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As evident by the header, this was in the June issue of the PJ.

All the pictures on this page were taken near or in the small Ohio River town of Madison, Indiana.

Relaxing along the Ohio River

Opening Comments from Bob

Madison, Indiana: Since the Tacoma trip was shortened, I am instead sharing my thoughts regarding a short overnight trip with my sister Larraine, brother-in-law Jerry, and Jan to the historic Madison, Indiana. This trip occurred a few days before flying to Tacoma. For those following my blog some of the pictures will look familiar.

Madison is a small river town along the Ohio River. The city of about 12,000 contains 133 blocks in the downtown area that are on the . Though the rains poured in abundance the night before, on our stay in Madison, the weather cooperated. Another plus besides the historic interests is that it has some of the friendliest people I have met. It was not that false friendliness that so many fast food restaurants generate but genuine appreciation that you are visiting their community.National Register of Historic Places

Be sure to visit the showpiece mansion, the Lanier House, that was constructed during the years 1840-44. The thirty-minute tour was fascinating. (I am not one who usually enjoys such things.) Also, stop at the city information center across from the Lanier Memorial to obtain friendly and helpful information.

Besides having a fascinating array of historical homes to visit, there are several small wineries that still offer that personal tasting experience that used to be prevalent in Napa before the hordes descended upon them in such numbers that tasting fees were added. We visited the , less than 100 yards from the Lanier Mansion and the community’s elegant information center. Having collected wines for over thirty-five years, I enjoy specific tastes and nuances. While I like visiting small wineries in the less celebrated growing areas, seldom do I enjoy the taste of those wines. But in this case, I purchased two fruit wines, which I NEVER do. One wine in particular, Festival Cherry, when sipped while eating a small piece of chocolate, causes the flavor to explode in your mouth like a rich, luscious dark chocolate cherry cordial. Besides, joining others in the tasting room was fun and relaxing.Lanthier Winery

Jerry, Larraine, and Jan posing along the Ohio River
Enjoying a stroll along the river
Entrance area to Lanthier Winery
One of the backyard gardens
The fabulous Lanier Mansion, built in the mid 1840's – well-worth the tour
Lanier Gardens
Looking up the three-story Lanier Mansion stairway
One of the sitting rooms in the Lanier Mansion
Broadway Fountain, caste in 1886 – only four such fountains remain in existence


Madison, IN: If you are relatively near this area, enjoy a day or overnight visit to this historic old river town. Below are some suggestions.

  • Restaurants: Based upon the recom-mendation of our innkeepers, Steve and Dee, we chose to have dinner at the Bistro One (sorry, no web site). A wise choice! The service was friendly and efficient. Expect owner and chef Nick to stop by your table to see if the food was prepared to your liking. The four of us enjoyed each of our meals. We tried a variety of options including shrimp, fish, and veal — all fixed in the appropriate tantalizing sauces. My personal overall rating is 8.5/10. Another delicious place to dine is the Key West Shrimp House. It is near the river so you have a nice view. For lunch, I had one of the best fish chowders with large pieces of shrimp in it. The salad bar contains unique items including mashed potato salad and pickled melon (tastes much better than it sounds). It is one of the most comprehensive and unique salad bars that I have enjoyed. The main course of fish selection was also delicious. Angie, our server, was fantastic. When she learned that we were visiting for the first-time, she disappeared for a few moments and came back with a city map and a variety of places to visit. Since she has lived there most of her life, she had vast local knowledge. Angie is the one that started our trip off on the “right foot.” She set the tone for our fun-filled visit to Madison.
  • Iron Gate Inn: Being a tourist area, there are a number of fine places to stay. After checking the web, we settled on the Iron Gate Inn on the edge of the downtown historic district. This large 19th century home is what many picture as the perfect B&B. The innkeepers Dee and Steve were friendly and helpful with excellent suggestions. The candlelight breakfast, included in the price, was one the best I have experienced in my many stays at B&B’s throughout the country. The French toast, one of the multiple courses, was made with a special recipe. Ooh La La! The breakfast alone made the stay worth it! The small courtyard in the back is perfect for tai chi or yoga among the flowers.
  • V & M Resturant: If you are ever in Bellville, OH, stop by the V & M to enjoy a traditional home cooked meal at very reasonable prices. (The restaurant is closed on Sundays.)
  • Take a look at the new online book and gift page.
Key West Shrimp House - a great place to eat
One of the bedrooms (Sorry for the briefcase ...:-)
Formal dining and living rooms in the Iron Gate Inn

Looking toward downtown Madison

Small side garden at the Inn

Iron Gate Inn

Back garden at Iron Gate Inn – a great place for tai chi

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