Monday, July 9, 2012

10 year anniversary weekend trip....

So my hubby and I have been married 10 years this weekend. It doesn’t even seem possible that the years have flown by so quickly. We took a trip to Indy for the weekend.

Awww..Happy Anniversary to Us

We stayed at Comfort Suites because we got a fabulous deal. We were greeted by this little sign in our room.

Think they have had a lot of theft? It was a comical moment.

Friday night we had "The Old Spaghetti Factory". It’s a quaint fun place that is pretty affordable.

 There is actually a train car inside that has tables in it you can eat at.

I had my usual chicken fettuccine with extra mushrooms. We got so lost trying to get from the parking garage ...through the mall...through the Omni hotel...(we looked like guests right?) Made it 2 minutes prior to our reservation. I am not a big Italian buff. I am more of a cheeseburger kind of gal. (no judging, I just don’t love marinara).

My favorite part of The Spaghetti Factory is the Spumoni you get as a dessert.

(Typically it is of three flavors, with a fruit/nut layer between them. The ice cream layers are often mixed with whipped cream. Cherry, pistachio, and either chocolate or vanilla are the typical flavors of the ice cream layers, and the fruit/nut layer often contains cherry bits—causing the traditional red/pink, green, and brown color combination).

 It is delicioso! (Is that Italian?) J Afterward we walked around the Circle Center Mall and I dreamed as I walked past a few stores, knowing even if I had the money, I am too cheap to spend it! I did splurge when I stopped in Charlotte Russe and got this fabulous scarf for $5! I know a $5 splurge at a retail shop!

Saturday we had the hotel breakfast and then headed out to a few Goodwill stores. It was the first Saturday of the month, which means everything is 50% off! Woot! My hubby scored some Lucky Brand and Kenneth Cole Jeans for $7 total. I bought nothing at the Goodwill Store. I was itching to save my money for the Outlet.  Outlet you say? There is a Goodwill Outlet? Why yes and it is fabulous! There are actually 3 in Indianapolis.

I will admit it is not for everyone. If you are a shopper who likes to walk into “NAME YOUR STORE HERE” and go to a rack of a style you like and pick out your size, then GW outlet may be a little too much for you. If you are a cheapskate like me, and I mean really cheap, but like to get name brand things used or sometimes new and don’t mind digging through things, then GW outlet is for you.

Sorry Random man and his kids that walked in front of my picture.....

What happens is there are these blue bins. They are rotated out every 2 hours or so. So, depending on when you get there is sometimes crucial. If they just changed the bins 30 minutes ago, you may find some things, but not like if you are there when they actually change the bins out. Most of the time, they are sorted between clothes, book, shoes, and housewares. That’s the sorting. No sizes, no separation of children/adult/curtains/blankets…etc. If it looks like fabric, it goes in the “clothing” bins. Then it’s up to you to dig through these bins to find what you want or like. I have a friend who compared it to “Third World Country” because of how when the final bin gets placed in a row, its every man for himself!  The first time I went, I spent most of my time in the clothes section. This time around, since I was taking my husband for the first time, I knew he would not want to look through clothes, we stuck mainly to housewares.

Changing of the bins.....kind of like changing of the guards....ok, actually its nothing like that. :)

By the end of the couple hours we spent there, we had an overflowing cart and he found a working like new Keurig Coffee Machine! $150+ value!  Now another neat thing about the outlet is your items are priced by the pound. By the pound? Yes’em, you pull your cart on a scale and they take the weight and based on the price per pound you pay for your items by the pound. Because it was the First Saturday of the month, the pricing dropped to .59 cents a pound. So our overflowing cart with the heavy Keurig machine was $20! Talk about some great deals.

We left and went to lunch, hit a few other stores and then decided to go back to the outlet. The Outlet bug kind of bit my hubby, since he found a Keurig machine. This time we had a better plan. We decided hauling a cart each was way too much work. One person needs to handle the cart and browse as they can, while the other can be free to move about without trying to get a cart through the maze of other carts and people. Lets face it, the place is full of people, trying to get a great deal too, and while I wouldn’t fight over anything in these bins (at least I don’t think soJ), This plan for us worked out so much better. We scored another cart load and it was only $20.

Included was my new Juicy Couture Purse and a couple of items I bought just to resell.

Like a Bumbo Seat. I knew a friend who just had a baby so I picked it up. It was probably a $1.00 or less because it is so lightweight. When I found out she had one already, I decided to sell it. They sell at yard sales easy for $15, so I knew if I sold mine for $10-$12 I would really have made a great profit. I listed it and sold it within an hour.
That night we went to Edwards Drive-In. We had decided long before we came that we wanted to hit “mom and pop” places and stay away from chain restaurants if possible. Edwards was featured on Food Networks “Man vs. Food” so we thought we would try it out.
I would love to travel all over to restaurants and places and get paid to give my opinion of experience. Maybe one day. J If I am totally honest, I was disappointed. When you walk in, you have no idea if you should sit or be seated. No one was “manning” the counter and no one even looked up when we entered. This automatically put a “wah wah” in my excited spirit. Finally someone noticed we were just standing there and they just stared at us. I am guessing they are so used to “regulars” they didn’t realize we had no clue what we were doing. (which by the way is not a good excuse.) I eventually spoke up and asked if we were supposed to order, or sit down, and I was told to order at the counter. I got a breaded tenderloin which was the “man vs food featured item”. I went to the restroom while my hubs ordered. Again slightly disappointed in the cleanliness of the restroom. And to be honest, I am usually a lot less picky than most people. Maybe I just had it in my head that I was already disappointed so I saw things I normally wouldn’t pay attention to. Who knows.  Food was great. Delicious, no problems there. Love me a tenderloin and some crinkle fries!
I was stuffed like last year’s thanksgiving turkey. Overall the food was good, but the experience was not as good as I expected. Even when I went to get my husband his root beer refill (which is homemade and in a frosty mug), I had to wait awkwardly for someone to notice I needed something. I am not one to cause a stir, I just think that if I ran a business, that customer service should be up there too! So I guess I would end up giving it 3/5 stars. The food was good, but nothing “spectacular” unless you are a huge fan of homemade Root beer and onion rings which apparently I’m not.

Sunday we woke up late, (ahem when is 9am late? But when you have children and get up for work by 7am its late). We checked out of our hotel about 10:30 and went to Steer In Restaurant.
It was also featured on Food Network’s Drive-Ins, Diners, and Dives with Guy Fieri.
It has a nice little story behind the restaurant and it looks like a cool old fashioned Drive In. When you walk in immediately you see a sign that says, please seat yourself. (what a relief!) This automatically made me feel more relaxed. A nice older waitress almost immediately brought us menus and took our drink orders. They were pretty busy also. Only a few tables open when we got there. This was around 11:00 I would say. We then receive a different waitress to take our order, which was fine. After going back and forth about what I wanted, I stuck with something safe, (as usual, no adventure me) and got the “steer in twin” which is like a fancy big mac with their own Steer In sauce. Crinkle Fries again! Yum! (not kidding, love me some crinkle fries).

My husband ordered the meatloaf which Guy Fieri tried while he was there. Of course they are extremely proud of him coming so their shirts have his likeness on it and their menus have notes what he tried while they were featured on the show. You could tell they were very “tourist” ready and proud of the business the show brought them. Our food comes and of course since I am a fast eater, I inhale mine like I am not going to get to eat for the next 3 days. (thats why there is no pictures)
 I look up and see my husband just looking at me. I said “ Do you not like it?” and he says the dreaded words “No, its awful, I can’t eat this”. (Extreme sad face) I was actually kind of embarrassed. How do you come and try this “fabulous” meatloaf that Guy Fieri came and tried and say it is awful? I’m telling you….stick with the safe cheeseburger! Haha. So the waitress comes over and says (in a matter of different words J) Oh no, you don’t like the meatloaf.  He apologized and she said it was totally fine, that she doesn’t care for it either, but a lot of people like it. She brought him out a bowl of beef and noodles (another Guy specialty try) and he scarfed them down like no one’s business. I tried a bite, even though I thought I was going to bust from all the food I ate. They were good, (not as good as my momma’s but still good). I apologized to the waitress once again and she reassured us it was not a problem at all, that when she married Casey she never liked his mom’s meatloaf and neither does he! Ok, so revelation moment occurs where the waitress is the owner’s daughter in law. No wonder she was so willing to get us whatever we needed! Turns out later we realize the older lady who got our drinks was the owner herself. Casey,the waitress' husband does most of the cooking.

It was an overall fun experience and the food was yummy. I would be a little hesitant to try the meatloaf though….since it is kind of a “different” meatloaf. I would give The Steer In probably 5/5 stars. They knew how to treat their customers and the food was reasonable and delicious. And of course what wasn’t, they were quick to fix. Was it possible that she knew we were not regulars and gave us some good extra southern charm? Possibly, but if they did it for us, I am sure they would for you too.

After we ate, guess where we went? GW outlet again! We went to the GW Outlet on the East Side of Indy this time. It was smaller, and not as busy at all. Sure there were people, but not like the West side. This time I was on a mission more to find things to resale than to actually purchase for myself. It never goes that way though. I also tend to find something I want in the process. At least what I find to sell covers the whole cost and makes my items that I want free. :)

Found a Fendi purse.

Is it real? Is it fake?
I looked up google and yahoo until I couldn’t find any more answers on it than possibly.
My Charlie’s Angel friend Gina is pretty much an expert on knowing this stuff. She will look at it this week, but she said the pictures so far look like it may just be legit! Score!

My husband found 1 Adidas shoe that he really liked and we stuck around for another hour or so as they changed the bins so he could look for its match. (because they don't match up shoes! Fun or what?!?) Apparently shoes are a rare commodity in Nigeria. There were 4 men that literally attacked the shoe bins as soon as they were placed. I was told later by a regular shopper that she has seen fights break out over the shoes. When I asked why, she stated that they load them up in totes and send them over and they sell like crazy.

Honey, Unless I see a $700 pair of Christian Loubutions , they all just look like stinky used shoes to me.
Now I would dig through a bin of these to try and find my size.... :)
But someones trash is always someone else’s treasure. I think we spent 4 hours there and I was dripping in sweat. Another cart load again. Thank goodness we drove the truck! All in all the weekend was really good. I got lots of amazing deals and not sure I would want to spend it any other way.

Hope you look for some GW outlets and give them a chance, you just never know what you will find! Or if you are in the Indy area, check out the Steer-In. You will love it.

Until Next time….

 Stay Calm…..and Stick with the Cheeseburger… J

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