Every year Pocky and I head to Indy after I finish winter finals for a late Chanukah over the Christmas break. This year I took finals, graduated, and visited with family and friends in Charlotte. Then we braved the airports and bad weather, eventually arriving in Indy.
Last year; however, we deviated from the plan. In 2011, I was studying in London, so Pocky and I spent the holiday season in the UK and France – it was fabulous. Though, if you are going to spend Christmas in Europe or the UK, keep in mind that transportation, restaurants, etc. will not be accessible on Christmas or Boxing Day. What is Boxing Day, you say? Once upon a time, servants and tradesmen received gifts from their employers on the 26th of December, but today it is a national holiday.
We arrived in London on the 24th, after a few days in Bath. We had a great day, but a lot of what we wanted to see and do in Bath was not open on the 24th. We returned to the Marriott County Hotel in London in the evening. The hotel warned us that it would be difficult to find a restaurant that was open and that we should make a reservation for the hotel restaurant for the next night because everything would be closed. Then we headed out; we had a great time running around the evening of the 24th and we headed to the South Bank where a handful of restaurants were open. We chose the Italian restaurant, Strada for a late dinner.
Because there really wasn’t anything on the prix fixe hotel menu that I could eat we took our chances on the 25th…The only place open was Chilli Chutney in the Waterloo area across from the London Eye, only a few blocks from the hotel. It’s a tiny Indian deli and though it wasn’t the best Indian that I’ve ever had, it was a nice Christmas dinner. Then we wandered to the hotel to enjoy our fabulous view of the Thames. We flew out on the 26th, which I do not recommend because unless you hire a car for almost $300 dollars, you will not make it to the airport.
This year was more traditional; we stayed at our usual hotel in Indy, met up with friends and family and shopped. We are not much for packing presents, we shop while we are there and wrap in the hotel room. We almost always have the hotel to ourselves; sometimes there are a few people staying there, but not many. While in town, I dragged Pocky over to Broad Ripple Village, which is a hip, ever changing artist area of town that I really like. It was cold and snowy the entire time that we were there, but compared to how it normally is (5 degrees), 25 degrees felt almost warm. We stopped for coffee at Starbucks and found comfy seats next to the fireplace. It was a nice break from shopping and the cold.
We usually go to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, but unfortunately they did not have any special exhibitions that I wanted to see. I actually did a bit of pleasure reading for the first time in six months (aside from planes and airports). We had the chance to spend a lot of quality time with Pocky’s family and had a lovely Chanukah dinner at his mom’s house. Our return flight to Charlotte was on the 25th and luckily we made it out before the blizzard arrived later that night.