Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Day #2 in Indy

My morning began with  Tazo Tea [owned by Starbucks].  I chose organic Chai, which is a robust blend of Asian black tea, cinnamon, cardamon, black pepper and spices.

With the exception of registering for the convention, and attending a SDMI delegate reception at 8:00 p.m., Wednesday was a free day.  The first thing on my agenda was visiting the Indiana State Museum, a short distance from our hotel, where the re-creation of L.S. Ayres Department Store Tea Room is located.

L.S. Ayres department store was founded in 1872 by Lyman Ayres.  Its Indianapolis flagship store, the focal point of downtown, was opened in 1905, and became known for, among other things, its eighth floor tea room.  Unfortunately, the department store permanently closed in January 1992.   A decade later the tea room, an endearing place for many generations of Hosiers, re-emerged in the new Indiana State Museum, enabling patrons to step back into the elegance of the past, and enjoy the tea room's chicken velvet soup, Monte Cristo sandwiches, Hawaiian chicken salad, and other favorites once again.

I discovered just before leaving home that the tea room was closed for renovations, but I wanted to visit the museum anyway.   Below is a sign that was posted.

I purchased a tea room cookbook in the museum gift shop for $15.00.   It stated Russian Caravan, Orange Pekoe, English Breakfast, Ceylon, Oolong, Darjeeling and Green teas were typically served in the tea room.

While I didn't get to have lunch in the tea room, I did manage to take a few photographs.  In the photo below patrons are enjoying lunch in the original tea room during the Christmas season.   The picture hangs just outside the tea room entrance.

The entrance to the tea room, which, as you can see, is gated off during renovations.

I was able to stick my camera between the slats in the gate to get this photograph.  ;-)

They hope to re-open the tea room in December, and I'm thinking it just might merit a return visit!

Did you know Indianapolis is the 13th largest city in the United States, and the largest city not built on a navigable body of water?  Indy is the state capital, and largest city in Indiana.

[State Capital building, back view]

The city is very clean, safe, and easy to navigate in.   We left our car parked at the hotel most of the time, and walked to the convention center, and other places of interest.

My son and daughter-in-law loved the White River State Park on the northwest side of town. It is America's only urban state park, with Central Canal winding through it.  The canal reminded us of the River Walk in San Antonio, Texas.

[Photo courtesy of Visit Indy.com]

It's easy to see why my denomination's planners have chosen Indianapolis five times as a convention and General Assembly location.

Tomorrow, day #3 in Indianapolis.


  1. How wonderful to have that tearoom recreated in the museum! Looks like they have big plans for after the renovation is completed, too. I'd say it warrants a return trip, I only wish I could join you.

  2. I've got that cookbook myself and keep meaning to try the famous Chicken Velvet Soup. You and I need to plan lunch there once that tea room re-opens!

  3. The cookbook sounds like it would be a good one to have. Sorry you didn't get to have tea there. My daughter lived in Indianapolis for awhile after she graduated from college, so I have gotten to spend a little time there. I loved visiting Connor Prairie just outside the city.


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