4 days in Indiana

I took Cecily to visit Diane in Indianapolis this weekend. I met Diane at Hamline when we were both getting our MFA, and I kept her. She is one of my favorite people in the entire world, and our oldest kids are the same ages. (Maddie and Alice are five and Simon and Violet are three.) 

I haven’t visited Diane or Indiana in five years, so it was time. I brought Cecily with me because she’s still nursing, and also because I have separation anxiety (she’s only twelve months old!) and because she gives Zach the hardest time of all of the kids.

I’m so glad I brought her. It was the first real alone time we’ve had together, and it was wonderful. She was so good! And she’s so funny.

We arrived on Thursday, after a flight that really wasn’t so bad. Cecily slept for an hour of it, whine-cried for an hour of it, and poked the girl next to us, chanting “Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi!” for about an hour and a half. 

Diane picked us up at the airport, and it was just so good to see her. Cecily and I shared the guest room, and though she’s never slept anywhere but her own crib or bassinet before, she did such a great job sleeping through the night each night we were there. She adjusted to the three hour time difference like a pro.

On Friday, we went to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum with the three kids. What an amazing place!

Cecily was pretty tuckered out by the end of it. 

On Friday night, after all of the girls were in bed, Diane and I walked around her neighborhood and watched the sunset and drank wine coolers. It was the best. (And look, I know we’re talking about my short and wonderful trip, and I know we’re looking at cute pictures, and I know that literally no one in the whole world cares about how many Fitbit steps I got, but honestly. I got hella Fitbit steps this weekend.)

On Saturday, we went to the zoo. It was such a great zoo, too. I petted a shark! We saw dolphins! Macaws spontaneously flew over our heads! 

Diane dropped Cecily and me off at Bub’s Burgers, where I met up with my inlaws. Cecily got to see Granny Jill again, and meet her Aunt Anni. I had a portobello sandwich that I’ve been thinking about ever since. It was marvelous.

When Diane picked us up after lunch, we went to this really sweet part of Zionsville that reminded me a lot of Amherst, MA. We went to Black Dog Books, which is a small bookstore with an extremely sweet mascot named Sophie. (She’s a black dog.) I bought too many books. But I’m glad I did! I found a Tasha Tudor book in the children’s section, and talked loudly enough about Tasha Tudor that the woman at the desk came over and brought me to a gorgeous book all about Tasha Tudor’s gardens in Vermont. She told me that she knows the man who wrote Tasha Tudor’s biography, and he gifted her some hollyhocks from Tasha Tudor’s farm, and those very hollyhocks are growing in front of the store. What! What an awesome thing! The woman behind the desk had also lived in Massachusetts. I love how small the world is, sometimes.

And I bought the book about Tasha Tudor’s gardens. As if you even had to wonder.

The last time we visited Diane, Maddie was only six months old. Diane and Andrew and their new baby Alice had just moved into their house, and they began this fantastic tradition of getting their guests to paint their hands or feet and stick them on a wall. I added Cecily’s footprint right next to Maddie’s on Saturday evening.

Cecily was wigglier than Maddie.

On our second evening wine cooler walk, we saw the cutest foal and its mother. The foal walked right up to us! I sent a picture to Zach so he’d show Maddie, and she was appropriately thrilled.

On Sunday morning, Diane showed me and Cecily around Broad Ripple, which was both hip and lovely. We walked on a trail, stopped for coffee, had Indian food for lunch, and drove around Diane’s alma mater, Butler. At the coffee shop, a very cute dog named Gabe befriended Cecily, and his owner asked about my books and wrote down my name and made me feel a little bit like Judy Garland in A Star is Born.

And then Cecily and I flew back home to the PNW.

I miss Diane and her family already, but I’m also so glad to see mine! Zach, Maddie, Simon, and the cats seemed pretty glad to see us, too. 

It was such a lovely, lovely trip.

Renee Beauregard Lute

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