The mission was hastily thrown together and as a result, overly taxing on it’s implementarians. (No, I don’t think that’s a word either.) I, along with Jen and my sister Claire, reached the airport and boarded our plane with time to spare the morning of July 3rd. Claire sat across the aisle from us, next to a nun that bore a striking resemblance to New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and who was reading The Devil Wears Prada. The flight was almost as uneventful as this blog. As we walked out of the airport terminal to find our rental car, the humid mid-western heat wrapped around us like a wet blanket that hasn’t been in the dryer long enough. Always a pleasent feeling. At least Jen’s glasses didn’t fog up immediately like last year. As we drove along the country highways to our destination, Dale, I-N, we were treated to a pre-4th fireworks display. No doubt practicing for the next days festivities, the skies lit up with the familiar blooms of red and green sparks, as the locals fired off their pyrotechnics. This is something you won’t see in California.
After our three hour drive, we arrived in Dale two hours from when we left. Whoever it is that draws the lines seprating time zones had the bright idea to draw the line seperating central and eastern right through the middle of Indiana, rather than along a border. It isn’t so bad when you’re heading west, but it can be a killer heading east. Imagine you need to be at work in New Albany (EST) at 8 AM, but you live in Dale (CST). It’s about an hour’s drive between the two burgs, so you figure to leave by 6:45 AM to arrive at work a little before eight. Except that when you leave your house in Dale at 6:45 AM, it’s already 7:45 AM in New Albany. Who’s bright idea was this? But I digress…..
Independence Day was to be spent in (where else) New Albany. A pleasent time was had at Aunt Lynn and Uncle Eric’s house, reclining by or in the pool, playing games, chewing the fat with family, and, of course, stuffing ones face. The standard July Fourth fare was to be had in abundence: hot dogs, hamburgers, and every imaginable side dish associated with a BBQ. Potato salad, macaroni salad, real baked beans, deviled eggs, macaroni and cheese, various other salads, all of it muy sabrosa. A brief thunderstorm blew through, but had cleared up in time for the real fun–fireworks!
I am so thankful for a father who is as much, if not more, of a pyromaniac as I am. He bought a huge box of explosives. And we’re not talking about ground flowers and sparklers here. I mean real fireworks, with names like Cluster Bomb, Air War, and The Titanic–which, like the original, left a little to be desired. The two of us had great time blowing things up together. We don’t get to do this is California. Something about the grass being too dry. All in all, the 4th was an explosive success, pun intended.
The following day was spent fullfilling our mission. We met with a gentleman who’s business is to bring business to the county. He knows everyone and was kind enough to meet with me and try to get me in contact with some possible employers. It was quite a paradox to sit there and talk with him–he looks a little like George Will but sounds a little like Bill Clinton. Very interesting combination. The rest of the morning and afternoon was spent looking at dwellings and meeting with a financier. I can’t go into too much detail at this point, but it all was very positive. What that means exactly, you’ll just have to wait and see, because, frankly, I don’t know either. That night I took in a minor league baseball game and some Dairy Queen. I recommend the mint Oreo blizzard.
Our mission continued the next day, as Jen and I again looked at houses and met with another money man. After that we checked out the local amusment park, Holiday World, which claims to be our country’s first. We only had time for one ride, but it was worth it. It’s called the Voyage and they claim it’s one of the longest, best wooden roller coasters in the world, and that I believe. It’s 1.2 miles long, has the highest steepest drop that should legally be allowed, and 24.5 seconds of weightless sensation, though not all at once. And it goes underground. And it’s wooden. I enjoyed it, Jen did not. She only managed to open her eyes once and that was when we were in a tunnel and it was dark so it freaked her out. If you happen to be in the neighborhood, I highly recommend it.
That night we had to drive up to Indianapolis so we wouldn’t have to wake up at 2 AM the next morning to catch our flight. We said our goodbyes, jumped in the Mazda Six, a pretty sweet ride I might add, and began the trek north. The following morning saw us boarding flight 522 for San Francisco and home. Though it was a whirlwhind of a trip, and I’m more exhausted now then when I left, I would call it a success. What exactly does that mean? I have no idea.