Our first trip of 2014 … was a mile up the street
Perhaps we were tempting fate, Caitlyn and I talking about where we wanted to travel in 2014. Caribbean? San Francisco? New York? Little did we know “Storm of the Century,” aka, “Snowmageddon,” “Snowpocalypse” and “Snowlocaust (thank you, Onion), would make our decision very easy.
As we were digging the Prius out from a several-inch high clump of snow it had got stuck in during the first part of this winter cluster – 9 inches of snow – we both head a loud “CRACK” and then turned our heads to see what remained of one of our power lines crashing down onto the fluffy white surface 15 feet away. As homeowners came out to ask one another if they had lost power (we all had), a second line snapped when a limb on a tree in our neighbor’s yard split apart easier than a wishbone and came hurtling down atop our fence.
Powerless, and with temperatures the area hadn’t seen in 20 years (-16 without the wind chill), we were set for a cold week. Unfortunately, all of us lasted only one night in the house; the inside temperature dropped from 68 to 50 over the course of 15 hours and, yet again, another 10 degrees by the following morning and showed no sign of slowing down.
We made an executive decision: We were going to hole up the entire family – Caitlyn, myself, the dog and the cat – at The Alexander, a new-ish, artsy boutique hotel about a mile up the street from our home that is very accommodating of pets and doesn’t charge an asinine amount for a “nonrefundable pet fee.” It also helped that the hotel was doing its part to help local residents by offering a special “Snow Day” rate for the homeless or those trapped in Indy.
With barren roads and nary a business open (the mayor had requested all businesses shut down for the day – thank God for room service!), we checked into our new “home.”
The animals, as expected, were confused by this new, labyrinth-like home. Bailey made a break for it down the hallway, but, once out of real estate, realized her voyage of discovery was over. Jackson, meanwhile, alternated between his silent protest of not eating and running for his life from the dog in our room. After one day, we had enough and dropped the dog off at daycare and Day 2 was just Caitlyn, Jackson and myself.
With our new found freedom from being puppy-less, the Mrs. and I walked around the hotel, ogling all the hip, modern art, from video installations to photos of penguins in a hot tub and even a huge mural of Indianapolis’ Madam C.J. Walker – the nation’s first black female millionaire – made entirely out of combs (Walker’s specialty was in hair care products). The hotel-turned-art museum definitely helped our cabin fever, as many things downtown were still closed. The mall was one of the few things open on Day 2, so we took in a film but, beyond that and a Pacers game, it was pretty slow-going downtown.
By the third morning there, we had heard from our neighbors that the power had been restored and, just like that, our first vacation of 2014 was coming to an end. It wasn’t quite what we were expecting, but we still got that quality time together … we just wished it hadn’t been spent watching Kitchen Nightmares and Cake Boss for two days straight. But we were thankful to have such a cool, understanding hotel right up the street from our house and would recommend them to any of our friends planning on visiting Indy.