Gimmee a Break! Spring Break.

Spring has recently had many ringing endorsements.  There is a good deal of supporting evidence that spring is here, for example….

  • The calendar says so.
  • A certain Pennsylvania groundhog says so.
  • The rapidly growing gardening section at the local super store says so.

But…When I look out my window, I see falling snow and blustery winds I am just not feeling it.  This morning I chose a turtleneck and boots instead of shorts and flip flops.  What gives?

It seems that Spring Break has arrived without very much spring in it.  Luckily French Lick West Baden is prepared for just such an occasion.  You can bring the fun INSIDE!

It is always warm and sunny inside Big Splash Adventure Indoor Water Park.  Choose from overnight packages or day passes and you will be instantly transported to the tropics!IBig Splash Adventure Indoor Water Parkmage

Some places are just so cool on the inside that you don’t care about being outside.  At Shotz, you can play cosmic miniature golf and lazer tag then challenge your sneaky secret agent skills on the lazer maze.

Shotz Lazer TagShotz Cosmic Golf

Another sure sign of spring is the start of NASCAR racing, but don’t be content to sit in your easy chair and watch the professionals have all the fun.  French Lick West Baden Indoor Karting puts you in the driver’s seat.

Racing at French LIck West Baden Indoor Karting

Show Mother Nature who’s boss!  Don’t let the weather spoil your fun.  Play inside and honor the spirit of Spring Break.

Just one more thing….
There is plenty for you “older” kids to do too.  Shake off the winter blahs with some luxury pampering at French Lick Resort‘s award winning spas, brush up on your golf game at the Valley Links’ Learning Center or try your hand at games of chance at the casino.  Whatever your style, there is always something to do when you Visit French Lick West Baden.

Are you feeling the love?

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that seems to elicit a strong emotional response from most people.  No matter whether you love it or hate it, it comes once a year.  Either way, most folks feel the pressure….am I right?

Time is getting short but I am here to help!  Here are some great ideas for celebrating with  your Valentine…

Guest room balcony looking into the West Baden Springs Hotel Atrium.
Are you looking for the ultimate romantic getaway?  The West Baden Springs Hotel is sure to sweep your love off of his or her feet!  The atmosphere is magical and the memories will last forever.  Check out the special Valentine’s Day package.

Sweets for your sweetie!  Make a weekend out of this lover’s holiday and enjoy the Valentine’s Day Chocolate Festival at the French Lick Springs Hotel on Saturday, February 16th.  The tickets for this heavenly event are only $25.

Hand made fudge.The French Lick Winery is also celebrating this holiday’s essential sweet treat with the Chocolate Lovers Weekend.  Enjoy a classic Valentine’s Day meal with Italian treats and perfect wine pairings at The Vintage Cafe.
Is gift giving more your style?  You can’t go wrong with wine, or choose one of the unique hand-made fudge flavors for a unique sweet gift.

One of a kind jewelry.Speaking of gifts - jewelry always tops the charts.  This year, make it a unique, hand-made  piece from Hinshaw’s Rock and Gems.  Everything in the shop is  one-of-a-kind, just like your love!

Just one more thing…

Be sure to check out all the great February events on our website and share your Valentine’s Day plans with us on Facebook!

Don’t Turn Soggy Into Sad! Labor Day Weekend 2012

It is time to start the weekend, Labor Day weekend.  As I sit here on my porch watching the rain pour from the sky, I can’t help but think how many of you must be so dissapointed about the weather forecast.  I know you have spent more than a few minutes this week daydreaming about the long weekend and imagining the fun and relaxation to come.  I doubt that you pictured rain!

Stop!  Don’t let soggy turn into sad!  Adjust that attitude and make some new plans..

Book that spa treatment that you have always wanted at French Lick Resort.

Take the family to French Lick West Baden Indoor Karting to see who really has a lead foot.

Head to Big Splash Adventure Indoor Water Park and pretend that you are lounging in the tropical sunshine.

Check out Shotz and get your game on with a round of cosmic golf or laser tag.

Finally take the historic tours of the West Baden & French Lick Springs Hotels with Indiana Landmarks.

Try out a new restaurant.

Rest!  Enjoy time with your favorite people!  Explore the great INDOORS!  Pledge now that it will be a great weekend and you will head back to work or school on Tuesday with great memories.  If not, you will have to wait an entire year for another Labor Day weekend to come around.

Let me know how you had fun this weekend!  Post your plans and pictures on our Facebook Page!

5 Things You Must Do Before Summer Ends

Yes, I know that traditional summer has already ended for many of you with an early start to the school year, but my calendar says that officially we have 39 days left.  I say we should make the most of every day we have left and stretch the good times.

To be fair, I should admit that I did seek help from our wonderful Facebook Fans when compiling this list.  It was tough to narrow it down to only five!  Get out your planner and pencil these in before the first day of Fall, September 21st.

5.  Enjoy Patoka Lake.  Water is the essence of summer and there are so many ways to have fun…  enjoy a cruise aboard The Voyager Tour Boatrent a pontoon boat for the day or spend a few days in a floating cabin, take a picnic and enjoy gazing out at the water or find that fishing pole that is buried in the garage and drop a line in the water.  It is not too late to make summer memories at the lake with your family and friends

4.  Visit one of Orange County HomeGrown’s Farmers Markets for fresh, locally grown produce, tempting baked goods, and hand made arts & crafts.  Garden fresh vegetables are one of summer’s gifts – be sure to enjoy them while they last.

3.  One word:  GOLF!  French Lick Resort offers world class golf and a choice of 4 courses to match your mood and playing ability so just like they say, “There is Something for Everyone.”   Hit the links while the sun still hangs high in the sky well into the evening hours or take a personal day and work on your game.  Shhhhh!…If you happen to catch the golf flu and need some healthy time on the greens to recover, we promise not to tell.  Need some help planning… check out these great packages.

If you are like me, more interested in FUN, with skills that are best suited for miniature golf, join me at the brand new outdoor course at Shotz.

2.  Another word:  PICNIC.  Summer is all about eating outside and soaking in the sunshine.  Here are suggestions from our Facebook Fans:  First visit Mickie’s, our newest deli, for a lunch packed to go, then proceed to the French Lick Town Green to picnic while watching kids play in the fountain and soak in the sunshine, or turn your picnic into a romantic date with a bottle of wine, a loaf of Pan Bigio Bread and artisan cheeses from French Lick Winery at your favorite private picnic spot to make the most of the warm summer nights while they last.

1.  Do nothing!  This suggestion from a Facebook Fan stood out above all the rest.  I liked this one best because I have a favorite place to do nothing, the front porch of the French Lick Springs Hotel in a rocking chair.  It is a versatile activity because I can do nothing there at any time of the day.  In the morning I can do nothing with a Starbucks Mocha Latte.  In the afternoon, I can do nothing with a scoop of chocolate chip ice cream. Another Facebook Fan preferred doing nothing in a rocking chair on the porch of the West Baden Springs Hotel with a good book.  Wherever YOU prefer to do nothing, it is definitely the perfect sometime activity.

So what are YOU planning to do before summer is over?

Just one more thing… be sure to check the Visit French Lick West Baden Events Calendar for upcoming end of summer events!

Summer: Day 1 at Patoka Lake

View of Patoka LakeI have to admit that today of all days I have the perfect job!  On the first official day of summer, I was required take a 2 hour tour aboard The Voyager tour boat from Patoka Lake Marina with a wonderful motor coach group from Michigan.  My task?  Taking photos (see them here)  and capturing video to share with all of you.  I know it seems tough, but someone has to do it.

While enjoying our leisurely cruise in the perfect warm and sunny weather, complete with a cool breeze for comfort, many questions popped up about Patoka Lake.  I thought I would share some vital statistics

Did you know?

  • Patoka Lake first opened to the public on August 20th, 1979.
  • It is the 2nd largest lake in Indiana at 8,800 acres.
  • The lake is 25 miles long.
  • There are 161 miles of shoreline at regular summer pool.
  • The reservoir contains 588,251,310,000 gallons of water at summer pool.
  • 17,000 acres of land features 4 state recreation areas.
  • 10 boat ramps provide access to the lake.
  • Patoka Lake Beach has 1200 feet of sand.
  • There are 5.9 miles of paved bike trails.
  • The Patoka Lake Visitor’s Center features many interesting exhibits relating the history of Patoka Lake and the many species of wildlife found on the property.   Special events and programming hosted by Visitor’s Center staff bring Patoka Lake to life.  There are so many great things about the Visitor’s Center that it deserves its very own blog in the near future.

Patoka Lake is also special for what you don’t see.    You will not find homes, businesses, or development of any type along the shoreline.  It is truly a place to commune with nature.

What is the best way to enjoy Patoka Lake?  It all depends on you!  You can enjoy water sports, fish, cruise or just kick back and enjoy the scenery.  Rent a houseboat for a week or for the weekend or a pontoon boat for the day.  You can even stay in a floating cabin!  But… if you are a landlubber when it comes to lodging, you can enjoy one of the many nearby cabin rentals.

A little something more...
Check out these great articles about Patoka Lake from Midwest Living Magazine and USA Today.
Midwest Living – Uncrowded Lake Getaways
USA Today – 51 Great Places to View Wildlife

Those Mysterious Angels

Angels 8Have you heard of the West Baden angels?
Hidden away in the very top of the breathtaking atrium of the West Baden Springs Hotel of French Lick Resort is a small room that is shrouded in mystery.  While not a secret, the angels are not well known, nor accessible for public viewing.

Describing it as a “room” might be a stretch.  It is actually a steel drum, approximately 16′ in diameter, with an aged wood floor with cracks of light beaming through.  What you find in this tiny space is extraordinary, as is the trip you must take to get there.  The Angel Room

I certainly did not understand where I was going or what I would be seeing when I accepted an invitation from Sandi Woodward, Indiana Landmarks Program Manager, to “visit the angels”.  I should have know that I was in for an adventure when I was told to “wear comfortable shoes and be ready to climb”.  We started with a trip to the top floor of the hotel and out to the roof.

Staircase to the Angel RoomStill unaware of what was to come, I enjoyed a beautiful view of the countryside and the perfect background of blue sky.  Then came the staircase…. and the realization that I was going to have to climb it.  What you do not see in the photo is the top of the staircase.  A fear of heights stopped me from taking photos as I exited the staircase and tightly gripped the large rope provided to steady climbers through the final ascent of the roof.  My bravery was rewarded with a birds eye view of the towers, gargoyles, and formal gardens .

GargoyleA red door was our re-entry point and then another climb, down this time, on a sturdy steel ladder.  We have arrived!  It is not known when they were painted or by whom.  Graffiti dating back to 1915 covers some of the painted surface.   It is hard not to imagine a lonely painter spending quiet hours creating the angels to watch over the building. Of course, we have no way of knowing the circumstances of the artist, or his intentions, but the experience of viewing the angels certainly conjures up romantic visions.

The Climb Down

Enjoy the photos of these beautiful angels and know that they are watching over you on your next visit to the West Baden Springs Hotel! 

Just one more thing, for a great video tour and more on the story, follow this link.

Angel Photo

Angels 2

Angels 4Angels 3Angels 5

Angels 6

View from the Roof

Memorial Weekend tradition!

When I saw the Memorial Weekend line up of events at French Lick Resort, it made me think of what this summer kick off weekend was like when times were simpler.  Great music and a cook-out by the pool,  an ice cream social,  relaxing times with family and friends.  Old fashioned is the description that comes to mind when  I imagine folks enjoying this special weekend at French Lick Resort.  The beauty is the simplicity, the emphasis is on  spending time with the ones you love and the friends you enjoy.  A perfect weekend and lasting memory.

Memorial weekend at the lake is a long standing tradition.  Our very own Patoka lake is no exception.  The beach and picnic areas will be be filled with picnics and cookout, the shoreline will be dotted with fishermen of all ages and the water will be filled with boaters.  It is the perfect spot to enjoy the first hot weekend of summer. 

No matter how you choose to enjoy your weekend, be sure to take time to remember those who have died in service of our country,  join the National Moment of Remembrance at 3pm on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28th, and thank a veteran or active duty soldier for their service.  

I hope that you enjoy your weekend, and that you will share your experiences here on our blog and on our Facebook page.

Have a great Memorial Holiday and we hope you choose to spend some time in French Lick West Baden,

Your French Lick Friend