indianapolis

Travel Guide: 24 Hours in South Bend

South Bend is a blossoming Midwestern city that offers just about everything for the thriving millennial. As someone who has had the privilege of visiting this great metropolitan more often than usual, it’s unmistakable that this northern Indiana city has it all.

As a city that changes noticeably with every season and flourishes with a congenial beauty, South Bend is a busy metropolitan featuring places that excel in culture and history, novel spots that serve unique food and drinks, and crowds that are warm and friendly. While it’s recommended you spend a lengthy amount of time in this charming Midwestern municipality, we share some popular ideas to check out when you have got just 24 hours to spare in the Bend.

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Reflections in the ‘Bend’

During a very serene and introspective moment last week in snowy old South Bend, I had the opportunity to reflect on my life in a quiet, barren city. As previously mentioned on his birthday, the winter season tends to be a hard one for me. Where do all the memories go when a relationship breaks? Why is it easier for some and not others? More importantly, how did he manage to forget in an instant? I wish he could tell me. Incessant thoughts worth six years are cast into words as nothing, yet become immense distractions that keep you wide awake wondering where it all went wrong.

This month has been interesting and in some ways, emotional. I don’t really know what to say except there are aching moments when I miss him still and it gets hard knowing in this great big place, he sleeps soundly without a single toss and turn. While I had been up north that week to meet up with family, I got a chance to walk the lone chilly sidewalks and really catch a glimpse of my place in this great big world—or in this case, state.

While watching It’s A Wonderful Life tonight (also known as, one of my all-time favorite films), I thought back to that moment in South Bend as I walked beautifully dusted sidewalks. If I never loved who I did and the way I did, I don’t think I could be who I am today, where I am today. In every understanding of my own life, I can proudly say now that I am content with myself and who I am because in every ounce of pain felt from these past six years and more so in these last two, I know who I am and my purpose in this world now. We don’t always get the dream house, but we get pretty close. And if I happen to tread a Kathleen Kelly kind of life sans Joe Fox (“I am a lone reed”), that’s alright because it’s better to be alone than in a relationship that makes you feel alone. Relationships have shown me that you don’t need a significant other to lead a significant life. As long as you are content with yourself and are true to that person you see in a window’s reflection, you are never completely alone.

Call it a holiday miracle or what you will, but those wintry streets opened my eyes and made me realize I have never felt more at home than I am when I am in Indiana. I have always loved this state and continue to, even though sometimes and especially in the past two years, memories sneak up and cast a shadow of doubt on my worth. These thoughts force you into a train of thinking falsified by fear and doubt, and make you think you don’t belong anywhere, especially where your heart feels more at peace. But those thoughts are nothing compared to what you truly feel deep down in your gut and the world you build for yourself. As I’ve lived my hardest in these past two years by working off my gut, living my truth and driving forth from passion, I don’t think I’ve ever belonged more in one place than I do today. Whether in Indy or South Bend, Goshen or Muncie, my soul in some odd way just feels a consistent concord no matter where I am in Indiana.

While work has given me immense strength and has been a helpful toll in fulfilling voids felt by loss, I have learned so much more about my heart and its honesty than I ever imagined. Every moment lived through this beating chest has taught me how important every step I take is to my life and the lives of others. I have been through rough patches along this path, but have learned every good thing you do with your whole heart, every ounce of love you put forth, it all makes a difference no matter how hard it is to see at first. While he might be moving on and is happier than can be, I have come to accept that nothing is ever conceived in vain even if things go awry. I have loved with my whole heart and still do, and I will not regret that even as I walk lonely sidewalks in a hushed city.

Tonight I count my blessings for that which I had, that which I have, that which I will receive and that which God has prepared me for. These past few years have proven to me that living an honest life built off love, passion and self-trust is a great way to understand your worth and reiterate that no heart is ever broken in vain. It might have been hard to understand during those months of crying to sleep and trying so hard to fathom why something so internal, so deep within you, a piece of your identity, could be shattered almost instantly as if there was no barrier to begin with. But over the course of time, if that broken heart was sincere and truthful, it grows stronger and allows you to see right through who you are to help you figure out your purpose and meaning.

I miss him. I love him. Some nights will be hard. Some days in northern Indiana will be harder, but I have come to accept that now because God doesn’t give you what you can’t handle.

“All you take with you is that which you’ve given away.”

Café Guide: Indianapolis, IN

Nicknamed “Nap Town,” Indianapolis has long been branded the “corniest” city of the Midwest, but that perception has changed in recent years as inspired Hoosiers thrive to contribute artisanal goods for an inimitable experience. Ranked by Livability in 2015 as one of the best downtowns in the nation thanks to its booming nightlife, inventive arts scene, increasing retail experience, and of course the rich food choices, the Circle City is fast approaching the forefront of the Midwest as a leader in offering more than just brand name options.

Though there’s still a Starbucks at every corner, Indianapolis takes pride in its authenticity and artisanal treats as the city brews up delicious blends for those who relish in a good cup of coffee. When you’re in the Circle City, check out six of these hot cafés.

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Commemorating Indy 500: A Tour of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum

Nothing kicks off summer quite like the roar of engines running at the world’s most beloved race track in the state of Indiana. In what might seem like kismet, Indiana’s bicentennial is being celebrated the same year as the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 this weekend. First starting in 1906 in an enclave suburb of Indianapolis, the famed automobile race held annually in Speedway is revered during the last weekend in May, typically over the Memorial Day holiday.

As Hoosiers and the world get ready for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” this Sunday at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it should be no surprise to fans of the sport that when it comes to this monumental race that is the single biggest event on the planet, it’s documented for everyone to enjoy.

Nestled cozily between the IMS lies the Hall of Fame Museum containing artifacts and trophies from a moment in time. With the games upholding such a prestigious history of charm and allure, fans, tourists and Hoosiers can look back at these moments thanks to this race car heaven. As an in-depth, behind-the-scenes treasure trove of what everyone is so accustomed to seeing on television every year, the Hall of Fame Museum is an amazing stop for anyone visiting the city. What it is in size, makes up its grand character and charisma each and every time you visit. And while the Motor Speedway showcases the best of the Indy 500, it’s also a valid archive of how important Indiana and its race culture has been to the progression of the global mobile industry.

I had the opportunity to visit the Hall of Fame Museum and take in the gorgeousness of this yearly race in its entirety. Without a doubt, the museum is home to some of the best and most beautiful selections of winning cars from previous Indy 500 events. It is definitely a sight for everyone, especially car and racing buffs who just cannot get enough. With cars displayed from 1911, all the way to present times, the museum rotates their 75 cars in specific interval schedules for viewers to see something new and fresh each time.

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Fire Up the Grill: Celebrating Hamburger Month

Are you getting hungry by the mere sight of this burger? Well, we don’t blame you. The hamburger is by far one of the most well-liked and beloved foods in our modern culture. As the quintessential American comfort meal, the U.S. alone eats a whopping 13 billion hamburgers a year. (That’s a lot of meat.) But over the years, the simple meal has become a universal staple among many. With its growing popularity thanks to affordability and ease, the meaty sandwich has earned an annual holiday with many celebrating National Hamburger Month throughout the month of May.

Okay, so let’s be honest. A lot of us celebrate this everyday. But in what might sound like a joke at first, the fact remains that the hamburger is definitely worthy of a month in its honor.

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Bakery Guide: Indianapolis, Indiana

Great bakeries with an extensive assortment of sweets and savories are essential to any neighborhood. And in Indianapolis, the city is blessed with a plethora of options for Hoosiers looking to satiate their sweet tooth. From local mom-and-pop shops to citywide chains, it all comes down to style and preference.

Whether it’s French patisseries you crave, moist doughnuts or a layered cake, Indy offers a slew of standout bakeries across the city with confectioners dedicating their bona fide sugar rush talents to comfort desserts.

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Diner Guide: Indianapolis, Indiana

If you’ve ever been inside an authentic diner, you immediately feel it take you back to a certain place of comfort and nostalgia. Synonymous with apple pie and old-fashioned milk shakes, diners are a real American tradition with a classic vintage touch. Similar to the long open road, today there are thousands of longstanding establishments carrying forth the fashionable foodie category’s rich traditions of affordable comfort food and soulful intimacy.

While there are millions of greasy spoons across the country with delicious fare and an atmosphere inciting nostalgia, we share some of the most acclaimed diners in and around Indianapolis, Indiana. As the state celebrates its bicentennial this year, we know there will be a lot of partying for those traveling to or within the state—and partying means hangovers that require quality greasy food, indulging your core.

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“Got Your Six” – Civilians backing officers across the States

In light of the fatal August 28 shooting of Texas Deputy, Darren Goforth, there has been an influx of civilians across the country reaching out to help officers in times of need. Earlier this month, three officers from three different states met with the kindest gestures by civilians who chose to watch out and get the backs  (or the “6”) of those who patrol the streets day-in and day-out.

An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Facebook post from earlier this month is going viral after a little girl offered “backup” to an officer refueling his patrol car. IMPD Officer Dustin Keedy was refueling his patrol car on Emerson Avenue in southeast Indianapolis when a little girl and her mother stopped him.

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