The JW Marriott’s view of the park from the 23rd floor is stunning, and we peered down as the Indianapolis Indians (which goes into playoffs this week) played at dusk, and darkness settled in to reveal the dark waters with the downtown lights twinkling. It was a different, somewhat magical perspective of our state, and the normally so-cool teens didn’t want to pull the shades and obstruct the scene when it was time to sleep.
Also, the Indiana Experience at the Indiana History Center has an exceptional, hands-on exhibit called “1913, A City Under Water.” Visitors can pack staples, such as beans, for the flood survivors and can peruse notes posted by Hoosiers looking for lost loved ones
Plus, the bountiful vegetables displayed at the Wishard Slow Grow Garden at the park, tended by volunteers from the nonprofit Growing Places Indy, reminded us to be grateful for our rural roots. Plants can be art, too.
Food choices ranged from a salmon quesadilla for lunch at the Eiteljorg Museum café to an elegant dinner at the Marriott’s Tuscany-inspired restaurant, Osteria Pronto. The chef has cooked for dignitaries such as Ronald Reagan. My recent vow to go Mediterranean inspired me to order the delicious gnocchi, made of ricotta cheese, tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella. Our son was taken with the Pollo Parmigiana, a Parmesan breaded chicken breast with spaghetti and tomato sauce, and says nothing he’s eaten since has compared.
An expected bonus from the excursion is that we didn’t have that longing that comes at the end of most vacations, when you wonder if or when you’ll repeat the experience. We knew that we could come back whenever we felt the urge and our budget and schedules permitted. In fact, we have already been back to White River State Park for a few quick visits.
Offerings near Indiana White River State Park: Indiana State Museum Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens NCAA Hall of Champions Victory Fields Eiteljorg Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn (concerts)