Chairman Bao is a Shih Tzu. We travel a lot. I drive. He watches. We've logged at least 10,000 miles and he's never once said, Sweetheart, don't you think you should stop and ask someone?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

This is where we didn’t have lunch.
Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s the old Studebaker mansion, a Romanesque home from the Gilded Age, now completely restored with antiques and period furnishings. In its day, it was the grandest home in all of Indiana. The restaurant is called Tippecanoe Place. They serve lunch during the week, and brunch on Sunday, but (just my luck) it was Saturday.
South Bend is lovely. Large, attractive houses set well back on tended lawns, big shade trees, wide roads, not much traffic. What a relief after the snarling streets of Boston and Cleveland! We ended up having lunch at a place called Buffalo Wild Wings. Chicken wings, obviously. But you get to choose from 16 different sauces, everything from ordinary, sweet BBQ sauce to what they call Blazin’ (keep away from eyes, pets and children)
Bao had a Wild Child meal (boneless chicken without any sauce) I had two glasses of merlot and a good time was had by all. If there’s one thing I love, it’s a good barbecue sauce. In fact, I ended up buying a bottle of the Mango Habanero (feel the burn, savor the sweet) to take home. It’ll be just as good on ribs as it was on chicken.
They’re really relaxed about dogs, here in South Bend.
Actually, they’re relaxed about everything.
It’s quite amazing, but when you cross the border between Ohio and Indiana, everything seems to somehow change. The roads are wider, and smoother. The grass is greener. The drivers are more courteous.
People always talk about the difference between big cities and small towns, but in the United States, the differences seem to be regional. Boston and Chicago are both big cities, but Boston is mean and unforgiving, whereas Chicago is expansive and welcoming. (As for small towns, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a nastier place than Stamford, Connecticut) Generally speaking, I’ve found that people in the Midwest are frank, and open, and generous, people in the Southwest smile a lot and people in the Northeast don’t. And the further east you go, the less they like dogs. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the weather.
By the time we finished lunch, it was mid afternoon. Bao curled up and went to sleep. I lay by the pool, reading. It’s a good life.


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