Friday, January 27, 2012
Know Before You Go
The Superbowl Roman numeral sign is up on the backside of Monument Circle and the city is abuzz with activity. If you suddenly come into a large sum of extra cash allowing you to buy crazy-expensive plane, then game tickets, here's a few tips from your former Hoosier friends.
If you're a smoker (cigarette) you will be happy. If, like us, smoke makes you gag and your asthma feels like returning you won't be happy. Indiana has not passed "the law" and folks can light up in bars. We were enjoying the ambiance of a wine bar in Broadripple with a college buddy when suddenly the room filled with smoke. Solution? Most restaurants don't allow smoke, just the bars so skip the pubs... Also, usually a sign is posted so you know what to expect.
If you drive up to Carmel and Westfield on the near north side, go eat at Charleston's and ask for the cute red-haired waiter named Luke. Expect a wait...it's popular. When you get their house salad they'll bring you warm croissants dripping in honey. You MUST order their famous bread pudding for dessert!
I checked out two area Panera Bread locations; 146th for breakfast and 116th for lunch. Maybe my future career is being a silent shopper-I already own white gloves! For dinner with friends we suggest heading to La Hacinda. Tasty salsa, good margaritas, huge portions and way cheaper than Don Pablo's or Chi Chi's.
If you want to see the little triplex that we lived in as newlyweds with our first Labrador, Duke, it's on 1st Ave very near the now-swanky Arts District. We lived in the tiny back area of the house and were happy there until the live Raccoon arm stuck through the floor board.
Before we left Indy yesterday we parked and walked around Massachusetts Avenue (known as Mass Ave to the hip locals.) It has trendy shops, restaurants & pubs and a theater district. We ate at Hoaglin To Go (no smoke, yummy club sandwich, carrot cake and cheaper than Panera!) We had to pick a couple treats from The Best Chocolate in Town, and I got a new mug because I AM the Mama Bear in our family! (I always tried to emulate Little Bear's Mother on the cartoon-she was patient ALL the time..wait-it wasn't real! Whew!
Our last tip to "know" before you go. Under no circumstances follow another driver who goes around cones and double lines. Even though you might have Illinois plates and apologize to the officer who chases you as you quickly turn around...He will be cranky and displeased. (Thankfully, no ticket was issued, just a stern lecture and a forceful "GO".)
Despite that one tiny driving "snafu" my time in Indy was all that I hoped it would be; quality family time, catching up with high school, college and church friends, holding newborn baby Hank and enjoying the food and stores of central Indiana. So now we're home and we wait to discover how quickly we can find a buyer, find a Gig Harbor rental, and a new job for Michael.