Gatlinburg TN

Gatlinburg TN
I've been on a HUGE Gatlinburg area kick lately..... Here is a recent picture!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Hyatt Regency Lexington KY Wedding Tasting

So, I have a couple of friends getting married next year.  I have been asked to be in the wedding, which is always an honor (personally, this will be my 11th time being in a wedding...  I think).

Well, my friends asked me to go to a "tasting" event set up just for them at the Hyatt Regency this past weekend!

I have been to this sort of thing before, and it is always nice and pleasant, but simple.  This event was NOT SIMPLE!


A nice table was set for us in the room where my friends will be getting married.  It was set with a couple of centerpiece options.  Several different salads were on the table too.

Over the next hour and a half or so, we sampled a crazy variety of food options.  I can't even remember the specifics, but there was no way that any of us could come close to finishing.  But that wasn't the point, really.  This was a tasting, so cleaning our plates wasn't the goal....  it also wasn't humanly possible.

Everything was so good though.  The staff at the Hyatt was all over everything.  The chef came out to explain some of the options, and to talk about ingredients and prep.  A friend with specific allergies is coming to the wedding, and he even talked about how they will be taking precautions to accommodate the friend.

AND the food was simply unbelievable!  Sure, this was a "tasting" before a wedding event, but this was an incredible meal!  I am including some photos just in case you are in Lexington, and making plans for a wedding anytime soon!  Call these guys!









Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Hoosier Killers: Indiana's Darkest History by Ed Wenck

I mentioned Ed Wenck a few days ago when he appeared at the great Whispers From the Grave event in Irvington....

Well, I was lucky enough to get him to sign a copy of his book, "Hoosier Killer's:  Indiana's Darkest History" after the performance!

I had just read the book too....  Its hard to say a book is good when it is dealing with murder.  I feel comfortable saying that this book is fascinating.  VERY fascinating in that it is really to the point.  It covers the most well known crimes in the Hoosier state, dividing them up into categories (Mass Killers, Traveling Killers, Race Killers, etc).

One thing that I really appreciated about this book was that each section was brief.  Wenck sticks to the known information on the crimes, keeping everything brief and fact based.  This is a good starting point for someone who might want to research more into Indiana crimes.  The author covers ALL of the major ones, briefly, here.

The entries are short, but they are complete, as Wenck includes follow up information about the events too.



Monday, October 29, 2018

Indiana World War Memorial- Indianapolis, Indiana

This postcard was sent from Indianapolis in 1929!  It shows the Indiana War Memorial.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Benjamin Harrison Residence- Indianapolis Indiana

Here is a great old, undated and unused postcard showing Benjamin Harrison's home in Indianapolis.

We stopped by there a few years ago.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Davids Tea at Keystone Mall Indianapolis IN

We've been on a tea kick lately, and we ended up spending a lot of time at David's Tea at the Keystone Mall in Indianapolis.

Its not a "sit down and drink" kind of place, but it is inviting.

One of the very sweet and enthusiastic ladies working there invited us to sample several teas.  They hooked us. 

We loved the taste and the varieties offered. It is hard to describe the tastes, but they were pleasant but not sweet, and nowhere near as bitter as most teas.  I know that's probably not helpful.

 Anyway, we learned that they had a ton of different flavors, and that they sell their teas by the once, in bags and in tins.  Also, the company started out in Canada!  We love everything Canadian.

AND, they made tea drinks for you in the shop!  For a few bucks we got a couple of teas to go and enjoyed drinking them as we walked around the mall.


Friday, October 26, 2018

Keystone Fashion Mall in Indianapolis Indiana

I have mentioned the Keystone Fashion Mall MANY times on this blog.  I know... its a mall. 

BUT, this is just a really nice place and we love it.  I have told friends about this mall (and the area around it) and they have visited and loved it too.

We usually try to visit this place a couple of times a year, and we often get a lot of Christmas shopping done while we are here.







Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Legend Classic Irvington Cafe- Irvington, Indiana

We had a couple of very nice meals at the Legend Classic Irvington Café near Indianapolis on our recent trip to the area!

This upscale restaurant was very pleasant and nice.  We had a great waiter and some amazing food.  Check out my photos!




Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Irvington Ghost Walk- Irvington, Indiana

I have mentioned Alan E. Hunter here before, bringing up his thorough book "Indianapolis Haunts".  Do yourself a favor and hunt that volume down...  It is, in my opinion, one of the best ghost books ever written.

I finally got to meet Alan this past weekend, as we attended the "Whispers From the Grave" event, and then just a few hours later, we went on his Irvington Ghost Walk!

It is $20 a person to go on the walk, but that goes to local charities.  AND, you get a pretty generous swag bag with your ticket purchase.  We got a nice souvenir ticket, a flashlight, a button commemorating the walk, a glow stick, a ghost walk sticker, AND a very well done book by Alan Hunter that tells more about the haunted locations in Irvington!

Tickets were sold in front of the 10 Johnson Avenue Coffee shop.  Many on the tour went inside for some coffee after buying their tickets and to wait around.  A fellow was doing a presentation on Edgar Allan Poe inside.  It was a VERY windy evening....  So, around 7, everyone was told to go to the Irving Theater for the start of the tour.

Alan started things off by talking about the theater and the Masonic Lodge next door (Lodge #666).  From there, and after the wind died down, we went on to walking around the nice Irvington area.

We stopped by a library where Alan told us about a crime that had been committed at a strip mall that used to be at the spot where the library is now.  He also told us about a famous local crime that involved John Dillinger. 

Many of Alan's stories are very fact based- he will tell you about a documented historic event that happened on that spot.  He will often then talk about some of the reported ghost activity that has occurred in the area.

One of the most disturbing crimes in town involved a Klan leader.  Alan took us by the Klan leader's home (and, as a side note, ANOTHER crime would happen there several decades later) and he took us by the home of the victim. 

I found it very strange that some of the most well known criminals you can think of (Jim Jones, HH Holmes, Charles Manson) spent time in this small Indianapolis suburb.  They were all brought up on  the walk.  Alan even had a photo showing Jim Jones standing in the spot where the tour group was standing.

At the end of the tour, Alan talks about the famous Abraham Lincoln ghost train.  Alan himself actually wears a ring that has a connection to the train that carried Lincoln's body through town after his death.  He let members of the group try the ring on at the end of the evening!

At the end of our tour we checked our watches and we realized that we had been on a two and a half hour or so ghost tour.  It was cold and windy, but the crowd of probably 200 people had loved every minute of it.  I did not notice anyone drop out and leave early.  The crowd had maintained a certain quietness all evening too, listening carefully to each word of Alan's stories.

This was a very safe and secure ghost walk too, as yellow shirted volunteers were stationed all along the walk, helping with crossing the street and traffic issues.  Several were located at uneven sidewalk sites to warn those in the group about the hazard.  One held a branch back on a tree as the group walked past.

Alan himself was hard to see at times, but he wore a headset mic, so you could hear him easily the entire time.

We have had some mixed experiences with ghost walks.....  There are some really good ones out there if you do some research.  This one has to be one of the best anywhere though.  Alan and his crew do a great job and it gets my highest possible recommendation.







Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Elmwood Inn Fine Teas- Danville KY

I didn't get many pictures, but I did finally make it to Danville's Ellmwood Inn Fine Teas recently!

This shop is hard to get to in general, if you aren't from Danville.  They are only open during the day Monday through Friday.  I usually find myself in Danville on odd evenings or on the weekends.

Anyway, I stopped by for a few minutes and was given a couple of sample teas that really hit the spot.  One was cold and one was hot.  I told them what I liked about teas, and what I didn't, and they helped me pick some out!  I ended up buying 3 tins of tea and a new mug.



10 Johnson Avenue Coffee Shop in Irvington, Indiana

I wanted to mention the very cozy and friendly coffee shop, 10 Johnson Avenue (it's name, and it's address) in Irvington Indiana!

In between festive Halloween events in Irvington, we hung out here. 

They seem to have a lot of community events, and it just seemed like a warm and happenin' place.

The Irvington Ghost Tour meets here too, so the shop got a bit crowded right before the tour!

There was a lot of seating available though, so the crowd was mostly accommodated.  Like I said though, this place has a lot going on for it...  good coffee, lots of space, and a warm vibe.




"Whispers From the Grave" in Irvington Indiana

One of the main reasons I wanted to visit Indianapolis recently was to spend some time in the Irvington area.  in fact, this looks like a great area for the season!

AND, Alan Hunter mentioned to me that a GREAT theater event would be going on while I was in the town.  At the Irving Theater, there would be a presentation called "Whispers From the Grave."  This event would feature local celebrities reading from court transcripts and witness accounts relating to some of the most horrific crimes from the area. 

The event was free to the public, with a suggested donation of $5 to benefit the Irvington Free Press.

Also, these were some interesting local personalities with national recognition.  I was very impressed that Dave Wilson was there.....  Check out his bio relating to Indianapolis sports teams....  not to mention his work on the Bob & Tom show!  AND, I had just finished reading one of Ed Wenck's books, so I HAD to get that one signed by him (more on that book later).  Anyway..  this was an interesting group performing!

We arrived at the theater around 1.  We visited a VERY nice antique shop in the same building as the theater.  Probably around 1:30 we went on in to the Irving.

This was our first time in the Irving, and it is....  well, not exactly polished.  It looks old and historic.  It wasn't overly fixed up.  BUT it felt durable and scrappy!

It feels like the community is doing its best to keep the place going.  There were old church pews for seating.  There was a nice viewing screen on the stage.

AND, most impressively......  the stage was part of one used at Market Square Arena.  Alan Hunter mentions this in his books, and he brought it up on the ghost tour later.....  BUT that stage is part of the last stage that Elvis Presley ever performed on!  Yeah....  the theater's cred just went up MANY notches.

So, we took our seats and enjoyed a local folk musician performing before the reading.

Alan Hunter ran the show, doing intros and some narration.  We were impressed by some videos that ran during the reading.  Silent movie footage was shown at times, to go along with what was being talked about on stage.  There was also an intro and outro film shown to set things up, and to show credits at the end.

The entire event was well over two hours and there was an intermission.

I have read about most of the characters and their stories (mostly in Alan Hunter's books) but it was so fascinating hearing their actual words read out loud.  This was lively and dramatic.  When the event was over, we felt like we wanted more.  We did not feel like we had been setting on church pews for hours.  This was a very special event.

After the performance, all of the readers stuck around to sign flyers and posters and they were all very pleasant.


This was such a great afternoon of October entertainment, and it was such a unique, one off event.  I am glad that I got to attend.  I think it might be a good idea to keep an eye on Irvington to see what they have up their sleeve each October!





Monday, October 22, 2018

Recent Trip To Indianapolis

Hey!  I have talked at length about how Indianapolis is simply one of my all time favorite towns.  It is especially festive around Christmas time, and we have been there a lot for that time of the year.

We recently decided to get up there for some Halloween fun!  More on that shortly, but we were able to spend some time maimly around the Keystone at the Crossing area, and Irvington.

We did stop by the Greenwood at the Park Mall on the south end....  We like this place a lot and it is easy to access as we come into town.  There was a cool old hobby shop I would always hit there, but it is now gone!  I felt a little sad when I saw the former location setting vacant!  Oh well, that happens!

Also, on this trip, we tried something new.  I realized that driving through Madison Indiana would add maybe 30 minutes to our travel time, but it would mean we could avoid going through either Louisville or Cincinnati (I love both towns, but I don't love the traffic when I am passing through)!  I will take that trade off.  The trip was much more scenic this way!  AND, we were able to stop for some Red Roaster Coffee!