No Direction Home

This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Hop Your Face

August 26, 2015

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Hop Your Face

I am a huge fan of the burgeoning craft beer craze, probably at least partly accountable to so many of my friends being involved in creating some of the best beer around. From early days of my youth drinking beer at the first craft beer brewery in Indianapolis, The Broad Ripple Brew Pub, which has been making excellent craft beer for twenty-five years, well, well before the current surge in microbrews. My friends Ted and Kevin were both brew masters at the BRBP and now each own their own wonderful establishments (Twenty Tap, Brugge Brasserie and Outliers Brewing).

 photo 654_zpsynl5knvd.jpg Michael & Shannon

So I have been enjoying craft beer for ages and with-in the last five years my friends in Key West have opened a number of awesome craft beer locales such as the Porch, Florida Keys Brewing, Bone Island Brewing and most recently the Waterfront Brewery. It has been a craft beer explosion that I have been able to enjoy to the fullest.

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Since the opening and success of the Broad Ripple Brew Pub, Indiana has been slowly working on becoming a craft beer mecca. Though still not to the point that states such as Californa, Vermont or Colorado, the Hoosier state captured 10 medals at this year’s Great American Brew Fest, led by Sun King Brewery and 3WiseMen. And that does not even count what is arguably one of the best craft beer breweries in the US; Three Floyds, out of Munster, Indiana.

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 Of course on my many visits to the state, I always try to take advantage of the growing popularity of the craft beer scene and in addition to visiting my favorite breweries, Brugge, Outliers and Twenty Below at Twenty Tap, I also try to take in as many new and wonderful craft beer breweries as possible.

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I was doubly happy this trip as two fun and interesting craft beer events were taking place on the same day and my schedule allowed me to visit them both. First was the 4th annual Hop Your Face Festival at Fountain Square Brewery. This party at the brewery located in the heart of the hipster Fountain Square neighborhood of Indianapolis celebrates the annual one day only release of their specialty IPA called Hop Your Face.

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An entire festival has grown around the release of this popular and tasty brew and I was lucky enough to be in town to attend this special release. They had music, artisans selling their crafts and of course beer, led by the Hop Your Face but also including their regular line-up of beer which is all pretty good.

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I spent the early afternoon there before heading to the far Northside to the suburb of Carmel where the Warehouse nightclub was hosting their first annual beer festival. Small and intimate and not terribly well-attended, the festival nonetheless featured a great selection of Hoosier breweries sampling their wares, Brugge and Outliers were there as well as about twenty more breweries from throughout the state. It gave me a chance to see close up just how far the craft beer scene in Indiana has come.

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 photo 652_zpstjuc5o5r.jpg Sam, Will and Michele

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Jody and Deron

August 25, 2015

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Jody and Deron

I can remember the exact day that I met my good friend Jody, It was 34 years ago now and she and two other young girls where standing in the street in front of my friend and their classmate Tim at 51st and Park Avenue in Indianapolis. She was wearing boots which I thought was cool and she had a spunkiness about her in that she was sassy and gave as good as she got. I liked her immediately, but I had no idea at the time it would be a lasting, wonderful friendship that has to date spanned over three decades.

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 photo 051_zpsz0mwl89z.jpg Sage, Russell and Mary Lee

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I became close with Jody and her group of girlfriends and spent countless hours through their high school years, hanging out attending parties at places like Dawson’s Lake and at many friends’ homes while their parents were away. It seemed at times like I was often accepted as one of the girls as a group of us including Jody, Laura, Amanda, Kristi, Stephanie and Shannon W seemed to hang out frequently.

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With the exception of Shannon, who moved away from Indianapolis years ago, the rest of us have not only stayed in touch, but remained close friends over the course of the many years since I met them. To this day, one of the highlights of my annual trip to Indianapolis each May is our dinner gathering where we relive old times and make new memories. They are as close and as good of friends as one could ever ask for and I feel so fortunate that our friendship has remained strong and continues to thrive.

 photo 100_zpswvigcjtq.jpg Stephanie, Jody, Kristi, Laura, and Amanda

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 photo 107_zpsbsetzyxo.jpg Joely and Jody

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Even though I moved to Key West some 24 years ago now, I have remained in pretty close contact with Jody over the years and have had ample time to watch as she went about her life, working hard and raising her wonderful daughter Joely as a single mother. Her complete and total dedication to raising her daughter has been so impressive to watch and I have so much respect for her and all that she went through.

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 photo 055_zpsk8a5kmor.jpg Joene and Kristi

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Throughout those years, Jody would date occasionally, but nothing serious ever developed as her commitment to raising Joely was so complete that it always took total precedence in her life. While never seeming to be dissatisfied, I know that she always held out a hope that she would have time to focus on herself at some point. When Joely went away to college, Jody finally had the time to do just that and wouldn’t you know it that once she opened herself up to letting it happen, her Prince Charming re-entered her life in the form of her former high school classmate Deron, who was visiting family and friends in Indianapolis from home in Alabama. Though they had not been all that close in school, this time the chemistry was immediate and a friendship and romance soon blossomed.

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It was so wonderful to talk to Jody in those days after they started dating, she was like a giddy school girl and to see her happiness was just spectacular. Meeting Deron, confirmed my suspicion that this was a perfect match. A handsome and scarily smart college professor, Deron has landed a wonderful woman to spend his life with. It is just a totally happy circumstance all around and I am thrilled and honored to have been invited to be a small part of their wonderful celebration. Kathy and I wish them both the happiness that they deserve and look forward to seeing them both, every time we visit Indianapolis.

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 photo 143_zpsuhgixu3h.jpg Kristi and Joely

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