Published: May 26th 2012May 26th 2012
I planned to attend the Indianapolis Travbuddy Meet-Up right from its inception. Months later, I had it penned on my travel calendar. Even though Indiana is not one of the destinations on my "Bucket List", it happened to be one of the 50 states of the United states I had not visited yet. I will need to do a recount of the states I have visited, since I added a few last year, and some this year. In the 3 years I have contributed to Travbuddy, one of the things I have enjoyed most is the ability to travel to meet other travelers like myself. Now even though the meet-ups normally have nothing to do with discussing travel, and more like drinking, eating and taking a bunch of photos, it brings the faces and names together. It also encourages more travel as we get-together in different cities, states and countries.
I consider myself a traveler, but on occasion I like to play tourist and do the typical tourist thing like see the major landmarks in cities and countries. Travbuddy Meet-Ups are normally short, at most a weekend getaway for me; this makes it hard to plan to see much of
the destination I'm traveling too, let alone spend time with the locals to understand much about their way of life. With Indiana, I confess I did absolutely no research; nothing came off as an attraction I wanted to see except for the Motor Speedway, which was included in the activities for the Meet-up. The one thing I do most when I travel is take time to see the architecture, art and Religious attractions (cathedrals and old churches).
Day 1: The Journey
I flew out of Tucson on Friday morning at exactly 7:00 am aboard a US Airways flight to Phoenix. After the negative experience I had with US Airways on my Minneapolis trip, I was not sure what to expect this time. If you ask me why I used US Airways again, I will say, they were the only airline that could get me to Indianapolis before day was done. In fact my inbound journey to Tucson was on American Airlines. Out of Phoenix, US Airways flight A320 left promptly at 08:55 am putting me in Indianapolis 10 minutes before our scheduled arrival. This more than compensated for the heartache caused on my travel to Minnesota. James (Pearcetoyou)
had offered to pick me up at Indianapolis International Airport on arrival since he had a car, having driven in from St. Louis, Missouri.
I was booked at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Indianapolis Airport for 2 nights. James arrived 25 minutes after I arrived and soon we were at the hotel where we checked in a little after 5:40 pm. The Meet-Up schedule had included a 5:00 pm tour of the historic Madam C.J. Walker Theater. Did you know Madam Walker was the first woman to become a millionaire? Well, unfortunately we could not make it for the theater tour seeing as it was after 5:40 when we got into our rooms. We freshened up, Jackie and Leanne had joined us by then since they were checked-in at the same hotel. We left for the pre meet-up location at a half past six. We decided to be responsible adults and take a taxi to avoid drinking and driving. The taxi cost $20 from our hotel to downtown Indianapolis.
Day 2: Touring the Motor Speedway and the Meet-up
In the early afternoon we went to tour the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; site of the world famous Indianapolis 500
Race. Did you know the Indy 500 is the world's largest single day sporting event? This year is also the 100th running of the race?. Well for the race fans, there is nothing like being in Indianapolis when the race is on. We met for dinner at 7:00 pm at the Granite City Food and Brewery. The turn up was impressive.
Day 3: Touriing the city attractions
Indianapolis is a beautiful town. It is the state capital of Indiana. Indiana was added to the Union in 1816. With a population of 6.5 million residents, it is ranked 15th in population in the Nation. Indianapolis is home to quite a few major sports teams and athletic events including Indiana Pacers for the NBA, NFL's Indianapolis Colts, Indianapolis 500 Motor race and the Brickyard 400 motorsports races. While I was in Indianapolis, I could not help but notice how great the architecture and landmarks that honor especially the fallen of war. The skyscraper buildings and 2 impressive structures that stood out gave me a sense of a city growing, but also impressing on its people a sense of accomplishment. A few of the attractions I visited included the Indianapolis Motor
Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, Indianapolis Museum of Art, White River State Park, Indiana State Museum, Religious attractions like Christ Church, and the Scottish Rite Cathedral which was disappointingly closed, Indiana Vietnam and Korean Wars Memorial, Glick Peace Walk, World War I memorial, World War II memorial. I have written independent reviews on each of them; take a look at the reviews for more information and photos. The following is a list of recommended things to do, some of these I was unable to visit due to time constraints, but I should have liked to see them. The one that I desperately wanted to visit was the Pepsi Coliseum: The Pepsi Coliseum is an Indianapolis landmark. Built is 1939, it has hosted countless historic sporting, political and musical events through the years.
1. Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Hall of Fame Museum
2. World War I Memorial
3. World War II Memorial
4. Vietnam and Korean Wars Memorial
5. Indiana State Museum
6. Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art
7. The River walk/ White River Gardens
9. Madam Walker Museum
10. The Scottish Rite Cathedral
11. Christ Church Cathedral
12. Indianapolis Cultural Walk: The Glick Peace Walk
13. The Lucas Oil Stadium
14. Indianapolis Zoo
15. Indianapolis Museum of Art
16. Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
17. Indiana Medical History Museum
18. Medal of Honor Memorial
19. President Benjamin Harrison Home
20. Fort Harrison State Park: The 1700-acre park is chock-full of activities and history, housing a former World War II prisoner-of-war camp. Recreation includes fishing, bicycle trails, walking and jogging trails, horse trail rides and hayrides, picnicking and a nature center.
The Indiana World War Memorial Historic District is located downtown Indianapolis. It's main entrance on Michigan street. When I took a personal tour of the district on a rather cool Sunday morning after the Indianapolis Travbuddy meet-up, I was not sure what to expect. I hailed a cab from my hotel and asked him to drop me at the Scottish rite Cathedral which I so wanted to see. Little did I know that the cathedral is just across the street from the Plaza.<br style="color: font-family: Verdana, 'Trebuchet MS', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;
line-height: 19px;" />The plaza is composed of monuments, structures and landmarks to commemorate the sacrifice of all soldiers from Indiana who went to war. From land, to sea, to air, all soldier who rendered service to inspire patriotism, have been honored right here. No expense was spared by the Indiana state in honoring her fallen faithful.Included in the historic district are 2 museums, 3 parks, and 24 acres of monuments, fountains, sculptures and statutes. Like I said in my review on the Indiana World War Memorial, I have not seen anything like it except for the memorials in Washington DC. Included are; 1. Soldiers and Sailors Monument, 2. American Legion Mall, 3. Veterans Memorial Plaza, 5. USS Indianapolis Memorial, 6. Indiana World War Memorial Museum, 7. University park, 8. Battle Flag collection and 9. Colonel Eli Lilly Memorial Museum
I believe Indianapolis is one of those cities that I should not mind revisiting. This and Kansas City Missouri have captivated me, as far as the landmarks and attractions. Beautiful cities I
Indianapolis Travbuddy Meet-Up
These are some of my travel friends from different parts of the country, including two from the United Kingdom.
might add. "Travel is an exciting and adventurous passion, it is quite expensive but the reward outweighs the expense. If you can afford it, do it!"
There are more photos below