on through the parking lot, avoiding the long line of senior citizens. Well, here I was. Waiting my turn in that line. But, did I care? Nope. Col. Sanders fare was delightful. Then our group gathered once more at the van. By this time, after the rain delays, walking in the drizzle and our fill of chicken, I think we were all more than ready to go home.
Oh, no. You guessed it. Our transportation went lame. Despite the best efforts of both drivers, there was no getting the van going. Fifteen of us were stranded in the KFC parking lot until another van could be sent from Indy - 90 miles! This is what I meant by more gabbing than gardens. All we could do was make the most of it. In fact, three of us went next door to Cracker Barrel for coffee, conversation, and a little shopping. Sonny and Marti and I had fun sharing dog pictures, travel stories and hobbies. But, we did miss the singing out in the van, so they told us.
There was more waiting… Until, about four hours after lunch, we saw the other van approaching. The driver could hear us cheering. All in all, instead of 5:00 pm it was closer to 9:00 pm before I was telling Jerry my tale at home.
But, truthfully, the overtime gabbing with folks that wanted to laugh instead of complain wasn’t really that terrible. We sure will remember this day, for lots of reasons!