Friday, May 22, 2009

The "Staycation" - Part 5

Tuesday of the "Staycation" dawned cool and sunny - a perfect day to get out and explore. We began the day with a walk around our corner of downtown, to give Beans a chance to burn up some of that Boston Terrier energy.

Our route this morning took us up East Street, where we literally "stopped to smell the roses" at one of the row houses.

Around the corner on Michigan Ave., we stopped in front of the Anthenaeum to give Beans a chance to meet the "big kitty". Beans was not particularly impressed. Garfield was more focused on the patries.

The Garfield installation is part of the 8th Annual Mass Ave Artful Tread tire decorating contest. Merchants along Mass Ave. and adjoining streets create works of art using discarded tires to celebrate Indianapolis' racing tradition.

Later in the morning, we drove to the Northwest corner of Indy, to the Traders Point Creamery. This is a certified organic farm that produces whole milk, cheese, yogurt and grass-fed beef.

The Creamery Barn houses a dairy store, offices, a restaurant and a cheese aging room. The barn was originally built in Bluffton, Indiana in the 1860's. It was slated to be demolished, but instead was salvaged and moved over 100 miles to Traders Point. Several other barns on the property were also salvaged and moved.

It was a nice day, and we took the walking tour of the farm. The Traders Point web site mentions that they milk between 60 and 90 cows each day. We didn't see near that many, but we did see this group of young calves, jostling for a drink at the tub.

The chicken coops are on wheels and can be moved to follow the cows, which helps to control bugs. But because of the number of coyotes, hawks, foxes and other predators, the coops are kept in one area. We couldn't help but think of Chevy Case's line in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation about the "tenement on wheels"... though the chickens seemed as content as Cousin Eddie.

The walking tour took us around the pastures and on a pleasant walk through woods alongside Eagle Creek.

We ate lunch at the Creamery restaurant, on an outdoor balcony. Mary had a hamburger made with the Creamery's own grass-fed beef. I had a pork belly Cuban sandwich, made with Indiana pork.

Late in the afternoon, we walked to the Mass Ave Wine Shoppe for a wine tasting. We had not visited this shop before, but had heard good things about it from neighbors. The shop features a "wall of wine" - 100 bottles under $15, and also sells cheeses and craft beers. The place was packed and the tasting was fun, with four very different wines featured. We bought a couple bottles for a rooftop gathering later in the week.

Next door to the wine shop is The Best Chocolate In Town. We figured "since we're in the neighborhood, we might as well stop in". Everything looked delicious, but we showed admirable restraint and left with only a small bag of chocolate truffles.

Back at the condo, we took our dinner up onto the rooftop deck and enjoyed the view of downtown while the sun set. A great end to a great day.

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