Farewell Indiana

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Before diving into new adventures, and new places I want to stop and say goodbye to the place we have called home for almost a year. When we first moved to the big ‘ole USA we had no idea what to expect. We knew nothing about where we were moving to and have been fascinated, challenged, bemused and happy. Continue reading

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Memorial day weekend

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Happy Memorial day Y’all! or second May bank holiday for all my peeps back in the UK. Traditionally at home this would be a long weekend with lots of rain, and a few festivals and fun activities. For memorial day we decided to pack in as much as possible, starting the weekend with a very classy evening of vintage jazz. This was set at Langlabs, where we ventured for another evening of live music. We once again had some delicious margaritas, and enjoyed some relaxing jazz music. A few people were decked out in 1920’s garb, which had me longing for my pearl necklace and imaginary flapper dress. Continue reading

Exciting Animals of Indiana

Kiwi here for a semi-regular guest post. Hello.

Unsurprisingly, I’ve done the whole move to the other side of the world thing once before, and had a general idea of what to expect. The many stupid forms, the general catch 22 needed to get anything done, the fun of discovering what the locals think is special (though I’m usually slightly confused as to why), as well as missing all those things you have grown to love.

One way I enjoy to discover your new home is to go to the local park, and get excited about all the new wild life. Moving from NZ to the UK it was the squirrels. Growing up with European and American books, TV and cinema with squirrels left, right and centre (well sort of, … they definitely appear sometimes), it was a novelty to go to Hyde park and actually seeing real life squirrels. And as Wayward Girl still knows, but doesn’t understand, I’ll still get excited at the sight of one.

From wandering around the local parks, I’ve so far got excited about (and managed to photograph):

Chipmunks. Which to my surprise are actually real. And they are not, as I first tried to describe them, baby squirrels. As you can imagine this was both exciting, a new creature, and disappointing, I do rather like squirrels.

Chipmunk

Muskrat. It basically looks like a large rat, lives in water, and has rat in its name,…. so is a large rat. But I managed to get a photo of one (that rock like thing in the centre of the photo).

Muskrat

Turtles. We went to a local arboretum, and they promised turtles. Promised!!! And how many turtles can you see in the photo below. 0! ZERO, NILL, NONE. They lied! But I’m told they do exist. And hopefully you can image my excitement when I finally get to see one.

Turtle

25 things to do in South Bend

Ok, so having done quite a lot of googling, on-line research and scouring local places for leaflets and flyers to see what’s happening here I’ve found a couple of things. One of the best sources of info has been Inthebend – a local on-line newspaper, and the blog, 365 things to do in South Bend. Now I’m not convinced there area actually 365 things to do that are worth doing, and the blog only goes to 271, but I’m willing to give them a go! What’s more I figured I’d try out them so I could report back on the best South Bend has to offer, and see if I can add some new stuff.  So here’s a definitive list of things to do, I’ve edited this list into an Autumn/Winter one and will recreate a Spring/Summer catalogue later in the year. I’m going to give each one a go and see what happens. These largely orientate around food, but also local events, festivals and activities. Here’s the list.

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Farmers markets

On the hunt for some good cheese, milk and meat we had a little visit to some local farmers markets. I’m a big fan of farmers markets and am seriously missing my weekly veg boxes, monthly meat box and daily deliveries of fresh milk! Ok finding all of these may be a little ambitious, but we thought we would start at a local farmers market to at least get some fresh in season local veggies, and hope there would also be some decent dairy.

Our first market was the large weekly south bend market, this is a large square building with plenty of veg, some honey, preserves, meat and cheese. sadly we weren’t blown away by the selection but perhaps we had too high expectations. We did pick up some good mozzarella, some proper eggs that weren’t white! and some local veggies. They tasted pretty good although the fruit was a little disappointing.

We also tried Granger farmers market aswell. Set in an old barn, this one was smaller but a lot quirkier, they had a meat counter, apples, soups, veggies, honey, cakepops and local crafts. decorated in pumpkins – right now there are pumpkins everywhere! We found some amazing bacon, and some chicken sausages. Yes you read that right chicken sausages we thought we would give them ago they were pretty tasty, but I think sausages are better with pork, or maybe beef – still being convinced on that one. We did however learn that ‘English bacon’ is called Canadian bacon here, as standard bacon is more like bacon rashers!

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Bloomington farmers market had much more local veggies, some maple syrup, and some amazing baked goods.

I’m hunting for other local ones and researching into cooperative farming – the closest to veggie boxes I can find. unfortunately its just coming to the end of the season so not great timing but I’m looking forward to spring when they start up again.