Monday, December 30, 2013

Wedding trip to Indianapolis

We were in Indianapolis for Brendan's wedding. Indianapolis is the un-Kuala Lumpur: incredibly clean, pollution-free air; blue blue skies; courteous drivers who do not speed up when they see a pedestrian.The wedding was a three day party. A Friday night party for out-of-town guests and rehearsal survivors (not as cut and dry as I expected) at a duckpin alley. The adults talked and ate and the kids played or bowled in the lanes. Saturday morning we hosted a soup and bagel brunch. Doug made two delicious, hearty soups - borscht (a Russian language teacher's recipe) and minestrone (Martha Stewart recipe).

The key participants - one of whom was dressed for the occasion
Our still small grandson was intense as he led the procession clutching on the ring box. He was followed by four nieces dressed in matching sun dress and purple sneakers. The service was high church - lots of smoke, bells, and holy water. The church was filled with an enthusiastic crowd who cheered once they were wed.
The happy couple
Transport from church to reception

Who cares if a party is going on? I captured a flock of favors
On Sunday morning folks came over to finish off the soup. I made two bagel runs. The 2nd run was a lesson in business planning. Einstein Bagels was totally out of bagels. We found a few bagels at a local grocery.
Bagels & soup in our condo
To avoid being jet lagged we arrived two weeks before the wedding and spent many an hour at the YMCA and the Indianapolis Library, We joined the YMCA in 2011 and resumed our membership with no extra fees. (The Y is in the Anthenaeum, which was built by a German-American gymnastics club. The monthly tours are worthwhile.) A poster at the Y alerted us to Germanfest (Click for tv film cliplederhosen race, although few runners had on either lederhosen or dirndl, and wiener dog races. The wiener dogs are dachshunds - we missed seeing their race. German "soldiers" served as an honor guard. No mention of what they represented. We assumed they wore Hessian uniforms, but the Hessians in the Google pictures are much slimmer.

At NC State University I would say, "I go to the library everyday, but rarely enter the building." I could do the same thing in Indianapolis, but that would be a mistake. The central library is a hive of activity meeting diverse community needs and interests. When we are in town we attend its free chamber music concerts. Its reading rooms exude the coziness of a traditional library. Its children's library is a wonder with child-level computers for families and tubes for reading, hiding or just chilling out.

Our condo is across from Maxine's Chicken and Waffles. We heard that it was on a list of the America's
100 most popular cheap eats  - so what were we waiting for? It has the feel of a small town cafe with friendly staff.  (We chatted with an owner about the challenges of running a restaurant - not a good plan for an easy retirement.) It serves Southern cooking - think Carla of Top Chef.Soon after we ordered we were served fried corn bread with peach butter. Doug had smothered chicken that he loved. I had a tilapia sandwich with 3 large fillets.

Our waitress & nieceof the owner (have her name somewhat
perhaps it will show up)
Doug's smothered chicken
As we drove and walked these two signs caught our eye. The first was on the lawn of a ranch house.

Not only bail bonding - gun permits notarized
Tourist Tip - Our holiday got off on a strange note. Doug went to PNC, a large US bank, to change a USD100 bill. The bank teller refused to take the bill saying that the bank would only change bills for account holders. $100 bills is what the ATM in Chicago gave us. We were stunned that a US bank wouldn't accept and change US currency. With everything else we had to do we just moved on without following up. One more piece of evidence that something is seriously amiss with US banks to say nothing of PNC being unwelcoming to tourists.

Let's end with a view from our condo

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