Daily Archives: August 18, 2013

stop one: indianapolis

Last Sunday we packed up the car and the girls and headed east and then north for a family vacation. Our first stop was Indianapolis. Despite being the only four people on the streets not wearing Colts gear, we had a great time. The weather was gorgeous, and we headed out of our hotel and walked down to the river and canals, along the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Our hotel provided bikes free of charge, and I think that would be the way to go to see the entire eight mile stretch, but since the little one isn’t a very proficient cyclist yet, we stuck to our feet.

When we left that morning we had an open agenda, and no reservations for that night. We’d been going back and forth between staying somewhere inexpensive on the outskirts of town, or staying right in the middle of it all, ditching the car, and really enjoying the city and the hotel for the short time we were there. Every online review pointed us to the Conrad Hotel downtown, and we decided to go for it. It was the right decision.

The hotel was gorgeous, the service was impeccable (and incredibly friendly, not stuffy) and it features a gallery of modern artwork as well as pieces throughout the hotel, including a suite with works by Picasso and Warhol (we did not stay in that suite). Some of our favorites were hanging near the elevators – painted bodies with moving faces that intrigued / freaked out F every time we passed by.

Right before we left I emailed a friend in Dallas with family ties back to Indy and asked her for a dinner restaurant. She sent me two words back: Bazbeaux Pizza on Mass. Ave – Indy’s Art District with local restaurants and shops and galleries. It was very good – although we’ve become quite spoiled in our own city with a plethora of outstanding pizza joints. Still, we are all in agreement around here -there is always room for more pizza.

The girls’ pizza had an adequate amount of cheese on it.

One of the other nice parts about having a nice hotel was the really nice hotel swimming pool. If you know me or have traveled with me, you probably know that I don’t do hotel swimming pools. They are usually cold, and the room smells strongly of chlorine and the walls and the windows are covered in condensation, and everything just feels damp and dreary. These are the pools of the hotels we stay in when visiting far away family – the kind of interstate-side hotels that are perfectly suited for sleeping, but aren’t exactly destinations in their own right. And when we do stay in some downtown hotel with slightly nicer facilities, we’re usually out and about – sightseeing rather than hanging out inside the hotel. But we really wanted the girls to get some nighttime and early morning swimming because it was vacation – and hotel pools are just so much fun when you’re a kid.

This one has spoiled me completely. It’s amazing what the correct mechanical systems can do for an indoor pool space – no chemical smell, no dripping condensation from the ceiling. Just the night lights of the city above us, or the early morning sun and sky the next day. Even I went swimming – a true travel miracle. The girls loved it – there were lounge chairs with cushions and robes, rolled up towels with granny smith apples on top. They both ate their weight in apples before and after swims.

And Monday morning E woke up as a ten year old and kicked the morning off with a pre-breakfast swim and some synchronized swimming video making before we headed off to the next part of our adventure.