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2017 Midwest Vacation Road Trip - Day 5 - Indianapolis to Pittsburgh

The sixth and final installment of the Midwest Vacation Trip covers our leg from Indianapolis to my parent's home in Elizabeth, PA.  We really didn't travel much the next two days and there wasn't anything really new on the way back to NC.

Route: I-65, Local Indianapolis Streets, I-65, I-70, OH 60, I-70, PA 201, PA 51, PA 48.

Counties: 4 (3 in Indiana and 1 on Ohio - I gained a total of 35 on this trip)

Roadtrip photos on flickr.  Museum Photos on flickr.

This leg of the trip started with our intended activity first, a trip to the Children's Museum of Indianapolis.  We had heard and read excellent reviews of this Children's Museum, so as a result we added it to our trip.  The Children's Museum of Indianapolis says that it is the country's best and largest - and they aren't kidding.  We could have spent a whole day and maybe two here. And once the Sports Legends Experience expansion opens in 2018 - you can block out two full days here.

A transformer - Bumblebee - at the entrance to the museum?!?!? Colton was instantly hooked.
Admission is rather pricey and appears to be on a dynamic price schedule - tickets were $25 for adults and $20.50 for youths on the day of our visit - so if you are able to plan your visit ahead of time you can save significantly.  Parking is free - and the price is actually worth it due to all the exhibits.

There are five floors worth of exhibits at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis.  The basement level has enough exhibits and activities for most other cities children's museums. (And we have been to quite enough to know!) The higher levels have various seasonal and annual exhibits, toddler play areas, STEM learning areas and more.  The boys would have stayed all day if they could.



American Pop Culture seasonal exhibit.
Interactive water feature that allows you to take a barge from Indiana all the way to the Gulf of Mexico

After eating lunch at the museum, we began the trek east to Pennsylvania.  Going north on Interstate 65 gives better views of the Indianapolis skyline; but here's a shot.  Of course with Indiana being as flat as it is - you can see the skyline from quite a few miles away.


Throughout Indianapolis and on I-70 Indiana you can still find a lot of button copy signs.



And I also finally got to see that weird "Welcome to Ohio" arch.  Known as the "Ohio Arch", this greets eastbound travelers on Interstate 70 as they enter Ohio.  I see that Ohio's new tourism slogan is "Find it Here" - well it's not hard to miss this arch.

Ohio - find it here.  Well for starters, here's an arch.
This trip allowed me to get all of I-70 in Ohio completed.  I had it from the Ohio River west to Interstate 75 North of Dayton.  It was my first time on I-70 west of Columbus since the fall of 1999 when I visited friends at the University of Dayton.  I was pleasantly surprised to see I-70 six lanes - with the exception of a brief section south of Springfield - from Dayton to Columbus. For most of the trip through Ohio, Maggie and the boys were sleeping.  I needed to stop to use the rest rooms at the rest areas near Buckeye Lake and as a result everyone woke up.  It was near dinner time and everyone was getting hungry.  We decided to look around Zanesville for something to eat.

Interstate 70 East in Zanesville, Ohio
We ended up trying somewhere local vs. yet another Cracker Barrel. (The last two Cracker Barrels we went to the service wasn't all too great.)  We found a nice little and popular Italian restaurant about a mile or so from the Interstate on Ohio 60.  The place is called Adornetto's and is a staple of the local community.  The meal was great - and I have to give great credit to our waitress - she saw that we had two cranky boys with us and did everything she could to get the meals for them out right away!

After dinner and a gas stop, we made one final stop at the Pennsylvania Welcome Center near Claysville on Interstate 70.  With the holiday travel, the welcome center had their "Safety Break" which offers free snacks and coffee for weary travelers.  I believe these are common throughout Pennsylvania.  A small camper run by local churches was still open when we got their about 8:30 pm.  They said that they typically have someone around all night and that a number of churches in the community volunteer together to man the safety break camper during the summer holidays.

Overall, this was a fun trip for our entire family.  We got to share some great memories and experiences.  I hope you enjoyed me sharing them with you.   Looking back, the trip may have been a little too long as we were exhausted and glad to be home when it was done.  If we could have stayed an extra day in St. Louis - that would have been helpful also.  The key to roadtrips and roadgeeking with kids is to know your kids (and family) and adjust your travel and exploring to it.  Keep in mind that your plans will most likely change unexpectedly; however, they may lead to new surprises, adventures, and memories.

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