Friday, October 31, 2014

10-30-2014 Yelp Wining and Dining event at Seasons 52

I (Cara) was lucky to attend an amazing Yelp Elite only event (no +1 - sorry, Eric).  It was a wine and food pairing at Seasons 52 restaurant at Keystone at the Crossing in north Indianapolis.  They focus on cooking seasonally-inspired, healthy food, and nothing on the menu is over 475 calories.  They grill over a real wood fire, and they don't even have a fryer in the kitchen.  Plus, they have gluten free and vegetarian/vegan menus if you need one.

I think all of us there expected a few small tasting plates to go with our wine samples.  Boy were we wrong!  Seasons 52 really rolled out the red carpet and treated us like royalty!  We had appetizers and a full five course meal, with a different wine for each course.  We were told that each course was actually a smaller portion than normal, which was hard to believe.  Plus, we got goodies like a wine glass, reusable bag, $5 gift card, and a nice wine cork.  We were all blown away!  Five stars!  I would definitely go there again!

The lovely table setup in one of the private rooms at Seasons 52

Glasses awaiting the next wine

This was our menu that night.  Of course, I got vegetarian items in place of the meat.

Baby Spinach & Carmelized Pear Salad (yummy - the pears were delicious!) - supposedly
this was the only full-size item we got that night.  (I missed getting a picture of the two
flatbreads that preceded the salad.)

My second course of roasted butternut squash, acorn squash and apples - delicious!

My third course of  Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli - AMAZING!

My fourth course, a vegetarian sampler of seasonal veggies (squash, broccoli, brussels sprouts, red peppers, mushroom), cedar-
roasted tofu, soft taco, and quinoa citrus salad!  Thankfully they brought boxes for us at this point, because I had to take most
of this incredible food home.  Everything was great, but the quinoa citrus salad was probably my favorite in this course - I
loved the crunch of the jicama in it.

Our fifth course - a sampler of "mini indulgences" like key lime pie, pumpkin pie, blueberry
something, s'mores, and a macchiato treat that I tried and loved.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

10-29-2014 Georgia Street Block Party and Pacers Game

We saw ads online and on TV for the Indy Star and Pacers Block Party on Georgia Street, so we thought we would check it out.  We hadn't planned on going to the game (okay, we didn't even know there was a game), but we lucked into $5 tickets for the season opener against the Philadelphia 76ers, and we couldn't pass that up.

Georgia Street was blocked off between the stadium and Meridian Street, and there was a band playing.  They were okay.

There were food trucks, drink vendors, and giveaways from Indy Star and the Pacers.  Guess we got spoiled by the incredible
street fairs in Portland, because this "block party" seemed pretty lame to us.

The Pacers/Sixers game was much more fun, and there really doesn't seem to be a bad seat in the house.  We won - go Pacers!

After the game we went across the street to The Pub for a (very) late dinner.  Cara's nachos (just okay) were very spicy.

Eric really likes their M-80s (spicy shrimp), so that's what he gets every time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

10-27-2014 PitchFeast at the Speakeasy

Every other month there is a PitchFeast at the Speakeasy co-working facility.  Attendees each pay $5, and that gets you dinner, drinks, and a token to vote.  (Sponsors pay for the food and drink.)  There are generally three people who pitch about their startup business, and after listening to the pitches the attendees vote for the winner by putting their tokens in the appropriate box.  The winner gets all the money collected, which is probably a couple of hundred dollars (because there were about 40 people who attended).

This handout talks about the PitchFeast concept and the three presenters this evening.

Brian Long discussing his startup,  It is a website and app for restaurants to get their menus online in a nicely
readable (and searchable) way, and have the menu automatically update across the various places it is posted online (i.e., Yelp, Google, the restaurant's own website).  They currently have about 170 restaurants on their service.  Cara liked
the idea, but it didn't win.

Will Jones' startup is called Trips 4 Taps.  No, it has nothing to do with beer.  It's a non-profit to help family and friends from
across the country attend the funeral of a fallen soldier.  Trips 4 Taps is in the process of getting their 501(c)(3) status.  This
idea got lots of votes, but didn't win.

Rachel Langford introduced her startup business, the GlamourBuzz Beauty Bus.  It's a mobile salon (for waxing services,
manicures, etc.) that will have weekly stops at various busy places and companies downtown (and eventually college
campuses).  Her idea won!

Here is some more info on GlamourBuzz Beauty Bus.  Rachel plans to have the business up
and running by next Spring.

Monday, October 27, 2014

10-24 to 10-26-2014 Gathering of Eric's Family in Nashville, TN

It's kind of amazing how this whole trip happened so organically, and we were happy to just go and enjoy the company.  Eric's brother, Dan, and his wife, Stephanie, flew in from L.A.  His other brother, Greg, flew in from Mississippi, where he had been working.  Greg's wife, Katy, and Eric's mother, Nancy, drove over from southern Indiana with our niece and nephew, Jenna and Jake.  There were also several other friends of the family that joined in for part or all of the adventure in Nashville, Tennessee.  It was a whirlwind, but a total blast!

Greg arrived at the exact same time we did, so we went to dinner at Demos', then headed over to Broadway.  This is the side
patio at Swingin' Doors (just off the main drag).  We were here when Dan and Stephanie arrived and joined us.

Greg, Eric, Stephanie, Dan and Cara at Swingin' Doors

Nashville Crossroads

Saturday morning we met up Nancy, Katy and the kids and walked downtown.  This was our
first view of Union Station.

We met up with Dan, Stephanie, and friend, Lynn, at Flying Saucer, which is inside a part of Union Station.

Beautiful bar and main dining area of Flying Saucer

Awesome indoor/outdoor seating area of Flying Saucer - the left wall is all garage doors that
can be raised in nice weather.

Sometime when we're in Nashville Cara does want to check out this museum...

Approaching downtown

This is the south end of the main drag on South Broadway ("SoBro").

As we were finishing our drinks in the first bar we heard a ruckus outside.  We stepped outside to see a solid stream of bikers.
We learned it was a "Toy Run" for children.  Several bikers were dressed as Santa Claus.  The police had closed down
Broadway, and it was probably a solid 5-10 minutes of bikers going by.

Jenna with one of the many horse statues at Wildhorse Saloon

Wildhorse Saloon is huge!

Three floors of fun at Wildhorse Saloon

Horses at the bar on the second floor of Wildhorse Saloon

Nice game area on the third floor of Wildhorse Saloon

What a venue to watch a band!

More horses...

Dan (looking western) with friend Conrad and his daughter

There are loads of people doing their schtick out on the street.

Legends Corner - one of many bars we checked out

Most people left early on Sunday morning, but Dan and Stephanie had an evening flight so we met up with them for lunch and to watch the football games before heading home.

After a great weekend the drive home was a bit of a bummer - due to construction on I-65 what should have been a 4.5 hour drive took 6 hours.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

10-21-2014 Smartups meeting at the Speakeasy

The Speakeasy is a place where small tech companies can have some place to work that allows them to interact with like minded people.  Sometimes they hold events there.

This meetup focused on how to optimize a web form. 

Volunteers put up their forms so that the crowd and experts could critique it

The speakeasy has a really cool recycled look.  It really looks great by using recycled pallets and fixtures and mismatched chairs

Monday, October 20, 2014

10-17 to 10-19-2014 Hayride to Hell

Every October some friends of ours put on the best Halloween Party ever, called Hayride to Hell.  It's a weekend camping event out in the Brown County countryside (gorgeous!), and it's always a blast.  We went down Friday night and stayed until early evening on Sunday, catching up with all our friends that we haven't seen in months.

Warning: Some pictures of Cara's costume and costume preparations may be offensive.  Cara agrees it looks gross (but the blood is fake and Cara finds it extremely funny).

At night there is a huge bonfire in the center where the smoke is.

Indeed, there are hayrides at Hayride to Hell!

A cute snack perfect for Halloween

The start of our group costume preparations.

Have you guessed what the costume is yet?

Yes, those are what you think, but remember, the blood is fake.

Bitchy, Crampy, Sleepy, Bloody, Clutzy, Bingey, Moody, Bloated - we were "Shark Week"!  (No, it has nothing to do with
the Discovery Channel - just think about it for a minute.)

Friends Susie the Fortune Teller, and Tom (aka John Denver)

Our friend Mark always has a great costume.  This year he appropriately was a shark hunter.

Art the Robot - another friend who always has a great costume

Lady Juliana and Lillian (as the creepy Annabelle doll)

Entries into the Pumpkin Carving Contest

The winner - the "apple" pumpkin!

Princesses Gabrielle and Sophie

Hehehe - one last shark picture

Saturday was rainy during the day, but Sunday turned out GORGEOUS!

Cara went for a walk with several girlfriends down to the lake.

The trees were all turning beautiful colors

The lake is incredible this time of year, and these ladies (Cheryl, Annette, Susie and Erin) only add to the beauty!

Valerie, our friend and hair guru.  (This picture inspired the next one.)

Left to back to front: Cheryl, Susie, Valerie, JoEllen, Annette, and Cara.
(We missed having the rest of the ladies in this picture.)

Cara couldn't help but snap picture after picture on this beautiful walk.

Why couldn't Saturday have been like this?

Our friends are so lucky to have this awesome property in their family!

Panzer watching over his owner's stuff.

One last Gator ride...

Valerie's car battery was dead.  :(   And it took about 30 minutes, a jump box, 3 sets of jumper cables, and 5 guys to get it
going.  (Who would have guessed the jump box didn't have enough power, and 2 sets of jumper cables were bad - one even
started smoking!)

Fun with packing wrap!  (Cole actually volunteered for this.)

The end to another awesome Hayride to Hell - can't wait until next year!