Late last week and through the weekend I was in Indianapolis working as a sponsor for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and the Women’s Final Four. This was my first time in Indiana and I have to say the city surprised me. I guess in a way I thought Indianapolis would have been a more lively city, especially while hosting the Women’s Final Four. Although, what I found was the traffic downtown Friday and Saturday nights was pretty minimal.

That said, I am not sure if the city had was more spread out rather than being concentrated in the downtown area. Whereas in Minneapolis, the heart beat is in downtown and is still pretty lively in the different districts of the city such as Northeast Minneapolis or Uptown.

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The first night two local Sales Representatives and myself went to St. Elmo Steak House, which is the oldest steak house in Indiana. The ambiance felt as though you were right back in 1902. Their service was phenomenal as our server had been working at St. Elmo’s for thirty years. One of my favorite moments was when we had their shrimp cocktail. One of the Sales Representatives had eaten at the restaurant before and knew what was coming, whereas myself and the other Sales Representative had no idea.

Word of caution, the shrimp cocktail is extremely spicy and if you are a person who thinks ketchup is spicy, this is not the appetizer for you. Repeat, this is NOT the appetizer for you. Unfortunately, my coworker found out the hard way. Me, on the other hand, absolutely loved this appetizer and would definitely recommend it to anyone who eats at either St. Elmo or Harry and Izzy’s in Indianapolis.

Harry and Izzy’s is another restaurant owned by the same management and right across the street from one another downtown. We ate at Harry and Izzy’s the second night, again the food was perfection and service could not have been better. I would highly recommend both of the restaurants to anyone.

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The next day, once the booth set up was complete, we decided to walk around the city for a little while. This is where I found a row of rental bikes, which reminded me of the rental bikes in Minneapolis. I’m happy to see that more people are taking the environment into consideration and giving people additional options of transportation. That said, I didn’t see any docks that were open, so I’m not too sure if they were just not being utilized because of the massive gusts of wind or people were already putting them back at a station.

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Later we wandered over to Victory Field where the Indians were playing the Pirates the next night and the park was getting set up for the next day’s big game. There were several boys around 14 years old with their notebooks heading over to one of the hotels across from the field. More than likely were trying to get a glimpse of the players to ask for autographs.

This sight made me think back to when I was about that age and I wasn’t running after baseball players to get their autographs, but I do remember those innocent Friday and Saturday nights hanging with your friends. Those days were such a blast.

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Our last night in Indianapolis, we ate at a restaurant called Bourbon Street. We weren’t exactly sure what type of dress code this restaurant required, but as it turns out, you can come as you are. We sat on the lower level next to the bar and big screen TVs to watch the Oklahoma vs. Villanova Final Four game.

Our server at Bourbon Street was quite the character. I wanted to write her into a book. She was loud, outgoing and funny. The best part was she would just sit down at the empty chair at our table and just strike up a conversation. She told us about her boyfriend and his family and how crazy Easter was with the extended family. We all got to know her pretty well and her personality was infectious. She is a person who you just can’t help liking, although I would never want to get on her bad side…no sir.

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As the trip came to a close and I hopped on a plane back to Minneapolis, I was happily exhausted as I thought about what our team accomplished during those few days. We gained some great contacts and connected again with coaches and staff we hadn’t seen in awhile, built a deeper connection with the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, and represented our company well as corporate sponsors.

Personally, I enjoyed the trip because I was able to connect and get to know two more Sales Representatives on a more human level, rather than just through email and phone calls. Indianapolis will always be remembered as a great city in my mind.

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