03 August 2015

Road Trip Part 1: Indianapolis

EMSA and I have just returned from a somewhat epic road trip to Cincinnati to attend his cousin's wedding. When we heard when and where the wedding was going to be held, it seemed like an excellent opportunity to take our shiny new car for a spin and check out a part of the country that neither of us had really explored in depth. So today, I begin the first of three parts of our travelogue.

We left Minneapolis very early Tuesday morning, racing just ahead of what I understand was a serious rainstorm here at home. We managed to outrun it about halfway across Wisconsin. We split the driving as evenly as possible and, 9.5 to 10 hours later, we arrived at our first destination, Indianapolis. After a bit of a sit down at our hotel, we ventured downtown for some dinner at a Scottish Pub called MacNiven's. If you ever find yourself in downtown Indianapolis, I would definitely recommend it. Try the Scottish Eggs, they're good. After dinner, we wandered around the downtown area a bit. We found some quite interesting stuff.

Indiana's World War monument. EMSA walking up the stairs for scale. 
The monument from the opposite side. It's quite magnificent.
The Scottish Rite Cathedral, directly adjacent to the 3 block park containing the War Memorial.
The Soldiers and Sailors monument, a bit further south downtown. Indiana is not kidding around with the size of their monuments. 
We also wandered over the the state capitol building (spoiler: Minnesota's is nicer) but it was too dark by that point to get a good photo. Still, it was a lovely downtown and genuinely surprising. We returned to our hotel for a good night's sleep before the following day's main event... Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines! Also, open this link in a new tab and come back. I'll wait...

We arrived at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame and Museum a few minutes before they opened 8:00 in the hopes that we could get into the special "Behind the Scenes" tour at 8:30. We were not the only people waiting in front of the doors. Our initiative was rewarded, and we milled around the museum a bit before beginning our tour.

This car was being driven by Arie Luyendyk in 1996 when, during a practice lap, he set the record for the fastest lap ever recorded at Indy. It still stands. 1 lap at an average speed of 237.498 mph.

LOTS of cool old cars, going back to the teens. Most of these cars won the Indy 500.

The car AJ Foyt was driving when he won his first Indy 500 in 1961.
The winner's trophy.

The first stop during our Behind the Scenes tour - the Media Center. It was still set-up for the Brickyard 400 which had taken place a few days before. 

The yard of bricks at the start/finish line. Above my head is the platform they stand on the wave the various flags. 
Our excellent tour guide standing on the victory platform.
I have many, many more photos of all sorts of awesome old cars, way too many to post here. I'll try to get them up in a public album soon so everyone can see them. We really enjoyed the tour. 

Tomorrow, on to Louisville!

7 comments:

Santini said...

Good job, Em. All of those Indy 500 races come to mind -- another great family tradition we've shared for so many years. I've been to the Indy museum, but it was a long, long time ago. OSLO has been there much more recently, and I'll make sure that she checks your blog. I look forward to parts 2 and 3.

NCW said...

Looks like a really fun trip. A.J. was my favorite driver for many years, in fact, the family nicknamed me A.J. I think it had something to do with my driving and/or the number of speeding tickets I collected!

Gino said...

Epic road trip, highly entertaining internet content.

mom said...

Fun! I also look forward to parts 2 and 3.

Santini said...

A blog post without a cat photo?

OSLO said...

Cool pictures. I have been there, but didn't get on the race track. My home state. Glad you had fun.

Emily M said...

Well the cats couldn't really come on the road trip with us, so... They'll make an appearance at the end.