Travelogue: My Week in Indiana

2017 is and will continue to be a year of travel for me! You can expect plenty more posts like these, inspired by both domestic and international travel, and can see them all in sequence by using the hashtag #travelogue2017. While this blog began as a yoga blog and you can be sure – like any daily practice – I will feature a yoga studio or two per city, I am deeply grateful for a yoga practice that seems to fit into my life naturally without dominating all my travel. There are only a few cities in the world that boast yoga as a main attraction (i.e. Portland and San Francisco). So, sit back, relax, and get ready for some well-rounded travel writing!

Oh, Indiana! The hoosier state! On a long walk to Upland Brewery with my boyf who recently moved back to his hometown of Bloomington, we talked about the people we became friends with in college, and the geographic diversity that attending a small liberal arts school in the middle of Connecticut miraculously gave us. While I grew up in Manhattan, I can count on one hand the number of New Yorkers I befriended in college. Instead, I have friends all over the country (some all over the world!) and that has opened up a myriad of opportunities for travel. That, and being in a long-distance relashe, make getting on a plane a monthly occurrence!

Without further ado, here’s what we did, and what I recommend to do, in the hoosier state!

Bloomington

Laughing Planet + Soma

Our first stop my first day in Bloomington was a familiar one. Laughing Planet is one of those quirky chains (two words that can tend to feel like oxymorons) that exist in both Bloomington, Indiana and Portland, Oregon. Their burrito bowls are innovative yet somehow simple and delish. They can also, if desired, provide a welcome break from all the (ethical and sustainable) meat eating that B-town has to offer. One of the great things about Laughing Planet is that it’s housed right above Soma – this lovely and adorable coffee shop that I so wish was in my college town.

Busman’s Holiday

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On Thursday, we went to see a local band perform. The band is composed of two brothers and some other musicians that chime in for various other songs. Both bros have great voices, though one is the lead vocalist and the other drums on a suitcase! It didn’t take long to realize that most people in the crowd knew them personally. I quickly downloaded their music on Spotify and couldn’t recommend it more!

Upland Brewery

Portland and Bloomington have more in common than Laughing Planet. Something I’ve missed from my time away from the East Coast is brew culture. Breweries have a whole ethos to them that is hard to replicate. They are relaxed, easygoing, and have prioritize quality with all that they serve. We went to Upland my second night there, and then I made us return three days later because I loved the vibe so much. The beer, too, is above par (oh, and all of their meat is locally and sustainably sourced – environment for the win!).

Know Yoga Know Peace

I went to a $5 class (those are offered once per day) at this studio tucked into a street in downtown Bloomington. I’m a sucker for the integration of yoga philosophy into the asana practice without being too over the top and I’d say that this beautiful dimly-lit studio accomplishes that. It was a welcOMe break from the more fast-paced vinyasa flow that my New Yorker self has become accustomed to, and left me feeling like I had breathed deeply which at the end of the day is the marker of a meaningful practice.

Hopscotch

The one coffee shop besides Soma that I passed through was Hopscotch (a walk away from Know Yoga Know Peace). This Café had a way more hipster-y vibe. I got a turmeric latte with espresso and was able to sit outside with a copy of the New York Times, which was lovely. Inside was a hub of laptops, working students and professionals.

Indianapolis

Milk Tooth

Usually, I tend to not feel like a foodie. Going to Milk Tooth, however, and the sheer enthusiasm I felt before, during, and after that meal, definitely made me cross over into foodie territory. We may or may not have planned this whole trip to Indianapolis to be able to go to this acclaimed restaurant on a weekday so that there wouldn’t be a weekend brunch rush. If we did…it was totally worth it. The layout of this restaurant was kind of tent-ish (there were no walls facing the outside seating area), allowing for tons of natural light to pour in on that sunny day. The silverware and napkins on each table was stored in Café Dumonde tins (way to my heart!).I ordered a blueberry buckwheat scone, chickpea frisée salad, and root vegetable latke. N ordered an escargot tartine and carrot cake waffle. We feasted!

Record Store

With full bellies and doggie bags, we walked along Mass Avenue to check out Indy. We came across a fantastic record store (that also had a cafe inside!). We perused and N even managed to find a few $3 ones to buy and play on his legit unreal custom-made speakers that we used for more than one dance party of two.

Columbus

Miller House Architectural Tour

We also took a day trip to Columbus, Indiana. Full disclosure of my New Yorker self here: I didn’t know Columbus, Indiana was a place. I am learning that the point of travel is to broaden horizons and to de-center the places we know to be home. This can only happen when bubbles get popped. It is a shame I didn’t know about Columbus, Indiana beforehand because dang, is it awesome! We went on an architectural tour of the Miller House, which is owned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art. From the website:

In 2000, the Miller House became the first National Historic Landmark to receive its designation while one of its designers, Dan Kiley, was still living and while still occupied by its original owners. The house showcases the work of leading 20th-century architects and designers: Eero Saarinen, Alexander Girard, and Dan Kiley.

What I particularly loved about the house was the conversation pit and Finnish suite-style minimalist bedroom – common area design. I was fascinated from start to finish and could not recommend this tour more as a way to gain context for so many architectural designs we take for granted today.

Anyways, that’s the story of this New Yorker’s time in the Midwest. So grateful for this trip, and all the discoveries along the way!

In My Bag

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Earlier this year, I took advantage of a Kate Spade Surprise Sale and bought this tote for 75 percent off. I am deeply obsessed with it, and feel instantly more put-together throwing it over my shoulder. I love that it zips up (though it takes an effort to pare down what I carry enough to allow it to zip). I love that it has a hook for my carabiner clip to strap my (also Kate Spade – what have I become?!) water bottle onto. What I love about it is that, unlike my backpack or my former lower-quality totes that opened in every direction, it forces me to be intentional about what I carry. While I am writing my first “in my bag” post – I love reading these on other blogs! – I know that all these things are purely symbolic. I believe in Tim O’Brien’s words and the idea that we carry so much baggage with us every day. More than that, everything we hold – including the good – is symbolic of aspects of ourself. So, here’s what’s in my bag on a typical day:

MqGZWCWTTRYMR5a5.jpgiPhone: I spend a lot of time on my iPhone. From the WordPress app to Snapchat to Pinterest, so much of my social and work lives intersect on this device.

imgres.jpgRXBAR + Gum + Tea: I am super prone to being hangry. Carrying a snack on me at all times is so, so necessary for my personal well-being. Gum also wakes me up in the afternoon when I’m a bit sleepy. As does Fortnum + Mason’s Smoky Earl Grey Tea.

sweaty betty 240.jpgYoga Clothes: I usually go from work to yoga so my yoga clothes typically include Sweaty Betty pants, a sports bra, and a Laughing Lotus tank.

lilly-pulitzer-agenda-stickers-2.jpgLily Pulitzer Planner + Planner Stickers: I am obsessed with my Lily Pulitzer planner that I bought at the beginning of this school year. It has a spot for planning my vacations, taking notes, monthly calendars, and the day-to-day. I also bought a pack of cute planner stickers from Paper Source that I love to decorate the interior of this beautiful planner with. When super busy, documenting the cluttered days in a stylish way helps.

UV.pngBeats by Dre Headphones: I bought these with my holiday bonus from work after really feeling ambivalent about spending so much money on headphones, but my purple beats make my day every day, and I get so much use out of their wireless capabilities when I’m cleaning my apartment or stowing my phone away at work.

imgres.pngKate Spade Wallet: I got this at Second Time Around and was thrilled to finally find a wallet that carries all my cards!

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 9.44.37 PM.pngKindle Paperwhite: I used to have a Kindle Fire, but I switched to a Paperwhite because I wanted to feel like a reader of books more than a user of a tablet. I love how user-friendly and designed-with-readers-in-mind it is!

Sparkly Water Bottle: Enough said.

Tinted Lip Balm: I use Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm and Burt’s Bee’s Lip Shimmer to both rejuvenate and color throughout the day.

Grad School Folder: I carry around a Poppin folder with just the readings I want to get done in a day. In an effort to not overwhelm myself, I put them in here and then transfer them to a binder after the class in which we discuss them.

image.jpgMoleskine Notebook: I have a large squared Moleskine notebook to record my thoughts, journal, and sketch out ideas.

What do you carry in your bag?