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Barricaded in Indiana during hte blizzard 2015A few times now I have mentioned our Valentine’s Day was a one-of-a-kind experience but it was until now I have gotten around to retelling the story of how we were barricaded on Valentine’s Day by the police.  Read the entire story on the link.

So you might be asking what happened in Indiana that could have led to barricades on Valentine’s Day.  No there were not a bunch of angry spouses going on a rampage due to bad gifts.  Rather, Mother Nature was angry and showing her strength on this particular day.  One should never underestimate Mother Nature!  So we left on a cloudy/sunny mixture weather day with no signs of blizzard conditions that were out of the ordinary this time of year in Indiana.  Remember we have been living down south for a few years now so we aren’t used to the normal signs that maybe others saw, but by the sights of the busy roadways we were not the only ones.  There was a bit of mention that roads could have a few visibility issues in the afternoon but no mention of blizzard conditions by any of the weather forecasters in the area.  So we ventured out on a 45 minute drive for a little shopping.  Then this happened:

Indiana Blizzard 2015

We drove out of the city with clear roads and partially sunny skies to snow drifts causing zero visibility on the roads. Yes, zero! There were times we had to creep along the roadway hoping we were staying on the road and no one was too close to us. We had a semi-truck pass us and then about 5 minutes or less later the drifts slowed down so we came along this accident. Note: you can only see a few of the cars that were actually in front of us.

If you are unfamiliar with Indiana, there is a major toll road called 80/90 which travels through a few states.  It is the fastest method of transportation besides an airplane from Michigan and Indiana to Chicago, Illinois.  So as you can expect it is a very busy roadway.  We actually chose this route because it is normally plowed the best so the roads are not as icy as others in the area.  Unfortunately farmers have been removing the trees along this road for years causing wind gusts to blow at dangerous knots towards unknowing cars on the roads.  It is the open fields that causes this type of wind-blowing snow across the fields onto the roads creating zero visibility.

Hence, we were driving at a normal snail pace and letting others around us go at dangerous speeds.  Note:  It is safest to never stop on a zero visibility roadway but turn your hazard lights on and snail pace along.  This way when someone comes up behind your vehicle, they can see you and not ram into you.  Unfortunately, some of the others drivers are not aware of this method and/or try to drive to fast and cause an accident when the winds kick up again.  These trucks in the photo above actually were going a bit too fast but did not cause the accident.  They slid off the road to safe people’s lives instead of hitting cars on the road.  We sat for 3 hours at this road accident waiting for emergency vehicles to get to the accident since they could not see either.  Dangerous for everyone!

Mucho Mas in La Porte, IN vegan restaurant

So we finally got out of the traffic accident area and instead of being allowed to turn around on the toll road to go home the 10 minutes, we had to travel another 20 miles out of our way. Police officers would not allow anyone to turn around on the highway in “official turn around locations”. So finally we got to another road accident and we directed after 2 hours to a city called La Porte, Indiana where we found this amazing Vegan Restaurant.

There was a lot of tension in our car during the entire trip because of the weather conditions.  Plus driving past a bunch of cars off the road did not help the situation at all.  When we got to the first exit in La Porte, Indiana we got on our favorite vegan restaurant search engine, Happy Cow.  Amazingly enough, we had stopped in a city that had a vegan option!  Remember this is the middle of no where in Indiana (farm country).  The restaurant is called Mucho Mas and is owned by someone that is vegan!  We got to talk to the owner and he was thrilled to see there were more vegans coming in even though he said there were a good amount that come in when driving past from Chicago.  It was a true blessing to find this restaurant since we were starving.

Mucho Mas Vegan Restaurant Indiana

We were thankful the restaurant was open and was a fun, quirky type of establishment that made us feel like we were in California again. That is unless you looked outside to the blizzard.  There is a bit of seating inside or you can take out food.

Mucho Mas Vegan Restaurant Indiana

There is parking in the front of the building on the city streets. When you walk into the restaurant you walk all the way to the back and you can see the entire menu chalked on the wall. Note: Everything can be made vegan! They even serve tofu, vegan soyrizo and vegan Daiya cheese!  There are other options for non-vegan, so it has a bit for everyone.

Mucho Mas Vegan Mexican restaurant IN

Just a few of the seating and the front of the building.

Mucho Mas Wet Burrito

This is the vegan wet burrito with added (at extra cost) vegan daiya cheese. It has a side of chips for free. This is a gigantic burrito! It had a ton of fresh ingredients and tofu inside. The tofu is marinated in some sort of liquid but for us it was a bit off tasting so I would not actually recommend the tofu. You can get black beans though which are tasty and full of protein.  The salsa is fresh and amazing!

Mucho Mas Wet Burrito Indiana Vegan

Another view of the wet burrito. Yes it fills the entire plate! We ate this in about two servings.

Mucho Mas Vegan BBQ Burrito Indiana

This is the other item we ordered which was made vegan. This is the BBQ burrito. I’m not sure where the idea of the BBQ sauce came from but Genki Husband fell for it. He loves his BBQ sauce. This was again very large and could easily serve two people or one really hungry person. It comes with a side of chips. Genki Husband loved this but I found the BBQ sauce to be sweet – but then again I’m not a fan of BBQ sauce so it’s probably just me.  This comes with Vegan Daiya Cheese at no cost.

BBQ burrito from Mucho Mas indiana vegan

Yep, it’s another view up close. I would highly recommend this to a BBQ lover and also anyone else with black beans instead of tofu. I think it’s the tofu that really did not mesh well with the BBQ sauce.  Unfortunately I forgot this in the hotel room and never got to really enjoy the entire meal. 😦

Finally we were finished eating and we went back out of the road because the weather seemed to be slowing down in the city.  By the time we drove the 6 miles out of the city limits to highway 20, we were stuck again with another accident at an intersection to our way home.  It was here we sat for another 2 hours to learn the police had installed a State of Emergency and had blocked all roads.  Never had I seen police cars barricade roads so people could not drive on them.  It was surreal.  So we had driven 6 miles to sit for 2 hours to be redirected back the 6 miles to fight for a hotel room.  All rooms were completely packed.  We had booked a room with Holiday Inn through Hotels.com and when we arrived we were told the website had been doing that the entire day and they were booked – there was no room for us.  We had paid and received our confirmation email of the website taking our money.  Thankfully as we were trying to figure out what we were going to do since the roads were barricaded and the hotels were booked, a customer called and cancelled.  The hotel staff member gave us the room.  She was surprised because it was their honeymoon special room complete with a spa inside the room.  It was such a nice surprise after a long day.  Unfortunately our furry babies were stuck at home alone with no one to take them outside to use the bathroom.  Since we just moved we don’t know anyone in the area.  They turned out to be okay but we were nervous the entire time.

The next morning we got up really early to try to see if the barricades were removed and thankfully they were and most people were sleeping in after the terrifying night.  We found out hundreds of people were not allowed to leave the city and had slept in their cars in negative degrees and/or slept in the high school that was opened up for this emergency.  We are just so thankful we got a room and that we were safe to make it home alive.  Not everyone made it home alive and we are praying in thanksgiving we made it, but we pray for those that did not.

Mucho Mas vegan restaurant in La porte, indiana

We loved this restaurant so much the first time we went back again a few weeks later when there was not a blizzard.

Mucho Mas La porte indiana vegan fresh burrito

This is what I ordered the second time around – the Fresh Burrito and it was totally fresh! Other local Mexican places can’t even compete with this place. This was a basic tofu burrito (still did not like the flavor of the tofu- it tastes spoiled), fresh guac and pico de gallo. Oh this was so delicious! I picked out the tofu and loved it! Mmm

Mucho Mas Vegan Taco Salad Indiana

Genki Husband chose this Vegan Taco Salad which I believe has vegan soyrizo made on site! This was super delicious and I will probably order this again, minus the deep fried shell (which I just do not like for health reasons). This is for a giant appetite, not a dieter… So good! I’m dreaming of this salad now…

So this was our Valentine’s Day experience that we now call our “Gilligan’s Island 2-Hour tour”.  We will always remember this day and also that we are thankful we are together and made it home that terrifying weekend in one piece.  There is only One that could have made us safe that day and we are praying in thanksgiving to Him.