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Ah, the Memorial Day weekend trip recap you’ve been waiting for.

I don’t know why I’ve struggled so much with writing this. I suppose part of it is because it’s going to be the first time where I’m not completely satisfied and happy — a side I haven’t showed you yet. But this is my blog and you need my true feelings. You deserve them. Please don’t think the the trip was bad, because it wasn’t. It’s just… well, keep reading these trip recap posts and I’ll try to figure out a way to explain it to you.

I know in my last post I had said I wasn’t going to write a play-by-play for you. But… Indianapolis ended up being a destination all its own. So here’s Indianapolis as one big category.

Indianapolis (Or as the locals say: “Indy”)

David and I left early Friday morning around 6 a.m. and drove 7 hours to Indianapolis. We wanted to create a break in the 14-hour trip to Sandusky, Mich. Neither of us had been to Indy before and by taking this route, we got to avoid Chicago. I love Chicago, but the last time we drove near the big city (again to go to Michigan last summer), we hit major stop-and-go traffic. Not good for my motion sickness.

After checking into our hotel (we did Priceline again!), we headed toward downtown Indy. Before we even made it downtown, we had both commented on how neat the city was — mainly because it was more historic than Kansas City. It had a lot of character. Once we rolled into downtown, we immediately saw this huge structure.

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This is the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in Monument Circle, which really is huge traffic circle. After going to a couple of parking garages, we finally found a place to park. Turns out a handful of the parking garages there close down at 8 p.m., which I think is silly. It was a Friday night, people! Luckily, we found one that closed at midnight.

We walked all sorts of places. We first wandered down to the state capitol building.

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Indianapolis was not Indiana’s original capitol — it was Corydon. It took them 10 years to build this building, completing it in 1888. I find that incredible. I’m so used to how quickly buildings go up now that it’s hard to fathom all the effort it took to build them back then. And to think they were building the Soliders’ and Sailors’ Monument at the same time! Construction for the monument began in 1887 and was completed in 1902.

We then ventured down to the White River State Park area.

A pretty fountain we saw on the way to the park.

A pretty fountain we saw on the way to the park.

We passed by the NCAA museum on the way there. The park area had all sorts of fun art pieces. The art wasn’t too crazy or out there — it was art I could appreciate.

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Travelogue by Eric Nordgluen

Travelogue by Eric Nordgluen

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We also found these little canals. I think you can get even get gondola rides.

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After looking around for a bit, we headed back toward downtown — to see what else the city had to offer, including dinner.

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Interesting statue, huh?

David and I headed to Ram, Restaurant and Brewery for dinner.

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David’s been into trying out breweries lately, plus I scoped out the menu on my phone minutes before we arrived there and was sold on a particular menu item that is hard to find in Kansas.

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I got a dragonberry limeade. It was tart and strong. Not sure I would get it again. David got Big Red Ale for his first round and Maibock for his second round of beer.

David got the pork tenderloin sandwich for dinner, while I chose something from the favorites section of the menu: the Ramborghini Chicken Pasta with Cajun seasoned chicken. I have not been able to find decent blackened/Cajun chicken in Kansas City. Old Chicago used to have a blackened chicken sandwich I adored, but they no longer offer it. Johnny’s Tavern used to have a Cajun chicken wrap. It was so good, I would actually get cravings for it. But no, they no longer have it on their menu. I even tried asking them if they could make it anyways. No can do, apparently.

Although Ram’s Cajun chicken wasn’t spectacular (I would have liked for it to be a little spicier), I enjoyed the dish and it hit the spot.

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Now, to make your mouth water. The Cajun chicken was on a bed of penne tossed with pepperoni, red onion, bell pepper, artichoke, spinach with tarragon, and sun-dried tomato pesto. Yum. Best meal of the trip I’d have to say.

After dinner we headed back to Monument Circle.

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Earlier I had spotted the Chocolate Cafe, a store devoted entirely to chocolate right across the street from the monument. I had high hopes for this cafe because I have been to a place in Houston called the Chocolate Bar, where you can get all sorts of chocolate desserts: ice cream, chocolates shaped like anything you can imagine (tools, bride and groom, etc.), cheesecake, and a variety of chocolate-dipped stuff (even cereal if I remember correctly). (Side note: Lauren, we must go back when David and I come visit again!) But the Chocolate Cafe… it was a bit of a let down. It was more like a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory without the candied-up apples — they even had a huge stuffed bear there! They had the usual dipped nuts and cookies, ice cream, and even coffee. And the atmosphere wasn’t what we had expected. It just didn’t reach our expectations. That did not stop us from picking up some goodies, though. I got 2 dark chocolate-dipped oreos and David opted to have a Mexican hot chocolate.

Indy14My favorite part about Indy was that the monument was a hangout spot.

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It would have been nice to have a place like this in Kansas City when we were growing up and not yet old enough to go to the bars — so we would have someplace to chat and hang out after places closed at 9 p.m.

I don’t plan on the next post being a play-by-play. Speaking of the next post, I’m going to try and post the rest of the recap this week, but I have to get my house all prepared for Saturday. I have 14 or so ladies staying the night after a bachelorette party and the house needs to be cleaned really badly. So, bear with me. :)

Until next time, have a great week!

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