I love long car trips. Even the part 3/4 of the way there when thoughts of "I'm never going to make it, I might as well pull over and homestead right here" seem rational. Even the busy travel plazas where parking is impossible to find or the long stretches where finding a bathroom seems an impossible feat. I was a little out of practice when I took off last week to see many lovely, familiar faces in the midwest, but it felt SO AMAZING to hit the open road with a few planned stops for the week and lots of space to meander and catch up. So I hit Indy last Sunday night, and cruised through Bloomington, Greenwood, and South Bend before spending a few days in Fort Wayne. I didn't realize how much I missed these friends.....such beautiful people who allow me to crash back into town and leave again in a flurry of energy sometimes a mere few hours later. They. amaze. me. Just a few highlights.....
Driving the Indy 500 Speedway
My friend Matt had tickets to the brickyard 400 on Sunday, part of the tickets was a pass to drive a street legal car around the track the morning after. He headed into work Monday morning, so Candace (wife) and I used the pass for me to drive NewGuy a whopping 30 miles an hour on a bonafide race track! The stadium was completely empty except for a few other cars in front of us and the occasional volunteer waving us through. The rules were simple: keep moving at 30 miles per hour and no stopping for pictures. I like to say it was the most exhilarating 10 minutes of my morning. :o) You could feel the slant of the track and clearly see in some spots where cars have hit the concrete. I never realized how big the inside of a racetrack actually is.... there is a whole museum and half a golf course and then some all tucked with the 2-2 1/2 miles track....crazy!!
Fort Wayne Children's Zoo
Heading to Fort Wayne meant reuniting with some of my favorite littles in the whybrew children. We made the most of our day together by running around the Children's Zoo; feeding giraffes, riding the train and looking at baby lemurs....so precious.
Everybody goes to "the lake" in Indiana.....which really means they have a favorite lake in the great expanse of dozens of lakes in the area and feel no need to specify. My friends, the Worthingtons, purchased the CUTEST cottage originally built in the 1920's with stones pulled out of Crooked Lake. We spent Friday eating grilled chicken and riding their boat, catching up on all things life, jobs, church, retirement.
All the Others
I am incredibly thankful for everyone I was able to see in the short span of five days. There were lunches, coffee dates, and drinks at night to cram the stories and questions of 7 months into the week. In many ways this trip was a bit of practice as to what leaving Reston is like....who keeps the keys, who feeds mitch, who do I call when something breaks..... of which all were answered. :O) It is a happy feeling to have this new and budding community here to call home and so many friendships spread across the country. It was as beautiful to leave as it was to return.....can't wait to see what comes next!