Indy 500

I’ve had going to the Indy 500 on my dream list for years. With family in Indy, we had to do this sooner or later – and be part of the full experience! As a child (no matter where we lived), we watched this every year, cut drivers out of the newspaper so we could bet on them, listened to Jim Nabors sing “Back Home Again In Indiana”, waited for Mary F. Hulman to say “…start your engines!” (wow, I just watched this and these simple words still give me chills). Luckily it worked out that many others could travel and join in the fun this year too! It was an amazing trip – full of good family and many memories (Colleen had to back out of this trip at the last minute so she could get trained for her lifeguard job this summer – that was a bummer for us, but ultimately good for her). Unfortunately Aunt Beth passed away earlier this year which would have made the trip all the better, but this made for another good reason to get back together again so soon with family.

It’s hard to get to Indy from the north without driving through Purdue. We made a quick stop on campus to see some friends, eat at Triple XXX and browse at Von’s shops. It’s always great to see Ian and kids. Maybe next time we’ll get to see Wendy too πŸ™‚

Megan is our go-to for baking anytime now, and she made a HUGE oatmeal chocolate chip cookie for Grandpa when we were in Minnesota. It survived the trip but didn’t last long once we opened it! πŸ™‚

There’s never any doubt that we are always welcome by everyone in Indy. Uncle Tom and Aunt Becka always have their doors (and pool) wide open for us – along with a full fridge! We got to stay with cousin Natalie and Matt this time – so cool to get to know their kids so much better. Beautiful house – and some great time away to have really good conversations that we don’t usually get to have. Cousin Tom and his family were also around – but I guess managed to avoid our camera most of the time πŸ™‚ We are so blessed to have such great family. It’s always great to see my parents – and to be in Indy for this event made it extra special. We even had extended family stop by and bring some amazing scrapbooks from my mom’s childhood – great to see and hear some fun stories!!

This is what it’s all about!

On our way into the race track…

No trip to Indy is complete without some friendly betting. Having a driver or two to cheer on really increased the excitement – especially in the final few laps!!!

We followed Uncle Tom’s lead on where to sit, where to park, when to arrive, etc, etc, etc – nothing like having a personal guide to eliminate a few worries πŸ™‚

Lest we forget who to cheer for!

We made it! The weather forecast threatened rain for the week leading up to the race, but thankfully we had a gorgeous day – absolutely beautiful and sunny (right up until the drive home – perfect timing!).

Lots of things to keep us busy watching before the race. These dudes looked like a barrel of monkeys getting picked up. I’m still not sure the exact scenario when this would come in handy, but it makes for good entertainment πŸ™‚

We took a tour of the infield and saw pace cars, etc coming off of the track.

And we missed the helicopter doing something near the stands but instead ended up in the perfect spot to see it land up close.

I love things like this. Waving your hat to the drivers, etc before the race began. Feeling the crowd start to come alive. Waiting go hear the roar of those engines. Not quite realizing yet how fast the cars would be traveling.

This was a lot of our view for the day. We were between turns 1 and 2. Apparently this isn’t usually where a lot of crashes happen, but we luckily (or unluckily) got to see a TON of action this year. Not that you root for crashes, but if they are going to happen then I want them in front of me! And, wow, did we see an incredible crash!

This was also part of our entertainment – watching people pick up car parts, and do fence repair crazy fast!

This is the aftermath of one of the crashes – all of the cars are forced down low while they are doing the final cleanup.

Check out the huge hole in the fence directly in front of us. That fence was perfectly fine just minutes before this picture. You can see on the huge screen that they are showing pictures of the crash still. This crash was so bad that they had to put out the red flag and stop all cars.

And here’s what made that hole in the fence…absolutely incredible that the drivers walked away…

(but first, check out the guy in the yellow shirt in this first photo – maybe he’s pointing to a huge screen, but it is so funny that he’s pointing that way while this action is happening right in front of him – hee hee).

After the Indy 500, Indianapolis turns many highways and other roads into one-way paths out of the city. Fun to be driving on the wrong side of the road!!!

Wow – what a great trip! So glad we did this! Thank you Natalie & Matt for opening your home to us, Uncle Tom & Becka for everything that weekend, and Cousin Tom – you really showed us a great time! We’ll have to do it again some time πŸ˜‰

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