“Who doesn’t remember warm Summer nights as a child, spent with the family in the old sedan, parked in a gravel slot at the local drive-in? Mom would give the kids an early bath and slip them into their pj’s while dad filled a big brown bag with fresh popped popcorn beforehand. Or maybe it was the place of that first car date with that cute gal or guy that sat the next desk over in class that you recall best?
Once the highlight of cheap entertainment, today they’re going the same way as the dinosaur. Starlite did just that, figuratively this weekend.
I had been wanting to see a movie at the Starlite Drive-In ever since I found out it was nearby and still in business. I wanted to relive the fond memories of my youth. I was waiting for just the right feature movie to see, and then, lo and behold, it was the opening weekend of Jurassic World. I knew it was time to go.
The Bloomington icon has been showing a double feature every weekend, in season, for 60 years. Owned and operated by the Freeman family, they do their best to provide first rate movies and concessions, both at reasonable prices.
Gates opened at 7 pm but the first feature film didn’t start until 9:45. This was to give customers ample time to arrive, set up lawn chairs or in many cases the bed of their pick-up truck, and to spend a little time socializing with other movie goers. We saw several folks walking their dogs, girls practicing gymnastics in the grass and boys throwing footballs or frisbees to one another. Our kids were parked next to us so we spent our preshow time chatting and playing pass the baby. The first film to show, Pitch Perfect, was one we’d never heard of. I will kindly state here that it should have remained anonymous as it was a poor attempt at entertainment. Had it been the second feature film, we would have left after the first but as it was the first, we suffered through it. We did enjoy viewing Jurassic World even though it was predictable.
It was 2 am when the second movie’s credits started to roll. Don and I were astounded we were still awake! We couldn’t recall the last time we’d stayed up so late. It was nice knowing that Suite Pea and our bed was waiting for us just a few short miles down the road.
Come Sunday afternoon, I kissed the husband and the dog both good-bye. Usually it’s Don doling out the good-bye kisses as he leaves to spend a few days at his ma’s. The table was turned this time though, I was off to spend time with three of my dearest friends. With suitcase in hand, I made the drive to Nashville and checked into the Comfort Inn. I was the first to arrive. I deposited my bag in the room and headed back out front to the covered porch where I found a comfy rocking chair to patiently await the arrival of Kathy, Twana, and Kim. I was excited. I love these women, and I hadn’t seen them in over a year.
Next to arrive was Kathy. After hugs and kisses, I helped her carry her bags to the room adjoining mine. Then we promptly plopped down on a bed to catch up while we waited on Twana, whom we knew would be next to arrive from her text message. Kathy and I were contemplating where we should all go for dinner when there was a knock at her door. I flung the door open and in waltzed Twana with hangers in one hand and a bag in the other. Those were quickly tossed on the bed and more hugs, kisses and I’ve missed yous made the rounds. And more catching up.
While we waited on Kim, a decision was made on where to eat and Kathy made us reservations. No sooner was that done than Kim arrived with more hugs and kisses for everyone. We barely let her get settled in before the four of us set off to have dinner.
I had suggested we dine at The Story Inn. It’s a combination restaurant, tavern and inn that I have been wanting to eat at for many years but for one reason or another, it never played out. When I mentioned the inn was purportedly haunted, the gals were definitely on board.
The village of Story, Indiana began in 1851 with a land grant from President Millard Fillmore to Dr. George Story. At one time (1880-1929) it was the largest settlement in the area and supported two general stores, a church, a school, blacksmith forge, sawmill, grain mill, and a post office. Story never fully recovered after the Great Depression. Today only a handful of buildings and homes are still standing. The Inn itself was once the old mercantile store. The original wooden floors, pot-bellied stove and gas pumps are still intact. Presently, the main floor serves as a gourmet restaurant, the basement as a tavern and the upstairs offers bed and breakfast accommodations. One of the inns biggest draw is its year round occupant, the Blue Lady. I quote here from A Brief History of Story, Indiana, “The Blue Lady is a mirthful albeit innocuous apparition with flowing white robes, whose cheeky behavior has been observed by Story Inn employers and recorded in guests books since the 1970’s.“
We thought the atmosphere was wonderful. The service slow. The food so-so, and the prices ridiculously high for what we got. The manager however, indulged us by letting us tour the tavern below, even though it was closed, and the rooms above. There were no ghost sightings while we were in attendance.
We gals spent the remainder of the evening talking and sharing stories while partaking of liquid refreshments.
Following breakfast, we all piled into Kim’s new SUV and drove into Nashville to shop. Nashville is the county seat of Brown County. It touts itself as a quaint artist colony, which it is, and it’s one of Indiana’s most popular tourist destinations.
Farms and rolling hills are abundant in Brown County
Although we intended to spend our day in town lightening our wallets, there’s so much more to do here than just shop. The Brown County Playhouse offers a variety of fine entertainment and the Little Nashville Opry that burnt to the ground in 2009 is expected to rebuild this year. There’s even entertainment geared toward the kiddies in the form of the Melchior Marionette Show.
Nashville also offers numerous types of lodging and restaurants to suit different tastes. There’s a dance hall, riding stables, golf, zip lines, a host of festivals, and the always popular Brown County State Park. I highly recommend reservations for the park if you plan to camp there. The outstanding scenery makes this area a favorite for outdoor weddings too.
At lunchtime the decision was made to try the new pizza establishment in town. The Big Woods Pizza Company started out as a micro brewery but it became such a favorite with locals and tourists alike that the business expanded to include the pizzeria and a fine dining restaurant. Kim, Kathy, Twana and I had such a difficult time selecting just one specialty pie to share that we finally settled on a half and half pizza pie. Not only was it filling but it was delicious too. Afterwards we stopped at both the candy kitchen and the caramel corn shop to purchase goodies for our husbands. That done, we decided to call it a day.
Kim drove us back to the hotel where we each collected our vehicles and said our goodbyes, agreeing to all meet again next Saturday with our husbands in tow.
Back at the campground I found Don working on a song he wrote. It still needs some polishing but I think it will be well received when he performs it for friends this Winter at Seminole Campground.
Tuesday was Ian’s last game of the season. Don and I attended to show our support for him and his team. We invited everyone back to the park for a campfire and S’mores after. It was a pleasant way to end the season and our day.
Here’s looking at you kid…….