Sunday, November 10, 2013

Road Trip to Indy

This week’s highlight was a family trip down to Indianapolis while Mike presented at a conference. Hallie and the kids had their own fun while Mike worked, but he joined in when he could. We had been to suburban Indianapolis a few years ago (August 2008. Yikes! That long ago?) for a regional Families Supporting Adoption conference and again as the first stop on our December 2010 Route 66 trip. This was the first time we actually spent some time exploring the sights in the city itself, and we really enjoyed what Indy has to offer.

Monday, November 4 – We took the two sets of elders to the Henry Ford Museum. Mike had to accompany them, but he ended up spending his time working at the Weinermobile Café (thanks to free wifi!). We all did get a chance to see the AVATAR exhibit (they seem to place a lot of emphasis on spelling the word in all caps. Not sure why) currently showing there. In conjunction with Oakwood Hospital the Henry Ford and Greenfield Village promotes good health. In the museum they have mapped out a route to walk for exercise. This time Hallie and Eliza took advantage of the small crowds and walked a mile in the museum before taking in some exhibits. There is always something fun to do at the museum. Today the girls tried eating at Lamy’s Diner, which Hallie overheard someone saying originally came from Mississippi.

Birthday gifts from the Doreys. Thanks! 

Tuesday, November 5 – We had municipal elections with all candidates running unopposed, which meant voting wasn’t much more than exercising our franchise. Still, Mike voted at lunch before finishing his work day up on campus. He was voter 22 in his precinct. Fewer than 1000 total people in our town of 11,000 even voted. Still, as the schools serve as some of our precincts’ polling places, Election Day also meant both kids had the day off school. Hallie also had Nadia and her older sister Sophia, so she took all four kids to Detroit Kid City. They seemed to get a real kick out of working as postal employees this time, hoarding and delivering the mail. They all got a bite to eat, and having a nine year sure helped Hallie corral a 6 and two two-year olds. By the time they got home, only a half an hour remained before their dad picked them up.

Wednesday, November 6 – The kids had therapy at Kaufman, then Landon went to the second half of his school day. Mike picked up Nadia and Hallie met up with them soon after. The three girls ran errands. Of course, you figure Hallie would think carefully before going into Walmart with two two-year olds, but she did it again and survived. Barely. The sister missionaries came over that evening and helped do some service at our house, and we had to pizza to top off the evening. Boy, are we grateful for them and good pizza!

Thursday, November 7 – We hit the road later than we wanted to, but we made good time into Indianapolis and our hotel, which was about 12 miles and 25 minutes from the conference venues downtown. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices to economize. We didn’t stay on the cheap (Embassy Suites), but our suite (a big plus when trying to sleep with our kids) cost far less where we were at than a single room with two queen beds at the conference venue (Hyatt Regency Downtown). Plus there’s the added cost of parking. Better to drive to and from the conference. On our drive to Indiana, Hallie’s temporary crown fell out and Landon was behaving quite strangely. Once we arrived, he said he was not feeling well. Sure enough, he had a fever. Hallie headed out to see what she could find, which brings us to the first point we liked about Indianapolis: Not far from the hotel, she found some stores that had just what they both needed.
Friday, November 8 – Mike’s first session started at 7:00, so he was up early enough to have to scrape the frosted windows of the car but also early enough to find a metered spot on the street before the taxis took over. While Mike was at his first session the kids and Hallie played in the chilly indoor pool and hot tub. They had a blast being the only ones in the pool. Later on, he returned to our hotel to pick up the rest of the fam and then return together to the conference. While he sat in sessions, Hallie took the kids to the Circle Centre Mall and discovered relatively cheaper parking. The three spent their time seeing the movie Free Bird and were the only ones in the theatre.

After they all got back together, they had a meal at Paradise Bakery and Café, a favorite from our Utah days that we discovered had locations in Indiana. This brings us to another point we really liked about Indianapolis: Many favorite restaurants we love from out west can be found here but not in Michigan.
The Xavier University soccer players stayed at our hotel. 

Saturday, November 9 – Mike had to be downtown on Saturday morning, something Hallie had known for a while. It also happened to be the second Saturday of the month, which means Lowe’s Build and Grow. Before we left, Hallie had signed the kids up to do their monthly project at a Lowe’s not far from the city center. They got there and did the project, a fun pull back car. Eliza loved hammering. Hallie doesn’t usually go to these things and figured out at the very end why you need to read the directions VERY closely. There were parts to spare and so the kids’ cars turned out wonderful in the end.

As the three were walking through the store playing with their cars, an employee stopped and talked to them. Hallie mentioned how it was so cool that they were building a race car in the racing capitol, and the employee mentioned that the Motor Speedway was not far away, two minutes or so. Well you can’t come all the way to Indianapolis and be two minutes away without driving by. So they did. It was very big! There is a museum and that will definitely have to be a next time.

Mike called to be picked up shortly afterward, and off we went to pick him up. Our plan was to go to the Children’s Museum, and so that is where we headed. Wow! What a gem this place is. Huge! Very interactive. In nearly four hours there, we did not see half of the museum. Two more points to add to our list.
Chillin' with Bumblebee

"Scooby Doo, where are you?!"

Interviewing a budding paleontologist

"Ticket to ride?"

Captain Kidd revealing secrets of his lost ship

Examining the mummy

The atrium sculpture (Fireworks of Glass by Dale Chihuly) gets cleaned only four times a year. Careful, guys! 

The view of the sculpture from below

Sunday, November 10 – Mike headed downtown a bit early for one last meeting. Upon arrival, however, he could not find parking and came to realize there with a football game this afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium, it was going to be a tough go. The cheap mall parking had turned into $20 event parking, and all of the street parking had been spoken for. It wasn’t a mandatory meeting, so, while Hallie and the kids were eating breakfast, he surprised them with an early arrival. After eating, all of us headed upstairs to pack and head out on the open road. We decided to take a bit of the road less traveled from Indianapolis to Fort Wayne, and it was not too bad. Pretty flat and pretty brown now that the corn has been harvested and the stalks cut. We made a stop for lunch and then headed back onto a more major road for home. The natives in the back were getting restless even with their backpacks full of stuff. Hallie remembered she had some kids’ books on her phone and pulled them out to read. The books saved the day!!!! We are all home now, and Fergus is happy to see us. We are glad to be home safe and sound and to sleep in our own beds tonight. But we also look forward to getting back to Indy, and we’ll try to see that it won’t take three years for our next visit.

This trip was a good preview of our DC trip at the end of this week. Only 9 more days until we see Sister Evans, and we are all so very excited!!!  

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