Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Day Away

With spring break over and the end of the school year still a few weeks away, taking a weekend trip out of town is a great way to get outside and enjoy the spring weather. There are many options around Bloomington; the only real challenge is deciding which direction you want to travel.

One option is to travel south on State Road 37 until you reach West Baden Springs, Indiana. Here you will find the historic West Baden Springs Resort. Just under two hours south of Bloomington, West Baden is an easy one day trip that won’t drain your gas tank or your wallet.

Access to the resort property is open to anyone, so no special permissions are necessary. And for those who prefer to be guided through unfamiliar places, daily tours are given by National Historic Landmark tour guides. These two-hour tours are a great way to see the property, inside and out, while learning about the rich history of the resort.

So if you and your friends are heading south for a weekend, stay on 37 and go to West Baden Springs for a walk through history. And don’t forget to grab a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants before you head back to campus.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Automotive Maintenance on Campus

Having a car on campus is one of life's necessities for many students, even with gas prices on the rise again, but this luxury still involves a little upkeep every once in a while. And as many college students with cars will attest, spending money on repairs or maintenance isn't usually a high priority so long as the engine starts and the wheels spin. But for those moments of ambitious automotive care, there are many resources around Bloomington to lessen the blow of keeping your car running smoothly.

With warm weather once again becoming commonplace in the weekly forecast, giving your car a fresh wash is never difficult to complete with four self-serve and five automatic car washes in the Bloomington area.

For those who like to keep their tires at the right pressure to maximize fuel economy and tread life, almost all Circle K gas stations around town offer free access to air hoses. Considering that other stations often charge $.25-$.75 for a measly minute or two of air, this seemingly insignificant resource is quite helpful and can save you a few dollars over the course of the year.

Leaving a car out in the cold weather is never easy on batteries and other electronic components that vehicles rely on to run properly. And with check-engine lights being triggered by anything from a loose gas cap to a dying transmission, it's difficult to know what you need to fix when these warnings illuminate your instrument panel. Luckily, most of the auto parts stores around Bloomington offer free check engine-light readings without any appointment or advanced notice. If you're lucky, the sensor can be simply reset or, if a part is needed, it can be purchased and installed on the spot.

And when things go beyond jumping a battery or changing out a flat tire, Bloomington has an abundance of trustworthy, competitively priced automotive repair shops to choose from. Everything from domestics to imports and tires to engines is available. So don't skimp too much on basic care for your car while at IU, there are plenty of ways to keep the costs low while still ensuring that your car is properly cared for.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hidden Treats

With warm spring weather starting to make its way into the forecast most weeks, the idea of going out for ice cream is slowly but surely making a comeback. If the name “Crimson Creamery” doesn’t ring a bell when it comes to the numerous on-campus dining locations, it should, and here's why:

Formerly known as “The Underground,” the Crimson Creamery is nestled underneath the Foster Gresham dining hall in the Northwest residential neighborhood. For those students that don’t frequent the north end of campus, trying to find your way around can sometimes be a daunting task. Luckily, if you're anywhere near Foster Gresham food court, signs will direct you to the seemingly inconspicuous entrance on the left side of the building. And regardless of the adventures that precede your arrival, the risk of being lost for a few moments is nothing compared to the reward of finding the Creamery for the first time. 

Inside, the Crimson Creamery has a warm and cozy atmosphere with its wood plank walls and seating. And with an incredible assortment of flavors, toppings and sizes to suite even the pickiest of eaters, you won’t regret passing up the other more expensive alternatives around town. Best of all, since the Crimson Creamery is an official RPS dining facility, student meal points (I-Bucks) can be used to purchase all of your tasty creations. 

So instead of fighting long lines at other ice cream shops around town, check out the Crimson Creamery the next time you’re looking for a great place to hang out with friends and enjoy a delicious ice cream creation.