Cross-Country Trip V, Day 1: Indianapolis

After saying our farewells in Champaign-Urbana and ensuring that our house was clean enough to pass the landlady’s inspection, we headed east.

Yes, you read that right. We’re moving to San Francisco. Why wouldn’t we go to Indianapolis first?

Our first planned adventure is Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, but we didn’t want to drive 5-6 hours and get there late at night. We realized we’d never really spent time in Indy, so we thought we’d give that a try while it was still in our neighborhood.

We checked into La Quinta Inn in Downtown Indy (not in Walla Walla Washington, as Birbiglia fans will note), then headed to the AMC to see the final Harry Potter movie. Great movie-going experience: nice theater, satisfying film, not freezing cold despite the brutally hot exterior temps.

We had a late dinner at Scotty’s Brewhouse in downtown Indianapolis. This is the only restaurant we’d ever been to in downtown Indy (on a previous day trip). Rather than branch out, we decided to go with known quantity. They have a fun menu, and a nice outside dining area.

Today was the Brickyard 400, which means it was one of the craziest days of the year in Indy. The staff at Scotty’s were just beat from all the large groups of people and numerous customers who had been drinking since 9 in the morning. Somehow our appetizer didn’t make it out until after our entrees, but they were nice enough to comp it for us.

What I really like about Scotty’s – aside from the usual considerations – is that they’re a local chain, and make a point to be environmentally friendly. If you’re ever in downtown Indy and just want a basic but nice sports bar, do check it out.

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