"The Summit City"
We've officially kicked off our summer of travel with our first trip 100 miles straight north on I-69 to Fort Wayne, IN.
Lesson Learned #1 of Travel Blogging: We have to find other activities besides bar hopping and day drinking to fill our time. Stayed tuned and I'll explain...
We made the drive up Thursday night and took Friday off from our day jobs to visit Parkview Field and catch a TinCaps game. Parkview Field is often recognized as the No. 1 Ballpark Experience in Minor League Baseball, but more importantly, they feature Thirsty Thursdays (yes… $1 beers). #thirstythursdays
After the game, or more accurately after last call, we wandered over to O’Reilly’s, a small Irish bar connected to the ballpark for a nightcap and then back to the hotel. Or so I thought…
For those of you that have read the profiles on our website, you know that Bing’s favorite food is fries. And the only person I’ve ever met that enjoys fries more than Bing, is Drunk Bing. So, of course she spots a Checkers (aka Rally’s) and insists on some late-night fries. And that ends the night, Bing and her fries that she didn't share with me or the dogs around 1am...
The next morning started pretty rough, which was a common theme for this trip (hence, the the first lesson learned of travel blogging mentioned earlier...) so let's just skip forward some, shall we?
Friday night was probably the highlight of the trip, so this is what I’ll spend the most time writing about. Bing loves oysters (not quite as much as fries) and found a restaurant called “The Oyster Bar” just outside the main part of downtown, but still within walking distance from our hotel.
I can’t recall the entire backstory of the restaurant, but it was a quaint, saloon style restaurant founded in 1880. The place sat, maybe, 20-24 people total and small enough that you could see back in to the kitchen where the chefs were working their magic.
We were immediately greeted by a server asking if we had reservations. Being as it was 5:30pm, we risked it and didn't make a reservation, but the only seating available by then was at the bar, which was totally fine by us (remember #1 lesson yet to be learned). While sitting there, I felt like we had been transported to a small, coastal town and if we were to walk outside, the ocean would be just a few steps away. Ok, I was a couple of glasses of wine in during these “moments,” but still, it definitely felt like an authentic coastal oyster bar.
Everything we ordered was absolutely fantastic. After a bottle of wine and our entrees, we both looked like we were going to need to be wheeled back to the hotel. Then I was asked the dreaded question every miserably stuffed diner hates to hear…”would you like to see our dessert menu?” In a moment of weakness, I blurted "Of course!" and with one look, ordered the cheesecake. I called Bing in for help, but she only took one little bite, so I had to finish it off alone. Remember now, I'm the sweets expert between the two of us.
We wobbled out of the bar and made the half mile trek back toward our hotel, praising the food for being so good, but damning it for making us so miserably stuffed. Our last stop of the evening came at Sidecar (but I'll tell you more about this bar later).
After a couple of drinks, we called it a night to get an early jump on the next morning. We had backup coming in Saturday. A former Fort Wayne local and his wife to come help us navigate the town and find some interesting spots. Ok, the backup was my best friend, Eli and his wife, Stephanie, and the navigation of Fort Wayne consisted of hopping around from brewery to brewery. Like I said, we have to find other things to fill our time than drinking, we now realize this! #travelbloggingnewbs
Calling in backup...
Despite our best efforts to get an early jump on the morning, the food plus the alcohol from the night before had us feeling a bit sluggish. Nevertheless, we started our brewery/drinking tour around 11am where we made our way from brewery to brewery for most of the afternoon.
We landed at Summit City Brewerks for quite some time. Our tour guides had to abandon us there for a bit, but that was fine with us. We were ok with drinking a flight of beer and hanging out on their outdoor patio, eating their unique take on hotdogs and having several pints while throwing darts and playing pool until they were able to return.
After a few drinks and a noticeable sunburn kicking in at The Deck at Don Hall's Gas House, it was time to get back to the dogs for their adventure of the day. We decided there was no better way for them to explore Fort Wayne than to see how momma and papa have been exploring. So, it was back to Sidecar for more patio drinks.
As promised, a bit more on Sidecar. It's actually another establishment that is connected to Parkview Field (there are a bunch!) and is an outdoor tiki bar offering cocktails with a limited menu from the "side" of their more traditional restaurant, Copper Spoon. Dogs at Sidecar are welcome and treated amazingly. We sipped cocktails (the dogs sipped water) until the sun went down. At this point, a nicer dinner was out of the question with the day drinking taking its toll, so this was a seemingly perfect way for all four of us to wrap up this trip.
We did need to eat however, and Bing’s favorite spot was not far away, so once again we grabbed some Checkers (aka Rally’s). I know, I know, this is a travel blog intended to explore local scenery and find unique spots to eat and we ate at Rally’s twice (*eye roll*). Like I said, this is a bit harder than expected and we will get better, so stay tuned!
All in all, it was a really great time. We experienced quite a bit in our short time there, got to check out a ballgame, see some great friends, and drink with the pups.
Pardon our travel Fort Wayne, and thank you for having us! Check out our Instagram for some of the amazing (and not so amazing) photos from the trip and please continue following along!
Spike, Bing, Skeeter and Jameson