Another Indiana Roadtrip

Yesterday we went to Holiday World with the fam. Who would have thought it could be so crowded on a Thursday? The day was fun, but that was only have the trip. We decided to take the scenic route home winding from one small town to another through southern Indiana. We took US-231 north from Holiday World passing through Jasper. We hit IN-56 and headed east towards French Lick. It didn’t take long for us to be mesmerized by the countryside. The soft hills and simple way of life has a way of soothing and re-energizing me when driving through the country.

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As we spotted the downtown of French Lick, I saw a junk store and had to stop. Fox Hollow Gallery had such neat items and a lot of good creative ideas. Next we drove by the casino and resort. Everyone talks highly of the place and I can see why. The place looks awesome from the outside and appears to be a massive undertaking. A lot of new buildings made to look old are built near it as well. They stand empty right now, but I can’t wait to see what type of neat shops find a home there.

In downtown Paoli, we found a natural food co-op right off the square. We needed a few things and I wanted to know what they had to offer for future reference. We got to the Lost River Market & Deli at 7pm on a Wednesday night. An acoustic melody hit us at the front door and it took me a split second to realize it was live music. How stinkin’ cool. There was one worker at hand who greeted us and filled us in about the store. He said the group of musicians came every Wednesday for a free jam session. It just got cooler. We bought a couple groceries and decided to buy dinner off their salad bar. My body was singing praises at the healthy dinner! We also had some delicious pasta salad (now I know what I’ll be making when we get home). I also bought a vegan, gluten free Explosive Espresso Chip cookie.

So for traveling through another charming downtown, finding a natural food store practically on the square, greeted by some awesome acoustic folk music, checking out local produce, having a healthy dinner on the road, AND with an allergy free dessert…my evening could not have ended better. There were several more antique places before and after Salem that I would have liked to see, but our sunburns and water-logged heads were getting the best of us. We ended the countryside portion of our roadtrip at I-65 in Scottsburg. Makes me excited to plan our next Indiana roadtrip. Madison? Corydon? Nashville?

Jenny

Locally Grown Produce Shop Opening this Weekend

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I can’t wait for Double Oak Farm to open this Saturday, at their new location 1120 Washington St., Columbus, Ind. I volunteered there yesterday, helping them paint the new store. They only stock locally-grown produce within a 100 mile radius. They draw from friends and family, largely from the Amish community. And since many of then are in southern Indiana, they get a lot of produce two weeks earlier that other vendors.

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They also are the only CSA program in this area. By paying upfront to cover growing costs, you get a vegetable box each week featuring their best produce at the time. Soooo cool.

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Count on seeing me there Saturday!

Jenny

Columbus Turns on the Small-Town Charm

New MacBooks are the greatest, but having a good place to hang out and enjoy wifi is even better. As part of my first week back in Columbus, I sought out a comfortable place to use wifi while spending time on my new MacBook. I first set out to an obvious place – the Bartholomew County Library. But after 45 minutes of fussing, I was unable to log on to their internet.

Off to the next place. I headed downtown, knowing that there’s been so many changes since I last lived here. What an understatement! The feeling and energy of downtown Columbus has completely changed over the past three years. Instead of the uncool place that was dead by 6pm, it breathed life with small-town charm. Since I was excited to check everything out, I decided to walk around a bit. I saw Viewpoint Books’ prime corner spot and walked through. The store was lively and had a great selection of books, but no cozy couch inviting me to stop and open my MacBook, so I kept moving.

I stopped by That Special Touch, a one-stop wedding shop owned by a family friend. We chatted about the changes in both Columbus and the wedding market. I remember how remorseful I was when visiting the store right before my own wedding after seeing how much they have to offer – right there in my hometown! I could have avoided so much tears and pain if I had just stopped by there first! What a cool store.

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That Special Touch – Columbus, Ind.

After that, I headed on down to Cooks and Company. My eyes went straight to the latte machine, then to a cool brand of biodegradable cups that my favorite restaurant, Café Patachou also uses. I was sold! A latte machine, wifi, and a cozy but energetic atmosphere was all it took. And the lady behind the counter was super nice. I can’t believe how much the place had transformed since the last time I had visited. From pots and truffles to a wifi cafe and bar. It rocks!

After calling my husband with my excitement, he decided to come over for a late lunch to check it out. We went to the bar side, Fork, and had the butternut squash ravioli and the chipotle mayo grilled chicken sandwich. The food was just as good as the atmosphere. Our new favorite place in downtown Columbus! That was the happiest afternoon I’ve had lately – a new Macbook, free wifi, and a cool place to hangout in a charming downtown. I couldn’t ask for anything else!

Jenny