Recently God has graciously allowed me to travel some new places, some old as well. Meet new people, and spend time with loved ones. Some places haven't been traveled yet, and those that have I'll be writing about in their own separate posts -- consider them chapters if you will. For now, we'll begin with our first adventure, Indiana.
The beautiful bride and her new husband featured below brought us to their home state of Indiana for their wedding celebration. So, I didn't quite know what to think when I thought of Indiana, since the last time I was there I was about eight, and when I found out that we had to drive 2 1/2 hours to arrive at our hotel, only to pass the prison where Timothy McVey was executed, I was terrified. Oh yeah, we weren't supposed to arrive at the hotel until 2:30 am, driving straight from the airport that is. I don't know why, but the idea of driving in the middle of nowhere Indiana past Timothy McVey's last home freaked. me. out. Well, to this fear David responds "It's not like he had a following that's going to be outside the prison or anything"... yeah...
So, we get on the plane (first time I'm leaving my baby boy btw) and David and I hadn't done the early bird check-in, so we don't get to sit next to each other. Oh well, no biggie. I'm also afraid of flying, p.s. So, I sit in the seat by the door, you know, the seat that if you're in you have the responsibility of figuring out how to open the door in the case of an emergency.. well, it wasn't really thaaat bad I guess. So, I strike up a conversation with the nice man sitting next to me. Jason. He lives part time in Tennessee part time in Indiana. I told him some of my life, he told me some of his. And three short hours later, I made a new friend. He even told me towns along the way from Indianapolis to the hotel location. During mine and Jason's conversation, I see David get up, say hi to me, and then I didn't really pay all that much attention to what he was doing. We get off the plane, around 11:30 pm.
David, nervous, rattled and potentially tense tells me how his three hours went. I guess he noticed a man get up and go to the restroom, and seem to hang out in there for about half an hour. When he came out he was touching his chest, his feet, and had a seeming visual appearance of possibly praying. Poor David. So, he gets up, ready to tackle this guy, and I think the guy ended up maybe going to the back of the plane or something.. So, David tells the flight attendant his concern, she makes an announcement over the speaker (neither of us heard it) and the man comes back to the front and sits down. She kindly reassured David, and the flight continued along. Well, it doesn't seem fair that I got to make a new friend while David was planning exactly how he was going to bring this guy down way up in the air, but, I think the rest of the trip helped wipe it off his mind.
So, we get out, rent our car, and start on the road. I wanted to see a little of Indianapolis, and it was a Friday night after all, somewhere must be open, right? Not quite. While David's getting nervous at driving around a strange city somewhere around midnight, we find a Turkish restaurant/hookah bar.. ok, let's try it. Park the car, walk in, hmmm... interesting crowd. Like, I may not make fast friends in a dark alley interesting, but let's not judge a book by the way it's dressed, shall we? We're seated, and we start deciding on our late late dinner. As we're sitting there on the outside patio, one of the fellows takes the base of his hookah to the alley near us. Great. Well, once again we judged too quickly, I think it was just to empty his ashes. Anyways, we let some girls next to us know that we're from somewhere else, our first time visiting, and they welcome us with open arms. What a welcome surprise! They didn't know where the interstate was that we were looking for, but they were quite friendly, and the previously mentioned "night crew" weren't so intimidating either.
We bid our farewells and were given a hearty goodbye by the fun group we had just encountered, and start heading in the direction of our hotel. Down the road at least an hour later we passed a "correctional institution" that could've been the prison, and lo and behold, the bad guys really are kept inside the fence. We arrived at the hotel around four a.m. and quickly fell to sleep. The next morning we got our gear ready, and headed out to the church. I expected a little white church in the country, but what lay before us was a dream. A sweet little white wooden church with a steeple, cornfields by it and a priests house nearby, just perfect. It was so peaceful.. so calm. We went and congratulated the bride, and began "working". It really wasn't work at all, just hanging out, eating, laughing... and photos of course.
The ceremony was beautiful, the reception was a blast. The bride's family was so hospitable and welcoming to us, I could've moved there that night. Oh, not to mention I saw my first lightening bugs, it doesn't get much better than that. The bride and groom left quietly, said they're goodbyes and drove off without a fuss. The party continued on inside, but David and I decided that was a good time to say our goodbyes as well. We got back to the hotel ready for bed, and it hit me. What exactly IT was is a mystery, but some kind of terribly unpleasant allergic attack. David took care of me and I woke up as it had never happened, so, this attack had no room to taint the memories of everything that had happened the day before.
We got back on the road Sunday morning, and I had my first out-of-state driving experience. Maybe I shouldn't have been allowed to drive, what with the pulling over for photo ops and oooing and aahing over every new visually exciting thing I saw. On our way past a little town we came across a White Castle burger restaurant, and to David and I, the opportunity seemed irresistible. We each got a little something there, and realized when we left that the burgers were reminiscent of high school cafeteria burgers, but that's totally fine with us. We brought back cups too. Yup, we think ahead.
Well, we arrived back at the airport just in time, and came home to the sweetest little guy. I'd say Indiana was a place of simple treasures. It wasn't all city and glamour, it was home and love and community. It was fireflies and toads, new friends and laughter. Firsts and hope-to-see-you-agains. Indiana was just right.