Thursday, June 28, 2007

#220 Eating our way across the country

It’s all about the food.

Thanks to all those who have contributed to our weight gain and thanks to the downtown Bazbeaux staff for the surprise gift.

We’ll miss the culinary comforts of Indy. Lately, we've gorged our way through all our favorite restaurants. Our Indy favorites:
  • Bazbeaux Pizza about 500 steps from our front door (not that we've counted.) Here you'll find the best pizza pie and best sandwich in the city served by the best wait staff anywhere.
  • Café Patachou downtown. Looking for the yummiest cinnamon toast in the world? You'll find it here with the best Sunday breakfast downtown.
  • City Cafe downtown. The best Saturday breakfast downtown can be found at the City Cafe. The food is unique, fresh, and fabulous and we've never been without running into a neighbor.
  • El Rodeo Mexican Restaurant in Speedway. The combination of margarita and quesadillas de camaron will send you away happy. And occasionally, the Unser family will be dining at the next table.
  • Mama Carolla’s on the Monon Trail near Broad Ripple. For great Italian cooking in a sweet ambiance, there is no better.
  • Scholars Inn on Mass Ave downtown. For the best salad in town, try the Rocket at Scholars Inn. Yum!
  • Shelbi Street Café in Fountain Square. Everything in Fountain Square is cool, especially the rooftop garden above the duckpin bowling alley.

And when we're on the road, a big part of our travel revolves around food. Surprise, surprise. Between Indy and Charlottesville, we've found two fun Road Food diners. We can't officially recommend them because we've only sampled each once, but first impressions are good.
This is all just to let you know where to stop for dinner when you drive over for a visit and also what to bring with you! ;-)

Gastronomically yours,

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

#219 Hitting the Trail

We’re hitting the trail to Virginia.

Since 1999, we have enjoyed much that living in downtown Indianapolis has to offer. Now, we’re hitting the trail to Virginia just as the walk-everywhere lifestyle of Indy’s downtown residents is getting even better and becoming more pedestrian friendly with the birth of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.

To encourage more human-powered movement, the city started construction on a bike and pedestrian path, connecting downtown neighborhoods with cultural hotspots. Access to shops, restaurants, arts, and sporting events will be a walkable snap. This project really is the icing on the downtown cake we called home for 8 years.
The interstate trail between Indiana and Virginia may not be as cool as the cultural trail, but we encourage the use of it nonetheless. Take I-65 to I-64 and you’re there.
Thanks to the trail (cultural and interstate) creators.

Thanks to everyone for joining us at the hitting-the-trail, farewell party.

Thanks to the friendly folks at the Indianapolis Cultural Trail for providing the door prizes.

Thanks to that energetic band of friends who made the pre-midnight delivery of extra party food to the Wheeler Mission.

Thanks to you Hoosiers for being a part of our Indianapolis lives.

Yours in hitting the trail,
Kelly and Mary

Friday, June 08, 2007

#218 Undaunted Roadtrip by the Numbers

Undaunted Roadtrip Map
  • 5509 miles traveled by car (not counting the miles traveled by feet, inflatable raft, or bicycle)
  • $855 paid for fuel (Cheapest=$2.89 in KC, Costliest=$3.59 in Colorado)
  • 11 states toured including all 4 "I" states (IN, IL, IA, MN, ND, MT, ID, UT, CO, NE, MO) 
  • 7 state capitols spied (IN, IL, ND, MT, ID, UT, NE)
  • 3 headwaters waded in (Mississippi River, Missouri River, Arkansas River)
  • 4 national parks awed by (Theodore Roosevelt, Arches, Mesa Verde, Black Canyon of the Gunnison)
  • 1 national monument astounded by (Craters of the Moon)
  • 8 Jefferson or Lewis and Clark sites explored (See #217 Undaunted Roadtrip meets Voyage of Discovery.)
  • 27 different ways William Clark managed to spell “Sioux” without ever spelling it S-I-O-U-X
  • 2 Frank Lloyd Wright houses toured (Dana Thomas House and Cedar Rock)
  • 7 mountain passes higher than 10,000’ summited (Coal Bank Pass, Molas Pass, Red Mountain Pass, North Pass, Tennessee Pass, Fremont Pass, Eisenhower Tunnel Pass – all in Colorado)
  • 2 Roadfood restaurants sampled - D’Arcy’s Pint in Springfield, IL - Widman’s Candy Shop in Fargo, ND
  • 9 creative restaurants sampled that should be added to Roadfood - Wild Rice Dining Emporium Ada, MN - Eugene’s Pizza in Glasgow, MT - Dante’s Creative Cuisine in Great Falls, MT - Wheat Montana Farms Bakery & Deli in Three Forks, MT - El Gallo Giro in Kuna, ID - Goldy’s Breakfast Bistro in Boise, ID - Powell’s Sweet Shoppe in Boise, ID - La Papillon Bakery in Ouray, CO - Columbine Café in Leadville, CO
  • 2 drives added to our Top 10 list (I-15 between Great Falls and Helena, MT and Million Dollar Highway in CO)
  • 5 electronic gadgets used (mobile phone, laptop, digital camera, navigation system and mp3 player, GPS recorder)
  • 2 shopping experiences (Apple store at Mall of America and IKEA in Salt Lake City) 
  • 13 nights of lodging mooched from family and friends
  • 13 family and friends visited who escaped our mooching

Marcel Proust says, “the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes."

Yours in seeking new landscapes AND in working to have new eyes,

Thursday, June 07, 2007

#217 Undaunted Roadtrip meets Voyage of Discovery

Without really planning it, our trip out west (the undaunted roadtrip) turned into a Lewis and Clark experience. Always a fan of the daring duo and their expedition, we found ourselves drawn to the rivers, the confluences, the forts, and the interpretive centers along the way.

Out west along the Lewis and Clark Trail, we found… Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and Fort Mandan in Washburn, ND
528f ND Fort Mandan exterior
Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls, MT
638f MT L&C view of Missouri
Giant Springs in Great Falls, MT
643f MT K at Giant Spring
Missouri River headwaters
711f MT K at MO Headwaters
Jefferson River, upstream from the headwaters of the Missouri River
Beaverhead Rock, site of the greatest coincidence in US history where Sacagawea recognized her brother Cameawait when Lewis and Clark were bargaining for horses
And way back east in Missouri, we found Jefferson’s original headstone on the University of Missouri campus
1560f MO Jefferson original headstone
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial underneath the Arch in Saint Louis
1571f MO Js at Arch
At the Arch, we stood looking out over the combined Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, and thought about how Lewis and Clark might have felt when they returned there in 1806 after their 8000-mile journey. We hoped to spy those modern day adventurers ( the UND students) pass by in their canoe, but I guess our car moves quicker than their canoe. Listening to downloaded recordings of the Thomas Jefferson hour, we wonder how this Undaunted Roadtrip will affect our Jeffersonian lives as we transition to the University of Virginia.

Yours in following the trail,

Saturday, June 02, 2007

#216 Our Top 10 Drives Revisited

We were afraid this might happen.

Just as soon as we made a list of our Top 10 drives, we found ourselves on the Million Dollar Highway. So now what? After great deliberation and with fear that we are falling prey to the most-recent-will-always-be-the-best syndrome, we’ve decided to revise the list.

Just south of Ouray, CO in the San Juan Mountains, the two-lane road is a cliff-hanger. If you’re afraid of edges, it’s a little scary.
We’re still hanging out in the beautiful mountain state of Colorado and loving the big horn sheep, the pronghorns, the mountains with summer snow,
the aspen trees,
and those cool ranch gates.
Yours in having a hard time leaving Colorado,