Mr. Hog, Penny, and I spent the second week of September in Indianapolis for an American Chemical Society conference. It was Penny's first vacation and everybody's first venture into Indiana. Woot. We even cashed in one of our PetSmart puppy coupons to treat little Penner to her first grooming session. She is the cutest.
We drove up Saturday with a carefully choreographed rest stop plan in hand for the pup. It turns out she slept the entire way, forcing us to wake her up for potty breaks and food (and pictures....whoops). The drive was incredibly easy and fast despite the hour loss in time zones.
|One picture every hour.|
Our hotel was beautiful! We stayed at the Alexander, which is a boutique hotel located in downtown Indy. A lot of art is featured in the lobby, halls, and rooms. While I wasn't a fan of relaxing on our plush California king below a snapshot of impoverished children, most of the art was really cool. The lobby featured a display of old vinyl records formed into birds (Anthem, 2012 by Paul Villinski). The staff was absolutely incredible as well. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend this hotel. Our favorite features, however, were the dog-friendliness and proximity to attractions.
|Poorly photographed art. Check out the website for The Alexander to see its true beauty.|
|This was our do not disturb sign. For real. I giggled like a 12 year old when we left this on the door so housekeeping wouldn't disturb Penn.|
|Our seats were in the second row of the upper deck...not the best, but surprisingly better than I thought they would be. I loved seeing the downtown skyline lurking outside the stadium.|
|I smile like a goon in posed shots, so here is a candid moment for your enjoyment.|
Tuesday was more of the same. That night, Food Network's Alton Brown gave a lecture for C & EN. It was awesome for a super fan like myself. Even Mr. Hog was laughing and enjoying himself. Alton covered ten myths surrounding food handling and then converted a water cooler and fire extinguisher into a blast chiller for fruit. It was highly entertaining. After his presentation, we were instructed to check under our seats for prizes. Wouldn't you know, I had a blue ticket taped to the underside of my chair awarding me a meet and greet experience with the chef. The door bouncer ladies took pity on poor Mr. Hog and allowed him to come in with me (and the other 100 or so winners), so he didn't have to trek back to the hotel solo.
I gave my poster again in an organic session on Wednesday. At this presentation, they scheduled a band, The Born Again Floozies, to begin playing for the last 30 minutes of the thing. It made it nearly impossible to talk chemistry, but I wasn't complaining. We enjoyed listening to and watching them for the hour or so after the presentations. I can safely say this is the first time for me to experience a tap dancing rock band.
We headed home later on Thursday than we originally intended due to a souvenir hunt, a last minute stop at Shapiro's, and a missing credit card mini-fiasco. Everything worked out, though, and it was smooth sailing from then on. Somehow, we narrowly avoided St. Louis rush hours on the way there and back. I'll count our blessings.
Indianapolis really surprised me in a good way. Before the trip, it was just a smoggy, gloomy city in my mind. Now, I realize it is pretty clean and features some beautiful attractions right in downtown. This is another city that Mr. Hog and I drove away from feeling like could be home one day (despite the fact that we witnessed almost one wreck per day)...especially with pharmaceutical powerhouse Eli Lilly headquartered there. Hooray chemistry.
P.S. This is my first post since the blog has turned one year old. I'd like to give a big thank you to the friends, family, and random Pinteresters who have kept this thing alive. All three of you readers mean the world to me. :)