Day 3 – Visiting With Giraffes and Elephants in Indiana!
Today was another terrific day in West Baden/French Lick, IN.
Breakfast was served in the beautiful formal dining room at the “West Baden Springs Hotel”. My passengers could order anything off their wonderful menu. When we sat down the server brought us a freshly made banana loaf. The orange juice was freshly squeezed. There were so many interesting breakfast entrees on the menu it was hard to decide which one to order.
We scrambled to located our morning attraction – a beautiful ranch. Paul drove the motor coach through a covered bridge – the entrance of the property. The views while driving down the dirt road were beautiful. My passengers had no idea that they would spending time with Giraffes and Elephants at this Ranch. This was a terrific “one of a kind” experience so perfect for a Mystery Tour. The animals even posed so we could get personal pictures with them!
Back at the resort we enjoyed High Tea – a private event for “Travel With Bradley” passengers. Those that tried the “Lemon Lavender” tea selection liked it so much they bought all the lemon lavender tea stock in the gift shop! The delicious treats that came with the tea were beautifully presented and were enjoyed by all.
Informative. Hotel guides toured us around this historic hotel which was built in 1855. It was completed in just ONE year and soon became famous for having the Largest Unsupported Atrium in the World! Many considered it the 8th Wonder of the World.
During this time French Lick was a bigger destination than Las Vegas as it housed 17 “illegal” casinos so when the police shut them it was a major crisis for the town.
The hotel struggled after a 1901 fire and the 1929 turn in the stock market. In 1932 it was for sale so the Jesuits used it from 1934-1964 and it became a liberal arts college from 1967-1983 but the cost to maintain the structure was just too much for them to bear.
It laid vacant and in disrepair for many decades. Local successful billionaires, the Cooks eventually spent 600 million to restore the building, turning it into a luxurious hotel once again.
We all enjoyed some free time to enjoy our surroundings this afternoon. Many rode a train car to the French Lick Resort, some enjoyed time in the pool, reading while sitting in rocking chairs on the hotels wide porch was ideal because of the warm sunny weather and others were thrilled with their horse back riding experience. Two of my passengers even shared a $1200.00 winning at the casino!
This evening was a fun filled evening in basketball player, Larry Birds former “Garage” which has been turning into a performing arts theatre. After a home-cooked dinner we enjoyed an entertaining 2 hour, 60’s musical review, featuring one of the very talented Thomas brothers. My family and his both opened shows for the Osmond Family Second Generation. The music industry is a small one so the two of us share many of the same musical friends.
After a farewell evening walk under the stunning atrium at the hotel its time to turn in for the evening. We start our journey North after breakfast tomorrow morning.
I look forward to bringing future groups back to this amazing, luxurious hotel and quaint village which is located in the “middle of nowhere”!