Last weekend I skipped on up to Indiana for the first time – the 12th new state I’ve visited this year. The trip was to visit some friends and other than tickets to a Purdue basketball game Saturday night we had nothing planned. Most of the trip went unphotographed but it was such a fun, nerdy weekend I couldn’t not blog about it.
We landed in Indy around 10am and met up with a friend who is currently pursuing a PhD at Purdue. If you’re unfamiliar with Purdue or Indiana geography, Purdue is in West Lafayette, a bit over an hour from Indianapolis. I did not know this until the car ride back to West Lafayette after exploring the city a little bit – whoops!
While in Indianapolis we explored the Indiana State House and tried unsuccessfully to find the moon tree outside it. (Admittedly, we didn’t try very hard as it was cold and starting to rain.) From the State House we went to the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library to spend a little time. We knew it would be small, but it’s really, REALLY small. It’s still absolutely worth $8 to browse, and I’m not an especially big Vonnegut fan. It’s just a really cool little museum.
We spent the afternoon playing with Taco, the beagle puppy that never sleeps. She loves to tug and wants a person playing with her 24/7. Saturday evening we hit up Triple XXX Family Restaurant, a diner that makes their own root beer and serves up some phenomenal food and was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. They serve breakfast all day (a HUGE plus in my book) and the atmosphere is a little divey. I loved it.
With full bellies we headed to Purdue to watch them destroy Fairfield in men’s basketball. I’m not a basketball fan – in person or on TV – but it was fun to watch Purdue score NINETEEN 3-pointers.
We spent Sunday morning getting tours of a few Purdue research labs, including their combustion lab. I did undergraduate research in combustion at Georgia Tech and seeing their combustion lab made me miss my old stomping grounds! It was nerdy and fun and so nostalgic.
From the research labs we headed to downtown Lafayette for the afternoon and made our first stop at DT Kirby’s for some A+ hot dogs. I got the B&B dog (7″ dog with bacon, cheese, and an over-easy egg on top) and can attest to its greatness.
Just down the street is Merlin’s Beard, a board game lounge (the best way I can think to describe it) where for $5/person you can sit for hours and play any of their 400+ games. They also have coffee, sandwiches, desserts, and beer, and they’ll help recommend games to your group and teach you how to play. We sat for almost three hours playing Terra Mystica and it was a really unique and fun place to spend an afternoon.
Before catching the Lafayette Limo to the airport (a reasonably-priced shuttle that I absolutely recommend with the caveat that it may be running late) we had some time to explore Purdue’s campus and check out Von’s Shops. It started as a bookstore and that’s the only portion we really explored, but we should have allotted more time for these shops. I’ve never seen so many books in one place, and we didn’t even check out the record store or any of the other connected shops. I picked up a comic book biography of Richard Feynman and a Sherlock Holmes-style book on common cons and fallacies. A nerdy ending to a nerdy vacation.
These long weekends just fill my heart. I am so blessed and so thankful for the people who take a weekend out of their lives to host me. This year I’ve visited 12 new states – some for work, some for pleasure – and I am thankful for all of them.