Monday, July 1, 2013

Family Vacation 2013: Indy, Pt. 1

The drive from Lexington to Indianapolis was strange for me and even a little sad. We zipped right on by Louisville, which is a place with a hefty share of quirk, also my friend Marti: I'm a fan. Then we zipped past Seymour, which is my ex-husband's home town. Take it from me: it feels strange and sad when people who were once part of one's family are no longer one's kinfolk and relations, and that's true even after nine years, even when one was a wonky fit with those peeps, anyway.

Also, I'm always surprised to find myself in Indiana, even when I plan the trip. Indiana was a weird, little (pivotal) chapter in my life. I moved to Indiana (Ft. Wayne) in 1996, and the girl with whom I roomed is the same one my family and I zipped from Lexington to Indy to meet, last week. (You can read more about Carlena's and my story, here.)

It had been seven years since I'd seen Carlena. She'd met Cade during that visit; otherwise, neither of us had met the other's family. In fact, both families had started to form within the year after that last visit. So there we were, the nine of us, and didn't it feel like a happy reunion? Conversation's always been easy between Carlena and me; our little girls took up with one another right away; and I just kept looking at Cade thinking how I was only about one year older than he when I met Carlena. Time flies, y'all.


Artspark and the Indianapolis Art Center--where our families met in Indy--excited me a little less than I'd hoped, but hey, visiting was free, and I subscribe to the notion that one shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. In all fairness, Jim appreciated the opportunity to watch glassblowers at work; I loved the crooked house; and Carlena exclaimed over the Elaine Miller piece in the image below.

Elaine Miller, "A Lighted House, Another Perspective"

After being rained out of Artspark, our party overtook (likely a private) pavilion behind some condos and adjacent to a playing field. We picnicked in utter peace, and the pavilion had its own, unlocked and perfectly-clean bathrooms: score!

It was wonderful to see my friend, again. I'm touched that she and her family drove down from Ft. Wayne to meet us in Indy and hope we're able to reconnect sooner rather than later. Lifelong friends are such a gift!


Brandee's and Jim's Travel Tips

I don't know what sorts of things you like to visit when traveling, but I like off-the-beaten-path sorts of things, the odd things that make a place unique. The tackier the better. Jim's probably less into this sort of thing than I, but he's very indulgent because it often costs nothing (beyond gas, of course) to visit, say, a statue. My top three favorite websites for learning an area's oddities are as follows: Debra Jane's Roadside Architecture, Roadside America, and Atlas Obscura. They're very different from one another, and each has its own charms.

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