We loaded my boys and their best friends into the minivan and left our north suburban home just after 9:15AM on Good Friday. I don't know if it was our timing or the holiday, but we breezed through the city on our way to Indiana. Life was good.
But then we hit a major traffic snafu heading south on I-65. A lane closure due to construction slowed us to a standstill. I was more annoyed than worried. After all, we had plenty of time to make it to our 1:30 tour of the Endangered Species Chocolate Factory near Indianapolis.
By the time we passed through the bottleneck, our crew was ready for a bathroom break, so we pulled over at a nearby rest stop. We piled out of the car and made our way to the entrance only to run into locked doors with a smattering of signs taped to them."Facilities Closed." This did not deter some men and boys (not my group) from going around the back of their building to pee near it. Or on it. Take that, Indiana rest stop!
We located the chocolate factory, and headed to a nearby fast food joint for a quick lunch. So many choices, so little time. I decided on Hardee's, just for something a little different. It was not only slow; it was horrible, even by fast food standards. When my son and his friend complained about their chicken tenders, I told them it was because we weren't familiar with this brand and to just eat. It turns out the tenders were barely cooked. Disgusting.
We rushed over the Endangered Species Chocolate and arrived to some confusion. Our guide explained that the production line had already shut down for the day. "But you told me to schedule our tour for this time," I said with disappointment.
"Yes, but you're an hour late."
Indiana is on Eastern Time?!?
Yes. And no.
I have since learned that northwest and southwest Indiana are on Central Time like Illinois, but the rest of the state is not. Grrrr.
The kind marketing woman took us around the facility and answered our questions, anyway, but it certainly wasn't as exciting as it would have been if they were still in production. And we didn't get to taste any chocolate.
Fully aware of the time zone issue, we hurried from the chocolate factory to our next scheduled tour, Trader's Point Creamery, an organic dairy farm, creamery and restaurant.
When I made the tour arrangements, I was told to arrive in the later afternoon so we could observe the cows coming in from pasture and being milked. As we were walking around the farm waiting for our tour guide, I saw a sign noting that the afternoon milking had been cancelled.
Afternoon milking cancelled for the first time in five years. As with the chocolate factory, we still had an interesting and informative tour (which I will expound upon at TravelingMom), but we missed the biggest highlight. We did get to sample their delicious drinkable vanilla yogurt and specialty cheese for free, and enjoyed their ice cream, "the best ever" according to our crew, for a fee at the restaurant's dairy bar.
On the way home we caught more construction traffic on I-65, which seemed like a fitting end to our cold, damp, sunless, mishap filled trip. We were glad to be back in Sweet Home Chicago.