Travel // Weekend Trip to West Lafayette, Indiana

Our weekend included a trip 3 hour trip west to visit my parents and then another 3 1/2 hours south to West Lafayette, Indiana to see two good friends get married. I left my Nikon at home and opted to use my phone for quick pictures during the weekend. I was just looking at them and I love my picture diary of everything we did. I thought  you might want to see it, too.

First thing’s first. When you’re going away for a long weekend, you have to finish up the odds and ends in the refrigerator. Both were well-stocked because of the Mother’s Day barbecue we had, so dinner one night was salad with leftover grilled asparagus and any extra produce from the fridge. After I took that picture, I added leftover shredded mozzarella from previous pizza making. For the dressing, I mixed up a quick vinaigrette with the last of my chive blossom vinegar.

Dinner number two cleaned out both the pantry and the refrigerator. On the bottom of the skillet was leftover tortilla chips and pita chips and then I topped them with aged white cheddar, tomatoes, fresh corn and caramelized onions. Not bad!

We took Friday off to get an early start because it was my Dad’s birthday and we had a drive ahead of us. I assembled Dad’s birthday banana coconut cream pie in the morning and put it in the refrigerator to chill. I told Marc that I wanted to do some form of exercise before the long car trip(s) ahead and we decided on a long, brisk walk. It turned out be hot and humid by the time we got going, but it felt good to get some exercise in. We packed up the car and lovingly packed the pie with ice packs for the journey.

Shortly afterwards we destroyed most of the good we had done with our walk and went to Burgrz for lunch. It’s on the way! I like that they use a bunch of Michigan companies for their vendors. Also, they have the friendliest staff.

This was my blue cheese burger. It was insane and crazy delicious. Marc’s burger came with a fried egg. I was glad I had a banana for breakfast and a little exercise under my belt

The waffle fries were so pretty, but I only have one or two due to the size of the burgers. While we’re eating there, I always tell Marc that we should split a burger next time and he gives me the, “look how cute I am, but no” look. One day.

We completed the drive to the west side of Michigan and had a low-key cookout with my family. I nibbled a little because I was still full from the enormous burger. I did save room for a slice of birthday pie, though. The weather was much cooler because my parents live only a few miles from Lake Michigan. Dad built a fire in his firepit and it felt nice on that cool evening.

The next morning, our family was ready for our drive down to West Lafayette, Indiana. We stopped for a late breakfast at my favorite breakfast spot, The Biscuit. That was my Dad’s breakfast up there. Brioche French toast with fresh blueberry sauce and fresh apricots. It was one of their seasonal specials and I may have, definitely, nudged him into getting it. I knew he’d love it and he did. I had a bite and it was wonderful. Not super sweet at all, but full of fruit flavor in contrast to the rich brioche.

I opted for the seasonal scramble with fresh peas arugula and raclette cheese. The eggs were perfectly cooked and it just tasted like spring.

On our way, we passed by the enormous Fowler Ridge Wind Farm where there were turbines as far as the eye could see on both sides. I took lots of photos, but the pictures just couldn’t capture the giant scale of the towering turbines.

We made it to West Lafayette and for those of you that may not know, it is home to Purdue University. Their wedding took place at Slayter Hill, a beautiful stage on campus with a huge grass hill behind it. We freshened up and then met up with with the happy couple for the rehearsal.

My brother was in the wedding party, but the rest of us sat still in our wooden chairs to survive the 90ish degree heat. Every once in a while a saving breeze would hit us and we would collectively sigh.

We had fun snapping a few photos as the wedding party was getting organized. Our friends graciously included us in the rehearsal festivities and I admit that I shed a few tears when I saw the bride and her Dad.

The rehearsal dinner was delicious barbecue and these pudding jar desserts. I chose the Nutella pudding with strawberries and cookie crumbs. A perfect dessert for a hot day.

Slayter Hill at night.

It was a long day, but who wants to sleep when all of your favorite people are in one spot? Marc, that’s who. The heat had gotten to him and he just wanted a shower and to sleep. He went back to the room and the rest of us met up with friends at Jake’s downtown. Bethany enjoyed her screwdrivers and I enjoyed my brother’s face in this photo.

A few people were hungry (not me, I swear!) but the kitchen had closed for the night. Our waiter told the group that free hot dogs and popcorn were available, though. This photo was sent to Marc’s phone to make him jealous since he is a huge fan of hot dogs and I don’t ever make them. I had no idea that our friend, Fran was making that face! You wouldn’t know it from her evil look, but she is one of the kindest and sweetest people you will ever meet.

The wedding was at 5:27 pm on 5/27/2012, the same day that Sarah’s brother and Sarah’s parents were married. We went to a mediterranean place called The Blue Nile for lunch. The hummus was really pretty and my chicken shish kabob was perfectly cooked and really good.

I’m sorry, I have no pictures of the bride and groom. I left my purse behind because I didn’t want to tote it around in the now 97 degree heat. Surprisingly, even though it was the warmer of the two days, it was much more pleasant and breezy. Marc had his phone, though, and I made him take a picture of my parents slow dancing at the reception. Lots of people changed into casual clothing after the wedding, so that’s why they are casually dressed. Yes, my Dad likes tank tops.

We met up with a bunch of people including the bride and groom for breakfast on Monday morning and then it was time to drive home. My hometown in West Michigan is almost exactly halfway between Purdue and our home in East Michigan. We made plans to meet up for lunch with my family before Marc and I took the final route home. We stopped at a newish pub in Douglas, near Saugatuck called the Saugatuck Brewing Company. Pictured above is their neopolitan stout that has hints of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. The food was good and the beer lovers enjoyed the beer. It was time to hug everyone and say goodbye.

As with all of our vacations, this mini vacation involved lots of food and many good times. Congratulations to our buddies, Sarah and Brad!


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