Travelogue – Indy Edition – Part 2

First cat out of the bag this morning, my son tries to tell me that i woke him up four times before midnight by snoring. Interesting, since he fell asleep before nine, and i didn’t finish my book and turn out the light til one a.m.  First rule of lying, son… Know the facts first.

Anyway, breakfast this morning was at Lincoln Square Pancake House.  Banana bread french toast, toasted pecans, caramel sauce drizzled over the top. Breakfast decadence! But it was so rich and sweet, i only finished half of the three slices. My son had crepes with fresh berries, and we both had sides of breakfast meats. Waddling out of the restaurant with our boxed up leftovers, we started discussing diet plans for the coming month.

Next stop was the Indiana War Memorial Museum. I confess that i find most war museums to be rather dry and boring, like a middle school history textbook. This one, tho, kept my son and i both fully engaged for far longer than we expected. For my son, the draw was that they tried to show all the wars from many perspectives, and there were exhibits of foreign military, in addition to our own. For me, what kept my attention was the extensive collection of female military presence. Uniforms, medals, gear, and stories of women all the way back to the very first enlisted women in the state.  The icing on the cake was the building itself – Granite and marble, with an awe-inspiring top floor, roofed in stained glass, that is a shrine to all fallen soldiers everywhere. To my uniformed brothers and sisters, past and present: This place does us proud.

We left there and headed to White River State Park to walk off some food. It was even warmer today than yesterday, so the park was full of people walking, jogging, riding bikes… After a while, we found a bench, and my son took a bash at finishing his breakfast. He came pretty darned close. Then he jumps up and says that we’ve eaten too much. We should do some push-ups. WTH? I’m sure, to onlookers, we looked like a short story prompt… A park bench with the visible remains of crepes and gooey banana bread, mom and son on the walk in front of it grunting and belching as they pay penance. Mind you, i was only able to do half of my usual before my body made it known that it was not going to take any more exercise until it had digested. I had the belly of a plastic Buddha. We sat for a bit before continuing our stroll in the beautiful weather.

Next stop was Fountain Square. Reminded me a bit of a smaller Little Five Points (Atlanta.) Lots of vintage shops, comic book shops, a hall for swing dancing, some nice cafes. The highlight for me, unsurprisingly, was The Mass Ave Knit Shop. When i say that i have never been in a yarn shop as full and wonderous, i am not exaggerating. I promise you, if i lived here, i’d be at every event they had (And they have more than any place i’ve ever been!) This place was a hooker’s paradise, even if it was geared more towards knitters. I’ve never seen such selection of beautiful yarns, and the prices were reasonable. Of course, i got my trip trinket there (Two skeins of orgasmic alpaca), which prompted my son to remark that Stuart would approve of my choice. I was so relieved. I mean, it would have made me feel terrible if the bison felt slighted.

We were both feeling a bit overfed and sluggish, so we went back downtown to tackle the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. 330 steps to the top (Not including the marble steps outside.)  I made it all the way up with only a few 10 second breaks when i got to the hellishly hot top third. We considered taking the elevator back to the bottom, but i was proud of myself and on a roll, so we took the stairs down as well. By the time we were back on the street, my legs were made of jello and i was shaking like a drunk at a Baptist revival. Walking the six blocks to where we parked, i faked my best stride.

When i got into my car, i was praying i had enough strength in my leg to clutch.

By now it is late afternoon, so you know what that means… More food!

Since this was our last night here, we decided we had to get that signature Indiana dish, Hoosier Tenderloin. We had asked no less than half the locals we have met over the weekend who had the best, and by their advice, ended up at The Aristocrat. My slab of chicken-fried pork was literally bigger than the plate. Yes, literally. It was hanging off all edges. Melt-in-your-mouth, breaded and deep-fried, salty, oinking goodness. I managed a little more than half before hitting the wall and giving up. My son ate all of his crab cake burger (He is committed to having one in every city we visit) and a quarter of my Hoosier before giving in himself. It was an excellent meal with top-notch service. I recommend the place highly if you are ever in Indianapolis… But i do suggest you wear elastic waist pants.

A quick stop at a market for fruit and drinks for the road before heading back to the motel. If i were to take a selfie right now, i’ve a feeling it would look like one of those cartoon roasted pigs… pink and chubby with an apple under its snout. Stick a fork in me, i’m done. I’ve already informed my son that we’re both doing only grains and veggies for the next few weeks. Well, once we get home, that is. We’ve still one last meal before we head out of town….

*****

And this is what we learned today:

  1. In Chattanooga, we have inexpensive bike rental kiosks around the city to encourage people to go green. Here in Indy, they have similar kiosks for bikes, but also have a kiosk system for electric Smartcar rentals all over the city. How cool is that?!
  2. Hoosiers drive like Massholes. Oh, wait… I learned that yesterday.
  3.  A well-rounded museum can bring people together. Walking around the War museum, in addition to the expected Eurobrand of Americans, i saw people of various heritages. And they weren’t just walking thru. People were talking to each other, discussing things,  really learning and sharing. I watched with true happiness as an Indian (Burmese, maybe?) woman stood next to me at the case display of the first female Marine from Indiana and told her daughter why women like that were so strong and brave and important. I watched 5 young Chinese men smiling with obvious pride in front of an exhibit listing the Chinese contributions to the Allied Force in WWII. And i stood with my son in front of the Desert Storm exhibits and told him a little bit of my time there. I think the creators of the museum would be pleased.
  4. 330 steps up and down a hot spire is too much for my sorry arse.
  5. With each trip, i become more and more convinced that these are the right kinds of gifts for my weedlings. We get to share experience, laugh, chill, and really get to know each other better. As the day draws near when they will all be on their own, i am so glad that we’ll all have these memories to remind us of their weedling-hood.
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