Ice storm!

This morning most of Indiana has been hit with an ice storm. Luckily there are only spotty power outages, as reported by local media.

Tree branch covered with ice

A leaf hanging on

 Thankfully we do not have to travel anywhere today, as the hazardous road condition warnings are out for the rest of the day.

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Circle of Lights 2018 is Indy’s premier holiday display

Saturday morning, November 10th, saw union members of IBEW local 481 braving brutally cold temperatures and wind to install the long strands of LED lights on the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in the center of downtown Indianapolis. This is the traditional start of the Circle of Lights celebration.

Working hard to get the lights up

Putting on the finishing touches

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year the lights will be turned on on November 23rd. One lucky kid will be picked to flip the switch and turn on the lights! (The contest is going on right now: a coloring contest.) 2018 will be the 56th year of this beloved Indy tradition. The lights come on at 7:30 that evening after a delightful variety show with local talent. Oh, and a huge fireworks show will follow the festivities.

All the strands are up

Close up of the top

Be amazed at The Mind Tripping Show

You check in at a table in the lobby of the Hilton in downtown Indianapolis. The show is 90 minutes, no late seating allowed. Hop the elevator and head to the 15th floor. There you are seated group by group in a small and intimate room by Katarina, one half of the performing couple.

Christian pops out from behind the curtain with a dab of background information. He and Katalina are both Army vets, have been performing for decades, now live in Indy, etc. etc. He then starts the actual performance. What a great patter he continues throughout the show! Interaction with and including the audience is an important part of this romp into “miraculous” and “amazing” tricks of mind reading and, as the title suggests, mind tripping.

L to R: Katrina, Sher, Maj, Christian after the show

Katrina and Christian make a terrific team. Their timing is flawless as Katarina performs the classic “take a card, don’t show me, I’ll tell you what it is”. Same goes with the color of the Crayola crayons. You’ll chuckle as five folks from the audience draw body parts. The fact that anyone can be involved brings a sense of comradeship to those in the crowd. You do begin to know your fellow  patrons.

All in all this is a fun and funny evening’s entertainment. Christian brings clean humor to the performance. Katalina makes you feel at home and does some amazing things.  They are a wonderful husband and wife Comedy Mind Reading act. Ticket prices are reasonable with nice discounts for Seniors and Military.  Details and show dates and times are available at the Mind Tripping Show website.

Night scenes in Indy

Indianapolis on a Saturday night in early November can be quite pretty and full of activity. Landmark structures are well lit, and the street horse drawn carriages are already offering cozy rides to couples and families alike.

Soldiers and Sailors Monument

State Capital

Downtown Indy’s Hilton hosts a great restaurant

McCormick and Schmick’s Steak and Seafood restaurant is located in downtown Indianapolis on west Market street between Monument Circle and the Capital Building. Housed in the Hilton Hotel, this restaurant  offers fine dining in a comfortable and elegant facility.

Entrance to the restaurant

Sher and I decided to have our dinner there as we waited for a show in the hotel later that Saturday night. The restaurant can be entered either from the lobby or from West Street. We were seated immediately and our waiter, Andrew, came to our table right away. He provided excellent service during our entire dining experience.

Our cocktails and menu

Crab and Shrimp Stuffed Salmon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our cocktails were delivered quickly, along with warm bread and butter. We ordered the Lump Crab cake for our appetizer. It was delicious. Sher had ordered the Blackened Chicken Fettuccine without the chicken. I had the Crab and Shrimp Stuffed Salmon. We were both delighted with our choices from the menu. Pricing was definitely in the $$$$ range, but we both felt that the price was worth it.

Dignity of Earth and Sky in South Dakota

Traveling on I-90 through South Dakota provides some remarkable scenery. In addition to the natural wonders of the state, one man-made marvel really stands out. Near Chamberlain at Exit 294 you’ll see the signs for a rest area with a Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. As you exit the interstate and drive up a decent slope you see a very large stainless steel sculpture with a geometric pattern. Then you soon realize that it is a star quilt being held by a beautiful Native American woman.

The star pattern

Note the size of the person on the left to give you an idea of how large the sculpture is

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the statue titled “Dignity of Earth and Sky”. The creation of South Dakota Artist Laureate Dale Claude Lamphere is a magnificent example of very large scale public art. The  statue represents the courage and wisdom of the Lakota and Dakota people who come from the area. The star quilt pattern is traditionally used to honor people or peoples.

We enjoyed our rest stop. Oh, and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center? Well, it was closed for the season, to reopen mid-May, 2019. We were there mid-October. At least the restrooms were still open for those without their own facilities in their RV.

Bob’s Burgers & Brews was a new experience for us

While visiting our family in the Seattle area they took us to a restaurant called Bob’s Burgers and Brews. It is a local chain.  It is known for it’s burgers and its large selection of craft beers on tap. There are several of the restaurants in the area, but they have so far stayed in the state of Washington.

The huge “double” burger and fries

The extra large portion of cheese quesadillas

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had a huge double burger and Sher had some cheese quesadillas. The portion sizes were great and the food was delicious. In addition our waiter was fantastic and took care of us exceptionally well. This is one of those local establishments that offer great dining at a good price.

Giant pumpkins at Washington State Fair 2018

Sher and I got to go to the 2018 version of the Washington State Fair in Puyallup. We went with our daughter, son-in-law and our 4 year old grandson. The fair was packed with all kinds of “state fair” type stuff, including a large midway, tons of vendors and of course, agriculture exhibits.

Giant pumpkins!

Pumpkin info

We went on the last day of the fair, and the fairgrounds were packed. A good time was had by all, and Sher and I had our first ‘Scones”, a jam filled biscuit type pastry that is a famous item at this fair.

Historic Oxford Saloon in Snohomish Washington

Snohomish, Washington is noted for its historic downtown Main Street stores, restaurants and other businesses. The Oxford Saloon is one of the most popular of the restaurants. Good food at reasonable pricing makes the Oxford a popular place for meals. Live entertainment most evenings attract lively crowds.

Even the exterior of the Oxford is interesting

Every bar needs a moose and a little red wagon

Sher and I had a very nice time at the Oxford. It was a great break from our checking out the shops and businesses on Main Street in historic downtown Snohomish. Hint: Park your car at the bottom of the hill on Main Street. That way when you walk up one side of the street and come back on the other side you’ll be walking down hill to your car.