About Miss Megan Mann

I'm a college student at Purdue University Calumet (and yes, it is just as good as if I were to attend Purdue Lafayette) studying English Writing. I'm hoping to become an author so that I can continue entertaining people. Here's to hoping we get a laugh out of this!

Laser Focus

The lights are dimmed. The Bond music is playing loudly in the background. You tip-toe as quietly as you can along the walls and peer around corners. The circles on your chest and back glow red and yellow. You hope you see someone before you’re seen. You spot another glowing circle of light and just as you aim you hear the “do-do-do-do-do” of your gun.

“Damn it! I’m coming for you, Ricochet!”

This is what happens when you’re laser tagging. For my last excursion, I grabbed three friends and headed about 50 minutes away to Downers Grove, IL to Laser Quest. For a single game, it’s $8.50 per person for nonmembers, $6.50 for members for 20 minutes of play. I know, right? That is an awesome deal.

Unfortunately for us, we did not call ahead to see what sort of availability they had and run into the problem of having to wait until the very end of the night to play. I highly recommend that you call ahead in order to ensure a lack of waiting. I learned this the hard way. However, it ended up working out great for us, but more on that later.

While you wait, you can play a number of arcade games, air hockey, fooseball or, if you’re feeling adventurous, a concrete version of Twister. Clearly, we chose that last option.

When it is your turn to play, you are allowed to pick your game name (mine being Alaska as a nod to the unbelievable work of John Green) and are given an activator for your gear. This is a good time to do some stretching.

You are then lead into the briefing room to be told the rules, how to use your gear and how to play.

As I said, we ended up getting to play the final game of the night. While this may seem terrible, it was actually totally fun. We ended up being the only four playing! Because we were such a small group, the worker allowed us to choose our music. Our choices were techno, Star Wars or Bond. Without hesitating, we all said, “Bond.”

When the alarm went off, each of us ducked off into separate directions. With there being so few of us in there, it was easy to walk around and not find anyone for a few minutes. By the same token, this made it so much more intense when you did find someone as it was now super competitive. Since we’re all adults here, there was a heavy amount of cursing going on.

The music was one of the best parts, I think. It really did make you feel like you were on a very serious mission and that mission was to annihilate your friends in the safest way possible. The room is lit with black lights, so I suggest that you not wear bright colors or white if you want to be successful. There is also a lot of moving around on the ground, on ramps and on platforms, so comfortable shoes are ideal.

Laser tag is a fun and cheap way to have a good time and basically get a work out in with your friends. While I very sadly came in last place amongst the four of us, I still had a great time and am very seriously excited for the next go around.

That’s right. You heard me, Ricochet. It’s on like Donkey Kong. I’m coming for you!



Dinner, A Movie, One Place, Oh My!

Ah, dinner and a movie. The perfect date night, right? You head to the theater and afterwards, you have a conversation starter. But what if you could skip the driving and parking and lapse between the two when you can just combine them?

That’s what I did when I headed out to Naperville, IL to Hollywood Palms Cinema. Well, it wasn’t exactly a night of romance since I was accompanied by these two…

..but I digress. Feeling the combined desire to both eat and watch a movie, I asked my sister, Kaitlin, and one of my best friends, Val, to join me. Luckily, they had the same feeling and we were good to go.

For a movie theater, tickets are reasonably priced. Movies are $6 before 5:30, $8 otherwise. 3D movies are $11. The best part? If you’re a college student, admission is only $3 with a valid ID on Wednesdays. I know, right? They’re just begging us to come on in.

Anyway, we got our tickets to Hotel Transylvania and made our way through the (oddly) jungle inspired lobby to get in line. If you’re a movie buff like myself, staring at the walls plastered with movie posters from the golden era all the way through today has you mesmerized. It actually helps pass the time while you wait to be let into your theater.

Once your theater is called, the usher will tell you which color theater to walk towards (ours being the Green Theater). Instead of stadium seating like any of us are used to, the theater is full of comfortable chairs and rows of tables. Each table has a menus waiting for you to peruse. The menu is actually one of my favorite parts of the experience. Every single item on the menu is a play on a movie or an actor or actress or director’s name. You almost can’t decide because you like the play on words so much.

As a self-respecting Tolkien fan, it was absolutely impossible for me not to order the Lord of the Onion Rings appetizer when the waitress came around prior to the single preview shown. It did feel pretty awesome to order it, too. We also shared some Oscar Fries (cheese fries) and Moe Sticks (mozzarella sticks). Since I am terrible at making a decision when it comes to names like these, Val and I decided to split the Kevin BLT (you just have to laugh at that) and the Chevy Cheeseburger. Kaitlin simply could not deny herself from eating the Chuck Norris Chicken. Kids these days, I tell you.

Since it was a Sunday, the two of us legal to drink alcohol made the conscious decision not to indulge ourselves, but don’t think that that means the drinks get left out of the name game. Tequila Mockingbird, Dirty Harry Martini and the Carrie Cosmopolitan are just some of your fun options. They also have great deals on drinks during the week.

Luckily for us, the waitress came back around at just the right time to ask us what we wanted for dessert. While I refrained as I was carrying a serious food baby by this time, Kaitlin ordered Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and Val ordered the Rascally Wabbit Carrot Cake just as the movie was hitting its emotional pinnacle. I swear, these animated features may not seem like it, but they can be emotional juggernauts. (Seriously, did anyone see Up?)

If you’re full but still have food left over, it’s the same as any restaurant. You can box it up and head out on your merry way.

It was a really fun experience to be able to sit in the movie theater and be able to enjoy dinner as well. The theater is spacious and you don’t feel like the waitress walking around or the people quietly chatting is bothersome. It isn’t something that I would recommend doing with every single movie that you see, but every once and awhile it’s nice.

The theater also hosts fun special events like advanced screenings or screenings with the actors from the film being shown. For information on those events, the food, the specials, what’s playing, directions and more, visit their website here.

Beer Buddies

It’s time to face facts. Beer is the fuel of college students across America. There’s just no getting around that. This obvious fact is what lead me to round up the troops and make our way to Sawyer, MI to scope out the wonderful microbrewery, Greenbush Brewery.

After roughly an hour of driving along 80-94 East, crossing the border between Indiana and Michigan and some serious rainfall that made us question it being the first day of Fall, we had made it to our destination. Just one turn off the exit and you’ll see BREWERY staring down at you in big block letters inviting you in.

Despite this being on the smaller side, Greenbush has a really nice, down home feeling to it. There are tables for four or there’s a giant communal table right down the middle. We plopped ourselves down at this giant table and took a gander at our choices.

The photo above is my first beer, a nice cream ale called Traktor. To go with my and my friend’s first beers (both very dark), we eyed the snacks and got the blue cheese and bacon dip with kettle chips. Yes, it tasted like heaven and went beautifully with our beer. (Little known fact: cheese actually goes better with beer than it does with wine. Take that!)

After that, I made the decision to taste the Red Bud. I’m not usually one for wheat beers because they tend to make me think I’m drinking bread and leave me with a weird grainy taste in my mouth, but this was absolutely delicious.

By this time, our group was joined by another friend and he ordered the entire section of snacks on the menu. While we didn’t eat the food here this time around and although they have an incredibly small kitchen, the food still smelled delicious. For your viewing pleasure, I will include a shot of the menu.

(I’m coming for you next time, sandwich section. You better watch out as well, pulled pork. You smelled like heaven. That is, if heaven is a place where the fat kids roam and sing about pork.)

Being the responsible driver that I am, I only drank two full beers, but my cohorts had quite a selection between them. The selection included: Closure, Anger, Retribution, Mr.Hyde, Penitence and Micromegas. I wasn’t into most of them, but the Micromegas was absolutely delicious. It had an almost fruity flavor to it. It made me wish I wasn’t driving and could have a full pint (which was only $4!).

It might be small, but Greenbush is definitely on its way to becoming a huge brewery. And I’m not just saying that because two guys I went to high school with work there. It has such a great vibe to it and you can tell that everyone there really enjoys what they’re doing. It’s a great place to sit down with your friends and make both stupid and smart conversation over really delicious beer. The drive is a straight shot and totally worth it. For all the information on the hours, the descriptions of the beers and contact info, visit their website.

Is a week later too soon to go back? No? Okay then. Who wants in next time?

Cows, (Ice) Cream and a Cheese Coma

How many of us have been driving North or South on I-65, seen a sign similar to this one and thought, “I should really stop there sometime”? Well, folks. I took one for the team and I decided I was finally going to do it. I was ready to learn all about dairy, the milking process and stare at some cows.

Okay, fine. I was really just in it for the sampling of all of their cheeses. So what?

I started my dairy adventure at the front desk. By forking over a small adult fee of $12 ($10 for children), I was given an all-inclusive run of the farm. This included the exhibits in the main building, the 3D/4D movie about the milking process, the bus tour that takes you through the entire farm, the birthing barn and the fun activities they have on the rest of the grounds. If you’re short on time, they have a $10 fee that includes the birthing barn and the remainder of the grounds.

Once I paid my way, I took a stroll through the first portion of the exhibit. There they have scale statue cows that have facts written all over them including their weight (1500 pounds), how many stomachs they have (four) and why they wear “earrings” (to be used as identification). After I was done learning all that I could, I moved on to the 3D/4D movie to learn the thrilling process of how milk starts at the cow and ends at the super market (you might want to skip that if you’re not one for water in your face when you least expect it).

Feeling refreshed, I walked through the next exhibit showcasing how the process has developed over the centuries. I also learned how and what the cows are fed and what goes into storing their food. Did you know that they eat up to TWENTY TIMES THEIR WEIGHT in a whole YEAR? It felt like an exhibit at a pricey science museum, but you barely paid anything to learn all of it!

I was so full on learning that I hardly realized I was hungry. That is, until I walked out of the main building outside. I made a quick check to see if the green light was lit at the birthing barn (meaning a calf was at that moment being born), saw that it was red and made my way straight towards the gift shop and café. The second I walked in, I was assaulted with the smell of melting cheese on bread. It was like God smiling down and saying, “Yes, my children. Cheese is one of the best gifts I’ve given to the culinary world. Indulge yourselves.”

Oh, but I did. I mean, look at the choices!

Sweet Swiss, Harvarti Pepper, Mozzarella, Smoked Provolone…I’m getting hungry just typing these delicious cheese selections. Before making a purchase of any of these bad boys, you are welcome to try everything. Then, if you still have room, you can make your way to the other line that is waiting to make your grilled cheese dreams come true. That or you can sample their  “we’re mean and only sell it at the farm” ice cream. I guess what I’m saying is that you have a fat kid’s dream at your disposal.

With my bag heavy and full of four of Fair Oaks Farms finest, I saw that the light had turned from yellow to green and a calf was on its way. I made my way over there and quickly realized what a poor choice it was. The last time my sister and I had visited, we watched one of the most excruciating births the farm had seen. (Un)Luckily for the heifer this time, we had shown our faces once again and she was in for one rough birth. Sensing that it was our fault, we hightailed it out of there and realized it was time to go home.

We didn’t think we could handle all the sights and sounds of the bus tour this time around, but if you are interested in spending a fun afternoon learning something new and tasting some good eats, you can find the hours, prices and everything else that Fair Oaks has to offer here.

If you’ll excuse me, that Harvarti Onion and pita crackers won’t eat themselves.