Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Greatest Spectacle in Racing - Part I - The Preparation

Getting ready for the Indy 500 is no easy task. At least for me it's not. It's not like I just pack a 12-pack of Miller Lite and walk out the door like so many college students do. Oh, no! It's pretty much an all day and night affair.

First, there's the menu. I have to make sure I've covered everyone's tastes so when we get there we don't end up spending a fortune on a Turkey leg! Katie requested a Pizza lunchable. After some resistance, I finally gave in. She would not have eaten otherwise. Cassidy couldn't decide, so I suggested a bologna sandwich. "OK, with mayonnaise and lettuce." Like I don't know how he likes his bologna sandwich. Dana said he didn't care, but there's a particular sandwich that Dana and I usually eat (courtesy of Emeril; the kids don't care for it) and I decided to still make it because it's become a tradition for us. I also usually make potato salad, but decided to pass on that this year because it takes so long to put together and I really didn't feel I had the time.

So it's off to the store. I picked up a few extras, but not too much. Last year we had so much food, it wasn't funny. Nothing like packing it in at 6:30 am only to pack out 80 percent of it. So I decided to scale back. This is what we ended up with:

Sandwiches (both ham and bologna)
corn and black bean salsa
scoops chips
grapes (they're good when it's hot out)
chocolate chip cookies
orange juice
mt. dew

PHEW! And that's just the food and drinks. Then there's everything else!

trash bags (I can't just throw it on the ground)
baby wipes
band-aids (I'm not walking clear over to the care center if someone scrapes a knee!!)

After only a few years, I feel we're pretty well seasoned. We like to arrive early because we sit on the infield. To get a seat on the top of the hill, you need to be there early. Gates open at 6:00 Eastern. Last year we got there about 6:30 and barely got a spot on the top of the hill. Dana wanted to be up at 1:30 Central and leave by 2:30. That would give us 2 1/2 hours to get there. I told him that seemed to early because it usually only takes 1 1/2 hours. He decided getting up at 2:00 would be OK. When I set the alarm, I decided I'd better make it 1:30. If not and we didn't get a spot, it would be my fault. Don't want to be responsible for that. We finally get to bed at about 10:00.

You know how you're in a really good sleep and you hear something that wakes you up, but when you wake up you don't hear it? That happened to me some time after midnight. I finally realized it was Katie. I go into her room and she said she couldn't sleep. I told her to just lay down because we had to get up soon. She said that made her stomach hurt. Then she said she thought she might throw up.

Dana suggested I make her some toast. Well, if she felt like throwing up, I knew the toast would do it for sure. But I wasn't going to argue with anyone at 12:30 in the morning. She took one TINY little bite of toast and you guessed it: she threw up.

I finally got back to bed at 1:00. The alarm went off at 1:30. In the shower by 1:40 and packing by 2:00. Dana made breakfast, Katie said she felt OK, I packed everything in the car and we were out the door by 3:00!

Stay tuned for more. . .


Bob said...

Stay tuned for more!?!?! This is like reading a LOST episode - cut off in the middle when you finally think an ending is in sight!

Amy said...

Are you trying to tell me that was too long of a post?

Bob said...

No, you suck us in and then leave us hanging with a "to be conintued" - where is part 2 of the saga?