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HAWKEYE ROAD TRIPS... INDIANA & NORTHWESTERN

When the Iowa Hawkeyes travel to Indiana, we head to Nick's in Carmel for the weekend.  It's about a two hour trek from there to Bloomington for the game, and we get the added bonus of spending time with grandkids!  This year we had an ADDED bonus...Aaron and Sara's family joined us there, so we had ALL SIX grandkids together in ONE SPOT!  PRICELESS!
That's Jackson (5) Emma (4) Delaney (3) Sophie (2)
Claire (10 mo.) and Luke (9 mo.)
It's a HOUSE FULL OF HAPPY when we're all together~!

We also had the opportunity to eat at several great spots...including a great Irish Pub called Muldoon's.  (It's actually only a short walk from Nick and Sarah's home!)   http://www.muldoons.net/index.htm I'm always too full for dessert when we eat there, but Aaron and Sara tell me the Banana Cream Pie is the BEST they've ever eaten!

We spent Friday in downtown Indy, first enjoying a fun-filled family lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory.  
It's a COOL old building with LOTS of stuff for little kids to look at while dining...and the server made it VERY family friendly!


Aaron's got his hands full!
That's Emma, Jackson, Sophie and Delaney

Old Spaghetti Factory on Urbanspoon


After lunch, we were off to the Indianapolis Children's Museum. 
http://www.childrensmuseum.org/  The kids (and adults) had a blast!

The football game turned out to be a little more exciting than we expected, but the Hawks DID win. 

Aaron's family returned to Iowa on Sunday, and Fred and I stayed in Carmel until Friday.  While we were there, Nick surprised me with a VERY special treat!  He arranged a PRIVATE TOUR of the still unopened incredible new Palladium in Carmel! 

 Nick works for the City of Carmel, and he arranged a private tour with one of the city inspectors on the project.  The three of us spent an hour exploring every nook and cranny of this amazing building.
Nick checking out the curved sound-proof doors into the box seats


This Performing Arts Center is expected to be one of the most amazing accustical marvels in the world!   

After some great family time in Indiana, Fred and I jumped in the car and headed off to Chicago for a weekend that included a LESS than enjoyable football outcome...but we still managed to find some great places to share along the way. We stopped in Lafayette for breakfast, and as you know I NEVER want to eat at a franchise restaurant if there is a "Mom & Pop" close by.  We found a great one there!!  It's called The Country Cafe in Lafayette.  From the minute we walked into the diner it felt like a step back in time.  The food was honest, real and GOOD.

Too much...and too good!

And unfortunately the portion sizes were NOT endorsed by the American Heart Association!



Country Cafe on Urbanspoon



Then we were off to the Windy City to check into our hotel for the weekend.  The Sheraton Suites in Elk Grove, IL. 
The property is lovely and our suite was beautiful.  Unfortunately we found few options for dining or drinks within walking distance.  Most everything was a $10-$15 cab ride away.  But we DID walk to the Elk Grove Bowl!!
 It's a cool old art-deco BOWLING ALLEY from the 1960's!!  We sat at the bar and watched all the "locals" who have been coming there for DECADES!  It was fun to talk with the bartender and learn more about the area.  The little restaurant offered some really good food.  We had a chicken sandwich served with tater tots--a much better version than our old high school variety!

So the Hawkeyes "split" on that road trip-but a GREAT time was had by the Mishlers!!!

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Patty Mishler
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