Over Labor Day weekend, we decided to head to Michigan City, IN. One of the big draws to the area is the Lighthouse Place outlets, and the other is lovely Lake Michigan, with Michigan City being home to a couple of lighthouses.
As far as businesses local to Michigan City, we hit the quaint, wooden shotgun house area of 4th-7th streets near the outlet mall for the Golden Leaf Cigar Shop and Lange's Old Fashion Meat Market.
The cigar shop has a room in back where three men were sitting on leather couches smoking and watching TV. Made me wonder if Peoria would soon have establishments of the same sort.
The brothers at Lange's meat market were quite the characters...one of them actually claims to have dated a girl from Chillicothe and spent time in Chillicothe, but never Peoria. The shop has sawdust on the floor, and great smoked-on-site meats sitting uncovered in dishes along the top of the meat case. Ahh...Indiana knows how to do things the old fashioned way! There is even a side of bacon hanging on the back wall that one of the brothers claims is three years old.
Alas, when we were in, they were out of bacon to sell, so we ended up with a couple of smoked pork chops. They made an excellent dinner Monday night, with some white acorn squash we picked up from the Third Sunday Market in Bloomington.
We also stopped into the Banyan Tree boutique, which was filled with brightly-colored clothing and some gift items. The lady working in the shop was chatting with us and asking how our summer was and what we had done, so I told her we had gotten married. She nicely insisted on giving me a packet of bubble bath from Germany to celebrate the wedding. It was a nice surprise! She also said this shop closes in September, and reopens in May and that the proprietor buys a lot of merchandise from Italy, in small numbers, so that you won't likely see someone with the same shirt or bag as you walking around.
After the outlet mall and downtown area, we headed to Washington Park in Michigan City to check out the lighthouse. The place was packed with their Labor Dayz Festival. We paid our $6 to get in to the park, then walked the long, sandy walk to the beach. Once we hit the shore, we rolled up our pants and took off our shoes and walked in the surf along the shore toward the lighthouse.
After cleaning the sand from our feet and putting our shoes back on, we headed into the arts and crafts/carnival area of the festival. Nothing too exciting there.
On our way out of town, we took US 20 so we could pass by a BBQ joint we had seen on our way into town, Smokey's Southern Barbecue. The neon pig in the window beckoned us in.
The place is small, holding only about six retro formica tables, but the decor is quaint and cozy. I actually loved the way this place was decorated. For a wainscoting, they had used corrugated metal, and had touches of wood throughout, including wood floors. The bathroom was sort of half an outhouse built against one wall of the restaurant. StfRon didn't believe it was real, and had to pull the door open and check it out.
We both ordered pulled pork sandwiches and cole slaw. The slaw wasn't the best I've ever had. The pork was good and juicy, but probably not as good as some we've tried in Memphis. After staring at the dessert board and pie stand while we ate, we tried the desserts, peach cobbler and chocolate pecan pie. Again, not the best we've ever had, but the place was neat, service was good and we were glad we made the stop.
After we went outside, we got out the camera for some pictures, and an older couple came out of Smokey's with their carryout. The wife said, incredulously, "You're taking pictures of SMOKEY'S???" Hey, lady, this place is coooool.
This trip made us want to spend more time in Michigan City, since we only had the day. We want to check out more of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, the zoo, and much more. We hope to make it back soon.