Monday, July 1, 2019

Celebrating 15

My wife, of nearly fifteen years, and I spent last week in central Indiana. We spent a majority of our time in the Bloomington area, specifically Indiana University and Lake Monroe.

You may be thinking, "A week in Indiana? Ugh."  Well, we really love experiencing college towns and two of our other favorites are Des Moines and Madison. We find them to be a little more modern, flush with outdoor activities, and stacked with great food venues. So, we decided to give Bloomington a try this time around.

During the first half of our trip we stayed at Graduate. Graduate is chain, which is currently building college themed hotels in major college towns.
Indiana is known for its basketball, so much of the decor was based around the state's rich basketball history. Here's my favorite art piece within the hotel.
It's a chandelier made of chairs. Obviously, this is a tip of the cap to Bobby Knight. LOL

Indiana University's campus is gorgeous. It features brick walking paths, limestone buildings, creeks, shaded areas and it was immaculately maintained.
 Above is picture of Laura at the Sample Gates.

 Here's a snap shot of me with one of the pieces of art on campus.

Scouring the internet for unique places to consume food and/or beverages is something I really enjoy doing before a trip. The best place I found was Function Brewing.
I don't often order a flight of beer, but I figured it would be the best way for this light-weight to try as many of the math themed beers as possible.
My favorite was the Theorem Milk Stout. Good stuff!

Here's a completely different tasting flight.
We experienced Bruster's Ice Cream twice during our trip. Four smaller single scoops of ice cream in a waffle bowl for under five bucks. You can't beat that! Key Lime Pie is the top left, and then going around clock-wise we have Graham Central Station, Peach Melba and Black Raspberry Cheesecake.

Laura found a hamburger joint I still can't get out of my head. Hinkle's is all about service and it was the best cheeseburger I've had since I frequented Lulu's in Chicago before Laura and I were married.

Downtown Bloomington advertises that it is home to eighteen different ethnic restaurants. We tried our fair share, but we went to one place three times and I was re-introduced to bubble tea!

 Last food picture. Here we go!
Square Donuts? We had to try them.

Warning: Here comes a photo dump of activities!

We went to the botanical garden on IU's campus for an hour or so. Above is a picture of their century plant which blooms once during its fifty or sixty years and then dies. This is the summer it will bloom!

We traveled around downtown Bloomington on rental scooters. That was super fun!

We made it to Indiana University's baseball complex. It's a very nice facility and all done up in artificial turf. Luckily, it was unlocked and we were able to walk right in.

We spent a day and traveled north to Indianapolis to see their museum and outdoor gardens at Newfield's. There was a legitimate beer garden on the premises, although we were there on a day when they weren't serving. Bummer.

We rented a condo on Lake Monroe during the second half of our trip and spent some quality time relaxing by reading, napping, and watching movies.
One morning we rented a fishing boat and went tooled around Lake Monroe for a couple of hours. Laura really enjoyed being at the controls. 

Laura and I went on a couple of hikes, but many of the trails in the area were closed due to all of the rains they had experienced earlier in the month. Here's a snapshot of the 9.5 mile route we hiked one morning. Lots of hills on that bad boy! Whew!

On the way home we stopped by a fireworks store to pick up some goods for my father's retirement and 4th of July party combo.

It's always nice to get away with the one you love. Bloomington is a wonderful place to spend some time and explore, because the campus is beautiful and the food options can't be beat.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you find some time to get away this summer!


  1. Looks like a great trip. Congrats on 15!

  2. Looks like fun...I really enjoyed Indiana and am returning in October, can't wait! Sadly, I won't get a chance to pose by that statue. Happy anniversary!

  3. Congrats on 15 years! Here's to 15 more!

  4. Happy anniversary! I've always wanted to do a brief tour of the bigger college towns of the Midwest. Madison in particular seems like fun.

  5. Happy anniversary! That beer sampler looks interesting. I'm not really a beer guy, but the pHruit Drop sounds interesting. And if you enjoyed the bubble tea, you should come to the Bay Area. Due to the large Vietnamese population, they're all over the place here.