A Trip Back Home, And a Reminder

Trip Start Jul 29, 2011
Trip End Dec 31, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Indiana
Friday, August 19, 2011

For me a trip to Indiana is a journey back home.  For Debi it is a chance to experience new things.  It has been a long summer and we could both use a change from the Las Vegas scene and we had been looking forward to this weekend since we had planned it months earlier.  It is the perfect opportunity for us to relax and get refreshed, and to just step back and escape our troubles for a while.  It was a much needed respite.  That was why even though we had an early flight I had no problems waking up.  Even though I have traveled a lot, every trip brings with it something new that I learn.  This time the lesson was  that from now on I need to let Debi handle all of our travel arrangements.  We flew Southwest and I should have checked in online the night before and I didn't.  Because of this, we were some of the last people to board the plane so Debi and I were not able to sit together.  At least it was a non-stop flight and I didn't take too much flack for my mistake.  We touched down in Indy on time and after leaving the terminal met my brother Keith who was there to pick us up.  Although it was the middle of the afternoon, it was lunch time for Debi and me because of the three hour time difference and it didn't take much convincing to get Keith to stop at Chick-fil-A on the way home.  We don't have that chain n Las Vegas and I had been craving one of their chicken sandwiches for quite some time.  In addition to the big things like getting to visit with family, it is also the small familiarities like a certain restaurant that make it feel like home again.

We had scheduled this trip for August so that it would be during Debi's summer break, and we had chosen this particular week because of the Indiana State Fair.  So after going to my parent's house to freshen up, Debi and I along with my parents and brother headed to the fairgrounds.  This was one of those new experiences for Debi, but for me it used to be an annual rite of summer.  But this year it had a different feel to it.  It had been less than a week since the tragic collapse of the rigging of the mainstage before the Sugarland concert that claimed six lives.  Keith had been working the show that night running video equipment and had a first hand account of the scene of destruction.  The rigging fell onto the trailer he was in, and if it had fallen differently by a matter of feet or if they had left the trailer seconds earlier, we could have been making the trip home under different circumstances.  It was a grim reminder for me of the fragility of life and I had a much greater appreciation for the time I go to spend with Debi and my family that weekend.

When we got there in the late afternoon, the weather was typical Indiana weather for August, meaning it was the three H's:  hazy, hot, and humid.  The fair has changed very little over the years and it could have been the same view twenty years ago.  We hopped on the tram to take us to the main stretch along the front of the fairgrounds.  Since one of the main draws to the fair is the food, at one of the stops Debi and I hopped off to get a lemon shake up and got back on before it took us to our next stop, which was the swine barn.  Every year the fair has the largest boar, and as strange as it seems this is must see.  Appropriately (or maybe inappropriately) is the tent selling pork burgers.  I can't think of a year that I have been to the fair and not had a pork burger so it was imparative that we eat there.  In the years I have been away, they have added a new item to the menu called the garbage burger which is a pork burger with pulled BBQ pork on it.  After dinner we continued walking the circle around the track that makes up the fairgrounds looking in the different animal barns and exposition halls until it started to get dark.  We then made our way to the midway for the games and rides.
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