It’s a chilly Cinco de Mayo here in Bloomington, Indiana… I’d much rather be on the beach somewhere soaking up some sun and sipping on a salty margarita. Since I’m bundled up in a sweater and jeans drinking hot coffee, I thought I’d share some of my favorite cantinas with excellent margaritas around the country.
May 5, 2016
May 2, 2016
Social media is amazing for connecting with other bloggers and influencers and sharing ideas. Even better when you get a chance to meet these people in real life. Through my blog and social media work I’ve met many interesting and creative individuals from all over the country with unique perspectives on the cities in which they live. Cue my new blog series, Local’s Guide To… Each month I’ll chat with a new local expert about where they call home and the places you must check out when you visit. First up is the..
Local’s Guide to Indianapolis with Raina Regan
I first met Raina at the National Preservation Conference in Indy back in 2013. I was brand new to the Midwest and she instantly introduced herself at a social media meetup during the conference and we’ve kept in touch ever since.
How long have you lived in Indy? What do you do here?
I moved to Indy almost six years ago after graduating from Ball State. Although I moved here without a job, I lucked out and landed my first job less than a month later. Currently, I work for Indiana Landmarks as a Community Preservation Specialist advocating for preservation in Central Indiana. I’m also involved with our local instagram community, @igersindy, and a young preservationists group, Preserve Greater Indy.
What makes Indy unique?
April 21, 2016
Next week I’ll be Charleston bound for The Southern C Summit. I’m a notorious procrastinator when it comes to packing so I’m getting a head start for once.
In addition to procrastinating, I’m also an over packer. One day I’ll master getting down to one carryon but I like to have lots of options. READ MORE
April 8, 2016
It’s no secret I love brunch.
The weekend comes a long and if I’m not traveling, my weekend agenda is simple… get outside with my hubs and pups and go to brunch with friends. I get up to Indianapolis fairly often to explore the city and try out new restaurants. One of the city’s finest, Milktooth is possibly my favorite destination for brunch. Yes you have to wait a long time; I promise it is worth it. READ MORE
April 5, 2016
This time last year I was on a week long road trip for my day job (communications manager for Upland Brewing Co) documenting some beer collaborations with Yazoo Brewing Co. in Nashville, Tennessee and Great Raft Brewing in Shreveport, Louisiana. My coworker and I decided we might as well keep driving south after our work was done and spend the weekend in New Orleans.
To my surprise one of my best friends from graduate school and fellow blogger, Claire Cothren of Blue Prints & Backpacks, had the weekend free and joined me in the Big Easy for the weekend. I had only been there once before so I was determined to eat as much creole and cajun fare as possible before having to drive back to Indiana.
If you have the chance to visit Nola with a good friend, go! No agenda needed. Seriously, we had no plans other than eating some delicious food and drool over the architecture in the garden district. READ MORE
March 17, 2016
Everyone needs a weekend getaway every now and then… If you follow me on Instagram (emsontheroad) or snapchat (emsontheroad), it’s likely you saw me running around Cincinnati recently with Ryan and our good friends Celia and Toby. We spent most of the weekend exploring the Over the Rhine neighborhood checking out breweries, the market and other historic buildings, but the highlight of the weekend was our hotel, 21c Cincinnati.
If you remember from my visit to the 21c in Louisville, the concept of this hotel group is quite unique: integrating contemporary art into everyday life while reusing historic buildings. Their properties create such unique juxtaposition seen in the careful preservation of the distinguished exterior and the modern mix of minimal furniture and colorful art on the interior. The art galleries are the main attraction and are open 24-7 and free. Genius.
The 21c Hotel in Cincy was originally home to the swanky Metropole Hotel that was completed in 1912 with an addition in 1924. The hotel fell into decline in the 1970s and in 2011 the 21c brand stepped in to breathe life back into this historic hotel. The Neoclassical building is still a gorgeous red terracotta, standing tall in the heart of downtown Cincinnati and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
February 8, 2016
There is so much pressure to do something on Valentine’s Day. Like most holidays the blogosphere pushes countless gift guides, travel agendas, romantic date night ideas, and outfit inspiration to help us get ready. I usually participate with a gift guide of locally made goodies but this Valentine’s Day I’m keeping it simple. For me there will be copious amounts of chocolate consumed and likely some bubbly. Bottom line – treat yourself and spend time with people you care about.
But if you do need some ideas to celebrate the Valentine’s Day…
Send a card (in the mail).
Get yourself some GOOD chocolate and share (maybe).
Drink a delicious beverage.
My go to drink this time of year: Imperial or Chocolate Stout.
If you like stouts check these out:
- Oskar Blues Death by Coconut
- Upland Brewing Carpet Burn Oyster Stout
- Founders Big Luscious
- Westbrook Mexican Cake
Give a little happy
Yes it’s a gift but it’s tiny
One of my favorite people I’ve met along this blog journey is Kim Austin of Austin Press in San Francisco. She creates beautiful and simple letterpress cards and wedding invitations (that’s how I learned of her work). She now creates lovely candles and perfumes made with essential oils. Click here to see more from my studio visit with Kim.
Eat a fantastic meal with people you love.
Either with your boo or your girls, just enjoy.
Or just Netflix and chill.
On my Netflix watch list right now
- Roman Holiday
- Moonrise Kingdom
Happy Valentine’s Day xoxo
January 18, 2016
I still can’t believe 2015 has come and gone! One of my standing new year’s resolutions is to travel more and somewhere new; which I did a few times in 2015. Since this is the time of year we think about the year ahead and the trips we hope to take, I wanted to share a few of my travel highlights of 2015.
Charleston, South Carolina
This city isn’t new to me but with every visit I discover something new. There are countless restaurants and shops to visit, not to mention gorgeous architecture at every turn.
Eat & Drink: So many… a few favs from this trip – Leon’s Oyster Shop – fried oyster po boy; Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit – biscuits of the day, Xia Bao Biscuit – pancake, The Ordinary – more oysters, Butcher & Bee – everything. On my to do list: Edmunds Oast, Westbrook Brewing Co. (in nearby Mt. Pleasant), FIG
Explore: The Battery, Unitarian Church Cemetery, Drayton Hall
Click here to read more about my Charleston trip.
Louisville isn’t far from Bloomington making it a really easy getaway for me. We met some friends last summer and had a ball bar hopping exploring the burgeoning beer culture and thriving restaurant scene.
Sleep: 21c Hotel
Click here to read about 21c Hotel.
Click here to read about bar hopping in Louisville.
Sleep: Since my sister lives there, I usually stay with her. However, I have my eyes on Chicago Athletic Association Hotel for my next trip.
To do list: Frank Lloyd Wright Tour
Click here for more on Southport Grocery.
Click here for more on Cafe Tola.
Sleep: Airbnb amazing selection of apartments and houses available in Portland.
Eat & Drink: So many breweries, visit as many as possible. We drank a lot of Deschutes when we lived in Hawaii so it was fun to revisit their beer. Cascade Brewing is a must; you can try anything on tap, three samples at a time. Lardo was a highlight as well. Inexpensive and delicious, make sure you get an order of dirty fries and beer. VooDoo Donuts because you have to… if you don’t want to wait in line at the original check out VooDoo 2!
Asheville, North Carolina
So much beer. I’d been to Asheville before but it had been years since my last trip. I must confess I didn’t do as much city exploring as I would’ve liked (work trip) but I still had a blast.
Sleep: The Downtowner is a great budget friendly option. There are several cute cottages and apartments on Airbnb if you want to stay in a local neighborhood. I stayed in this classic bungalow about one mile from downtown.
Eat & Drink: Early Girl Eatery is southern comfort food at it’s finest and my for breakfast/lunch. There is always a wait but totally worth it. Other spots I love: Thirsty Monk – great Belgian beer selection; Curate – Spanish tapas, Farm Burger – burgers and beer.
Explore: The South Slope is home to many of the breweries in Asheville like Wicked Weed and Burial Brewing Co. Make sure to check out Oskar Blues and Sierra Nevada just outside of town.
Outdoors: Blue Ridge Parkway & Pisgah National Forest
Shaker Village, KY
This was one of my favorite getaways of the year. The inn is quiet and comfortable with a full service restaurant downstairs serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are daily activities in the historic center but you can also explore solo on the extensive trail network throughout the property making it an ideal place to get away from it all.
Click here for more about Shaker Village.
I have some fun trips in the works so make sure your subscribe! Where do you hope to go this year?
December 23, 2015
Christmas may be in two days but I’m still trying to decide on New Years Eve plans… Currently craving all of these getaways!
New Years Eve at the Alexander Hotel
- Overnight stay in an art-centric deluxe guest room
- $50 credit in Plat 99
- Prosecco and chocolate covered strawberries
- Brunch for two in Market Table
- Valet Parking
- Late check out at 1pm
21c Hotel Louisville New Years Eve Party
The red penguins are ready to party in Louisville! Four course dinner at Proof on Main, dance party in the hotel Atrium, and late check out in the morning? Yes please.
Shaker Village New Years Eve Package
Leave the holiday madness behind for a relaxing New Year’s evening at Shaker Village. Package includes overnight accommodations in The Inn, hot breakfast buffet at The Trustees’ Table, 10 percent off retail purchases in The Shops and complimentary village admission.
New Years Eve at Jekyll Island Club Hotel
- Accommodations for Three nights with King, Queen, or two Double Beds
- Breakfast Buffet for two each morning in the Grand Dining Room
- New Year’s Eve Dinner for two; your choice of early or late seating in the Grand Dining Room
- Admission to After Dinner Party at the Morgan Center with DJ and Dancing with food stations.
- Party favors and champagne toast at midnight
- New Year’s Day upgraded Breakfast Buffet in the Grand Dining Room ~ features Collard Greens and Hoppin’ John, Crepes Station, Omelet Station, Eggs Benedict and more
If you don’t feel like traveling for New Years, check out local restaurants for a special dinner menu. Here are a couple of Bloomington NYE dinners happening…
New Years Eve Dinner at Restaurant Tallent
One of my favorite restaurants in Bloomington is hosting their finale dinner on New Year’s Eve. 4 courses of made from scratch Italian fare.
Topo’s 403 New Years Eve
Three course Mediterranean dinner with live music.
How will you ring in the new year?
December 16, 2015
I can’t believe that Christmas is next week; where did fall go? I love the holiday season for many reasons: comfort food, festive decor, and spending time with friends and family. Deep in the hills of the Bluegrass State, I experienced all of these (and then some) on a recent visit to Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill with one of my dearest friends.