Another weekend getaway
While I have my state trips on hold till late next month, one of the joys in recent years is coming down to Metamora, Indiana for the annual Christmas walk. I had always heard about it, and was always suspect, but I finally came down some years back and I was awed. The lights, atmosphere, shops, food, and even a number of rogue santa’s walking around. That has to confuse the kids and frighten the parents.
A bit about Metamora, for you non-natives, is it’s an old canal town near Brookville that had its heyday back in the mid 1800’s. It is now dependent solely on tourism, and they do it so well. The terrible thing is that despite only being about a 20-25 minute drive from where I grew up I never came to the historic area until I was either in my late 20’s or early 30’s (so maybe 10-15 years ago). We (the family) always passed through on the highway on the way to our grandparents, but had no idea what treasures lied down the hill.
Last year and this year I got to chaperone my nieces and nephew through the shops, and my other motive for coming down was my old friends from Indy, Greg & Kriss were performing a show.They played their own songs and added some holiday standards as well in an intimate setting at The Cat & The Fiddle, an old stone blacksmith shop adorned in umbrellas and other holiday decor. It was magical and she (Catrina the owner) offered homemade dinners (pork roast with a carrot, potato, and onion stew), and delectable pies (I had the dutch apple, and the pecan had me drooling too). What a treat!
What I’ve never done in Metamora is visit three times in a weekend. One of the shops the kids led me to (they were in charge of course) was The Smelly Gourmet which is in one of the many historic houses in the community. It is listed as a gift shop but the biggest feature is their popcorn which is locally grown and they specialize in packaging it in special ways such as in pop and beer bottles. Smelly is striking, with his big white beard, and is the logo on all the packaging. The kids must have seen him on the way in and pointed to his picture on the popcorn containers. About that time Smelly appeared in all his bearded glory. Him and the rest of the staff are cheery, helpful, and make you feel like old time friends. I was more interested though in the “European coffee bar”. Not in the mood at the time, so I opted to return the next (Saturday) morning for some reflective time and an amazing cappuccino. It was so good I’m writing this on Sunday morning powered by yet another Smelly cappuccino, hence day 3. Also, I had lunch here yesterday and had the ‘award winning’ chili. Freakin’ delicious!
It seems silly to stay in one of the bed & breakfast’s down here when home is so close, but I’ve been so moved by this treasure in my back yard that I want to soak it up. Next year has to have its own set of goals. Maybe it needs added to the list.