No Direction Home

This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My Indiana Home

May 14, 2015

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My Indiana Home

This year, unlike past years of attending the Indy 500, I made the decision to stay in Indianapolis for the week between the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the qualification weekend. This allowed me to take advantage of my Indy Car hard card pass during the entire week of practice. It also gave me the opportunity to spend some quality time with many friends and family and to enjoy the late Indiana spring.

 photo 067_zpscoc60cim.jpg Helio Castroneves

 photo 015 2_zpstbgoqyfk.jpg Charlie Kimball

 photo 077_zpsnnpqw2gb.jpg Ryan Hunter-Reay

 photo 065_zpswwvdmxqp.jpg Simon Pageneaud

 photo 058_zpssagezg4k.jpg Rick Mears

The week began with one of my absolute favorite annual events, my dinner with the girls. This group of lovely ladies have been close friends with me for more than 30 years and each year while I am in town for race activities we get together for dinner. My friends Amanda, Jody, Kristi and Stephanie all made it out for a fabulous meal, only Laura could not make it. We had a great evening catching up, laughing, drinking and recalling our crazy youth. 

 photo 130_zpsrfowp0pl.jpg Jody, Kristi, Amanda & Stephanie 

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The next morning, I took a drive back into my own heritage, heading first to the small town of Hope, Indiana where both of my paternal grandparents were from as well as the extended Blades and Donner families. I still have a ton of relatives and I wanted to visit the Hope Moravian cemetery and find the grave sites of my maternal grandparents as well as my mother’s mother, who is also buried there. 

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Even though I walked and walked over the cemetery grounds, I had no luck finding any of those sites, though the place was packed with other relative’s gravesites and it was like a walk back through my own family history visiting the beautiful place. I need to find out more detailed information about the locations and return to visit again in the future.

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Next I headed to another significant location in my own family history, the tourist town of Nashville, Indiana and the beautiful Brown County State Park. I spent many long days of my childhood in Nashville, when my mother and a family friend had a retail store in the tourist hotspot that is Nashville. Every weekend during the summer and fall of those days when they had the Emporium, we kids would ride down to Nashville and hang out for the weekend and I love to go back and visit the town even today to see those spots that meant so much to us then.

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The place has changed somewhat, but it still maintains its artsy character and better yet, now has a tasty microbrewery in the form of Quaff On Brewing right in downtown Nashville. Between that and hot fresh nuts from the Jack & Jill Nut shop, I was in a good place while visiting.

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Back in Indianapolis later in the week, I went along with my friend Wes to catch a concert from the band Interpol. Another close friend from my childhood, Ed was there As well, so it was like a cool home coming watching the show and hanging out at the Murat Theatre where the show was held. The show itself, was not one of the better concerts that I have seen, but I had a great time anyway seeing Ed & Wes. 

 photo 043_zpsbkufmbkx.jpg Interpol 

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 photo 823_zpszp6muylj.jpg Ed, Michael & Wes

Of course the main reason that I remained in Indiana this week was to hang out at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to watch practice for the 99th Indianapolis 500. I spent many of the afternoons of the week at the track, wondering through the garage and pits, sitting in the stands watching practice, eating track dogs and other terrible for you, yet glorious trackside food items. 

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 photo 1908140_711294595663343_9173947272800496499_n_zpsswilun8o.jpg Conor Daly

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The access that I had allowed me to get right up close and personal with the cars, drivers and teams competing in this year’s race and allowed me to fulfill my passion of taking photos and being close to the action as the practice sessions got underway and the speeds of the cars started creeping closer and closer to 230 mph.

 photo 086_zpspfp7iklp.jpg Simona

 photo 113_zps9rrr4gry.jpg Pippa Mann

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 photo 023 2_zpsnfrzklie.jpg Alex Tagliani