Thursday, August 4, 2016

Greg-apalooza Road Trip 2016! Days 3 & 4!

If you missed yesterday's post, it was a recap of my road trip to visit my best friend Greg in Indiana. He moved there about a year and a half ago, so I finally made the 6-hour drive up to see him last weekend. I posted pics from days one and two yesterday, and here's the rest of our trip.

We spent the night in Louisville, Kentucky — about an hour and a half from Greg's apartment in Jasper, Indiana — on Sunday night. We split a hotel room with my partner Paul and his friend Brandon (who were in Louisville for a ComicCon). We got up early on Monday morning so we could grab lunch in Louisville before heading back to Indiana. I used the Happy Cow app to find a vegan-friendly restaurant, and we settled on Ramsi's Cafe on the World — a world fusion cafe with lots of vegan menu items! So many menu items that it was hard to choose. Ramsi's has homemade seitan, and it's offered in a number of dishes. But I finally settled on the Seitan Parmesan Panini with Roasted Potatoes.

This hearty sandwich had breaded and fried seitan, marinara, and vegan mozz. And it was so good! The seitan was all tender and chewy in just the right way. But I could only eat half of this plate before getting full, so I packaged up the rest for later. Greg had a jerk seitan sandwich that was also quite tasty!

The patio at Ramsi's was so cute! It was raining Monday morning, but the patio was partially covered, so we sat and had brunch in the rain.

After lunch, we hopped in the car and headed back to Jasper. It's about an hour and a half drive, and along the way, there are about a million wineries. Unfortunately, most of them are closed on Mondays. But we googled and learned that Turtle Run Winery in Corydon, Indiana was open! It was just off the highway, so we made a detour on the way back to Greg's.

There were turtle statues everywhere! The woman working the counter inside was really nice, and we tried a few samples. I ended up going with a dry white wine (I'm typically a red drinker, but this was a super-dry white that tasted more like a red!).

We hopped back into the car to make the rest of the drive to Jasper, but somewhere along the way, we decided to take another detour to Holiday World! It's an amusement park in Santa Claus, Indiana (yes, that's a real town) where all the rides and attractions are holiday-themed. There's a Christmas land, a Halloween park, a Thanksgiving area, and a Fourth of July section. There's also a water park inside Holiday World, but neither of us packed a swimsuit. Bummer.

We rode the Scrambler and the Log Ride in Halloween land first, and by then, I'd worked up an appetite. There wasn't much in the way of vegan food at Holiday Land, but I found a few things. I got these Buffalo Fries at Goblin Burger (a burger stand in Halloween land).

That held me over for a bit, so we wandered over to Fourth of July land to ride Greg's favorite — the Gravitron. I'm not a fan of the Gravitron, but I rode it once just for him. I prefer to retain my sense of gravity, thank you very much.

It was in Fourth of July land that I made the greatest discovery of the weekend! DOLE WHIP!!!! I've seen other vegans blog about finding Dole Whip — a fruity non-dairy ice cream — at Disney parks, and I've always been so jealous. I finally got try it! I went with Strawberry Pineapple Swirl.

We rode a few more rides after my Dole Whip experience, and then Greg tricked me into getting onto a rollercoaster. I have a DEATHLY fear of coasters, and it's not a fear I care to conquer. I'm fine with that fear. But Greg made me feel bad for not riding one since he wanted to (and he didn't want to ride alone). So I promised I'd consider the Raven — a wooden coaster that looked the least scary of the four big coasters at Holiday World. I walked up to look at it, and Greg ushered me into line. 

And then there were people behind me, and there was no turning back. I was nearly in tears as they buckled me in. And then it took off, and as we descended the first drop, I felt my neck pop. And then I freaked out, and I was convinced the coaster was going to break my neck. So I tensed up super-hard and sunk down into my chair. By the time the ride was over, I had a sharp pain in my upper back and neck. I'm certain I pulled a muscle, which totally blows because marathon training starts next week. Anyway, I'll NEVER get on another rollercoaster. I was so mad. Here's me being mad at the stupid coaster that tried to break my neck.

After my awful coaster experience, we left the park. I was injured and whiny and hungry again. Greg was pooped. So we drove the rest of the way back to Jasper. We'd intended to go out for veggie sushi when we returned to his town, but we were both too tired. I had my leftovers from Ramsi's while we watched reruns of Judge Judy on TV. Greg had to work Tuesday morning, so we both crashed early on Monday night.

On Tuesday morning, I woke up as Greg was heading to work. I got dressed and packed up and hit the road back to Memphis. But I made sure to time my trip so I'd be in Nashville again for lunch. I was craving something healthy, so I went to Sunflower Cafe for a yummy Thai Ginger Bowl! This had Sunflower's signature seasoned rice, sesame kale, roasted carrots and tofu with Thai ginger sauce. So yummy!

The last leg of my journey home was pretty awful. I drove straight into a thunderstorm in Jackson, Tennessee (about an hour from Memphis). It was raining so hard I couldn't see the highway, and there was lightening and a tornado warning. I pulled over at gas stations and on the side of the highway so many times I lost count. And it added about an hour or more to my journey home. But I made it!!

Now, I'm back in the swing of things! I had a great time with Greg (except for that rollercoaster business), but I'm glad to be home!


Sarah said...

Oh no, I'm sorry about your pulled muscle!! I hate roller coasters and sometimes I feel like I'm the only person in the world that hates them. The rest of the post sounds amazing! The seitan parm sandwich and dole whip look incredible and the holiday themed amusement park sounds so fun (minus the pulled muscle). Sounds like a great time was had by all!

Hope you feel better soon!

Cadry said...

Roller coaster/neck debacle aside, Holiday World sounds like so much fun. I am pretty in love with Christmas, and getting to have a peek of that in the summer would be very entertaining to me. But I totally feel you on roller coasters. There are some that I don't mind or even like. Space Mountain at the Disney Parks is one of my favorite rides ever. But it's not a huge coaster, and it's all in the dark. So you don't have that sinking feeling of knowing what comes next. However, I've definitely been in a position where I've felt pressured to ride a coaster that was bigger and scarier than I'd prefer. I'm sorry that you hurt your neck! I hope it doesn't throw off your training.

Susan said...

I used to love roller coasters and scary rides, even though they scared me. But eventually I just stopped ever wanting to go on them again, and I am OK with that. When I did go on, I would always end up with weird bruises and pulled muscles from holding on and crunching down so tight. I haven't been able to go on a Gravitron for many, many years, though, because they make me want to be sick. I like carousels.
I hope you feel better soon!
Glad you made it home safe through that storm as well. I've driven in weather like that, and it is scary.

Jennifer said...

Gosh I wish I could remember what movie/tv show featured that Santa theme park! But I like how they have some extra holidays tacked on like Halloween (those Goblin fries look so yummy! I should make buffalo fries!)

Stinks you don't like rollar coasters! I love them. But I hate lines so I haven't been on one in awhile. My husband got the "fast pass" think for Universal Studio and I just was like "again again!" the whole time. I think he felt too much like a jerk lapping over people so many times. XD