Homeymoon!

We don’t have many pics from the wedding just yet. People were very gracious with not taking photos during the ceremony, and our hired photographer has been very busy, what with it being wedding season and all. We do have one preview from her and a few others though to share. Also, I apologize for the pics being stacked one after another; I didn’t have time to edit them into multi-images.

meandlanna sadiepreviewFirst Dance - Lanna cake

Isn’t that fun? I am dying to see more photos!! Honestly, pins and needles here.

We decided not to spend a great deal of money right off the bat (especially with all the money we spent on the wedding) and so we stayed put and had what we are calling, a Homeymoon. We didn’t go anywhere, get away from The House or anything, didn’t put any major time constraints on ourselves. And it was glorious! This was my first time living in The House and it was nice to get acclimated to the territory. Plus, I was exhausted. Very wiped out.

We were instructed to open our cards the very next day (well, at least one of them) and discovered a gift card to Ruth’s Chris Steak House in downtown Cincinnati, a note of a reservation made for the next night, and tickets to the Reds game! It was our first time out of The House, since I had stocked us up with food. We really didn’t need to leave just yet.¬†We had a blast. We got an appetizer of veal-stuffed ravioli. So wonderfully good! I got lamb chops for my main course and Matt got the steak filet. It was very upper-crust and way pricier than we would ever have done ourselves. They knew we had just got married too, so they came and chatted with us quite a bit, put rose petals on the table and gave us a complimentary dessert!

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The seats to the Reds game were pretty amazing too – just about 100 ft from 1st base. We only ever go if the tickets are free, or if there’s a large group of friends going and we’re sitting in the cheapo nosebleed section. They won, too! That doesn’t normally happen when I come to a game so that was a very nice treat!

130608 redsgameWe also went to Target and picked up a bunch of the bigger items we had wanted, but didn’t get in gifts. We now have a pretty good amount of storage in the bathroom and have most of our kitchen supplies and bed linens. It’s been great getting everything put together. Another great was checking out with $740 worth of stuff and only having to pay $40 above what the gift cards would pay for. We definitely made out like bandits! And Matt was excited because he had things to put together. ūüôā

The only other big outing we did was to the Cincinnati Museum Center. The original plan was to go to the zoo, but it was raining cats and dogs. By the time we got downtown, we thought that was enough wildlife for the day and decided to romp around indoors.¬† 130608 unionterminal02130608 unionterminal01130608 butterfliesThey are showing a special on the monarch butterfly at the Omnimax. It was really beautiful. They did a preview of the dinosaur show coming up, but there’s not much to report on that except for the baby in the third row’s reaction. She kept crying and saying, “Bye bye! Bye bye!” lol. Sad that the mom did leave with her right after the film started; I think she would’ve liked it once it got started, but I’m glad she wasn’t in there crying the whole time.

We also went up to Tower A where they used to control all of the many trains that went through the terminal. I love the art deco appearance of the building, but it was completely functional in its day. Now, there are still trains that come through, but not nearly the same volume. The tower has some really cool artifacts and an incredible view!

130608 trainsThe Huz and I love learning about how things work and the more technical and mechanical, often, the better! There were some really fun vehicles that would drive over the rail cars and pick them up then rush all over the place, sometimes putting them on a truck load. The guy driving was suspended way above the ground and it was crazy how fast they could drive!

130608 unionterminal03I love this city. Cincinnati breathes home to me and even though the highway system drives me nuts, I love driving into it and seeing that familiar skyline. I’m so glad that we chose to have a Homeymoon and spend time around the city and in our home.

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Getting Married: 38 Weeks – Road Trip

I met up with some friends last year in Indianapolis and it was my first time to explore the city. I loved it! (You can find my posts about THAT trip here. Sorry Erik, I still don’t have a review up of your seminars.) Matt and I both had Labor Day off work, so we took off early Monday morning and drove over to Indy for a fun day trip.

It was a rainy start, but we made our way straight over to The Children’s Museum. I went there on my last trip and their big exhibit was something on Barbie. My friend Audrey and I were not compelled at all to go check it out. This time, the special exhibit was “Hot Wheels for Real!”

Matt was so super excited about this exhibit. I had seen that it would be there ahead of time, but Matt didn’t know. He must have said 10 times that his brothers would LOVE to see all of it too.

Pretty Green Camaro…that’s all I’ve got. Oh, and something about the chrome being tinted, instead of it actually being paint.

I’m pretty sure this kid is livin’ the dream – a super cape and a hot wheels track.

There were quite a few boys running around with super-capes tacked onto their shirts. I hold to The Incredibles’ theory on capes though…they sure look impressive, but then they get sucked into an airplane engine and where does that leave you? Not very pretty.

The dino dome really impresses me. I used to love dinosaurs until I saw Jurassic Park and it gave me nightmares until…last week. Just kidding! (I might not be…)

Oh look! There’s Barbie, afterall…

*sings* I am a paaaaa-leon-tooooo-logist.

We may have been distracted here for a full 5 minutes when we got to the hands-on discovery center…and then again on our way out.

Mirror Maze!

After the museum, we drove over to one of my favorite shopping districts. If you’ve never been to Indy, then you should go to Massachussetts Avenue. If you have been to Indy, but haven’t been to Mass Ave, consider this your invitation. It’s much like Hillsboro Village in Nashville and just a lot of fun. There weren’t nearly as many shops open as the last time I was there. Something about it being a holiday… The toy store was open and we found some really fun things in there. The owners were running the registers and commented that they realize just how much they need their regular cashiers. I guess they decided to open that day on a whim and were really pleased with the amount of business they were getting. I asked the wife where we should get our lunch and she recommended Bru Burger Bar across the street. We were starving so off we went.

In the last few years, I have really come to appreciate signature burgers from different restaurants. I never was a burger gal, but I’ve crossed over and was so excited to try one of Bru’s Chef Burgers. I went for the basic called “The Beginning.”

They call it The Beginning. I call it Delectable.

It quite literally melted in my mouth. What would take me back to Bru’s, though, is the ketchup – or what they call ketchup. It’s an amazing mix of ketchup, brown sugar, minced onion, and crushed red pepper. I think Matt and I both ran out of the stuff before we were done with our fries. The waitress said she thinks the restaurant was built around the ketchup because you’re always looking for something else to put in it.

Pensive face over how amazing his blackened mahi-mahi sandwich is.

After we stuffed ourselves and decided to move on, we walked over to one of my favorite shops, “Silver in the City/At Home in the City.” It’s actually two shops in one and is full of some incredibly witty, sarcastic, and sometimes irreverent material. Here are a couple of things we found:

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On: Things About Me

Have you ever seen Marcel the Shell with Shoes On? No? You must!¬† Go here and then here. We were *thiiiiiiis* close to buying one. He talked about the many large monuments in his hometown (hint, they’re athletics trophies) and what his breadroom is like. Yes, his breadroom. If you’re still confused, then go back to where I said “here” and “then here” and go there. Seriously, why are you still waiting?

Reading is Sexy and Knitting is Knotty.

The only thing that kept me from buying one of these is that they’re plastic. Other than that, we thought these were hilarious and very fitting…for me. ūüôā

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I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on WeddingWire.com

Review: Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis

This is part of a series of reviews from my time in Indianapolis this past weekend.  Growing up in southwest Ohio, one of the major projects we had to do ( a couple of years) in school was a study of Native American culture.  Several tribes have trekked across the area that I live in and the culture is so rich Рwhile I may not have fully enjoyed having to do the work, the knowledge gained was worth it.  I was excited to see that there is an American Indians and Western Art museum in Indy, so it was top on the list to visit.

**Be sure to check out Anthony’s (PR manager) comment after the review.¬† He shares some good information that I missed on my trip.**

Here’s the specs:

Eiteljorg Museum
500 W Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
317.636.9378
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The Eiteljorg, pronounced “I-tell-zhorg”, Museum is located right along White River State Park.¬† This makes it easy to access from pretty much anywhere in Downtown Indy, whether by car or on foot.¬† We got there on foot, so I can’t comment on the underground parking garage, but the woman at the counter asked if we were parked down there, so I’m thinking there’s a discount or voucher they offer.¬† Museum hours are Mon-Sat 10a-5p and Sunday noon-5p.¬† Sometimes this can vary depending on events in the city, so call ahead to double-check.

A lot of it is art Рpaintings, sculptures, etc. Some are examples of handmade items such as textiles, pottery, weaponry, and beadwork.  If you are into that kind of stuff, then this is a really neat museum.  On the second floor, there is a full gallery depicting native tribes from around the continent.  Historical details and traditional clothing, art, shelters, and lifestyles are shown throughout the exhibit.  I personally love history, so this was a really interesting part for me.

There was an interesting exhibit on the 1st Floor called “Red/Black” and it was all about Native and African American combined heritage and multi-ethnicity.¬† One thing that I liked about this exhibit is how they show a person’s ethnic identity as being their culture and something personal, rather than a person’s blood and physical features.¬† As a Christian, I believe that all people come from Noah and his wife and therefore, there are not different ‘races’ of man, but one race with many cultures.

This wasn’t my favorite part of my trip, but I think I just wasn’t in the right mindset.¬† We didn’t plan to spend a lot of time there and maybe would have done better to eat in the cafe as well.¬† Also, I didn’t see anything for kids, and though I am an adult, I learn a lot from the creative exhibits made to help children learn.¬† They seem to have a lot of community events going on in partnership with the museum.¬† One such event is West Fest 2011, which will be September 24, 2011.¬† Check out the website for more information!

So here’s the breakdown:

The museum:¬† It’s an art museum, mostly, and then there are informational exhibits on native American tribes across the continent.¬† It’s quiet except for some of the kids who were dragged through it with parents and we crying to be let out.¬† I didn’t blame them.¬† Some photography is allowed, but you have to check the entrance to the exhibit to see if there is a “no cameras” sign.
For kids: I didn’t see much for kids to do.¬† Granted, we didn’t explore all of the museum, but from the sounds of kids who were going through the primary exhibits and areas, it didn’t sound like much fun.¬† Not sure I would have enjoyed it as a kid either.¬† Not much to touch or explore, although there was one spot you could build your own mini-teepee (a little high for younger kids to reach, though).¬† Check the website if you want more info for family features.
The cost:¬† It’s a moderately-priced museum.¬† Adults are $8.¬† Seniors, 65+ are $7. Kids 5-17 and college students (with ID) are $5.¬† Kids under 5 are Free, as are Members (about $50 for one year) and IUPUI folk.
The food: Sky City Cafe is in the museum with access from the outside.¬† We didn’t eat there since we had just had some delicious Cuban food downtown, but from the menu, the options are mostly around sandwiches from about $8-$9.50 each of the southwestern style.¬† There are also some salads and a Mexicana section.¬† I went to a native American museum in Wichita and they had traditional Indian food, which was fun.¬† I don’t see anything like that on this menu.
The help:¬† Attendant at the admissions counter tried every way possible to get us a discounted ticket. If you are staying at a hotel in the city, you can get a dollar knocked off the price.¬† One woman in the Red/Black exhibit kind of rudely told me to put away my camera, but I didn’t take it too personally.
The parking: Parking garage underground, parking at White River State Park, and parking at various garages throughout the downtown. If you park in the State garage, know that you can only use cash to pay.
The accommodations: It’s an Art Museum, comfort isn’t really high on the priority list, but there are a lot of pretty things to look at.
Returnability:¬† I probably won’t go back. I feel like I saw enough of the museum.¬† The Museum Store had a lot of neat things though, especially some traditional tea blends (my favorite is the Warrior Brew). I’m pretty sure you can go in there without getting a ticket to the museum.

Review: Indianapolis Children’s Museum

This is part of a series of reviews from my time in Indianapolis this past weekend.¬† It has been ages since I’ve been to the Children’s Museum and the last memory I have of it, I stubbornly did not want to leave the puppet show with my family and so purposely missed the elevator, leading my family on a wild goose chase.¬† This time, though no family was with me and we are about 22 years beyond that trip, I had to promise that I would not let myself get lost.

Here are the specs:

Indianapolis Children’s Museum
3000 N. Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46208
1.800.820.6214
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The museum hours are typically 10a-5p daily until Labor Day, and the same hours Tues-Sun through Feb 2012.  However, we were lucky enough to be in town on the 1st Thursday of the month which means, FREE FAMILY NIGHT!  The museum opens for a special 4-8p time with free admission.  We got there around 5:30 and the parking garage was packed as were the first few parking lots, and the museum was packed as well, but it was worth it!

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There are several special exhibits.¬† One being DINOSAURS, as evident of the building as you are approaching it.¬† It’s all about digging and exploring and going back into history.¬† As a creationist, however, this exhibit misses the mark when it begins going on about millions and billions of years.¬† That’s a different point that doesn’t need to be discussed here.¬† If you would like more info about it, though, you can check out this site: http://answersingenesis.org/.

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Another cool exhibit was about Egypt!¬† Having been there a couple years¬†ago, I’ve seen my fair share of the relics and the touristy spots of Cairo – I also really enjoy history and so have gone to see other Egypt-y exhibits and watched documentaries about the history.¬† We all have had the pharoanic exposure and mummies and mysteries of ancient Egyptian history.¬† However, the children’s museum took a really unique and gratifying look at modern life in Egypt.¬† The photo to the right is¬†of a traditional ceremony welcoming a new baby into the family and world.¬† I liked a saying that was on the wall as you left the exhibit: “When we get to know how people in other cultures live their daily lives, we can accept and respect our neighbors – next door or around the world.”

They also had a cool exhibit called Treasures of the Earth by National Geographic.¬† This one ran the gamut of discovering and restoring terra cotta¬†soldiers in Xi’an, China to recovering treasure and artifacts off a pirate ship in the Caribbean.¬† It took me back to the days I spent watching and playing the game Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? Oh, I miss that show.¬† Oh and for the girls…I mean, the girlie girls…there’s also an exhibit on Barbie.¬† But seeing as neither me nor my friend were really inclined towards Barbies, we did not go in, so I can’t comment on it.

The last special thing I want to mention is the Fireworks of Glass exhibit.¬† This amazing piece of artistry is the focal point of the roundabout ramps which lead people to the various levels of the museum.¬† It’s permanent and deliciously colorful!¬† It stands 43 feet tall and includes 3,200 individually blown glass pieces in the tower by artist Dale Chihuly.¬† From below the tower, you can also sit on a rotating couch that will allow you to look above at all the colors and various types of glass pieces.¬† There is a chart on the wall of some special kinds to allow you to spend an hour on a scavenger hunt of sorts.

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Last but not least is one of my favorite parts of the museum.¬† I remember being amazed by it as a little kid and knowing more of what I do about physics and science, I’m even more curious about how it works.¬† It’s called the Water Clock and it helps keep the museum time going ship-shape.¬†It’s mesmerizing to watch the pendulum swing back and forth, adding water into the pipes, shooting back and forth to keep the seconds, minutes, and hours.

So here’s the breakdown:

The museum:¬† It’s a great time for the whole family.¬† There were so many parents and kids running all over the place – the organized chaos is something unique that this museum is able to create.¬†
The cost:¬† Well, since I got in free, I kind of feel that anything else is too expensive, but alas, here’s the cost list:¬† Ages 2-17: $11.50. Ages 18-59: $16.50. Seniors 60+: $15.50.¬†
The food:¬†I didn’t check out the cafe, but looking at the website, it seems that they take care to make food and snacks healthy and tasty.¬† They take cash, Visa, Mastercard and American Express.¬† They are just fine with people bringing their own food to enjoy in the food court area.
The help:¬† The people were very helpful.¬† Since we were there on a free evening, there was a lot going on.¬† It’s said that they even give out emergency diapers at the Help Desk.
The parking: There is a parking garage right across the street from the museum but also several lots down the street which are dedicated to museum visitors. 
The accommodations: One big place.¬† I didn’t feel crowded at all. Places to sit down and and such.
Returnability:  I totally did not see there was a planetarium until we were walking passed it on our way out.  I want to go back to see that.  It would probably be funner with kids in tow, which I have none, so I was able to be a kid myself (in a lot of ways, more fun).

Review: New Albany, Indiana Part 1

This review will be a little different than¬†my others.¬† I had a week’s worth of time off still on my schedule.¬† Since my hire date was the first Monday of May last year, I had to use it up before that date or I would lose it.¬† I’m glad I took the whole week off.¬† It seems like Spring waited until this week to really get itself bloomed and green.

I enjoy doing things on my own.¬† Don’t get me wrong, I love having company on my adventures.¬† But there’s something a bit relaxing going around on your own.¬† You can decide everything that YOU want to do and not worry about what others want, or if someone’s tired or whatever.¬† So, I saw a Groupon for a B&B in New Albany, IN, and decided it would be fun to go on my own, during my little vacation.¬† In this entry, I’m going to go in order of the places I went to, so here we go!

The Admiral Bicknell Inn

600 E Main St,
New Albany, IN 47150
1.800.981.8003

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I’ve only been to one other B&B and it was a pretty awesome experience.¬† The Admiral Bicknell had a high level of expectation to live up to, and it did pretty well.¬† I stayed over on a weeknight and was the only person there besides the hosts.¬† Valla¬†Ann was great, but I didn’t see her much except when I first arrived and then in the morning for breakfast.¬† That was probably due to my taking off as soon as I got settled in and then keeping to my room most of the evening. (The room was fantastic, which will explain my reclusion.)

I stayed in the Library, which has been converted into a lovely suite. The accommodations¬†were perfect for a single traveler; in fact, I think if someone else had been with me, it would have been cramped.¬† But there was a queen-sized bed and a bathroom with a clawfoot¬†tub.¬† The windows face west and north-by-northwest, and it’s actually right along the busy Main St.¬† If you aren’t used to a good amount of street noises, then it’s probably not an ideal location for you, but I loved it.¬† Especially the clawfoot tub.

There is a shallow pool behind the Inn and a lot of green space around the whole lot.  Train tracks run directly behind the property along the Ohio River, but Valla Ann was recently able to get the Main St district labeled a Quiet Zone, one of only 11 such places in the state!  This means, even though the trains run through it, they are not permitted to blow their horns, which is lovely.

Carnegie Center for Art and History

201 E Spring St
New Albany, IN 47150
812.944.9600

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This is one of my favorite kinds of places to visit in a new town. I love checking out local art and especially local history.  New Albany has an exceptional history with the Underground Railroad.  They have a permanent exhibit about the places and people who were strategic in rescuing runaway slaves.  They also accurately detail the full scope of the issue in their area.  I knew the Ohio River was one of the places which slaves aimed for when trying to escape, but I lumped all of that to the Cincinnati area.  Thankfully, there were many other locations on the River that were safe-zones and big stations on the Underground Railroad.  There were many in New Albany who were abolitionists because of their spiritual/moral convictions, which was refreshing.  Also, some people in powerful positions in the community were on board as well, such as judges, lawyers and real train conductors. 

There is also a permanent exhibit of working motorized wooden dioramas Рcarved by one man, Merle Yenawine.  They cover life in a small town of Indiana from before and after 1900.  It was pretty cool how the tiny figures would move around and lights would flash underneath certain parts to make it look like a fire roaring.  The scenes were pretty comprehensive too. 

The Dandy Lion Boutique

310 Bank St
New Albany, IN 47150
812.944.9477

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Etsy

This little shop is absolutely adorable!¬† It’s the only other place that I knew about in New Albany before going down, and it was on my “MUST VISIT” list.¬† I’m glad I made it in!¬† It’s run by twin sisters, Ani and Ali,¬†and a lot of their stuff is on consignment from artists who handmake¬†their wares and sell on Etsy.¬† The items are quirky, cute, hipster, trendy…um, what other adjective could I throw in here…vintage, stylish, chic – basically, amazing stuff.¬† I bought some earrings for a friend, some hair clips and a journal that was converted from an old “In the Year…” book.¬† It’s one of those books that tells you all the things that happened in a particular year, but they spiral bound it and dispersed some of the pages among the blank journal pages.¬† I’m so excited about using it!¬† They are available on Facebook, as seen above, and the twins have their own Etsy, here!¬† They do a lot of sewing and creating themselves, so you should really check them out!

I will continue with Part 2 shortly!  Stay tuned!

Find more reviews and promos by clicking on the links to the right.¬† Go ‚Äėhead, you know you want to.