This post covers a few days during our time in Indianapolis. This was the 5th time we'd been to Indianapolis, and we pretty much have must-sees that fill most of our days. The Children's Museum takes 2 full days, and Conner Prairie, a living history museum, gets a full day. (I've devoted separate posts to those.) When were weren't at those two places, here are the other things we did while staying the week with "Grammy Marie."
Ice cream seems to be a main theme of our trips to the midwest. On this trip we ate 7 different brands of ice cream, but Handel's in Carmel, Indiana is our favorite. They have about 50 different flavors to choose from.
The girls are still young at heart and eager to stop at any large playground or park we pass. I love visiting parks when we travel because we get to meet and mingle with the locals, and I imagine what my life would be like if I lived in that place. What kind of house would I live in, who would my neighbors be, would this be a good route for the daily evening walk...?
While the girls played on a playground nearby, I visited a beautiful garden on church land that had been set up for Burmese immigrants to raise crops to feed their families and sell at local farmer's markets.
The young man pictured here was eager to talk to me, in very broken English, about how much he loved the garden, what was growing, and how the produce was used. I took a few photos of people in the distance, and with backs turned toward me, to maintain their privacy, then he jumped in front of my camera and posed like this, insisting I photograph him. I just love interactions like this.
These photos were taken by Little K from the back seat as I was driving on a major 4 lane thoroughfare. I would have loved to get out and walk through these neighborhoods, but we always seemed to be rushing somewhere when passing through this area. It was also in the 90's, humid, and there was no on-street parking. When people who lived in this neighborhood had visitors, their guests would just fill their long, wide driveways with cars I suppose.
Although Little K didn't photograph them, we also drove through impoverished areas with boarded up homes and bleak apartment blocks that looked like they should be condemned. We saw young men standing on street corners smoking, and a pack of INS officers rounding up some people and putting them in police vans.
The photo above is taken from our car as well. I got a kick out of the insanely baggy jeans this guy was wearing. I've always joked that men's shorts are not shorts these days, but more of a feminine pants-skirt called culottes, and this proves it!
We happened by a brand-new gourmet grocery store celebrating a grand opening, so of course we had to stop and investigate. A got lost in the beauty products department while Little K and I roamed the store and binged on samples that were being handed out.
We've always enjoyed Paradise Cafe on our visits, but this time we found it to have the exact same menu as Panera. The only difference I could find, other than the decor, was that here you got a cookie with your meal, whereas at Panera you had a choice between bread, chips, or an apple. The food was good, but also very expensive.
Even when it was just the four of us, it was a lovely wrap up to our day. We shared our adventures with Grammy Marie, and she shared hers with us. At nearly 80 years old she is still very active, visiting hospice patients (she's a nurse), attending Catholic mass almost daily, and doing a lot of volunteer work.
One evening when we returned home there was a fledgling dove stuck in the garage. I managed to catch it, and I let the girls hold it briefly before we set it on a tree near where its parents were waiting.
K & A with a few of Grammy Marie's grandchildren. My camera's light meter did not like the bright neon yellow "Spongebob" t-shirt the grandson was wearing, and overcorrected to make everyone look green. Had I noticed this at the time I would have reshot with a fill in flash.
Another one of our dinners found us at a Japanese Sushi restaurant. It felt a little strange eating fish so far from the ocean, but it's all flown in frozen anyway, even in Seattle. The girls loved being able to order bento boxes with a little bit of this, and a little bit of that.
After the sushi dinner we ended up in a neighborhood bakery... for dogs. That's right, everything sold in this shop was for dogs. Two employees were at a large table rolling out dough and using cookie cutters to prepare dog biscuits for baking. This reminded me so much of Seattle, where there are more dogs then human children. Of course my cousin and her daughter had to buy a sackload of goodies for their 4 weiner dogs.
This pretty much sums up our visit to Indianapolis. Tomorrow we return to Kokomo for the weekend, before heading to Chicago for a few days.