In the run-up to Thanksgiving I had a couple of fun evenings: a movie salon at Robert and Julie’s examining The Breakfast Club (and its atrocious ending), a horror-themed Escape the Room-style adventure for Constance’s birthday – better characterised as a we-came-nowhere-close-to-actually-escaping-the-room style adventure – and an old-fashioned evening of chatter at Motel with Sean and Dre. And then, Thanksgiving itself!
One of the many great things about Thanksgiving is that I have no childhood vision of what it should be like, unlike Christmas, which is not really Christmas without presents under the tree / Christmas crackers / a family argument before sitting down to watch Doctor Who at midnight and so on. My only traditions so far are great food, great company and giving thanks for things, and I got all of this again at Catherine and Jason’s this year. It was such an enjoyable afternoon, and a total pleasure to meet Catherine’s parents and play Fibbage against them. Plus, all of the food turned out so well. And there was rhubarb pie!
For the rest of the long weekend, Randi and I went exploring two more roadtripable states. Our first destination was Louisville, Kentucky which was holding its annual Light Up Louisville celebration. This included music (carols, churchy stuff, colour-coordinated children), some appealing German market touches (especially currywurst, mulled wine) and a full-on holiday parade, which was narrated by two unnervingly peppy stars of local radio. It was also accompanied by a fair amount of rain, which made it rather difficult to capture in all of its glory, but didn’t actually detract from the city spirit.
The next day, we left our B&B (a B&B which, it must be noted, surprised us with free slices of piecaken) and headed back north for a night in Indiana.
I feel a little bad for Indiana. By broad consensus, its sole purpose is to plug an otherwise awkward-looking gap between neighbouring states. And no doubt, the view from the interstate – endless warehouses selling fireworks plus a giant billboard bearing the sophisticated slogan that ‘HELL IS REAL’ – doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. So instead of searching for a mediocre city, we sought out small-town charm in Corydon, who were throwing their own Christmas lights switch-on bash for the town’s roughly 3000 residents.
It’s a little odd, actually, since tiny Corydon started out as the capital of Indiana when it acquired statehood in 1816. The original constitution even states that the town “shall be the seat of Government of the state of Indiana, until the year eighteen hundred and twenty-five, and until removed by law”. But come 1825, the provision ran out and the capital immediately shifted to Indianapolis, leaving behind a small but charming community where the local chemist is called Butt Drugs, the local café serves up the best chips I’ve had in ages, and bells very confusingly ring out tunes from Oklahoma on the hour.
And that would be that, had it not been for all the roadside advertisements we passed for underground ziplining at Louisville’s Mega Cavern. Having never been ziplining before, it sounded amazing, and my mind was made up after checking TripAdvisor and learning that even those who believe it’s an outrage against God still gave it 4 out of 5 stars.
So back we went to Kentucky, and down an old limestone mine, to whizz through caves on ropes and wires. It was a strange mixture of adrenaline rush and quiet beauty, and if you do ever find yourself taking a roadtrip around this part of the way, you should check it out.
Final word of the trip must go to Todd, for recommending Yats in Indianapolis, our final stop on the way home to Chicago. It serves New Orleans-style food, and it’s amazing. Enough said.
Catherine Tarsney, Ellen Wohlberg, Katie Self, Randi Lawrence liked this post.