Saturday, September 01, 2007

More Photos from Indiana and Kentucky

As promised, I've now labeled the photos I took in July of last year the first time I went out to visit Jen in Indiana. This was also my first real visit to the Midwest; previously the extent of my travels in the Midwest was driving over the Williamstown Bridge to Marietta, Ohio on Christmas, 1997, and then promptly turning around on the other side to head back into West Virginia.

On this trip, we flew in to Indianapolis and then drove into Kentucky, another state I'd never been to. We then went back up through rural Indiana and then spent a few days getting acquainted with Indy before I flew back home and Jen began work at Lilly.

Our first stop was in Columbus, Indiana, a town whose largest employer, Cummins Engine Company, instituted a program sometime around WWII to pay the architect's fee for buildings in the city, starting with public schools and then expanding to other public and private uses. The result is that this small town of 39,000 has a most remarkable collection of world-class public architecture; they're proud to note that the American Institute of Architects ranked Columbus sixth on a list of best cities for architecture in the U.S., behind only Chicago, New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Washington.

Here is Eero Saarinen's North Christian Church:
And here is the Second Street Bridge, designed by J. Mueller International:
Across the river from Louisville we stopped at Falls of the Ohio State Park, where there are a bunch of exposed limestone beds with fossils in them. One of the main streets in downtown Louisville was renamed Muhammad Ali Boulevard some time back.
Louisville has some classy old hotels for the Kentucky Derby set, and then they also have this goofy place, Lynn's Paradise Cafe, where we ate breakfast.
Louisville is also home to the corner of Penile Road and Manslick Road, although the two signs don't appear on the same post.
In Kentucky we visited Mammoth Cave National Park, which is awesome. It includes more than 367 miles of passages, and on our tour we only saw a tiny fraction of that, of course. Photos from a cheap camera can't possibly convey the size of even the part of the cave we saw; I highly recommend you see it for yourself.
The Green River Ferry:
This is what tobacco looks like growing in a field.
We went to a nice fireworks display at Western Kentucky University. Check out WKU's weird "Big Red" mascot that looks like a red Grimace.
We were going to visit Beech Bend Amusement Park, but their new roller coaster got struck by lightning and was down for the day. We headed back into Indiana and visited Holiday World, a small amusement park that prides itself, deservedly so, on its excellent wooden roller coasters, cleanliness, value, and friendly employees. The Voyage holds the top spot on my list of favorite wooden coasters; it really doesn't let up from the first drop to the end.
Those of you used to Disney or Six Flags putting their hands in your wallet at every turn will be dumbfounded to note that at Holiday World, parking and Pepsi products are free! And at their waterpark, so is sunscreen! You know how on some roller coasters, parks will have cubbyholes for you to keep your bags in while you ride? At Holiday World, the ride attendants actually collect your bags for you and stow them themselves.
Nearby is Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, a very nice place to visit, not overrun with tourists.
On the way back to Indy, we stopped to get a yummy butterscotch pie at an Amish bakery and took a look at uber-college town Bloomington. Here's a shot of the Indianapolis skyline.
Indianapolis has a nice medium-size zoo that also has a botanical garden attached to it. Here is a picture of an elephant.
Here is a picture of Gentoo penguins.
And this was at the gardens.
I like these keen split I-65/I-70 Interstate shields in downtown Indy:
So there you go.


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