This is a blog featuring my personal stories of food, gardening, yachting, photography, travel and life.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Day 10: Saturday, July 7, 2007--Amish Country, Indiana

Today our goal was to drive through the Amish country of northern Indiana, the largest concentration of Amish in the country, and to end up in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We decided to make a course change. Hey, you gotta be flexible in these things. I had been looking at our maps and thinking about where we were going and how close things were. I knew my wife had never been to West Virginia before. I calculated that if we drove back to our starting point, Columbus, Ohio a day early, we would have time to drive to West Virginia and pick up a state she didn't have yet. It was only a 1 1/2 hour drive from Columbus! I bounced the idea off her and then she started looking at the maps and doing some thinking, too. Before long she was onboard with the idea and on the cell phone canceling reservations and getting new ones in the places we'd now be going. It did mean canceling my plans to stop in Ann Arbor, Michigan for a couple of days. I had planned to see some of the Henry Ford attractions in the Detroit area.

An hour or so later, we had changed our plans and were set on the new course. But before we could head for our ultimate travel goal for the day, we needed to head into Michigan, a state I still hadn't been to. So we set sail. First stop east of Michigan City was South Bend, Indiana, home of Notre Dame University. We stopped and walked around the campus. It was one of the most beautiful universities I have ever seen.

After leaving the campus we headed north towards the Michigan border only 10 miles away. We crossed the border and headed east along the southern border on a two lane country road. We stopped at a road-side fruit stand and bought a basket of delicious Michigan cherries. After about 40 minutes of driving through Michigan we turned south and recrossed the border into Indiana. So much for Michigan. Everything I'd read about Michigan told me that the best part was up in northern Michigan anyway. So maybe next time. For now we were headed for Amish country. I have long had a deep respect for this people and the simple but hard life they have choosen to lead as a part of their religious beliefs. They refuse to own a motor vehicle of any kind. They travel instead by horse and buggie or bicycle. They are generally farmers and plow their fields not by a tractor, but by horse power. They are well known for their beautiful furniture as well. As we drove along the two-lane roads we noticed many of them traveling along in their black buggies drawn by a single horse and other Amish in their fields plowing with the help only of a horse drawn plow.

We stopped in Middlebury, Indiana at an Amish-style restaurant called Essenhaus which is German for eating house. Amish food tends to be rib-sticking simple home-cooking. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, fried chicken, wonderful baked goods. The kind of food you'd want to eat if you were working very hard all day long as they do. Many of us know these foods as comfort foods--the kind of food our mothers or grandmothers fixed. We sat down to a hearty lunch that included homemade rolls. On the table were two squeeze bottles. One had a delicious apple butter and the other Amish peanut butter. I really got excited with the Amish peanut butter. We bought a jar of it on the way out. Yummy! Here we are at lunch at Essenhaus. I looked up the recipe on-line so now when I run out I know how to make more! Try it yourself.

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup Marshmallow Creme
1 cup light corn syrup

In a mixing bowl, stir all the ingredients together until combined. Place in a covered container. Store in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature to serve as a bread spread or ice cream topper. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Though my experience in a new state (Michigan) was short lived it did give us the time we needed to get closer to our next stop which would be Wheeling, West Virginia. For today though, we drove on as far as Marion, Ohio and stopped for the night.

Day 9: Friday, July 6, 2007--Chicago and Michigan City, Indiana

After such a busy day yesterday, we must have walked for miles plus a late night at a show, we slept in and so got a bit of a late start today. Fortunately, we had a short way to go.

We discovered that Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous architect's home was in a suburb of Chicago and so we drove the few miles up the road to his home and took a wonderful tour of his house and studio where he designed many of his famous buildings. One of his most famous buildings, pictured on the left, is in New York City and called the Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art. His home was really fascinating because it had elements of his styles at the time he built the house but also elements that he used on other buildings many years later. It was also filled with his Prairie-style furniture which I love. Frank Lloyd Wright is my favorite architect because of the style of furniture and architecture he created. In fact, the remodeled rooms of my house all have elements of Wright's work in them.

We had planned to eat lunch at Super Dawg, reputedly the best hot dog in the all of Chicago which is famed for their hot dogs. We decided we would just split one since we also wanted to eat at one of the famous Polish Funeral Restaurants. Now don't get too excited campers, there are no dead people or any other scary stuff at these places. The most famous ones are located across the street from a cemetary which is a very convenient location since the funeral's last stop is usually the cemetary. So following the grave-side service, meaning the part of the funeral done right at the spot where the casket will be lowered into the ground, those that attended the funeral are invited to dinner at the Polish restaurant. I don't know if everybody does this or what but while we were at the restaurant the waitress told us that they were having 8 groups of people having dinner that day--all funerals! The restaurant is made up of lots of rooms that can be divided up into larger or smaller rooms to accomodate private groups. We ate in the regular restaurant since we obviously weren't there for a funeral. We went to the White Eagle . The white eagle is also the symbol on the Polish flag. It was a huge restaurant. The only thing they were serving was a family style lunch which cost $7.95 each. This is what we got:
Basket of rye bread
mushroom barley soup
cole slaw
beef brisket
potato pierogies
spiral pasta with chicken livers
mashed potatoes
roasted chicken
saurkraut with polish sausages
a platter of desserts

Man, those Polish know how to put on a party! There was so much food we filled 6 styrofoam containers with the leftovers and left stuffed. Wow! We never got to Super Dawg, so who knows, maybe we missed the best hot dog in all of Chicago, we'll never know!

We headed out on the freeway to our next stop, Michigan City, Indiana. Back east a lot of the freeways are toll roads, which means you have to pay to drive on them. Sort of like toll bridges are if you've ever been on one of those. Every few miles you would have to pull up to a booth like the one pictured on the left, and hand someone 80 cents or a dollar and then you'd drive a little futher and then have to pay again. Weird, huh!

We finally arrived in Michigan City about 5:30 and found the place pretty dead. We ate our Polish leftovers, and went and saw a movie. Then back to our room for a good night's sleep.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Day 7-8: July 4-5, 2007--Chicago, Illinois

Happy 4th of July! The windy city or Chi Town as Chicago is sometimes called, knows how to celebrate the 4th. But before we get to chicago we headed first to Wisconsin and another state. Are you keeping track? That's Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin--6 new states!

We drove north towards Wisconsin driving through small Illinois towns along a two lane country road. Getting off the freeways is a good idea if you have the time since it gives you a chance to see the world at a more liesurely pace. You have to slow down when you enter a town because you are driving down main street U.S.A. And we certainly did when we entered the city limits of little Dixon, Illinois. Dixon is the hometown of President Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan grew up here, was a lifeguard at the local lake and returned here from time to time even in later years.

We crossed the border into Wisconsin at Beloit, Wisconsin along the border with Illinois. We traveled along the southern most border and arrived at Lake Geneva a resort town perched along a beautiful lake. We had a very forgettable lunch at a place called Scuttlebutts. Very disappointing. Walked around town and then headed out again. We visited a roadside shop selling fruit, veggies and Wisconsin cheese. Remember all you cheeseheads, Wisconsin is cheese country.

On we went until we ran into Lake Michigan. Well, we didn't actually run into it, but we couldn't drive any further east when we got to Kenosha, Wisconsin, a pretty sad little city that seemed really down on its luck. Not much to see there so we headed south towards our next goal--Chicago.

We pulled into town just in time to go see the fireworks over Lake Michigan from the Navy Pier. We walked over from our hotel. The problem was that the closer we got, the more crowded it got. Now, if you know me, you know I hate crowds. They just make me jittery and nervous. Well, this was a crowd like I had never seen before. Even my wife had had enough when a guy sat down so close to her that he was practically in her lap. We got up and headed out. We decided to go to dinner instead. We headed for Lou Malnati's which we had heard made the best Chicago-style pizza in the city. We ordered the basic pie that we had heard was what to order. It took 30 minutes for it to arrive and when it did I have to say, I wasn't that impressed. Chicago-style pizza is famed for the thick crust almost lke a pie crust it is so flaky and for how the pie is put together. First, they put on the cheese, then a layer of sausage and the tomato sauce goes on the top. Anyway, I didn't care for it that much. Give me a New York style, anytime! We walked back to our hotel late that night having seen nothing of the fireworks.

The next day we rose early to go on an all day excursion of Chicago. We started out heading down Michigan Avenue also know as the Miracle Mile because of all the great highend shops that line the street. Our next stop was the Art Institute of Chicago, a fantastic art museum in Grant Park. Some of the most famous paintings in the world can be seen there. We saw American Gothic and a self portrait of Van Gogh along with other paintings by Renoir, Matisse, Monet, Hopper and on and on. Wonderful museum! We had lunch in the cloisster of the museum, a lovely outdoor setting.

Our next stop was at the theaters where Broadway shows are performed in Chicago. Like New York, Chicago has a theater district. We got tickets to see two shows in one day. At the appointed time we walked over and saw a wonderful peformance of Wicked. The music is largely forgettable but the message the special effects, and the performances by the two female leads, was absolutely stunning! That evening we went to see The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Funny, clever and poignant! At one point in the show one of the characters comes out tossing candy and snacks into the audience. We caught a bag of Doritos! We walked back down Michigan Avenue to our hotel after a long, exhausting and amazing day of fun in Chicago! We slept 10 hours that night and after finally getting up we headed for our next destination--Michigan City, Indiana.

Day 6: July 3, 2007--Davenport, Iowa

Drove to Davenport, Iowa, part of what is known as the Quad cities--Davenport, Moline, Illinois, Rock, Island and Bettendorf. Each city has its own identity and are on one side or the other of the Mississippi River.

We left Springfield, Illinois this morning driving first to Galesburg, Illinois. Now you may not have ever heard of Galesburg but it is famous for at least a couple of things. One is that it is home to Knox College. Knox College is famous because of a debate that took place on the steps of its Old Main between Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln who were both running for President of the United States. Galesburg's is also fame because it is the hometown of Carl Sandburg. He was a famous poet.

So, of course we dropped by these two places to check things out. First, Knox College. We stood on the same steps that Lincoln stood on when he debated his opponent Stephen Douglas in 1858. Imagine that, I stood exactly where Lincoln stood! Today, on either side of the door into the building are plaques that commerate the debate that was held here so long ago.
Our next stop was at the childhood home of Carl Sandburg, an American poet who grew up here in Galesburg. In fact, though he moved away and became very famous, he had his ashes buried right here in the garden of this little modest home. The garden has a walkway with paving stones, each of which has a line from one of Sandburg's famous poems. My favorite is called simply Fog.

The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

After touring the home we had lunch at a little downtown place with outdoor garden seating which was really nice on a very warm day.

Another hour or so and we arrived in the Quad cities. Our hotel was on Iowa side so we crossed a bridge over the mighty Mississippi River. Barges hauling agricultural and mining products were being towed up and down the river. It must have been nearly a mile across. After checking into our hotel we decided to see as many local attractions as posible since we had to leave early the next day. So we headed back across the river to Moline, Illinois, home of the John Deere Company. I have always dreamed of owning a John Deere tractor for my garden, but they are a bit expensive. So here I am in the next best thing. Oh well, it is probably a little too much tractor for my yard anyway.

We drove down to the river because we wanted to walk along the Mississippi. We found a spot and walked along for a half mile or so and then turned back. It is big, but not too big for this little family of ducks.
Dinner that night was the number one meal of all we had on this trip. We hadn't planned on eating there but the Bierstubbe Grille in East Davennport was simply amazing. The place wasn't fancy at all, but the food was just to die for. I had the best rueben sandwich I have ever had in my life and when my wife and I took a bite of their German potato salad at the same time, we looked at each other as if we had just won the lottery! Unbelieveable, and in Iowa? Go figure.
After dinner we went back to our hotel. That night turned out to be scarry and exciting! About 11:00 we were awakened by the sound of a very loud horn coming from somewhere. I called the front desk and they said it was a warning signal for a tornado. A tornado! "What are we supposed to do?" I asked. The deskclerk said we'd probably be fine, it was only a warning. So we stayed awake most of the night while the rain came down in a torrent--5 inches in 2 hours in places and the lightening flashed several times a minute. What a night! When we got up in the morning and went down to leave, the sky was clear, the day bright and beautiful. We would never have thought anything out of the ordinary had happened the night before if we hadn't lived through it. We did!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Day 5--Monday, July 2, 2007--Springfield, Illinois

Hey all you Simpsons fans, welcome to Springfield. Well, it may not actually be the hometown of the ficticious cartoon family, but it was the home of Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president. Here Mr. Lincoln practiced as a lawyer, lived in the only home he ever owned, raised 3 sons and was elected president of the United States. Here, too, his body was returned after being assasinated by John Wilkes Booth.

We decided to visit as many of the Lincoln sites as we could fit in and we managed to see quite a lot. Yesterday we drove to his tomb and walked around after all the tourists had gone home. We had the entire tomb to ourselves which made it seem so much more than just a tourist attraction. It was quiet, peaceful and without people making noise or fidgety kids running and climbing on things. It felt like the sacred place that it is.

Today, we awoke and walked into the center of town. Our hotel was next door to the state capitol building and an easy walk to most of the city sights. We walked the few blocks over to the "old" state capitol which is where Lincoln practiced law, where he made his famous "a house divided against itself" speech in 1858 and inside under the dome of the capitol his body lay in state for a couple of days so that people could file by and pay their final respects.

Next we walked across the street and toured Lincoln's law office. The tour guide told us that Lincoln's young sons often visited him in his office. Lincoln was a very permissive father and his kids would play baseball in the office using an ink well as a ball and a broom handle as a bat. As a result the walls of his office were splotched with ink that ran down the wall and Lincoln didn't seem to mind. Whoa! Don't any of you get any ideas!

We continued our walk around downtown Springfield stopping off at Pease's Chocolate Shop a Springfield tradition. Their specialty was the Lincoln Log which was one of those large stick pretzels dipped in caramel and then in chocolate. Yummy!

Next stop the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum was was fantastic. It had lots of things to see and do for people of all ages. Here are some photos I took of the inside of it.

The photo on the left shows a copy of the front of the White House and Lincoln and his family are standing in front. They looked so lifelike and everyone wanted their picture taken with them. You could then walk through the front door of the White House and see clothing, china, and lots of other artifacts from when Lincoln was really in the White House. There were other huge rooms where they showed movies about Lincoln's life, one even had seats that shook when cannons went off and smoke and other special effects. Another exhibit took you through the front door of a replica of the log cabin he grew up in and then showed you exhibits of what his life was like growing up. It was really fun and educational. We weren't allowed to take any photos inside the exhibits, only in the main hall. But trust me, if you are ever in Springfield, go to this museum!

All that hiking around and museum hopping got us thinking about another famous local Springfield spot. Ever had a corn dog? Well of course you have. And if you enjoyed it then you owe a debt of thanks to the owners of our lunch stop--Cozy Dog! Cozy Dog in Springfield, Illnois is the place where the corn dog was invented. Here is a picture of one just before it disappears. At Cozy Dog they hand dip the hot dog on a stick and deep fry it to order so it isn't like the corn dogs you normally get that are already made and just need to be heated up. These are fresh and they also make great fresh french fries. That's fresh not like the frozen ones you normally get at McDonald's. It was fun!

Lunch over, we drove back into the center of town and stopped at a few other LIncoln historic sites. We saw the church pew that the Lincoln family always sat in at church. We took a tour of his home and we stopped by to see the actual railroad depot where Lincoln bid farewell to his friends in Springfield before taking the train to Washington to become President. Here are some of those photos.

Lincoln's home was just finishing getting a new paint job so there was scaffolding up around it the day we were there. This was the actual house, the only house, Lincoln ever owned. You can take a tour through the entire house.

While standing on the platform at the back of the railroad car that would take him to Washington, D.C. to become president, Lincoln made his famous farewell speech to the people of Springfield. It is so full of prophetic words that foreshadowed events to come.
My friends, no one, not in my situation, can appreciate my feeling of sadness at this parting. To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything. Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young to an old man. Here my children have been born, and one is buried. I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of the Divine Being who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell.

Tomorrow we drive to Davenport, Iowa, another new state, the home to the John Deere Company and we cross the Mississippi River!

Day 4: Sunday, July 1, 2007

On day 4 we drove through the picturesque countryside of Indiana on our way to Illinois, a new state known as the Land of Lincoln. We went out of our way to look for some of the covered bridges, a rare structure in America today. In this part of Indiana there are quite a few of them still left and some can still be driven over. Here are several cool photos of the bridges we found. The bridge on the top left was built in 1902 and the photo on the top right is what the bridge looks like inside. We drove right through it. Only one car at a time can go through so you have to watch what you are doing. These bridges are all way out in the country surrounded by farms growing corn, soybeans and sorghum. Some of the roads are gravel, some narrow two-lane country roads with only an occasional car or tractor coming along.

We arrived in Champaign/Urbana, Illinois around lunch time. This is a small town which is mostly there because of the university that is there. The University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana is a huge campus surrouned by beautiful home of the 1800's and early 1900's. We wanted to visit the school because we almost lived there. When my wife was looking into schools where she might go to get her doctorate degree in music, Urbana was one of the possibilities. At one time the school had a wonderful music program, but by the time my wife was ready to get her degree it was no longer as good. We drove around and then stopped at a grocery store called Schnuck's which is a chain like Fred Meyer or Safeway but found only in that part of the midwest. Funny name. huh? Anyway, we grabbed a few picnic type items and drove on. We also stopped at one of the Cracker Barrel stores which is a chain of old-fashioned style stores found along the highway in many states (there aren't any here in Washington) especially more in the midwest and eastern parts of America. You can go into their shop where you can buy souvenirs, candy and toys mostly stuff that would bring back memories to those of us who are part of the babyboom generation or older. They also have a restaurant that serves up old time comfort foods like turkey and gravy, meat loaf, etc. We bought some of my favorite candy called Chick o' Sticks which basically taste like to inside part of a butterfingers bar.

Arrived in Springfield, Illinois around dinner time, checked into our room. Because it was Sunday, a lot of things were closed so we couldn't go into any of the sights. We had heard of a local eatery called The Chesapeake Seafood House and decided to check it out for dinner. When we arrived we found the place filled with gray-haired folks and a restaurant decor right out of the 60's. A nautical theme with sailing ship paintings and square-rigged models of old sailing ships. The chairs were black faux leather with wheels and the music was muzak from the elevators of the 60's. Lawrence Welk music. For us it seemed like a trip down memory lane since this was the type of restaurant we grew up going to with our parents. It is your basic steak and seafood place. My wife told them it was our 30th anniversary, which it was, and they brought us a free piece of delicious walnut layer cake for dessert. A fun evening! That's our little red rental car there in the parking lot.

On our way back to our room we stopped at the tomb of Abraham Lincoln and walked around. This is the actual grave where Abraham Lincoln is buried along with his wife and two of his 3 children. After he was assasinated in Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. by John Wilkes Booth, his body was slowly transported by train through the country side. Thousands of people lined the tracks to get a glimpse of the President's casket as it returned him to his home of Springfield. Here he was placed in this tomb and thousands of people still stop to pay their respects to this great man even today.

Day 3: Saturday, June 30, 2007

Gentleman, start your engines! That was the famous line heard every year when I was growing up and my dad and I sat and watched the Indianapolis 500 car race broadcast on TV from the Indianapolis Speedway in Indianapolis. Now days that phrase has changed since women now also compete in auto racing. Day 3 began with a drive over to the speedway to tour the museum. When we arrived we discovered we could actually take a tour that would take us out on the actual track itself. I always wanted to see the "brick yard" as has been known since the race track was originally made of bricks. Today the brick yard to which they refer is also the 3 foot (equals 1 yard) strip of brick that is all that remains of the original track.

We decided to take the tour and so were driven around the 2 1/2 mile oval in a tour bus that made stops along the way for photos. It was a real thrill for me! Afterward we walked through the museum that houses dozens of the race cars that have won the Indy 500 over the years. It includes the first car that one the race in 1909, a really cool car but far from the sleek high-speed racers that drive the race today at near 200 miles an hour. Back then they were really moving if they averaged 50-60 miles per hour. The photo on the right is of the first Indy 500 winning car. In those days 2 guys sat in the car. The photo below is what the cars look like today.
So we finished the tour and headed off to find lunch which was at one of our famous old drive-in road food stops. This one was called Mug n' Bun. They made their own root beer right there and had several other local specialties including the deep-fried tenderloin sandwich and deep-fried macaroni and cheese wedges. Wow! Notice in the photo below that the place isn't fancy. At this place cars drive up and turn on their lights for service or you can get out of your car and sit at one of the many picnic tables. Either way, you are in for a treat. Yummy! After lunch we drove up to a little village north of town called Zionsville which had a very picturesque downtown area lined with antique shops and cafes. The village also had lots of beautiful old homes mostly built in the 1800's which had been carefully restored. We finished day 3 with a movie at a local theater. Saw Ratatoille, the new Disney/Pixar film which was lots of fun. Then back to our room for a good night's sleep. Tomorrow we drive to Springfield, Illinois, the town where Abraham Lincoln spent most of his life.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Day 2: Friday, June 29, 2007

Hey campers! We're on day 2. You are having to read this backwards but hopefully you are getting the hang of it.
We woke up and went down for breakfast in the hotel restaurant. We were introdued to another local tradition as part of our breakfast. The "goetta" pronounced "getta." You order it as part of your breakfast. It looks like a potato patty but it is really made of a mixture of oatmeal, ground pork and who knows! It tastes a little like corned beef hash only gamier. I liked it. It came with eggs and toast like a usual breakfast. You won't find goetta in your supermarket. You can only find it in this little part of the midwest. Pretty cool, huh?

The rest of our day in Cincinnati included a quick trip across teh Ohio River to a totally different state--Kentucky! We drove around and looked in on a couple of old churches and neat old neighborhoods. We also walked along the Ohio River and looked across at the skyline of Cincinnati. From our vantage point we could see the Cincinnati Reds baseball park and the Bengals football stadium.

Next we hopped back in the car and drove back over to the Ohio side of the river. Cool, huh? Two states divided by a river. During the days of slavery the Kentucky side was a slave state and the Ohio side was a free state, so all a slave need do is cross that river and they were free. Of course it was a lot harder than that and we visited an amazing museum along the banks of the Ohio River to find out just how difficult it was. It was the National Underground Railroad and Freedom Museum, one of the best museums I have ever visited. I wish we could take a fieldtrip here so you could see it for yourself. Here are a couple of photos I took while there.

Talked with some wonderful museum docents, walked through exhibits and saw films and slave re-enactments. All incredibly done. But our day was far from over. We needed to get back on the highway and head for our next stop and our next state--Indiana.

As we left Cincinnati we made that other stop at Putz's ice cream and split an ice cream cone of their delicious creamy yellow soft serve. It cooled us off too as the humidity began to rise in the hottest time of the day. We don't have to deal with the problems of humidity here in the northwest. We can have a pretty high humidity but because the temperature is not high we don't really feel the humidity. But in the midwest where teh temperatures can reach into the 90's and the humidity 90%, it is easy to feel pretty miserable some days. You feel the seat dripping down your back and just want to get out of it and into an air conditioned space. Fortunately, our car was air conditioned and so were our hotel rooms so we were pretty comfortable most of the time.

While stopped getting gas I noticed a White Castle hamburger place nearby. Northwesterner's may not know about White Castle becasue we don't have then out here. They are mostly in the midwest but they are a chain. They have also been around many years. White Castle is famous out there. I have never had a White Castle hamburger so naturally I wanted to try one. We went in and I saw immediately taht they were very small. I mean small. A couple of bits and it is gone. So some people will buy a bag of them, like 10 and eat them all. They are pretty small. Still, I only bought 4 and split them with my wife. They are pretty simple, a very thin patty, a few onions and mustard and catsup, cheese is extra.

On we went and eventually arrived in Indianapolis, Indiana, home of the Indianapolis 500! Before checking in to our hotel we stopped at the highly regarded road food stop called Shapiro's Deli and shared a pastrami sandwich, and sides of cole slaw, a potato latke and their famous macaroni and cheese. I am a huge fan of pastrami and the gold standard for pastrami to me is Katz's in New York City. This was pretty good! Our day ended having visited 3 states--Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Whew!