This past Saturday was a day that had been circled on my calendar for quite some time. Back in the fall, I'd been invited by the Hendricks County Convention & Visitors Bureau to attend a Holiday Tour of Hendricks County. Several of the stops on the itinerary were either places I loved or places I've been meaning to visit. The real kicker was that I could bring a guest. My very first thought was my sister, Ana. I knew it would be right up her alley, too. She happens to be one of the nicest people I know, showering you with five different kindnesses before you have the chance to return even one. And so a perfect day was planned.
And then, as so often happens to those of us with little people in our charge, wrenches are thrown in those plans. First, Eli was sick. I spent most of Thursday evening up with him as a stomach bug hit him hard. I kept my fingers crossed all day Friday and prayed to the gods of illness to make him better. By Friday evening he had perked up. I breathed a sigh of relief and then prayed to the snow gods to go easy on the roads in the morning. Momma just wants a nice day out with her sister.
I made it out of the house on Saturday morning and we were off. First stop was Plainfield High School, for the 40th Annual Tri Kappa Gingerbread Christmas craft fair. After 40 years, these ladies have gotten pretty picky about who exactly can showcase their wares in a coveted space. Everything must be handcrafted. One of my favorite booths was this wood crafter. I bought a teeny tiny nativity set for the kids. Any bets on how long it will be before we lose baby Jesus?
Or next stop was shopping on the square in historic Danville. There are several cute shops, including a coffee shop and a bakery. The snow made everything just a little more lovely.
We ate lunch at the Mayberry Cafe. Eating here had been on Ana's bucket list. It's kitschy, for sure, but it has good eats to back up the kitsch. You can't miss it – it has the Mayberry squad car parked out front.
From there we headed out to the country to visit Evans Whispering Pines Christmas Tree Farm. I've been to many a Christmas tree farm, as we're live tree people. They have the best selection I've seen. One family bought the most beautiful 15 foot Fraser fir I've ever seen. I wanted to go home and have Christmas with them. If you need a wreath to go with your tree? These are your people. They have at least 20 different kinds available for purchase, and will custom make something if you still don't see exactly what you have in mind. I couldn't part with a super-cute kissing ball made from boxwood. Holidays need more kissing and less stressing, don't you think?
It was about this point that I started feeling a little, hmm . . . odd? My stomach was just not quite right. I chalked it up to the fact that I had been stuffing my face all day and resolved to slow down a bit.
We made our way over to Zionsville to visit Traderspoint Creamery, one of my favorite spots near Indy. Traderspoint is a family owned organic dairy farm that makes some of the best dairy products I've ever had. Whole milk, chocolate milk, divine drinkable yogurts, cheese and this time of year? Hands down the best egg nog EVER. They host a Green Market all year long with vendors who are committed to sustainable practices. My kids love nothing more than running around the farm, visiting the cows and annoying the chickens.
So there we were, sitting inside the loft and being presented with sample upon sample of the most heavenly dairy products around, and I started to feel like I might just die. And then I proceeded to barf in the Creamery's bathroom. And on the tour bus on the way to Chateau Thomas Winery. And twice at the winery. And again in my sister's car. And again and again and again all night long.
Before Sunday dawned at our home, Mike had one boy with a raging ear infection and two girls who couldn't stray far from bucket. He fairly skipped to work Monday morning. To the good people on the tour bus with me Saturday? I'm so sorry – I hope I didn't infect any of you and I hope you ate and drank my share of food and wine at our last two stops. And to my sister? Thanks for holding my hair and rubbing my back – again with the kindness. I owe you some.
If you're in the Indianapolis area this holiday season, I highly encourage you to visit these places. Stomach bug not included! Thank you to the Hendricks County CVB for a fun day (mostly). Check out their website for more fun things to do, or follow them on twitter @FastTrackToFun. You can see the rest of my photos from the day on my flickr page.