Indianapolis, IN - Nov 19-20
Nov 20, 2011
|November 19, 2011
Thanks to a bit of a screw up by me, we had to get up this morning at 5.30am. I had arranged to meet one of the guys I know from the Palace website at a college football game this afternoon and I hadn’t realized two things – 1) how far away it was from Springfield; and 2) the fact that Indiana is in the Eastern time zone and Illinois is in the Central time zone meaning we had an hour less than planned to get there! As we checked out the guy at the hotel was way too cheery for this early and we just mumbled on our way out to the car!
It was about a 3 hour drive to West Lafayette in Indiana and having left at 6am we arrive around 10am, thanks to the time change. The drive was pretty easy until we got close to the stadium but after a bit of driving around and a couple of U-turns we found the main parking lot and gave my friend Jason a call. The main parking lot was actually half the price of the people renting out their front yards so it was quite a bonus! The parking lot was pretty big but as Purdue Boilermakers had been having an average season it wasn’t very busy and Jason found us easily enough. He’d come with one of his friends, Matt, who worked with him at the TV station he was at and it was great having a few beers and meeting yet another fellow Palace fan on the road! We drank our way through the rest of the six pack of beers we’d bought in Colorado and thanks to the cold, nasty weather they’d stayed pretty chilled in the car! I can’t remember all the ones we tried but Elizabeth seems to recall that amongst them were Breckenridge Christmas Ale; New Belgium IPA, a Belgian style lager, Levity Pale Ale, Fat Tire and Denver Pale Ale. I reckon we had more than that but I’m not going to question her memory!
The match was Purdue against Iowa and as we walked over to the stadium we noticed a lot of Iowa fans around. In fact, once we got inside we found that the cheap seats were all occupied by Iowans and it seemed like we were in the away stand! The Iowa fans were really loud and cheered their team for the whole match but the Purdue fans weren’t very vocal. One guy in front of us, who was clearly drunk, was even cheering for Iowa at one point! He was asking us where we were from and when he heard I was from London he started asking the dumb questions you come to expect once in a while, like if I knew the Queen and whether I was at “the” wedding. I think Jason was quite embarrassed for the drunk kid but I thought it was quite amusing. The game wasn’t great and Purdue ended up losing 31-21 but one of the undoubted highlights was seeing the biggest drum in the world. As it was the last home game of the year, the seniors were all allowed to beat the drum once and watching them queue up was quite funny. Other than a hot dog at half time we’d not eaten much all day and so we were getting pretty hungry so when Jason said they would leave at the start of the 4th quarter we decided to head out, too. We didn’t miss anything as the score when we left was the final score.
We were staying in Indianapolis for the next couple of nights and it was only just over an hour from West Lafayette where Purdue play. Elizabeth had a nap as we drove and as we neared Indy we stopped at a Starbucks for some caffeine. Elizabeth got a Christmas-style hot chocolate with peppermint and I got a peppermint mocha. Starbucks range of drinks is at least one reason to look forward to Christmas! One of the guys we work with in Zurich, Ryan, is from Indy and we were staying with his girlfriend Mina. She’d warned us that she lived in the “ghetto” and we thought she was joking but as we drove close to the house we could see that it was a bad neighborhood. There were lots of black guys hanging out and Mina soon told us that she knew many of the houses around here were used as drug dens and many of the women you see walking the streets are prostitutes. We were also acquainted with her two energetic dogs, Sophie & Beatrice as well as Lambeau, the massive dog belonging to her housemate.
Mina realized we were quite tired and so we went upstairs and slept for an hour before heading out for dinner. Ryan’s sister runs a restaurant called Pizzology and there we met Meagan and Alan, another of Mina’s housemates. We shared a grilled romaine salad, got given some gnocchi to try and then had a couple of great pizzas. When we got back I wasn’t too tired because I’d had a nap so I stayed up and watched the Texas v Kansas State game while everyone else went to bed. Lambeau barked every time we went upstairs and so even though I was desperate for the toilet, I waited until the game was over and I was ready for bed!
November 20, 2011
This morning we slept in a bit and when we came downstairs we met Alan who offered to show us around the city a bit. The weather was aquite gray and crappy so we started off by heading to Café Patachou for breakfast. This is where Meagan & Mina work and it was really busy and there was quite a wait for a table so we sat up at the counter. Elizabeth had a homemade granola with yogurt and berries and I had an interesting Cuban breakfast which had egg and rice and was a bit spicy. The food was really good and without even noticing, Mina had paid for us. While we were eating breakfast, Ryan called me so I stepped outside and had a chat with him about some of the crazy stuff going on at work and life generally back in Zurich. Right now, I don’t think either Elizabeth or I are very keen on going back but we have a bit of a plan in mind and it is probably a good place for us to be for the next few years.
After a quick stop at the house to pick up my camera, we drove to the Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts and where the Superbowl is going to be held this year. The stadium is a big dome and is very impressive; very much more so than the dome the Rams play in that we saw in St Louis. I got my picture taken outside the stadium giving the Colts the finger (no Pats fan likes the Colts!) and then we carried on.
We were hoping to have a walk around the canal and some of the shops but the weather started turning and it was soon raining fairly heavily. We stopped at Mass Ave and looked in a couple of fun shops and we were able to get a present for Mina to thank her for letting us stay.
I decided that it would be better to head back to the house and hang out because of the bad weather and we stopped at the Thr3e Wise Men Brewery to pick up some Gold Lager & IPA to drink back at the house while we hung out. Back at the house we met Lindsey (Lambeau’s owner) & Joshua, the final two housemates. Lindsey was watching the Green Bay Packers game on TV and this was fine by me! Both the beers were good and it was nice to spend a relaxing Sunday afternoon in front of the TV like I used to do in Bermuda!
We decided we wanted to go for a curry tonight and we headed out to India Garden per Alan’s suggestion. We ended up really pigging out and had poppadums, a starter sampler (including fried cheese, onion bhajis, shish kebab and tandoori chicken), a curry each and plenty of rice and garlic naan. Elizabeth got a medium strength chicken madras and I got a spicy lamb madras and the heat from these made our mouths burn! We still stuffed ourselves silly and were looking forward to lying down in a food coma on our return. When we got back, Mina and Lindsey were just about to start watching Breaking Dawn, the second Twilight movie and when Meagan joined them I decided to leave the girls to it and went up to the bedroom and watched the late NFL game on the laptop until I was tired and ready for sleep!