It’s the first half of a two-fer! Since Indianapolis and Fort Wayne are only a couple hours apart, and their respective teams were playing at home on back to back days, off we set on an already stiflingly hot Saturday morning. We drove to Indianapolis first, because it was farther away. We’ve found that we prefer to get the longer drive out of the way first. The drive home always seems to feel longer to us, so who wants to add to that?
Indianapolis is most famous for the Speedway, but racing isn’t my thing, so even if a race had been going on, I doubt I would have picked it. I know, I know–heresy! It’s the ultimate, iconic experience in that part of Indiana! Absolutely, 100% true. Still not interested.
Instead, I chose the Eiteljorg Museum as my frosting item. I really like Native American and Western art, and the museum was right across the street from our hotel. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, the museum had only an hour left before closing, and I had zero interest in going back out in the heat, so we gave it a pass.
The hotel–Courtyard by Marriot–was good, with the standard breakfast & complimentary WiFi (nothing makes me crankier than having to pay extra for WiFi, unless it’s a lack of breakfast). Two things set it apart, though. One was the valet service. I don’t mean optional valet service. I mean that you park your car and the valet takes it, period. Considering the heat, I had no intention of arguing.
But the absolute best part of this hotel was the location. It was right next door to the ballpark (look at the upper left corner of the picture in the header for this post; it’s THATCLOSE). We took the elevator to the parking garage, walked a few steps, back up another elevator, and practically tripped into Victory Field. No, it wasn’t the cheapest hotel available; yes, I’m generally a tightwad of the first order. In this case, it was money well spent.
The Indianapolis Indians are the AAA affiliate for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Victory Field is a nice, typical minor league ballpark.
If it’s your first game there, you can get a First Game Pin at Guest Relations behind section 109. We didn’t, but when the kids were younger, I guarantee that we would have headed over and done just that. Never underestimate the power of swag to keep children entertained. Although they don’t have a play area, there is a large lawn area for people to spread out and roam around. They also had a few misting stations, which I hadn’t seen at a ballpark before, but were getting mobbed. Did I mention the heat that weekend?
For the most part, the food was also typical, although they do have vegan and gluten free options on the menu at various food vendors (this is becoming a more common, though far from standard, practice). Their signature “can’t-get-it-anywhere-but-here” food is Tater Tots with Pulled Pork, barbecue sauce, and jalapeno peppers. The tots were crispy, the meat smoky, the sauce sweet with some heat, the jalapenos easily picked off.
#HeartAttackOnAPlate #FreakingDelicious #YouHaveNoIdea #NotAJalapenoFanEither
The Indians beat the Durham Bulls, 8 – 3. Go Home Team! And go us, with the quickest trip ever back into the delightfully air conditioned hotel.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Indiana Adventure, where we head over to Fort Wayne, and end up missing the best part of the game.