Birthday Road Trip: Part 2

>> Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How cool is this vending machine?

It's from the Circle Centre mall in Indianapolis, and we were amazed by it. For starters, it takes debit and credit cards, so no more scrambling for money if you're thirsty. Second, the front of the machine is actually an LCD or some type of screen, and you can "page" through the drink choices. After you put your money in, the little bottles display signs that say "Pick me!", and then you just touch the one you want. It was pretty cool.

My friend told me that Simon Malls is headquartered right across the street from the Circle Centre mall, so they test out a lot of new mall concepts there. Note to Simon Malls: that hand sanitizing stuff you're testing out right by this machine smells REALLY BAD.

When we're in Indy, we also go to this Borders downtown to look for a Peyton Manning calendar. I can't exactly get one where I live (although MK did find one at Office Max a few years ago)! We treated ourselves to some yummy hot chocolate. I'm actually not the biggest fan of Borders's hot chocolate (Panera has the best), but the way they top it off is pretty good - thick whipped cream, white chocolate curls, chocolate syrup, and a chocolate stick. MK loves it!

We had a lot of time to kill for this trip. We had to check out of the hotel at 12 PM, but the game wasn't until 8:30. In the past years that we've gone, we haven't had to kill as much time. The first year we went, we went with a couple other friends, and the game was a 4:00 game, so we pretty much just checked out of the hotel and went and hung out around the city before the game started.

Last year, we flew to and from Indy, so we had the hotel for all of Sunday and Sunday night. This year though, we basically chucked all of our stuff into the car on Sunday at noon, and tried to keep ourselves busy. This involved a trip to the mall to drool over Eddie Bauer hiking gear (MK was drooling, not me), getting lunch somewhere (although NOT at Chick-Fil-A, because they are closed on Sundays!), and then just walking around.

This is a picture from the Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' monument, which is right downtown. I love this monument, and I think it looks wicked cool when they deck it out for the holidays. Those strands you see are strings of lights, which get turned on at night, and really light up the monument.

This is one of the bears on one of the light poles around the monument. I have been trying to get a good picture of the bears for a couple years now!

Right before the game, we went to The Capital Grille for my birthday. When we were in the mall, we decided to go there for dinner - neither one of us was very hungry, so we agree to split a steak to help keep the price down. The Capital Grille really treats you nicely on your birthday - I got a handwritten message at our table that was signed by a lot of the people working, wishing me a happy birthday. We also got a little one-bite sample of this delicious herb-crusted tenderloin with a roasted yellow pepper and balsamic glaze - it was amazing. It was served cold, and super delicious.

After dinner, we got complimentary dessert - I got homemade mint ice cream (just mint, no chips!), and MK got homemade passion fruit sorbet. It came out on a plate that they wrote "Happy Birthday" on in chocolate. The ice cream was very good - really creamy and tasty.

I still haven't even written about the best part of the trip (the game!), so I'll get to that soon. I also have some holiday baking recipes to share as well! MK is gone this weekend, so I'm planning on baking up a storm.


Kathy December 2, 2009 at 11:29 PM  

Great soda machine! Thanks for sharing your trip.

Julia December 6, 2009 at 7:35 AM  

That soda machine sounds like a big Iphone screen. I've never seen one like that before. Sounds like you had an exciting birthday! I'm almost drooling over the hot chocolate picture. I was sorry to see your last blog dissapear, but this one should be pretty cool too!

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