Monday, January 30, 2012

If you visit

super bowl XLVI

Helloooo there! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Today I’m going to brag on my hometown a bit…cause this is the biggest week of the year for us here in Indianapolis. You may have heard of a little thing called the Super Bowl? ;)

I’m a born and bred Hoosier and I SO love this state. I think the general thought when people think of Indy is that it’s may not have much to offer, but oh ho ho, you’d be so wrong.

I’ve traveled a lot in my 36 years and there is still no place I’d rather call home than in central Indiana. We’ve got the best of everything – although this time of year you won’t see much of the natural scenery. ;) (Visit southern Indiana during the fall for an especially spectacular show courtesy of Mother Nature.)

Indy knows how to party, and how to party with large crowds – we host the largest sporting event in the country every May. The Indy 500 attracts about 300,000 – the Super Bowl doesn’t even touch it.

I wanted to share some of the highlights of our city, the shops and restaurants and spots that we love then most. So if you are planning on visiting this week, consider this a possible itinerary. If you aren’t, this will help you to plan a trip. ;)

First up, the shopping. I don’t know what I like best – the food or the shopping. But I’m a girl so we’ll start with shopping.

If you fly in, you may want to skip these first two, just cause if you go, then you’ll find something and then you’ll be mad cause you won’t be able to take it home. I’m just thinking about you. (Not that it would be left for me or anything…)

I’ve declared my love for Midland Arts and Antiques a few times:

midland arts and antiques

It’s HUGE and it’s got plenty of every style – vintage to midcentury modern to industrial. You can see more of my Midland finds here and here.

Docs Architectural Salvage is another one of my favorite spots:

docs architechural salvage

This place doesn’t look like much from the outside, but it’s a feast for the eyes inside. It is a true salvage experience – they have some of the most spectacular chandeliers I’ve ever seen. (I talked about one of my favorite finds from Docs in this post.)

Silver in the City is another fun spot downtown, with all kinds of unique jewelry, funky gifts and cool home decor items:

silver in the city indy

And Mass Ave Toys is the coolest toy store I’ve ever visited:

mass ave toys

It is just fantastic!

If you venture north a few miles, you’ll reach Broad Ripple Village:

broad ripple village

It’s an eclectic mix of nightlife, eateries, shops and art. It’s also where we partied in college. ;) It’s fun at night or during the day – tons to look at and do! I grew up visiting this area as a kid, since I had so much family nearby.

Of course there’s a huge mall downtown, but if you head even further north, you’ll get to what I like to call the fancy mall, with stores like Anthropologie, Restoration Hardware, Urban Outfitters and Saks.

If you have the kids, you MUST visit our Children’s Museum (consistently voted as the best in the nation). And if you have a little sports fan, you’ll want to check out the NCAA Hall of Champions along the downtown canal.

Now, let’s talk FOOD. Oh, the food.

Downtown Indy is home to the best steak I’ve ever eaten, at St. Elmo Steak House:

st. elmo steakhouse

I warn you –- it’s pricey. But fantastic. And I’m not a shrimp cocktail fan, but St. Elmo’s is known for it’s shrimp cocktail – make sure you have a pitcher of water nearby. ;)

One of our very favorite downtown spots is Bourbon Street Distillery:

bourbon street distillery

The food leans toward Cajun, but everything there is amazing. And if you go, make sure you go upstairs to eat --  it’s just a super cool atmosphere. (At night a little jazz trio or band may show up to play for you.) We love this place so much, we had one of our wedding receptions there. :)

A few of my other favorite downtown restaurants are along Massachusetts Avenue – if you love pizza, you MUST go to Bazbeauz Pizza (the quatro is my fave), Yats is another yummy Cajun restaurant (I love the jambalaya), and finally, MacNivens is great for pub food with a Scottish flair (try the scotch eggs!).

And no one plans a party like Indy – if you are visiting this week, you’ll want to check out the festivities downtown. One of my BFFs and I were able to get away to check it all out Sunday night:

indy circle

If you have the kids, you can’t miss the NFL Experience:

indy zip line

And if you are brave enough, try the zip lining outside. I was SO ready to do it but we didn’t want to wait. It looked SO FUN!

Georgia Street is completely blocked off for the Super Bowl Village:

There’s tons of heat lamps, plenty of heated tents (serving drinks – from hot chocolate to beer inside), and bunches of restaurants and bars line the street. An empty spot in the mall is opened up for a spot to warm up, eat, and shop for all kinds of football gear. (The Huddle – and you can leave your cell to charge for free – they babysit it!)

At the end of the Georgia Street, in front of Conseco Fieldhouse, there’s the biggest of two stages:

The concerts have been going since last Friday, and Fuel will be there Tuesday night, Darius Rucker and Edwin McCain on Thursday night, and LMFAO will be there Friday. (We may try to make it down again for that one – it will be a (crazy) blast!)

And of course, Madonna herself will be performing at the big game. :)

So there’s Indy in a nutshell – a few of my favorite shops and eateries if you visit this week, or anytime. And if you come to town, give me a holla!!

So, the big question is…who will you be cheering for?

giants vs pats

Are you surprised that this Indy girl will be rooting on the Manning team? I don’t think I’m allowed to cheer any other way. I’d get kicked out of the state or something. ;)

Which team will it be for you? Do you watch football? Have a Super Bowl party every year? Our city is buzzing – what a great experience!

83 comments:

  1. I'm also a born and raised central Hoosier and really recommend some of the places you've hit on. You've also given me ideas on what to do while visiting Indy. We really do have a wonderful state!

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  2. I'm pulling for little brother too! :)
    I'm a manning girl all the way!
    Great tips on what to do.
    gail

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  3. Definitely cheering for the Giants at my Superbowl party! Gotta keep it in the (Manning) family!!

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  4. Born and bred Hoosier here, too! We're hoping to get to see everything (maybe) Thursday if the weather cooperates--and it looks like it will! And I'll 2nd the Children's Museum--it can't be beat!

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  5. Hello fellow Indianapolis neighbor! Thanks for the tips on great places to check out.... having lived here for two years, it's fun to discover new places in town!!! So thanks!! And yes, LOVING the SuperBowl festivities. And SO great to find a fellow Indy blogger....

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  6. Well, well! I didn't know you were from Indiana - do you still live there now? I'm in Fishers myself! :)

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  7. Forgot to add that I don't follow football at all, but it's still exciting. And we're rooting for Eli, too--and hoping that Peyton is able to stick around!

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  8. We used to live in Indy (Brownsburg) and I'm feeling a touch homesick reading this post...sniffle.
    I would kill for some St. Elmos, and a trip up to Fashion Mall...I miss it!
    Have fun this week!

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  9. Love seeing Indy on here! We also call Keystone "the fancy mall" :) Such a fun week around here-definitely cheering on NY too!

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  10. Love the Mannings!! My husband and I lived in Bloomington for a few years while he was going to graduate school at IU. My first born was born there, and we absolutely L O V E the Hoosier State. We love Indianapolis, and would love to come back for a visit someday. Great post!!

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  11. I grew up in Evansville and went to college in Anderson. Definitely not going for the pats! They can't win a Super Bowl in indiana!

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  12. GREAT article--wonderful photos. I think I'm in the one with the Indy cars! I'm Indy bred and born, love the midwest--even after world travels. Your pride and enjoyment are so evident in your writing. thanks for the report.

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  13. So fun to see this post! As a Hoosier transplanted to WA state I miss my home state. I only wish now as a mom of three that we could visit the Children's museum more often. And Broad Ripple is such a cool city. Such a great place. Enjoy the events this week.

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  14. I'm a Ravens fan, so I'll be crying into my beer on Sunday thinking "what might have been" had just one little thing gone our way instead of the Pats' at the end of last week's game.

    Had we represented the AFC this year, I'd be with a lot of family in celebration on Sunday - eating raw oysters and drinking Natty Boh. Instead, I think I'll just bang out some progress on finishing my mother-in-law's basement. That's actually something I'm really looking forward to, but, you know, my team in the Super Bowl would have been a little cooler.

    By the way: Football is not the subject matter I expected when I checked over here tonight. Very cool TDC, very cool.

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  15. As a fellow Indy Gal, great post and fantastic pics! I am so excited for our city this week. Starting tomorrow I will be downtown every day working for the NFL as a "friendly face" for their reps and those of other high-end companies. I can't wait to share this wonderful time in Indy with all the visitors!

    (Also, love that you can charge your cell at The Huddle!)

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  16. I LOVE THIS!! I'm in North Vernon, IN. I'll be there on Thursday to enjoy all the Super Bowl fun!
    My college kids won tickets to the Jimmy Fallon show and they are so psyched!
    I'm crazy about INDY! And the Colts!

    Hands down....NY GIANTS!! If #18 can't play at least #10 can, right?

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  17. Fellow Hoosier here too! We live in Lafayette and are volunteering at the NFL experience. Born and raised in Indy and love showing her off to the world. Isn't it great the weather we are having this week?

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  18. Thanks for the plug for Southern Indiana ... I'm in Evansville and I wish I could be at the Super Bowl -- Lucas Oil is really neat. We were there three times last year -- twice with my daughter's dance team/ marching band (Mater Dei HS) and once with the Mater Dei football team - they played in the Peyton Manning thing.

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  19. Aaaaah perfect post representing Indy! I lived there for 6ish years (Butler + a couple more) and I am definitely missing the city this week! You named some of my favorite spots too...if you haven't been to Santorini Greek Kitchen near Fountain Square you must go!

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  20. We are huge Giants fans in my house! We bought our first home at the end of August and are stoked to host our first Super Bowl here - with the Giants playing! I'm so excited! (can you tell?) Go Giants!

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  21. Thanks for the suggestions! My in-laws live in Indianapolis and are always there visiting. The one place we always have to go is the Children's Museum. My kids LOVE it!

    I know nothing of football but I tried to get my husband to let us go and stay with his parents during the Super Bowl just so we could go hang out downtown. Have a great time!

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  22. Tennesseean here, and we root for the Mannings mainly because of Peyton's connection to UT. Go Giants! I have always wanted to visit Indy.

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  23. I'm from Mass so it's patriots all the way!!!!!!

    Maxwellhouseinteriors.blogspot.com

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  24. Another born and bred central Hoosier here, now living in Kansas City the past 20 years. I still consider Indy home, and I'm so happy for the city to be hosting the Super Bowl. Have a fabulous time enjoying the events and thanks for the tips!

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  25. Hi from another Indianapolis gal! Go Pats (I'm from New England but live in Indy)! Another fantastic place to check out downtown is Barcelona Tapas, my FAV restaurant!

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  26. Great post on Indy! I have to agree with Sarah on Santorini's. OMG, LOVE it! We're heading down to Super Bowl Village tomorrow. I'm getting pumped!

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  27. I'll be there Thursday. Grew up southeast of Terre Haute and now live south along the Ohio River, still in IN. Have family in Plainfield & will be staying there. I can't begin to tell you how EXCITED I am! Going to the Superbowl Experience and who knows where else. Thanks for all the shopping & food tips. And, of course since I'm a Hoosier, I will be all for the Giants. nancyJNB

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  28. I've been reading your blog for a while and telling me husband about some of your great ideas! For the first time in over a year, I am going to have him read this post because of the football aspect of it. We are Colts fans...even after this season!! We love Manning and we of course will be rooting for NY for just that fact! Thanks for sharing your insight into your hometown...very cool. Have a wonderful weekend!!
    P.S. Do you think they will bring Peyton back next season?? We are waiting for the news!

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  29. I feel the same way about my hometown! My husbands in the military and we are on our third move! Nothing has come close to Tampa, florida.

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  30. Thanks for all of the info. I'm so glad you love your city! We had XL here in Detroit & everyone was SO excited about it! They did a lot of new things in the city to make visitors feel welcome & it made a lot of people proud of the city that normally aren't. It's so great when something like that comes to town to pull everyone together.

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  31. I am in Indy too. I am so excited to read this. I can't ever find mid century modern stuff. I can't wait to check midland out.

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  32. I'm just 2 hours north of you -- thanks for spreading the IN love!! I SO wish I could get down to see it in person, but I've heard parking is $65?! Looks like so much fun though!! Go Giants! Unfortunately it may be the last time we see a Manning playing in Indy.

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  33. I'm just 2 hours north of you -- thanks for spreading the IN love!! I SO wish I could get down to see it in person, but I've heard parking is $65?! Looks like so much fun though!! Go Giants! Unfortunately it may be the last time we see a Manning playing in Indy.

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  34. Another Hoosier here (grew up in Brownsburg) but currently stuck in the middle of Buckeye Country (Ohio). I love hearing about home and you mentioned a couple places I was not familiar with. Looks like next time I'm over visiting family I will have to look them up! Thanks so much for the fun post!

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  35. I graduated from Butler and did plenty of partying in Broad Ripple too. This post makes me miss Indy so so much. I need to make a trip back to check out the salvage and antique places.

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  36. Thank You for sharing .Wish I could go.Wish I could get of of town and go on any kind of vacation.It's been at least 6 years.Oh,just get up go to work,work,work. In need of a break.My daughter and I went to a cheerleading comp. several years ago,we stayed on that street.No time to see the city though.Looks really fun!!!!!!

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  37. I was there Saturday night for the Rockin' RoadShow Concert! I got parking for FIVE Bucks a couple blocks from Conseco/Banker's LIfe Fieldhouse.
    It only took me about 45 minutes to drive the 2.5 miles from my house to the fieldhouse...ugh.

    But all the events are amazing and worth the time and effort. One thing that most people don't realize is that Indy is SECOND in the nation for war memorials/museums behind D.C. ! The mayor's Assistant always likes to tell us that every time we see him, which is A LOT.
    And of course, the Speedway Museum/golf course is open to view as well. (We live on the West Side can you tell?!)

    Also, being stationed in Massachusetts for four years brings us to root for the Patriots. However, we must quietly do it living so close to downtown we don't want to be beaten..lol.

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  38. I remember your post on the Antique store--that place seems so cool! And the toy store looks like a blast. Thanks or sharing the tour with us, Sarah. :)

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  39. There's only one word .....PATRIOTS! Oops we did it again!

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  40. Well, I'm FROM the Big Apple.. the state of NY to be more specific, so of COURSE I'm routing for the G-Men!!! Dear Son and I can't WAIT for the big game! ~tina

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  41. I Love living in Indy! Yats and Baxbeaus are my favs also. Yats also has a location on the southside.

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  42. Great post Indiana post! :) As a Hoosier myself, I tend to forget all the amazing things that are right within our reach.
    I hope Indy continues to impress all of our visitors this weekend!

    Go Giants!!!!!!

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  43. Our family was downtown Sunday morning/afternoon, it was amazing!
    Such a great time to be a Hoosier :)

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  44. Love seeing Indy in the spotlight! We went downtown Sunday and everything looked amazing!
    Thanks for the tip on the antique mall..I've never been there!

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  45. Another Indy area (Fishers) gal here! For a great sandwich or burger, check out Scotty's Brewhouse. Also delicious fried pickle chips! The parking may not be cheap, but the events are wonderful even for families with young children during the day.

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  46. I love Indiana too. I went to school there (IU - B'town) and it will always hold a place in my heart! Love your site!

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  47. Great to know another friend from Indiana:) I was raised in Carmel, went to Ball State and Butler but have lived in Illinois & WA State for the last 18 years. I was just in Indy last week and now I know two new places to check out when I return to visit my family- thanks for the great ideas and hi-lighting my childhood state! I'll be cheering for Eli too, but "watching" Tom Brady is always fun...

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  48. What a neat city, drove through it once on the way to Chicago... it seemed huge and I remember the freeways had like 10 lanes one way ha! Would love to have some shops like that close to where we live, out in the middle of nowhere Texas! Cool post!

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  49. Hey,just a note that Conseco Fieldhouse is now Bankers Life Fieldhouse, home of the Pacers!

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  50. I was a Hoosier for 6 years while my husband went to school at IU to get his Ph.D. We have since moved and you made me so homesick for Indy! I LOVE that place.

    I agree, the Children's Museum there is the BOmB!

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  51. I have actually been to Indianapolis for a nursing conference and had the best time downtown!! So many neat places to eat and shop. We did go to the Circle Center Mall and I remember buying a pair of shoes at Nine West (I still have them!).

    Oh, and I totally get the pride of having the Super Bowl there...we had it here in Dallas last year and it was very exciting for us. I'll be rooting for NY, as well because the Patriots are just EVIL. Haha.

    No party for us this year...we're taking it super easy and will be clogging our arteries with some good football food.

    Thanks for sharing a bit more about where you're from :-)

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  52. My dad was born and raised in Indiana. A tiny town called Attica, somewhat near LaFayette. I used to love visiting my grandparents on their farm there. They still welcome my dad and his brother back home (both live out of state now) every year when they visit their sister in a nursing home there.

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  53. Thanks for the great tour of your fab city. I'm a huge Indycar fan and wish I could attend the 500 just once! I would love to see some of my favorite drivers in person.

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  54. Great post! I would love to visit Indy someday...haven't been there yet...on the flip side, I live in New England, so... PATS all the way!!!!! Can't wait til Sunday!

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  55. Ohhhh. Looks like I'm in the minority here... rooting for NE. Hubby is from Boston... what can I say? Since the Chargers didn't make it we're still keepin' it in the family... Superbowl is a holiday in our house. :) Have fun!! (Alesha - only anonymous since I can't figure out my google password!)

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  56. Thanks for posting! I live in Kentucky now but was born and raised in Shelbyville, Indiana. I'll be heading to Indy this weekend for the madness! You're right - Indy is a great little city. The Indy 500 crowd blows my mind every time.

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  58. I'm an Indiana Girl, too and live in Indy. So proud of our city!!!
    Gotta Love Eli, too!!
    Great job showcasing some of the best of Indy!!
    Hugs!!

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  59. I'm a proud Canadian, a hockey fan... so totally not into football. BUT I know what you mean about your city buzzing! It was the same here in Vancouver when the Olympics were on ~ an experience you can't explain, it must be Experienced!! Have fun!

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  60. Love it! Shout out to all Hoosiers and those that are Super Bowl bound! I too am a born and bread Indiana girl, along with a couple of others, I live out in Hendricks County. Easy access to all that goes on in racing and downtown. Indy is a great city and knows how to be great hosts!!! Go Eli!!!

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  61. Boston born & bred, so Patriots for the win!!!

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  62. I'm a Bears fan, but in this contest I have to go for the Giants just because I am SO over Belichick (or howevs you spell it) and Brady.

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  63. Great pics!

    My SIL is actually working the NFLX! So much cool stuff to do in downtown Indy, but that place is sparkling right now. So awesome!

    However, I do have to admit I wouldn't have the...ummm...fortitude to try try the zipline. Yeah, I'm a wussy-gurl. LOL

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  64. Don't forget about beautiful Brown County!!! Nashville, my hometown!!!!

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  65. Love your blog but GO PATS!!

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  66. I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now, and I particularly liked this post! My husband and I just moved to Carmel from South Carolina a few months ago, and we both work in Indy. It IS a great city! It's so fun to learn all about it. I want to forward your post to all of my family, who have never been here, to say, "See?!? It's a really cool place with fun stuff! Come visit!" :) We headed down to the Super Bowl Village this past weekend.

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  67. LOVED this post! I'm an Indy girl and was totally not planning on going downtown, but changed my mind and went last night and was so glad I did!!! It is so awesome to see everything they've done! And I'll definitely be rooting for Eli!

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  68. Sara, I'm a huge fan, love your blog :) i live here(Westfield) and just heard that the Today Show is taping here Friday!! In case you didn't know yet, wanted to pass it on :)

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  69. Great post, I had no idea there was so much to do in Indy. My daughter is THE biggest Colts fan ever! Lol She's stuck with them all season with all the taunting and teasing she's endured at school. Maybe someday we'll make a trip out there, she'd love it. So yes, we're having a big party and cheering for the Giants. Mostly cheering for the Patriots NOT to win. Not a fan of Tom Brady.

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  72. I loved the blog series. Long time blogger but the information was just fantastic, I learned a bunch of new things and I will refer to it over and over. Thank you!

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  73. Had no idea you were from Indianapolis! I live about 45 minutes north of Indy. We are so excited to visit Indy with all of the Super Bowl activities going on right now....its always been a fun city, but I can imagine how amped up the fun is now!!! I follow your blog religiously and can't believe you are a fellow Hoosier! No, not one of the "stalker" types. LOL Just a very small world is all! :) Thanks for posting!!

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  74. I stumbled on your blog last year & I really enjoy it. Wonderful ideas, photos and fantastic plug for Indy! I live north of Indy and it's very exciting that a mostly female committee initiated Indy as the host the Super Bowl!

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  75. I am a Hoosier gal living in Texas for the past 18 years. My heart swelled with pride reading this post! My Hoosier family have been visiting the SB Village all week and I am so jealous! Dallas/Fort Worth held it last year but I can tell from the pictures it was not as fan friendly.

    I knew Indy would go all out with their Hoosier Hospitality!

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  76. Roberta on the westside of IndyFebruary 1, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    I've been looking around your blog today and had no idea that you're also an Indianapolis girl. Born here and this where I'll draw my last breath....can't imagine moving! The electricity of the city is palpable and I too am so very proud of how our hometown is showing off to the world.

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  77. Born and raised Hoosier that's been relocated to outside of Seattle for the past 3.5 years. Thanks for showing how great Indy is and how much it has to offer. I'm so bummed to not be anywhere near the festivities. Enjoy being the host city, show the Hoosier hospitality. :)

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  78. Go Giants! Great post! Thanks for the insights. http://www.aubshomedecor.blogspot.com

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  79. Another Hoosier here! My hubby took his 83 year old mother downtown Tuesday. They had a blast! Love your blog, Sara :)

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  80. Oh Wow,
    Our oldest son went to Butler (04) and loved it so so much that our youngest son is going there now! He couldn't have picked a more perfect time to be in Indy. With the Super Bowl and the past 2 seasons of the Bulldogs making it to the NCAA championship game!!! We come to visit our son (from Chicago suburbs) just to shop around (well, I shop and my husband hits the local bars to watch games) and was so happy to hear of your suggestions. I too love antiques etc....so thank you. We always stay downtown and love St. Elmos too.

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  81. I was just going through past emails that I had saved and read through this one again! I too am a Hoosier born and raised...we live about 45 min south east of Indy (home of former Butler Bulldog Matt Howard, we're so proud!)...anyhoo, love your blot and always look forward to reading! Thank you for posting about sites in Indy...will def be checking out! Thanks

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  82. The Superbowl was an exciting time here in Indy! I love your post about our great city. St. Elmo's and Yats are two of my favorite restaurants. And we will have to try MacNivens-we love Scottish food and haven't found a place that we really like here yet. I found your blog through infarrantly creative and I am so glad. I will definitely be following your posts!

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