Bloomington, Indiana is a sleepy little college town, set quiet in the months of summer break. This sultry afternoon I drove from Indianapolis airport through the lazy rolling hills and farmland bound for yet another hotel in the heartland. It’s peaceful. Relaxing even. It’s a rather safe bet that nobody is in much of a hurry out here.

And all of a sudden, neither am I.

My work travels have taken me through bustling city centers and across sparsely populated prairies. What I find most heartening is the rejuvenation of the town square in most every place I visit. Mom & Pop appear to be in full fashion and America is hungry for the boutique as well as the kitsch.

Today I’m surrounded by vast, young cornfields, just shy of being harvest ready. Along the route were proud adverts of local farm-to-market eateries and surprising varieties of international fare. How can I turn down the option of (hopefully) authentic Shepherd’s Pie in a rustic 1860’s tin-ceiling pub?

Irish Lion - Shepherd's Pie
The Shepherd’s Pie at Irish Lion, Bloomington, IN

Oh yes, it WAS delicious. And before I go on some form of a calorie reduced diet, I opted for the popular Irish Apple Walnut Cake — a la mode of course. Because, well, you only live once. And heck, the company is paying the tab anyway.

The evening draws on and the clouds are bursting outside. I’m more than wanting to stay a little while longer in this little slice of midwestern history. So, here i sit, blogging to the subtle sounds of Celtic jigs.