State Capital Visit Trip 2013 - Part 2

2013/12/24 Indianapolis, Columbus and Charleston

To the airport

Woke up at 4:30am with help of two alarm clocks. Used heater to warm up the room while stretching my body. Ate breakfast and took shower before leaving my apartment at 5:20am. It was 33F at outside, the road condition was not so bad so my drive was easy on the toll road under dark sky. I arrived to the parking before 6:00am. The parking was full so I was only allowed to enter just because I made a reservation. Other people arriving only need to double park their cars with keys given to the parking staffs. Parked my car and get on a packed shuttle van. The lady drove very fast with some amazing maneuvers. I got to the terminal okay. Got myself dropped off at terminal C at 6:10am. Walked crossed the road to enter the building. At inside, I checked myself in, grabbed my bags and lined up to the security check at 6:20pm. I have about 30minutes to make it to the gate. The line moved quite smoothly and I passed the security at 6:50pm. I have 15 minutes to the gate.

To Indianapolis, IN: UA3521 IAH(7:04am CST) - IND(10:25am CST)

I hurried to the gate and took a seat, the person next to me could not get the ticket yesterday morning and now giving a try to go to Indy today. The plane departed 10 after 7:00am, taxied to the south and departed IAH to the east at 8:20am. It made 270 degree turn to the right toward the north while gaining altitude.

The plane at the gate

Departing from IAH

The plane flew with no issues, the sky is sunny and air is clam. As it approached toward Indianapolis, I saw some low clouds popping up. On the ground, I see some left over snow, as well as partly frozen lakes. The plane flew by the speedway to the right, it turned around a lot then landed from the north. When I stepped out from the plane, it was cold but I did not know how much. Later learned it was 12F but it was no way knowing as standing by the gate for the bag to come out with other passengers.
Getting close to Indianapolis

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

As soon as I grabbed my bag, I walked toward the exit. This is a new terminal and I do not recall the old one. After passing the exit, I walked in to an area with many things hanging from the ceiling. I walked toward Ground Transportation, and checked in with a rental car company. The agent knows a guy with the same first name as mine, and also knows Takuma Sato, an Indy car racer. Wow...

I stepped outside and noticed my fingers going numb. I picked a VW Jetta today since the car the offered to me was a Hyundai Accent. I do not like the car.

Sightseeing: State Capital, Carmel, Rushville

Signed the paper work and began heading out from the airport around 11:00am, getting on the I-70 east and drove toward the downtown area. Drove by the Lucas Oil Stadium where Colts play, parked my car by the building. When I took one step out of the car, I realize the dangerous condition. My fingers soon cannot type words on my iPhone... I walked around the house where the streets still had leftover snow maybe from last night, took a picture then hurried back to my car to warm up my fingers...

Indiana State Capital building

Headed to north to visit Carmel where I used to live between 2005 and 2007. I took a path going up on Meridian St. Passing by historical area of the Indy. Otherwise there are so many brick buildings.

Driving up north

When I crossed the I-465, it is a different story. They are still expanding and constructions were taking places. I stopped by at Meijer where I bought everything I need when I started to work. Arriving on 131st St. which is also the Main St. of Carmel. passing the Monon trail crossing and drove to the place formally the company's regional office where I used to work. The surrounding changed a lot. The main street now has a series of town house looking buildings to the north and south. Parked my car behind a shopping center and walking down the street with freezing hands and ears. Ate 1/2lb burger at the place I know for a long time. Took a peek at Monon Trail and took picture of Christmas tree in the town and figures of people places at several locations. I then walked back to my car. It's enough and I am ready to head to the next.

Meijer and former FTTC-IO

Heading out around noon to Rushville while swinging by the apartment complex I used to live. It was something. I remembered the time I had so much debut in my credit card and car payment. I somehow survived. I get on the 465 to east, then got off to take US-52 to Rushville, IN. It is a typical Indiana countryside, farming field on both sides, some houses with barns, and occasionally, small towns. Some parts of the farmland are frozen.

The speed limit is reduced as I enter Rushville city limit. This town had a factory of the company I used to work. I stopped by at the restaurant I used to eat lunch a lot. I also made a stop at the former factory site. There is nothing left to see. It's time to go...

Driving toward Rushville

El Reparo, one of my favorite restaurant when I was visiting FTCA-RIO

Drivign in Rushville


To Columbus, OH: State Capital

Get on state road IN-3 to head out from the town. The path was something I took many, many times. I going up a hill then drive straight, with a couple of curves, passing a small town before arriving to the I-70. I remembered most of the part, but I realized there has been small changes on the road. Getting on the I-70 east at 2:30pm. The traffic was not so bad, I kept going at posted speed limit. After passing Richmond,  Crossed into Ohio at 3:00pm

Heading north to catch on I-70

Crossing into Ohio

Made a stop at gas stop to grab water and postcards. They did not have good ones but I guess it is okay for now. I saw some snow flakes in the air. Kept going to east and arrived at Columbus. Somehow the power to my GPS unit failed, it was because the cigar lighter connection portion was disintegrated. I still managed to get to the state house, parked my car and walked around to take pictures, besides the state house, I check out the place where the first Wendy's was established. The churches in the area are getting ready for the Christmas service, and I see homeless people on the street. The sun is coming down and I expect the sun to set sometimes soon. It's time to go.

Ohio state house

The sign indicating there was a Wendy's here

To Charleston, WV

I bought dinner at nearby McDonald's; 10 pieces McNuggets before the outside is getting too dark because the stores may be closed in the evening to observe Christmas. I ate it while driving on the US-33 toward Charleston, WV. The drive was smooth, only few cops on the road was able to repair the power supply of the GPS unit which got often confused because the map data was from 2010 and I was driving nowhere.

Driving under dark, with very much no traffic.

I crossed Ohio river and entered West Virginia at 7:20pm, soon I get on I-77 at Ravenswood, WV. The sky was dark and clear, so I can see the stars while listening to the Christmas songs as I continue driving. Switched to I-79 near Charleston and safely arrived at the town. I found the hotel and checked in the hotel at 8:00pm. The place was pretty cold. Plugged in my iPhone for charging since it was dying. Later I tried to locate a place where I can buy postcards, but, failed since not many stores are open this evening like in the town this size. Came back to the hotel, relaxed and began typing the blog and wrote some cards. Going to bed by 10:30pm. The outside is still cold around 19F.

2013/12/25 To Frankfort, coming back to Houston

Visiting West Virginia Capital

Woke up at 5:30am. I could not sleep too well and woke up a couple of times over the night. Stretched my body then worked out at the exercise room for 30 minutes on a treadmill. Grabbed my breakfast, took shower and repacked for the day. I had to scrape off frost on the windows of the car but was easy. It was 15F and will eventually warmed up to the 30s today...


Left the hotel at 7:30am then headed to the downtown area to visit the state capital. As I drove, the sun came up over the mountains. The area by capital building was very quiet and the river in front flowed silently. The vapor on the surface created a pretty sight.

The state house of West Virginia and a view on the river in front.

To Frankfort, KY

Left the location at 8:00am, stopped by pharmacy for postcards but they did not carry one. So I gave up and began driving. The route had a lot of ups and downs because of the mountain area. Some parts the road looked wet or frozen so I did not drive up to the speed limit at certain portions. Tried a couple of gas stations for the cards and I got lucky with the second place. Crossing into Kentucky at 10:20am, the first thing I saw was a big plant by the Big Sandy River.

Once I entered Kentucky, the scenery changed a little, I can see more rolling hills than mountains. While heading to Lexington, I decided to take a detour and swing by Toyota in Georgetown at 12:20pm. I used to go there many times, including a couple weeks of night shift to make corrective actions at the line... It was a good memory and now I even work at night often. When the time changes, the things changes, too.

Jim Beam

Arrived at Frankfort at 1:00pm. The first place I visited was the old capital. It was undergoing repair work and looks like it was not the original. The town area had a couple of rail tracks on the street. As I drive toward the capital, I saw a couple of houses from 1840s. Stopped by the state capital at 1:20pm for the picture.

Back in Indianapolis

Getting back to the car and began driving back to Indianapolis. Get on I-64 toward Louisville, the road still had some ups and downs. Where the area of construction, I saw a couple of vehicles were caught for speeding by cops. A bad Christmas surprise for them. Passing by at Louisville at 2:20pm, now I am taking I-65 north to enter Indiana while crossing a bridge which is over Ohio river. I bought a lunch at McDonald's and decided eat on the way. The sky was getting cloudy as I drive toward the north. The temperature was initially at 32F but slowly coming down as I drive, falling back in the 20s. Finally I came back to Indianapolis, filled up gas for the last time and drove on I-465 west to the airport, switched to I-70 west and very soon, the airport was in sight. Returned the car at 3:20pm, walking toward the terminal, used self service checking and got my ticket.

Crossing into Indiana

The weather is getting bad

INDPLS = Indianapolis?!

Coming back to Houston: UA5150 IND(5:46pm CST) - IAH(7:25pm CST)

I guess the snow will return to this place again from the evening so I was lucky. I walked to the security, where very much no wait at the check point. After getting a bottled water and taking a seat by the gate, I had until 5:20pm so I decided to put the address on the postcards and began writing my blog on iPad. It was a quiet afternoon.

I got on the plane at 5:25pm at the first class cabin, continued working on my blog. The door was shut at 5:44pm, being told that I can continue using electronics devices, so I just helped myself. The plane was pushed back at 5:50pm but before the plane head out, it had to be coated with deicing liquid. The plane restarted the engine at 6:00pm and began to taxi, took off at 6:15pm and started the flight back to Houston. They sky at west still had orange light but the area becoming narrower and narrower. Because I was upgraded to the first class, I got snack pack in flight. It was nice. After the sky gets completely dark, I get to see the lights on the ground but mostly covered by clouds. When I get bored typing, I shut my eyes to get some rest. The initial descent began at 7:05pm CST, flew over the lights on the ground and landed at IAH at 7:40pm. 

Coming back home

I was at the parking at 8:15pm, passed the cashier and headed home. I arrived home at 9:00pm after driving under misty weather rain.


o   Water 2.59, Houston Airport, 6:40am

o   Paradise Shop, 6.42, Indianapolis Airport, 10:42am

o   Bub’s 14.88+2.80, Carmel, IN, 12:35pm

o   TA Travel Center, 6.52, London, OH, 4:12pm

o   McDonald’s 5.29, Canal Winchester, OH, 5:24pm

o   Walgreens, 2.25, Canal Winchester, OH, 5:37pm

·         12/25

o   Hotel: 106.40

o   Flying J, Waddy, KY ?

o   TA Travel Center, 3.18, Hurricane, WV, 8:42am

o   Marathon, 44.61, Georgetown, KY, 11:20am

o   McDonald’s, 5.66, Memphis, IN, 1:40pm

o   Pilot, 19.59, Indianapolis, 3:07pm

o   Enterprise, 325.09, Indianapolis Airport, 3:22pm

o   Paradise Shop, 3.52, Indianapolis Airport, 4:05pm

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