Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bloomington, IN: Hoosier Hysteria

Saturday night was the annual Hoosier Hysteria pre-season basketball rally at Assembly Hall. It is a free event open to the public, and it doubles as a canned food drive for the Hoosier Hills Food Bank, (we took a can with us and dropped it off at the doors). 

Doors opened at 5pm and the actual event started at 6:30. We got there around 6pm and the only seats we could find were halfway up the upper section. Eric spotted seats right in the middle so we wound up with a pretty good view.

Hoosier Hysteria welcomes both the men's and women's teams (with an obvious focus on the men's), hosts a bunch of contests for players and a few fans, introduces all the staff, and the cheerleaders get to show us the main cheers. The one they led off with is my favorite (it happens at the under-8 timeout).

The women's team has 10 people on it. There was a row of guys behind us who were obsessed with Tyra Buss, and they made for an entertaining evening. She won the women's 3 point contest.

Between teams, the lights dimmed and this happened:

No day at Assembly Hall is complete without a shot of the banners.

Both teams came out to fireworks.

Part of the men's tradition is former players giving the newbies candy stripes. The pants are iconic.

Troy Williams won the dunk contest. He also won the 3 point contest, the first player in HH history to win both contests.

Then the men's team got to scrimmage (cream and crimson). Right before the scrimmage started, about half the crowd left. We thought, "that's weird, normally the point of these nights are to see the team play". Well...they scored 4 points in the first 3 minutes. So those people all knew something we didn't. We actually wound up leaving early as well, because the clock gets stopped at this scrimmage (and also because they weren't playing well). A 15 minute game turns into something much longer.

After the game, the players give out autographs. Signs posted around Assembly Hall let you know who will be where. We didn't stay to get any autographs, but on our way out saw the long lines that were already forming.

We hadn't been to Hoosier Hysteria before and I am glad we went. It was fun to get excited about basketball again. Hopefully IU will be good this year!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Fall Break


This past week was my week-long fall break. Since Eric doesn't get to take off a week in October, I adventured around the state mostly by myself this week and had a fun time. Fall is my very favorite time of the year in Indiana. The weather this week was simply amazing - sunny and 70s/80s every day - and I tried to take advantage of it. I'll try to have posts up in a timely manner in case you are interested in enjoying the next month or so of fall in this part of the state.

In the meantime, here's a list of everything I did:

- Had ballroom dance lessons and dinner with friends afterward at Function Brewing Company
- Did a 6.5 mile hike with friends at Paynetown SRA at Lake Monroe
- Enjoyed a bottle of wine with friends at Oliver Winery
- Ate dinner at Lennie's/Bloomington Brewing Company with those friends
- Watched a lot of football, including watching the Colts lose to the Patriots for the millionth time (I didn't say everything about my break was good)
- Went on a short hike with Eric at McCormick's Creek State Park
- Ate lunch at Kiku Sushi
- Got a massage at Tranquil Vibe Day Spa
- Spent several hours at the Monroe County Public Library
- Carved pumpkins with friends
- Drove to French Lick and West Baden (exceptionally beautiful drive)
- Tasted wine at the French Lick Winery
- Rode the French Lick Scenic Railway
- Walked around the French Lick Springs Hotel
- Gambled at the French Lick Casino
- Took a walking tour of the West Baden Springs Hotel
- Rode the historic trolley in between the French Lick and West Baden hotels
- Walked across the longest historic covered bridge in the USA in Medora
- Ate lunch at the soda fountain at the Salem Apothecary
- Went to the Depot Museum in Salem (a train museum)
- Tasted wine at Huber's Orchard and Winery
- Rode the wagons to the pumpkin patch and apple orchard at Huber's
- Enjoyed the view from Cutright SRA at Lake Monroe
- Saw Back to the Future at the IU Cinema on Back to the Future Day (Oct 21. 2015)
- Tasted wine at Butler Winery (at the location in town)
- Ate lunch at Sushi Haru
- Drove out to the longest train trestle in the country (3rd longest in the world), the Tulip Trestle, which happens to be about 40 minutes from Bloomington
- Spent time at Shakamak State Park
- Went to my beer running club like usual on Thursdays at Quaff On Brewing Company
- Got a foot massage at Studio 2Ten
- Went garage sale-ing with a friend
- Got a manicure at Nails Salon
- Went to lunch at Sweetea's in Nashville with my mom, grandma, and two aunts
- Tried two different places to go horseback riding with my aunts but the wait was too long
- Tasted wine and had a couple glasses on the deck at the Brown County Winery
- Had more wine with my aunts and uncles at one of their houses in Bloomington
- Went to ballroom dance lessons and had a birthday celebration dinner with friends at Upland Brewing Company
- Went to the farmer's market with friends
- Stopped by the Studio 2Ten Open House
- Played a lot of Dominion with Eric (he won every single game)
- Went to Hoosier Hysteria with Eric
- Ate dinner at Mother Bear's with Eric
- Attended a housewarming/birthday party with lots of friends
- Watched the Colts almost kind of try to win a football game (and fail)

Written out it sounds like a pretty busy week, but it didn't really feel like it going through. I didn't hit everything I wanted to, but I did get to do a lot of fun things. I really enjoy exploring all kinds of places and am lucky I got to take a week to do so.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Jamestown, ND: Frontier Village

When we were done browsing the National Buffalo Museum, we spent some time walking around the Frontier Village in Jamestown. It's right outside the museum and you have to go through it if you want to get to the World's Largest Buffalo.

It is free (although there is a donation bin at the entrance if you feel so inclined) and there is a lot more set up than I realized from the Internet.

There are also some actual businesses here (like this one below; no pictures from inside) if you get here before 5 or 6pm, when most of them close.

The rest of the village doesn't really close until late in the evening, so we wandered around town and peeked into all the buildings. There are a lot of buildings and most of them are set up really nicely.

You can also take a pony or carriage ride.

Mannequins are my nemesis, but hopefully you don't suffer from the same infliction. There are several fake people scattered throughout the village.

I thought the school house was the most well done (even though there were lots of mannequins here).

They didn't make things for tall people in the 1800s (Eric is 6'2").

We saw more surveying equipment (and surveying exhibits) on this trip than animals.

Free, easily seen, and something to do to get out and stretch your legs in North Dakota! Try to get there before 5pm to check out the shops, but even after business hours it's neat to see all these set-ups in one place.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Jamestown, ND: National Buffalo Museum + World's Largest Buffalo

From the Roger Maris Museum in Fargo, we headed west to Jamestown to the National Buffalo Museum and the World's Largest Buffalo.

We mostly made this stop because behind the buffalo museum is a 200 acre pasture for a bison herd. We've seen lots of buffalo before, but this place in particular has an albino buffalo (named White Cloud) which is pretty rare, so I wanted to try to see it.

Unfortunately we saw no white buffalo, but we spent some time in the large museum. There is a fee, normally $5/adult or $10/family, but with AAA you can get that down to $4/adult.

It turned out that basically every museum we went to on this trip had buffalo hides. But I never stopped being impressed with the size of these animals.

There was so much to see and read in this museum.

This section had a bunch of different animal pelts/skins/etc that you could feel. I was kind of weirded out about some of them (birds) but felt a few.

You can see the herd from a lot of places around the museum without actually having to pay or go into the building, but they do have a nice viewing deck off the back to look at the bison.

We saw zero bison from the viewing deck, but saw a bunch later on.

Apparently these kinds of chairs used to be all the rage.

Once we had finished the museum, we walked down the street to the World's Largest Buffalo.

It was pretty large!

From the statue, we spotted a bunch of buffalo.

If you find yourself in the middle of North Dakota and want to see some buffalo, this place is a pretty sure bet. We enjoyed watching the bison meander around the preserve and the museum was a good prelude to our trip.