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: Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis

This is part of a series of reviews from my time in Indianapolis this past weekend.¬† There’s nothing so fun as a quirky, hipster, neo-boho shopping district in a big city.¬† Nashville has its Hillsboro Village, but in Indy, why keep the joy to just a couple of blocks?¬† Massachusetts Avenue stretches, at 45 degrees, across 7 intersections – fully walkable and chock-full of great shops!

Here are the specs:

Massachusetts Avenue
Entrance to the South begins at the corner of Delaware St and New York St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
317.637.8996 ext.202 – Riley Area Development Corp.
Facebook

There are too many shops to see in one visit or to write about in a blog (I count 71 listed on the map), so I’m going to only put up the places I visited with a short description. First up!:

Stouts Footwear
318 Mass Ave – 317.632.7818
Oldest, coolest shoe store in the nation, holding fast to personal service, quality shoes, and tradition.

This place is pretty fab.¬† It’s basically the first shop you encounter if you choose the Japanese route of going up the left side of the street first.¬† We only went inside because of the cool sign out front telling us that it is, in fact, the oldest shoe store in the nation.¬† You can see why when you go in.¬† The shoes they sell are great quality, and they built their reputation on¬†custom fitting shoes from the manufacturer for their customers.¬† But this isn’t the only cool thing about the place.¬† First, there’s a parrot who is semi-friendly.¬† It let me pet it until it apparently had had¬†enough and didn’t want any more.¬† Second, there is a pulley and basket contraption that spreads from a crows nest¬†in the center of the shop to various spots in the rest of the store.¬† The floor staff puts the shoes in the basket, pull a cord, the basket lifts up to the top, they pull the cord again, and the basket flies off to the crows nest.¬† There, another attendant carefully removes the shoes from their box, checks everything out and, I only assume, wraps it up to send it back down, the same way, to the cashier.

At Home in the City/Silver in the City
434 Mass Ave – 317.955.9925¬†‚Äď Website | Facebook
Jewelry, gifts and home decor. Voted Indy’s Best 2006-2008.

I went to Silver in the City/At Home in the City some years ago when they still had a store in Lafayette, IN. This place is a great combo of jewelry, Eco-friendly home furnishings, and the ridiculous novelty items. They carry one of my favorite silly/awesome brands, KnockKnock. They also have Jesus Bandaids, which feel like they work faster than other brands. There’s just a plethora of items; I highly recommend a stop through bc its next to impossible to really describe all of it. BTW, this is their only store now. I’m not really sure how Lafayette is surviving without them.

Global Gifts (Fair Trade Shop)
446 Mass Ave – 317.423.3148¬†‚Äď Website | Facebook | Twitter
Fair Trade store providing hope and opportunity for artisans from 35 countries.

This shop is excellent. Tons of artsy and unique home furnishings and they are, wait for it…fair trade! I was told that a lot of the work comes from rescued victims of human trafficking. They have all sorts of goodies – home decor, fashion, chocolate, etc. Everything is priced very reasonably, so be sure to stop in.

Best Chocolate in Town
880 Mass Ave¬†– 317.636.2800¬†‚Äď Website | Facebook | Twitter
Hand-made chocolates, specializing in truffles and locally made gelato.

Ok, so I definitely pulled an Elf with this one. We walked in and all I wanted to do was say, Congratulations! Indy’s best chocolate! But then I saw them. Sitting there, in perfect little rows, hundreds of them. Truffles. Gobs of them. And the Cinnamon ones were calling my name. After having a great discussion on the health benefits of cinnamon with the two staff members, I went ahead and bought one. It was $2+ for one, but it was so worth it. It took 4 bites to finish, partly because I was trying to savor the amazingness of it. It’s a definite top on my list.

Aesop’s Tables
600 Mass Ave – 317.631.0055¬†‚Äď Website
Mediterranean restaurant. Fifteen years on the avenue.

We had just been saying how we wanted to find a good Mediterranean restaurant for dinner and our answer was Aesop’s Tables. Unfortunately, by the time we got back to the restaurant, we weren’t all that hungry. We stuck with some appetizers, and sorry, I didn’t catch any pics of the food. The service was lacking though. The place wasn’t packed, so I’m unsure what his issue was. The food was pretty good, but not the best I’ve had. I would recommend it though if you’re in the area. There are other restaurants too, though, so be sure to check the map (view online or get one from any of the Mass Ave stores).

Market

We also managed to get there while an Artist/Food Market was going on. Lots of different items: bath products, hair and fashion accessories, organic teas, jewelry, and, my personal fave, worm poop. Check out on the website for any other cool events that might be happening.

Here’s the breakdown:

The Street:  Very fun. Lots to check out. The website lists a lot of the events going on.  There are also some comedy clubs and such there, and restaurants have offer live music too.
For kids: There’s a toy store.¬† Enough said.
For pets: There are some doggie/pet specific shops on the street as well.¬† If you are curious, go to the website and check out all the shops on the list. You’ll be amazed at what they’ve come up with.
The cost:¬† Moderate to high-priced.¬† If you’re going to shop, you’ll spend a good amount.¬† Window shopping is fun too though.
The food: Tons of restaurants there, running the gamut of styles and tastes.
The help:  Most of the places we stopped into, the staff was helpful and accommodating.  They would usually tell us of another shop up the street where we could find such and such and was run by a friend of theirs.  They really put a lot into the community-feel of the place.
The parking: There is parking along the street and on adjoining streets.¬† If you’re like me and enjoy walking, you can park somewhere downtown and walk all the way there.¬† Just a few blocks away and it’s all flat.
The accommodations: There’s a B&B right on the street!¬† I so want to stay there some time.¬† Like most B&B’s expect to pay more than you would for a hotel, but it looks totally worth it.
Returnability:¬† This is definitely on my Favorite Places list (which I guess I should post at some point on here) and whenever I’m in Indy, or even passing through, I know I will try to get in there for a quick walk and peruse.

I’ll try to get some more pics up, but I just don’t have them right now.¬† Enjoy the review anyway!

Review: Indianapolis Weekend Overview 2011

This is the overview for some reviews I am doing of my trip to Indianapolis, Indiana.¬† I went to meet up with a couple of friends while they were in town for the Gen Con 2011 convention.¬† I did go there as well, so I will do a “sort of” review of the convention here as well, but most of my time was spent out in the city.¬†

I have driven through the city a time or two, but never really stopped into it.¬† I really had a great time and realized that, like Cincinnati, Indy has much more to offer than I gave it credit for.¬† So I am dividing my reviews up mostly by region and topic.¬† The first set is¬†for specifically Indy things and places.¬† At the bottom, there is a link to my review on all things Gen Con (that I experienced myself…there was soooo much that was beyond my comprehension or scope).¬† Enjoy!!

Thursday

Children’s Museum РReview

Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Friday

Tata Cuban Café

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western ArtReview

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Massachusetts Avenue (Mass Ave)Review

Website | Facebook

                Stouts Footwear

                At Home in the City/Silver in the City РWebsite | Facebook

                Global Gifts (Fair Trade Shop) РWebsite | Facebook | Twitter

                Best Chocolate in Town РWebsite | Facebook | Twitter

                Aesop’s Tables РWebsite

                Market

Saturday

Indianapolis Zoo – Review (soon to come)

Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Taste of Downtown 2011 – Review (soon to come)

Website

                Easley’s Winery РWebsite | Facebook | Twitter

                Byrne’s Pizza РWebsite | Facebook | Twitter

Gen Con 2011 Edition – Review (soon to come)

Seminars ‚Äď by Erik Mehring

Doctor Who booth

‚ÄúDominion‚ÄĚ

Christian Gamers Guild Church service

GameChurch.com

Gamers for Humanity