Sluiter Nation Takes Indy

I promised to share our trip to Indianapolis, so I need to make good on that.  So here is our story…

Last week Monday, our little family packed up and headed south.

 Before having Eddie, four hours in the car for a road trip would have been no big deal for Cort and me.  We love road trips together! But with a 13-month old?  By hour three?  Eddie was done.  D.O.N.E. done. I had to start singing to him to get him to applaud and smile and not scream his face off.

Also on that four-hour tour, Eddie also had his first McDonald’s visit.  I didn’t even think to take my camera in, but there he sat…in a highchair, with a chicken nugget and apple slice happy meal, smiling.  And in that McDonalds somewhere in northern Indiana?  My baby learned to drink out of a straw.  Sigh…

Anyway, we arrived in Indianapolis around 5:00 or so.  Eddie LOVED the hotel room!

The chair and the air conditioner and the window overlooking a bazillion school buses were his favorite parts.

That evening Emily invited us over for pizza and relaxing on the back deck while the kids played.  It was a lovely way to start our visit!  Before we left, we agreed to head out to the Indianapolis Zoo with Emily and her crew in the morning.

Emily has a membership pass so we got in for nothing at all!  You can’t beat that deal with a stick!

Emily’s oldest, PK, was our tour guide for the day.  Now you must know, PK and I bonded over that fact that we both love princesses, and I knew each one of her Polly Pockets princess’s names.  Yup, we are now BFF’s.  Anyway, I believe it was because of this bond that we got such a thorough tour from her.

One of the first places she took us was to see the sharks.  Very cool.  However, did you know you can PET these sharks?  Um…I am a little skeptical of this.

But clearly it is safe because I don’t think Emily would let her sweet little girls touch a man eater.  I don’t THINK.

So of course Cort had his brave pants on that day and cozied up to a shark.  This is the same guy who picked up a horseshoe crab and pet a sting ray in Myrtle Beach.  Show off.

So I leaned in and pet one too.  It was icky, but at least I did it.  Notice my two-finger technique.  That is me all following directions.

We stopped to see the penguins.  Birdie liked the penguins.  I liked Birdie’s pigtails.  It’s a fair trade.

Eddie enjoyed the dolphin dome.  It WAS pretty neat to feel like you are underwater.  And it’s very echo-y in there.  Also a favorite of Eddie’s.

Meerkats, anyone?
Polar Bear butt dwarfing Emily’s girls.
The crew: Emily, Gage, Birdie, PK, Cort, and Eddie
elephant family
Cort’s new BFF, Gage the Rage
It may have been over a hundred degrees.  And some of us may have been crabby about that.
Lucky for us there is a splash pad at the zoo.  Eddie and I put our piggies in to cool off!
Ah!  that’s better!
Right before we left, we met these gibbons.  They were loud.  They were a fan favorite.  Coincidence?
Oh, and in case you are wondering, Eddie got a penguin to add to his collection from this zoo!
We may have had McDonalds again.  This time I had my camera ready.  See?  He’s like an adult with that thing.  Sigh…
Tuesday night was the super fun Blogger BBQ at Emily’s.  It was fun.  It was needed.  I wish I could do it ALL THE TIME!
Wednesday morning we decided we needed some indoor, air-conditioned fun, so on the recommendation of all the Indy natives, Sluiter Nation went to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
It was four floors of exploring, investigating, learning, and playing.  Eddie really liked it.  I may have loved it.
Eddie learned about watersheds (just for you Erin. Maybe he can explain them to me).
He played in a log.
He built things with blocks.
He rode a carousel with dad-do.
We saw dinosaurs. (Eddie applauded this guy).
Eddie explored sand.
and learned about magnets.
he picked flowers.
and played in the Baby Scapes.
I posed on the Barbie runway. 
And stopped for a photo op with my childhood friend.  Girlfriend needs to eat a cheeseburger, though.  She’s making me look bad!
Before lunch (where Eddie drank from yes, ANOTHER juice box), we found his favorite exhibit!
There were rock star cars like this one from Van Halen.
And this trailer o stereo from KISS
we even saw Cheap Trick’s custom John Deere!
We even let Eddie try out a “hog”.  He liked it.  Sort of a lot.  Don’t tell Grandma.
After lunch, it was time to get back in the truck and head north for home.  Eddie and I both slept for part of the trip. We were exhausted from all the fun we had.  It was the perfect minivacation for our first family vacation.  Eddie slept pretty well in the hotel (even if he didn’t nap on Tuesday because the room was just too interesting), and we had a TON of fun with old and new friends!
We look forward to visiting Indy again and maybe hitting the State Fair next time!
About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. That all looks like so much fun! That museum looks AWESOME! Glad you guys had a good trip.

  2. pinkflipflops says

    that children's museum looks awesome! and i love penguins!

  3. Looks like a great trip!

    So glad I "ran" into you on twitter. Cute blog!!

  4. Sarah @ Ordinary Days says

    You make Indy look so good. 🙂 Glad I could be a part of your first family vacation. I'm already looking forward to next year!

  5. That looks like such a fun time!

  6. makemommygosomethingsomething says

    Road trips with little ones suck…the car ride I mean. We went camping and the drive normally takes us 7 hours straight, but with a toddler it takes us about 10 hours, a box of Cheerios, a bag of gold fish crackers, candy, books, toys, irritating kids music, and lots and lots of potty breaks and begging to be still. No wonder we drink so much when we get to our destination.

    So glad you all had fun!! I'm loving Eddies curls!!

  7. Looks like fun. Great job squeezing it in. I have yet to really talk about our trip. I'm just so tired and hubs is already talking about another one this week. Gulp.

  8. Mungee's Ma says

    Yay for a successful family vacation! I'd love to do something like that. Once Mungee is walking. We are going to check out a little hands-on museum here soon. I'll need to remember to bring the camera!

  9. punkinmama says

    How can *you* not like the Penguins?!

    Anyway, so glad you guys had an awesome time!

    The city awaits your return…

  10. Jeremy and Tonya says

    Jealous of your pose on the Barbie runway!

  11. WAH Adventures! says

    Found your blog through Nestwork!
    Welcome to Indy!! I LOVE the children's museum! My girls do too 🙂 We go a few times a year and it never gets boring! Also glad to see you made it to the zoo! I feel you made it to the two best family places in Indy!

  12. HarmSkills says

    wow that does sound like afabulous trip. a great zoo and childrens museum too! I would love to use this for Baby To Go. Ill think about when, and how to post it.

  13. missy widener says

    Um I am so going there next year!! Petting sharks, splash pad, super awesome children's museum, andca place for me to be a cover girl, work it girl??? Zoolander lips??? SO awesome. Looks like you had the best time and you deserve it! Thanks for sharing!! Oh but Ethan is not happy he has been replaced!! There could be a throwdown..