No Direction Home

This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

May 19, 2015

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Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

There are all sorts of interesting ancillary events leading up to the Indianapolis 500. In my many years of attending, I have tried to do as many of them as possible which has led to my attendance at events as diverse as the great tortoise race at the Indianapolis Zoo, to the Indianapolis 500 Fashion Show. 

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 photo 104_zpswjqgk05h.jpg James Davison

This year there were a couple of events that I had planned to attend, one that I had been to before and another the first time grand opening of a new venture by the family of the legendary 4-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt. I also managed some time to squeeze in a visit to the wonderful Children’s Museum of Indianapolis so that I could check out the Hot Wheels racing exhibit that they have up this year.

 photo 076_zpss0hepmde.jpg A.J. IV & A. J.

 photo 075_zpszseaansv.jpg Larry Foyt

The first event that I went to was the grand opening of the new Wine Bar owned and operated by A.J. Foyt’s son Larry and grandson A.J. Foyt IV. The Foyt’s have owned a winery for many years and the new wine bar, called the Foyt Wine Vault- in part because the location is a former bank and the huge vault is still in place. 

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 photo 080_zps1nvtyxyy.jpg A.J. Foyt

Located on Main Street across from the Dallara Indy Car Factory and next to the Foyt Racing offices, the Foyt Wine Vault is a beautiful wine bar that is decorated in a classy racing décor featuring memorabilia from A.J. Foyt’s long Indy Car career. These include the final car that A.J. drove when he retired and many of A.J.’s various helmets that he wore through the year.

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The highlight is of course the wine and it is pretty good. I was able to hang out with A.J. who was on hand to celebrate the opening along with Larry and AJIV and his wife. It was a wonderful evening and I was thrilled to be included. Hope to return soon. My next stop was at the nearby Speedway where the annual Last Row Party was being held.

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 photo 099_zpszi4ugziy.jpg James Davison & Bryan Clauson

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The Last Row party was being held in the historic Pagoda at the Start/ Finish line at the track and featured a catered dinner, drinks and a sort of roast of the last row starters for the Indy 500 where they received checks for 31 cents, 32 cents and 33 cents for the final three positions in the field.  The last three drivers in the field included Ryan Briscoe (subbing for James Hinchcliffe), James Davison and Bryan Clauson.

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It was really enjoyable and fun with great food and drink and best of all access to the incredible Pagoda which I had never been in. It offers commanding views of the entire track and surrounding areas all the way to a fantastic view of downtown Indianapolis.

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I also had the chance to visit another of the top attractions in Indianapolis, the Children’s Museum which had a couple of exhibits that I really wanted to check out. The museum is consistently rated as the best museum of its kind in the Nation and going there you easily see why it has achieved the accolades. 

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There were two exhibits that I wanted to see, the Hot Wheels racing exhibit and another exhibit about TV and film that featured props from famous television and film features including the likes of Fonzie’s jacket, the Ghostbuster’s uniforms and weapons from the Men in Black films and many, many others. It is a magical museum that also had a wonderful exhibit on underwater archaeology that made me feel right at home. 

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Everybody's got a little light under the sun…

May 17, 2015

 photo 874_zpsmcpkx0du.jpg George Clinton 

 photo 052_zpsxd9w4i38.jpg Bobby Rahal

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 photo 060_zpshgtqzytd.jpg Sage Karam

 photo 854_zpsvdgbmu54.jpg Jenny, Michael & Debbie

Everybody's got a little light under the sun…

Busy Weekend as I had all sorts of stuff to do in Indianapolis that included attending qualifications for the Indy 500, going to an Indy Eleven soccer game, a beer festival in downtown Indianapolis, a George Clinton and Parliament and Funkadelic concert at the Vogue and even managing to sneak in a wonderful dinner with my dear friends Jenny and Debbie. It was an action packed fun and also slightly scary weekend.

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The first day of qualifying the rain that had avoided the speedway all week came in and though there was an active morning practice session, the qualifying was a rain-out, so it gave me the opportunity to head out and attend the Sour + Wild + Funk beer festival that was being held at the City Market in downtown Indianapolis. The festival was sponsored by Upland Brewing and focused on the sour beer segment of the craft beer market. Breweries from around the Midwest were on hand to feature their sour beers and ales, fruit beers and other specialty beer releases. 

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The festival featured a huge contingent of Indiana’s finest breweries including my favorite, Brugge Brewing which is owned by some good, good friends. It was so cool to be at a beer festival where they were among the featured brewers. I am not a huge fan of sour beers, but I was still able to try a number of beers that I found very appealing.

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After the beer fest, I headed over to Michael A. Carrol Stadium to catch an Indy Eleven soccer game against the Minnesota United FC. The stadium was packed with raucous fans many of whom stood and chanted and sang throughout the contest. It was my third Indy Eleven game since their inaugural season last year and they have all been great fun. The Eleven lost by a count of 3-1, but even that did not seem to dampen the enthusiasm of the Indy fans. It is cool to see such strong support for what is basically a new (to Indianapolis) sports team. 

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Ed Carpenter crash

Sunday It was back to the track for what was in reality the first (and now only) day of qualifications. It was as strange a day as had been seen in ages at the Speedway as in the morning practice, Ed Carpenter became the third Chevy driver to crash violently and flip over. This prompted Indy Car officials to delay qualifying and order that all teams to qualify in race trim and that they would only get a single shot at qualifying. This slowed down the cars significantly and made for a much less exciting qualifying day.

 photo 047_zps7glt6wi0.jpg Graham Rahal

 photo 11168463_10153316939278914_8063619064702913834_n_zpsai6ff4ea.jpg Ed Carpenter

 photo 037_zpslftpbl6t.jpg J.R. Hildebrand

 photo 036_zpsbvbotgfu.jpg Jake Query

Eventually they got thirty-three cars qualified with Scott Dixon on the pole for the race and Penske drivers Will Power and Simon Pageneaud completing the first row. Poor former winner Buddy Lazier was the only driver to fail to qualify, as he just could not quite get up to speed in his shortened program for this year.

 photo 040_zpsirwg3zki.jpg Scott & Emma Dixon

 photo 012_zpsusqigk9o.jpg Michael & Marco Andretti

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 photo 062_zpsyclaf3yi.jpg James Jakes

 photo 008_zpswuu2mulm.jpg Buddy Lazier

 photo 11151073_887594017963459_4786975405387398882_n_zpsi98sljqy.jpg Kirsten & Hinch

The saddest moment of my time in Indy came when my favorite driver James Hinchcliffe crashed heavily in the post qualifying practice session. It was a vicious crash made worse by the fact that one of the suspension pieces pierced both his legs and into his hip causing life threatening injuries. Only the quick action of the Holmotro Safety Team and the ER doctors saved his life as they rushed him immediately to the ER at Methodist Hospital, on the way he was given 14 pints of blood to compensate for his massive blood loss. The average human only has 12 pints of blood in them at any one time. 

 photo 11232078_10153320479193914_7373225720812512028_n_zpsvrc7tl5f.png Hinch crash

It was a sketchy and scary moment, but the good news is that Hinch pulled through and is actually ahead of schedule on his recovery, he won’t be driving for a while, but considering the alternative, it is fairly miraculous.

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Before the qualifying weekend, I had the good fortune and the good fun to go see the crazy good George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at the Vogue Theatre. George is getting older, but he still knows how to bring the funk and it was a blast listening to the band tear through such hits at Flashlight, Bring the Funk, Atomic Dog and more. 

 photo 887_zpsiulaux50.jpg George Clinton

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The packed house at the Vogue was grooving and it was something of a throwback scene to those funky days of the seventies. People were dressed to the nines and grooving hard to the funky beat. It was such a fun time, I just loved it. I had seen them play a few years ago when George had his groovy colored hair, he was much more subtle this time as far as how he looked, but he rocked it out just as hard. 

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George Clinton