Sunday, September 17, 2017

Indiana Weekend Getaway Minus Kids!

This weekend getaway was simply AMAZING!! The main reason for the trip was to see my favorite band, U2, play at Lucas Oil Stadium. I would have loved for it to be a slightly longer trip than it was, but we made the most of the time we did have! Prior obligations and needs kept us in Des Moines until late Saturday afternoon. 

Hair cuts for the girl and myself on Saturday. Hubs had to work. My hair appointment finished up just as he was getting off of work. We couldn't have timed it better. My parents took the minis for the weekend (they had their own amazing time), so Hubs and I easily left as soon as we were both ready.

My house got cleaned!!! Then the cats got all clingy and hid from us as we tried to leave. We're very fortunate to have someone who comes to take care of the cats while we're away and she knows all of their tricks: how to get them unstuck from the crawl space, feeding schedule, and attitudes. They did not do so well when we were gone this past summer out west, so I was a tad nervous to leave them for a couple of days. They did just fine though and didn't take their "you left us!" anger out on my carpet, floors, or bed.

Late afternoon and we were off in our rental vehicle. We were hoping for a Prius, but instead wound up with a sports car. Thank you Infiniti! While I would never buy this vehicle for every day use (um, Bluetooth didn't even come with the standard model. I'm used to my full loaded minivan), it was so much fun to drive!

Enjoying the sunroof without anyone shouting "please close it! There's too much wind on my face!" The backseat did seem oddly quiet to me.

We made a couple of stops along the way: one to the outlet center in Williamsburg, IA and another at a Kroger (somewhere in Illinois). This was my first time ever in a Kroger and I was amazed! I had such an easy time finding my nut free vegan snacks and I kinda stocked up. My husband was embarrassed for me and my enthusiastic grocery shopping at 11 p.m.

We spent the night in Champaigne, IL and drove the remaining two hours into Indianapolis Sunday morning. Our first stop in Indy was the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The last time we took the kids to Indy, time didn't allow for a tour of the museum, so I wanted to be sure to stop. When we arrived at the museum, we were offered a tour on the speedway track (via bus) for only $20 per person, that also included the museum. Hubs and I were sold and spent the next hour and half learning the history of the Speedway and cars. This was one of my favorite tours we've ever been on! It was quick, full of information, plenty of photo ops, and just an all around good time. 

The curves on the track were brutal. I thought the bus might turn over as we slowly went around the curves of the track!

Matt kissed the bricks (I did not....ewww, germs), which is an Indy 500 tradition.

After our amazing race track tour, we checked into our hotel in downtown Indianapolis, then ventured around. If you're planning on going to an event or game at Lucas Oil Stadium, I highly recommend the Westin (or Marriot) in downtown Indy. Those two hotels are attached to a skywalk leading to the convention center which is directly across the street from the stadium. We chose to walk outdoors on the sidewalk because it was a gorgeous night.

I loved the vibe around downtown Indy. We briefly took in the downtown scene last year when we came with the kids, but this time we were able to enjoy it more. It reminds me of a cross between downtown Chicago and Des Moines, which means I really loved it! Hubs and I couldn't stop commenting on how much the minis would love it too.

Much like Chicago, it has one of my favorite pizza places: Giordano's. After an appetizer and side salads, we chose our own individual mini pizzas (he wanted meat, I went with veggies). Wonderfully filling and the perfect size.

The coolest thing I saw around Indy were electric cars you could rent. It's a lot like renting a bike in Chicago or Des Moines, but instead it's a small electric car. I didn't get to try it out (we were more than content with walking everywhere because of driving in the car earlier), but I'm interested in learning more about it.

Then it was concert time!!!! Seeing U2 in concert has been on my bucket list for years. I really wanted to see them at Soldier Field in Chicago back in June, but the concert was four days before we left for our big Montana/Wyoming trip. I couldn't quite convince Hubs to go then, plus the ticket prices were ridiculous. However, while we were on that big trip, I saw U2 announced more concert dates in several cities near us. We chose Indy because 1.) Going to Lucas Oil Stadium has been on Hubs bucket list since it was built. 2.) the date worked perfectly for us and, lastly, 3.) Ticket prices were not terrible at all. 

We chose General Admission tickets so we could get as close to the stage as possible. For arriving only an hour and a half before concert time, we got a pretty good spot! Plus, after Beck opened, people moved around and we wound up at the fifty yard line for the show. It couldn't have been better!

Waiting for the concert to begin was PERFECT for people watching.

Absolutely amazing show!

The concert ended just before midnight. Of course, we were too wound up to head straight to bed. Instead, we had a drink in our room, watched coverage of Hurricane Irma (we really know how to party, right??), and fell asleep by 2 a.m.....with our wake up call before 7 a.m. We were wiped and slightly sore from standing for 6 1/2 hours. We made the 8 hour drive home with plenty of coffee, Red Bull, and a U2 playlist. We had things to do Monday night, so our early wake up call and the power drive home was needed.

It took me a couple of days to recoup from this adventure, but it was completely worth it! We had an amazing, although short, getaway. Even though we've been to Indy (and driven through a few times on road trips), we definitely have plans to go back with the minis.....and we also have plans to see another U2 concert.