2014 Great Circle Tour travel blog

Great Blue Heron at Indy Lakes

Canada goose family at Indy Lakes

HandleBar Indy - Mobile bar that you peddle around the downtown area...

Old Stokely-Van Camp Building in Indianapolis

Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Indianapolis

One of the horses pulling carriages in downtown Indianapolis

Art Deco Circle Tower on Monument Circle in Indianapolis

Big Weber charcoal grill at Weber Grill Restaurant

Indianapolis Arts Garden

Fountain Square Theater

Signage for the Diner and Bowling Alley at the historic Fountain Square...

Indiana Pacers Bikeshare in Fountain Square

Claus' German Sausage & Meats

Thunder storm passing over Camping World in Greenwood, IN

We stopped at Camping World in Greenwood, IN, a suburb of Indianapolis. The Service Shop is closed on Sundays. This one is different from a lot of the others in that it has electrical hook-up for customers in the parking lot. There are a lot of RV’s in the parking lot and I hope they are not all waiting for service or we’ll be here until the 4th of July. I’ll have to be at the door at 0800 to see if they can work us in on Monday or Tuesday.

After we got settled, we took a ride into Indianapolis. I’m impressed with the downtown area it seemed to be well maintained, with a nice blend of old and new, and with a lot of people walking around for a Sunday afternoon. As you drive into downtown, you can’t miss the Indianapolis Artsgarden as it hovers 17 feet above the intersection of Washington and Illinois streets and connects to the many of the hotels, the Circle Centre Mall, and the Indianapolis Convention Center by indoor skywalks. The Artsgarden is owned and operated by the Arts Council of Indianapolis. Apparently you can rent it for parties, weddings, and other events.

Indianapolis is the capital of the state and as such the Capitol building is a prominent landmark in the downtown area. The other prominent feature is the Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Monument. It’s a 284 ft. tall obelisk built in the center of a brick paved circle in the downtown area. The monument is the first in the United States to be dedicated to the common soldier. It is also the largest outdoor memorial and the largest of its kind in Indiana. It was designed by a German architect and built over a thirteen-year period, between 1888 and 1901. The monument's original purpose was to honor Hoosiers who were veterans of the Civil War. It also a commemorates Indiana's soldiers who served during the Revolutionary War, territorial conflicts that led to the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, and the Spanish-American War. In the years since its public dedication on May 15, 1902, the monument has become an iconic symbol of Indianapolis. During the Christmas season the monument is decorated as an enormous Christmas tree. It seem like the Monument is one of the hubs of activity downtown. There are a number of hotels on the circle along with the home of the Indianapolis Symphony, and several office towers. There is a Civil War Museum underneath the Monument. There were also several horse drawn carriages on the circle waiting for passengers to take on tours of the area. While I was taking pictures, I saw a young guy with a “Delaware” t-shirt. I asked him if he was from Delaware and he was. He was in Indiana on an internship at his fraternity at Butler University. It’s the first time I ever heard of a fraternity internship. I wonder if they were learning how to party better? It seems like no where you go in the US you run into somebody from Delaware. For a small state the people are well traveled.

As we headed out of town, we passed through an area called the Fountain District. It’s about a mile and a half from downtown and has become home for unique restaurants, art galleries and studios, live entertainment, antiques, and small professional offices. Fountain Square was the first commercial historic district in Indiana. The buildings date as far back as 1871. Rapid commercial growth occurred in the area beginning in the 1870’s thanks in large part to a large number of German immigrants settling in the area. German and German-American merchants helped to establish much of the character in this neighborhood. Fountain Square also played an important part in the Indianapolis theater heritage as there were more operating theaters than could be found in any part of Indianapolis between 1910 and 1950. The Fountain Square Theatre Building is a prominent building in the area. It opened in 1928 as a place for entertainment, shopping and professional offices until the area began to decline in the late 1960's with the construction of I70 and 65. After undergoing renovations in 1993, the building now houses entertainment and events in the Fountain Square Theatre, duckpin bowling in either of two vintage alleys, two restaurants, seasonal rooftop dining, a cocktail bar, and overnight accommodations. It also has an impressive array of vintage signs on the exterior.

We got back to Winnie just in time for a deluge and thunder storm. The winds were strong enough to blow around some camp chairs and a Qube satellite antenna from a couple of the other RV’s in the parking lot. Hope we’re done with the T-storms for the night.

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