There is something rather extraordinary about falling in love with a city you would have sold a kidney to leave at one point in your life, but that is exactly what Indianapolis has thrust upon me.
Indianapolis – affectionately known as Indy – was my wanderlusting teenage self’s home and once felt small enough to warrant a transatlantic escape. Getting to know the city after almost ten years using London as a home base to travel the world has been a trip in every sense of the word.
Indy, in its current form, is electric. And well worth the extensive city guide, below. Enjoy!
I had some very interesting experiences at Kings Island as a tiny
Throughout high school, Kings Island was “the thing you do” after Prom. Why? I have no idea (a day likely to welcome many of our first hangovers doesn’t really require rollercoasters), but it secured the 364-acre fun mecca as the best theme park in the Midwest in my eyes.
This trip’s return to Indiana happened to coincide with the 10-year anniversary of my last Kings Island escapade and thus inevitably called for a micro road trip with a few of my favourite women.
Even without Fast Passes, we managed to squeeze in all the greats; the world’s longest steel inverted roller coaster (Banshee), one of the top-ranked & scarily steep steel roller coasters in the world (Diamondback), the only face-to-face inverted roller coaster in the Midwest (Invertigo), the ever-nauseous spiral swing (Delirium), and then some. With Starbucks stops (recommended as it is one of the only non-price inflated retailers in the park), a Festhaus lunch break (where we caught their Back to the ’90s show over some overpriced chicken tenders), dance breaks, photo shoots, et al.
For the atmosphere, variety of attractions and ease of getting around, it doesn’t get much better.
(It is also worth noting that their “Gold Season Pass” is on a pretty crazy deal right now for anyone imagining they’d go twice (or more) during the year. It pays for itself in under two trips and includes parking, unlimited admissions – including Halloween Haunt and WinterFest – and even early entry to Soak City Waterpark.)
Thank you times infinity to my beloved Leanne Meurer for taking our footage and turning it into this glorious keepsake of a Kings Island video tour, below!
I’m beginning to lose my mind, guys. After living out of a suitcase for two months, I would almost rather burn my five packed outfits than think about wearing them again. At the same time –
with more than enough clothes in storage back in London – I really don’t need to be spending lots of money contributing to transatlantic closet, either.
Luckily, a friend raved about the surprising quality of 599 Fashion (where everything is under $10 – !!) and helped save my sartorial sanity. As far as the eye can see, the pieces look far more expensive than they are and my $50 haul (which you’ll see much more of) has survived multiple outings and washes, to date.
(If you want to get in on the fast fashion fun, the code AR414 will also save you 20%!)
Z Grille is a bit of a ‘blink and you miss it’ destination in downtown St Pete (or DTSP, as the cool kids call it). From the corner of 1st Avenue South, its an unassuming stretch of al fresco tables that have nothing on the grind-rail lined interior and sophistication whipped out of its open kitchen.
Z Grille’s chef and owner, Zach Gross, is a creature of constant experimentation. Though there are a few items that would cause an uproar if removed, the menu is as improvisational and creative as the Grille can get away with. It is a daring take in a competitive area and something they’re doing very well.
It is the type of place you want to bring all your friends so you can try a little bite of everything. Especially the Shrimp ‘Nachoz’ (crab queso, corn salsa, Pico De Gallo, avocado Salsa, queso fresco, cilantro crème, and pickled onions) and the gargantuan Foie Burger (house ground brisket & Ribeye, grilled onions, grilled tomato, applewood bacon, foie gras & garlic mayo), which is served with the most addictive manchego and chive-sprinkled truffle fries I have ever had the pleasure to taste.
Pro tip: save room for a few killer cocktails – they are as aptly named (ie Skinny “Beeyotch”) as they are delicious.