Jenni visits the Circle City

Required August-time stop for out-o-state visitors.

Required August-time stop for out-o-state visitors.

We like showing off Indianapolis to our out-of-town friends, especially because we think they’re often a bit surprised at how much there is to do here. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just cornfields and racing cars in the Circle City.

And rightfully so: With a population of more than 850,000 just within the city limits, Indy’s becoming an ever-increasingly bustling Midwest metropolis.

That population grew to about 850,001 recently when Caitlyn’s friend, Jenni, visited from Detroit (another often unfairly maligned Midwest city), who got to take in a little bit of the Indy of yesteryear and the Indy of tomorrow.

Puppy kisses at the fair?!?

Puppy kisses at the fair?!?

Indy of yesteryear

No trip to Indy in August is complete without a trip to the Indiana State Fair, one of the largest such fairs in the country. We’ve written about the fair ad nauseam over the years, so we won’t go too much into detail here, but know that we definitely took advantage of $2 Tuesdays, which are home to $2 admission and oodles of unhealthy fair foods for special $2 portions. Jenni, meanwhile, took advantage of the kiss-a-dog booth for $1. We told her our dog Bailey was happy to provide free kisses, but Jenni can’t refuse a dog with puckered lips.

Our trip down memory lane extended to the second-run movie theater near Greenwood to take in “Mad Max: Fury Road.” I have no idea how old this theater is, but it reminds me of the theater I used to go to as a child of the ‘80s, complete with neon signs, a simple tiled lobby and even a mini arcade. Caitlyn, Jenni and I all must have looked like a family, because we got the “family deal” and each ticket wound up only costing about $1.25. I think I was considered the “child.” If that’s the case, I think someone needs to talk to Caitlyn and Jenni about their parenting skills, taking a child to see “Mad Max!”

Caitlyn showing off her mad skillz at duckpin bowling.

Caitlyn showing off her mad skillz at duckpin bowling.

Of course, no trip to our Fountain Square neighborhood is complete with trying your hand at duckpin bowling. The premise seems simple enough: You toss a ball slightly bigger than a bocce—but with no finger holes—at 10 squat pins. You get three rolls per frame because you will suck at it your first time … and subsequent 20 times. If you break 50, you’re doing well. Hit 60 and you’re a GOD. Action Bowling has the look and feel of the 1940s with the rich wood detail and vintage bowling equipment. You also get a nice view of downtown and Fountain Square and, if you’re like us, you wind up a lane with a wonky pin that refuses to stay down, no matter how many times you hit it.

Indy of tomorrow

The hot thing in Indy right now is biking. We have an awesome dedicated bike path—the Cultural Trail zigzags all over downtown and some of the adjoining cultural districts, including ours—and accompanying Pacers Bikeshare network where you can rent a bike and drop it off at other stations around downtown. Caitlyn and Jenni did a tour of downtown, grabbing lunch at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, before heading off to trendy Mass Ave for some shopping at some of our local retailers.

The Pacers Bikeshare is a great way to get around town.

The Pacers Bikeshare is a great way to get around town.

Little did Jenni know she would also be getting a workout, going with Caitlyn to Indianapolis Downtown Boot Camp for a kettle bell class. Gotta burn off that fair food, right?

You can’t do all this activity without taking in some grub in one of the many trendy restaurants in Fountain Square and Fletcher Place. We dig Pure Eatery for light, vegetarian fare (they also have non-veg fare) and considered Milktooth for brunch, but everything looked a little too hipster frou-frou for their liking, so Caitlyn and Jenni went over to Yolk downtown for some more traditional eggs and pancakes.

All in all, a nice trip, seeing a lot of the sights of downtown Indy!

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