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Birthday 45: The Food So Far

Jack's Donuts!

Partial sampling of the flavors and gargantuan portions at Jack’s Donuts.

It’s that time again! This week I turned 45 without entering true Midlife Crisis mode yet, and with only modest physical damage reminding me of the ravages of time. The knee I sprained in Elkhart two months ago has healed and regained more than half its flexibility back. My chronic back pain has left me alone of late. My poor sleeping habits have been slightly less out of control most of this week. The recurring heartburn that’s begun haunting me this year has subsided so far this month. The worst thing going for me at the moment is the giant eyelid pimple that greeted me in the mirror this morning and irritated me most of the day. And you can tell I’m getting old because here’s a short entry about food but the first thing on my mind is all my aches and pains.

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Big Burgers and Other Bites at My Birthday Bonanza

New Jack City!

This boy’s big ballyhooed birthday burger banquet at The B Spot.

My wife and I have a twice-yearly tradition of spending our respective birthdays together traveling to some new place or attraction as a one-day road trip — partly as an excuse to spend time together on those most wondrous days, partly to explore areas of Indiana we’ve never experienced before. My 2016 birthday destination of choice: the northern Indiana city of Elkhart, with a bonus stopover in South Bend, both some 100+ miles north of here. Elkhart was regrettably cut a little short because the weather was miserable and tried to freeze us in our tracks, but we had enough fun to fill out another four-part miniseries starring a candy factory tour, a super-hero roadside attraction, and a selection of the “art” in Elkhart. Also, food.

Part Four of Four: that food! It wouldn’t have been my birthday without it. Only one of our three meals was in Elkhart, and it wasn’t a full meal, but I do hope you’ll forgive the aging birthday guy his occasional off-topic digressions. I hear it’ll get worse as I get older.

Right this way for random acts of meat!

You Can’t Spell “Elkhart” Without “Art”. Or “Hart”. Or “Elk”.

HEART Proverbs 4-23!

Or if we’re anagramming, in Elkhart you can also find “heart”, “heat”, “earth”, “talker”, “hater”, “lathe”, “kale”…

My wife and I have a twice-yearly tradition of spending our respective birthdays together traveling to some new place or attraction as a one-day road trip — partly as an excuse to spend time together on those most wondrous days, partly to explore areas of Indiana we’ve never experienced before. My 2016 birthday destination of choice: the northern Indiana city of Elkhart, with a bonus stopover in South Bend, both some 100+ miles north of here. Elkhart was regrettably cut a little short because the weather was miserable and tried to freeze us in our tracks, but we had enough fun to fill out another four-part miniseries starring a candy factory tour, a super-hero roadside attraction, and a selection of the “art” in Elkhart. Also, food.

Part Three of Four: a tour of the art of downtown Elkhart, which of course has deer statues, because “elk”. And “hart”, which is a bit more obscure except maybe to fans of Angel. And the sound of “heart” alone likewise doesn’t go unmentioned.

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House Party at the Hall of Heroes

Hall of Heroes!

Gathered together from the cosmic reaches of the universe, here in this great Hall of Heroes, are the most powerful forces of good ever assembled: Captain America! Deadpool! Bucky! Cartoon Hulk! The Lizard!

My wife and I have a twice-yearly tradition of spending our respective birthdays together traveling to some new place or attraction as a one-day road trip — partly as an excuse to spend time together on those most wondrous days, partly to explore areas of Indiana we’ve never experienced before. My 2016 birthday destination of choice: the northern Indiana city of Elkhart, with a bonus stopover in South Bend, both some 100+ miles north of here. Elkhart was regrettably cut a little short because the weather was miserable and tried to freeze us in our tracks, but we had enough fun to fill out another four-part miniseries starring a candy factory tour, a super-hero roadside attraction, and a selection of the “art” in Elkhart. Also, food.

Part Two of Four: a birthday celebration for a venerated super-hero at a museum made by a fan for fans.

Right this way for a glimpse inside the Hall of Heroes Museum!

Hot Latte and the Chocolate Factory

Dark Chocolates!

One quarter-pound of Double Dark Truffles garnished by two dark-chocolate-covered Oreos. Yep, I’ve reached that advanced age when dark chocolate begins tasting better than milk chocolate.

My wife and I have a twice-yearly tradition of spending our respective birthdays together traveling to some new place or attraction as a one-day road trip — partly as an excuse to spend time together on those most wondrous days, partly to explore areas of Indiana we’ve never experienced before. My 2016 birthday destination of choice: the northern Indiana city of Elkhart, with a bonus stopover in South Bend, both some 100+ miles north of here. Elkhart was regrettably cut a little short because the weather was miserable and tried to freeze us in our tracks, but we had enough fun to fill out another four-part miniseries starring a candy factory tour, a super-hero roadside attraction, and a selection of the “art” in Elkhart. Also, food.

Part One of Four: a tour through a chocolate factory, conducted without a single child casualty. It can be done, Mr. Wonka, you demented jerk.

Right this way for the tour, the machines, and the chocolate!

Birthday 44: A Festival of Food, Flavor, and Fire

Opa!

Now THAT is a birthday candle. Why spend an hour lighting forty-four individual wax sticks when you can just set a piece of cheese on fire for twice the lumens and three times the wow factor?

It’s that time of year again! As of today I’m now 44 years old, not dead yet, and still not entering true Midlife Crisis mode with a fancy sports car or a mistress my son’s age. I’m fine with skipping that phase if everyone else is cool with it.

Most of my birthday was frittered away at work, serving others and digging into spreadsheets and doubling my caffeine intake so I could stay awake enough to get to the good parts of the day, while keeping myself too busy to ponder mortality or dwell on the never-ending internal debate over whether I’m truly applying myself toward fulfilling my life’s true purpose(s) here on this imperfect ball of dirt, dust, and Drumpf.

I continued tabling that potential pontification after work and went out to dinner at a promising restaurant that recently opened on our side of Indianapolis. Whenever a nice restaurant opens within five miles of our house, that’s reason enough for us to celebrate, birthday or no birthday.

Right this way for our big fat Greek dinner!

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