Photos from the Popcorn Fest Party at Pikk’s Tavern

There is a good chance you have heard of Orville Redenbacher and his famous popcorn, but did you know he was from Valparaiso, IN? In 1979 Valparaiso had their first Valparaiso Popcorn Festival to salute Redenbacher and popcorn. This is a two day event with a parade, a 5 mile run and other festivities. As my transportation is limited and the downtown streets are closed off, I once again missed the actual event. However, one of my favorite Valparaiso eateries, Pikk’s Tavern had a Popcorn Fest Party with musical entertainment. After leaving the hot air balloon festival we headed downtown …

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Photos of the 21st annual Kiwanis Hot Air BalloonFest

These photos are from the 21st annual Kiwanis Hot Air BalloonFest at the Porter County Fairgrounds in Valparaiso, Indiana. I was here for last year’s event and enjoyed it thoroughly, so I hoped the weather would allow the event to go as planned. It was scheduled to be a two day event, September 9 and 10, however the weather on Friday did not look like it was going to cooperate, so I did not bother going there. Saturday was dry and not much wind, but the visibility was limited so the balloons did not seem to go as far as …

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Back to Indiana

I am back for what will likely be one of my last visits to Indiana. After a long train ride from Los Angeles, Tanya picked up Buddy and me at the Chicago Union Station. Our first stop on the way back to Valparaiso was to the town of Munster and Three Floyds Brew Pub. I discovered this place back in June and immediately fell in love with their beer. I can not say that I have tried any of their brews that I did not like. Since no visit to Valpo would be complete without a visit to Don Quijote …

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4th of July, Indiana style

Since 2008, my girlfriend Tanya has been having a 4th of July party here in Valpo. Since she knows how much I enjoy barbecuing and blowing things up, I have been in charge of the grill and the fireworks. These photos are from our 4th Annual 4th of July Extravaganza. Good food, good company and fireworks makes for a great day. Thanks to Tanya for taking some of the firework photos for me. Back to 4th of July Photos Back to 4th of July Photos

Preparing for the 4th of July

There is one thing about Indiana, besides my girlfriend, that keeps bringing me back and that is the ability to buy and shoot off fireworks. I am not talking about the “safe and sane” Red Devil variety, but rather the good stuff provided by Phantom Fireworks. I am not saying I spend a lot of money there, but they send me a Christmas card every year. I got the house in Valparaiso in July 2007 and started doing fireworks shows that same year. It has become tradition. These photos were taken on the days leading up to the 4th of …

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Photos from the Special Olympics of Porter County fundraiser.

Saturday, July 2, 2011 was the Special Olympics of Porter County fundraiser, Livin’ it Up! Tanya has some friends that were the organizers of this event, so I decided to come to Indiana early to photograph it. They had a cutest baby contest and a dog show, along with live musical entertainment and fair-style food offerings. The night ended with a fireworks show. Unfortunately, we had a lot to do so was only able to go for a while, but it looked like a nice family affair that raised some money for a deserving organization. Back to Livin it Up …

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Fine dining around Valpo

These photos are from dining establishments in and around Valparaiso, IN. Next week will mark four years that I have been a regular visitor to Valpo. When I first started coming here I used to think that I would have to go to Chicago to get a decent meal. Steak ’n Shake and Bob Evans were not exactly my idea of fine dining. I eventually found a couple places that would satisfy my culinary desires, but even Cracker Barrel can only go so far. During my most recent visit to Indiana I did more exploring and discovered that there are …

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Photos of Valparaiso, IN

These photos were taken over a few days in the last month or so. I seem to keep returning before I can get all my photos up. Anyway, these are primarily in the downtown Valpo area. One evening we happened to be there when they were having a movie night, with ’How To Train a Dragon’ being featured. It was a little cooler than people are used to at that time of year, but it still had a good turn out. Back to Valpo Photos Back to Valpo Photos

Dining in Valparaiso, IN

When I visit Tanya in Valparaiso, there are a couple of restaurants I try to always make time to visit. My favorite restaurant in Valpo has to be Don Quijote Spanish Restaurante. We discovered this gem due to a billboard on the highway claiming it was the only Spanish restaurant in Indiana. I guess a second Spanish restaurant has opened in Indy, so they will have to settle for being the first and, most likely, the best. Elena, one of the owners is very friendly and seems to always hire friendly people as servers. We always enjoy ourselves and having …

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Photos from the Cumberland Loop

Since I was spending a few days in Valparaiso, Tanya and I took our dogs (Hershey and Buddy) for a couple walks around the Cumberland Loop. The Cumberland Loop is close to downtown Valpo and seems to be a wildlife refuge. To be honest, I am not sure if it is designated as such, but there were plenty of geese and ducks that seem to think it is. Either way, there are a couple different routes you can take and it is quite relaxing and scenic. Back to Cumberland Loop Photos Back to Cumberland Loop Photos

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