Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hometown Tourist

I didn't set out yesterday to have such an eventful afternoon. I certainly didn't set out to give a guided tour of my hometown. But, when in Rome (or Lincoln, rather)...
I set out to pick up some yarn from my mom's house. But when I got there, my mom told me that there was more yarn to be had, as my aunts who are visiting from Utah were going to come into town in quest of some.
My awesome sister-in-law works at the cutest yarn shop in town. Yarn Charm is a tiny yarn lover's paradise on Superior, a few blocks west of 27th Street. They have sock yarn, chunky yarn, lace yarn, or dyed wool in case you want to spin your own. (There are even toys in the classroom to distract your kids while you jump around squealing about yarn.) The prices are higher than at the big name craft stores, but so is the quality. I don't think you'll find a 50% silk/50% alpaca blend at Hobby Lobby. If you need some gorgeously fancy yarn, Yarn Charm is the place to be. (And if you don't know how to knit or crochet but want to learn, they offer classes! Check out their website or call for details.)
I simultaneously congratulate and feel sorry for anyone who has never been to The Haymarket in Lincoln before. Congratulations, you've never had to deal with the parking situation. But, dude, you're missing out on the food situation.
We miraculously found two spots near one another, and parked on 8th Street between O and P Streets, where I immediately began pointing out restaurants to my hungry tour group. "There's a sushi place across the street; coffee house, coffee house, coffee house; Buzzard Billy's is Cajun, The Oven is Indian, there's Vincenzo's (Italian), Lazlo's is down the street (that's American food), there's a local Mexican place down the block and an interesting fusion burger place called Leadbelly."
To Old Chicago we went (there's no Old Chicago in southern Utah), to try local beers and split a calzone. My daughter opted for a more traditional kids' macaroni and cheese and a "Princess pink lemonade," which was not on the menu but our server promised to put extra "princess" in for her anyway.
We turned down the offer of dessert, but that's only because Ivanna Cone is a block away. Ivanna Cone is the first thing you smell when you walk up the steps and open the door of The Creamery Building. It's the smell of freshly made waffle cone. They only take cash, but don't worry, there's an ATM in the hallway. There is usually at least one standard flavor on the chalkboard at Ivanna Cone: Dutch Chocolate, or Fresh Strawberry, or Sweet Cream Vanilla. But there's always something more gastronomically adventurous, like Lavender Lemon or Watermelon Lime Chili Sorbet. My Aunt Andie and I chose the safe option, Cinnamon, after I tasted a couple (and didn't fancy the Balsamic Strawberry), and my Aunt Tarie got Cinnamon Red Hots ice cream topped with hot fudge! While we enjoyed our dessert, I gave a mini-Haymarket news update, informing my tour group about the recent changes the area has undergone: the new arena and additional buildings, especially the plans for more parking space. My daughter hopped back and forth between taking bites of my ice cream and playing with the ice cream themed toys in the corner of the shop, where a sign reads, "you may play with our toys, but please clean up when you're done!"
The Creamery Building, where Ivanna Cone and Indigo Bridge are located.
(picture by Ammodramus, via wikipedia)
The Creamery Building has three floors of interesting shops: Paint Yourself Silly, the Abracadabra Theater, a dance studio, and a photography studio (among others). But it's hard to leave Ivanna Cone and not walk directly into Indigo Bridge Books.
Indigo Bridge has one counter for buying books and another for coffee. While Aunt Tarie procured herself a decaf Americano (with locally roasted beans from Cultiva), Aunt Andrea found something shiny. She and my daughter tried on all the bracelets and picked one as I talked myself out of buying both a copy of Hark! A Vagrant! (although my birthday is coming up) and some mustache shaped post it notes, and after paying, we went on our way.
I tried not to lose my tour group as I lead the way in navigating the many one way streets back to my parents' house, where our tour ended with adorable babies, yarn envy, and plans for tomorrow.

You don't have to leave home to be a tourist (or a tour guide)! But some parts of the world are more blessed than others. I'm lucky to live in one of them! There are plenty of interesting things to do in Lincoln Nebraska, and if you ever want to visit, I'll show you, too.

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