I spent the weekend in Indianapolis. Why you might ask? Turns out a colleague who I wanted to meet lives in Indy. So, I decided make the stop on my way Chicago.
Indianapolis like many places I’ve happened upon, was full of surprises and a great place for a breather. The last few weeks have been a little “peopley”. Visiting friends, wandering in New York City and hanging with my daughter for a few days. All very enjoyable, delightful in fact, but I was ready for a little down time. My time in Indianapolis fit the bill.
I had a challenging arrival. My train arrived at 5:30 am Saturday morning and and my check-in was scheduled for 4 pm. I had no idea how I was planning to spend the 10+ hours in between. The train station in Indianapolis is not as luxurious or even as clean as most stations I’ve visited. I didn’t want to wander the city while it was still dark, so I created a little bed with my bags and tried to nap in the wee hours of the morning. I did manage to grab a few minutes of sleep, but mostly I spent the time trying not fall off the bench and staring up at the rafters of the station, trying to figure out how I could hang my hammock. Which sadly, didn’t seem possible.
After a few minutes sleep and watching a few episodes of Fargo on my Kindle, I decided to venture out and find a place for a cup of coffee or breakfast.
Surprise, the station is right downtown, so there were a ton of civilized spots within walking distance. I popped into the first Starbucks I saw. But I headed directly out after seeing the long line of early risers. Right next door was a lovely hotel, so I headed into the lobby and took a seat in a large orange velvet chair. I do this all the time. Hotel lobbies are the best. I’ve escaped the busy streets and humid weather, I’ve rested my tired feet, grabbed a cool drink, found a needed restroom and connected to some free wifi — all in hotel lobbies. Even when I am not staying there. Hotel lobbies have the best restrooms and comfortable seating. Travel hack #01, use those hotel lobbies!
This weekend, I was able put down the bag of bricks, I call a backpack and have a hot breakfast. It was a perfect escape from the dingy train station. I messaged the host of my AirBnB and asked for an early check-in. I passed the time with some scrambled eggs and a chat with Mom. At noon, I got word I could check-in at 1 pm. Yay! I was on my way to a much needed rest!
Marvin, the host of my AirBnB met me a the door of quaint 2-story, blue house. The house may have been decorated by someone’s grandma; with teal and white tile in the kitchen and too much wood furniture. But Marvin was sweet and he gave me the low-down on the place – which included an adorable little hand written booklet with all the details of the house and the neighborhood. After he left, I called for a Lyft and went to the closest grocery store for some weekend supplies, I mean wine.
I spent the next 2 1/2 days walking the neighborhood streets of Indianapolis, watching movies, doing laundry and playing the piano, Did I mention the AirBnB had a piano? Yep!
One of the beautiful things about visiting new places is all the things you discover. This weekend I discovered;
- A tree with monstrous leaves the size of a dinner plate
- Giant twin cats sneaking naps on the front porch
- A tree 10-stories tall, with a massive trunk
- A cute little bakery and coffee shop, just a few blocks down
- Beautiful amber leaves
- A house decorated for Halloween
- An old library that I wish had been open
- A small park with a little bridge over a creek that runs along the street
- A bit of leaf confetti reminding me that fall is here
- A house covered in greenery
I had a wonderful dinner with a couple of colleagues on Monday night. It was a great meal, at Harry and Izzy’s in downtown Indianapolis. Our conversation meandered around work complaints, parenting and strategies to support one another going forward. We threw around ideas of visiting each other on the West coast, of making person connections a regular thing and ideas for supporting the every growing staff of consultants. As I hopped into my Lyft back to the AirBnB, I was stuffed full of too many mashed potatoes but full of ideas for supporting my colleagues.
Indy was a breath of fresh air and a much needed jolt of support from my colleagues.