Indy’s 5 gifts to us

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Our home, Indianapolis.

You’ll never get Caitlyn to admit she’s a Hoosier. She was born in Chicago, raised in Michigan and just happened to land in Indiana. Still, there are several things – at least five – that we like about the Circle City and are proud to boast about to friends and family. In keeping with the holiday spirit, we consider these the five gifts that Indy has given to us over the years.

We like the walruses, but the giraffes are pretty cool, too.

We like the walruses, but the giraffes are pretty cool, too.

Indianapolis Zoo: This museum has several things going for it – it’s easy to navigate, has a wide variety of wildlife and is home to my favorite animal, the walrus. I also feel some parental responsibility, being an Animal Amigo and partially sponsoring our walruses’ growth and development. Further, you can easily get to the zoo by biking along the Cultural Trail to White River State Park and entering through the back entrance. We’ve mentioned this in prior posts, but it also has the best soft pretzels on earth. If you don’t get one, YOU’VE FAILED LIFE.

The Cultural Trail: I always wanted to bike to work, but the thought of riding on downtown streets with Indy motorists – who I rate among the worst I’ve seen in all my travels – always made me hesitant. Thankfully, the 8-mile stretch of pretty pavers and public art offers an opportunity to exercise, live a greener lifestyle and not die in the process. The trail continues to receive national accolades and connects to the Monon Trail for those in the mood for a nice long ride to the Whole Foods on 86th Street.

Catch some tune-skis in Fountain Square.

Catch some tune-skis in Fountain Square.

Fountain Square: Sure, it’s our home neighborhood, but it’s pretty awesome. Great local restaurants, a film festival’s headquarters, quirky shops, swing dancing and outdoor concerts during the summer make this near-southside cultural district the place to be. We don’t wear fedoras or black-rimmed Buddy Holly glasses, but we feel like we still fit in thanks to our quarter-hipster heritage.

Good mix of malls: I’m not a mall rat, but it’s nice to know when I do need a mall that we have variety in our shopping experiences. We love having Circle Centre downtown and, when we’re up for it, we don’t mind the trek north to the upscale and trendy Fashion Mall at Keystone. Sure, we can’t afford to buy anything at the latter, but it’s nice to dream of a wardrobe full of Burberry, expensive cashmere sweaters and Cole Haans.

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Blue collar. Gold swagger.

Downtown: It’s great to live in a downtown that actually has people on weekends and evenings. Of course, that didn’t always used to be the case in “Naptown,” but thanks to several great cultural amenities, our awesome Pacers, fab restaurants and nice shops in a compact area, downtown is more alive than ever and we almost never have to leave the area … except for Target. Must. Shop. At. Target.

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