Day 12

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Day 12

Wednesday, July 19, 2000

During the night it actually rained and was tolerable (we didn't have to use the air conditioning!). So this morning it was nice and cool and Northwest-like, so we felt nice and comfortable.

The galley of the SS Creaks and Groans

Galley and crew quarters

The SS Creaks and Groans docked at Riverbend campground

After casting off from Riverbend campground, we headed into Carmel, Indiana to find a coin-operated laundry, on account of Robert was out of clothes and would be walking around naked if we didn't. This is one of the nice things about an RV--while your clothes wash, you can lounge around in your house reading.

Watching our clothes get washed from the comfort of our RV

And now it's off to visit The Museum of Miniature Houses And Other Collections, Inc., which is a fancy title for a place with a bunch of dollhouses. But Laura has her own dollhouse, and likes doing miniature work, so it's worth the trip.

Laura pauses outside the promised land, waiting to enter

Inside, the place is basically an old house, with all the rooms filled with dollhouses from various times and by various people. Some of them are old, some are new, but all of them are teeny-tiny.

The American Dream House: walls that open for easy access!

And having walls that open is handy to get from one level to another, since there's no stairs....

A teeny-tiny kitchen filled with teeny-tiny baked goods (in the upper right is an actual old-fashioned teeny-tiny refrigerator!)

My father's mansion has many rooms (all of them teeny-tiny, however)

This person thought it would be cool to put an entire (miniature) kitchen in a bread box

The bread box kitchen, which--aside from the lack of running water, a refrigerator and a microwave; and the presence  a wood stove instead of an electric stove--looks just like any modern kitchen

The houses just keep getting teenier

A miniature silver coffee set (when you order a short latte here, you really get a short latte!)

A brief discourse on "latte"
Robert was forever spelling it "latté" (using the "e" with the uphill accent on it), thinking it was French. Ha ha. It is, in fact, Italian, which means there is no accent (Italians are too busy drinking coffee and lounging about coffee houses to be bothered with accents). Therefore, it is a "caffe latte" with no accents on either "e."

Some miniature dogs (including a miniature Pekinese, which is kind of like having a miniature shrimp--isn't it already small enough without mocking it?)

Some miniature dinosaurs (the one on the left seems to be a stubby-sauras--the body isn't really long enough to be a suaropod)

This is not how a T. Rex would have stood around (think road runner, not lizard), but this was probably from the olden days (more than 20 years ago) when humanity was more stupid

Miniature people are very resourceful about finding places to live

A miniature toy store--Robert wants to know where all the licensed Star Wars® products are--he wants to play with a teeny-tiny light saber...

Another view of the toy store, note the Barbie® doll and the record player ("but no Playstation®," says Robert)

You can tell this is a miniature workshop--everything is neatly put away. In a real workshop, there'd be piles of tools and materials everywhere.

A teeny-weeny two-manual harpsichord

A brief discourse on two-manual harpsichords
They really did build harpsichords with two keyboards (for non-music geeks, a "manual" refers to one row of keys; see how in the picture above, there's two rows of keys?). Because harpsichords didn't have any dynamics (you couldn't play a note loud or soft, you could just play it), the second (sometimes third) manual was used to pluck a second set of strings in a different place, or with a different quill. This would result in a louder (or softer) sound. So, the top manual, for example, might play softer than the lower one.

All of this went away, of course, when the "piano" was invented. The piano could play loud, soft, sorta loud, sorta soft, and more, with just one keyboard. Plus, you got all those pedals (well, three pedals anyway), one of which also makes all the notes softer.

By the way, harpsichords really did used to have pictures painted on the inside of their lids. Which makes it a piece of furniture, a musical instrument, and a piece of art all at the same time!

Heading back to Chicago

We're running out of steam (although the landscape is still plenty warm!), so we point the bow of the SS Creaks and Groans towards the port of Chicago, and set sail across seas of corn. (And more corn.)

Imagine our suprise at seeing: more corn fields!

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