Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Midwest Trip

Last week I had a whole week off to visit family and friends, and participate in some Fraternity stuff.

I flew out of Phoenix on Saturday 7/2, on Southwest nonstop to Indianapolis.  Got in a little late, picked up my rental car and headed north.  I stopped for the night in lovely Plymouth, Indiana, a small town that is reasonably charming.  Had a nice dinner and looked around a bit -- lovely old homes near downtown.

The next morning I headed north to South Bend and took some time to look at the Notre Dame campus and especially to visit the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.  It's gorgeous!  As I'm still gimpy, walking around campus even to the limited extent that I did was probably not too smart.  I did enjoy it though.  The contrast between the beautiful campus and South Bend was stark -- the town is not the best and seems to be suffering.

After my visit I drove to Ann Arbor and stayed with my cousin Mary and her husband, along with their kids and my aunt and uncle.  We had a cookout that night, then for the 4th more swimming, eating, and hanging out.  My cousin Joe came down from Detroit for the occasion, and my cousins Mark and Martha were there with their spouses and children so it was quite the gathering.  I've always envied the closeness the Rogers clan have -- it's pretty awesome.

Tuesday was a quiet day; I went to noon Mass with my uncle Art at St. Thomas, then came back and hung out for the rest of the day.

Wednesday morning I said my goodbyes and headed back to Indianapolis.  While there weren't any "big activities" during my stay, I really enjoyed it.  With my broken ankle  I wasn't really up to such things, and anyway I really just wanted to spend time with family, which I got to do in spades.  I can't say enough how much I enjoyed my visit.

I got down to Indy around 4:45 and went to my friend Julia's house.  I had not see her or her husband Todd since their wedding in 2013 (I was gimpy then too!). Since then they've moved into a beyoootiful new house and have an amazingly cute daughter Katie.  We had a great visit (amazing dinner!) and wonderful conversation.

Thursday morning I hit the road for Evansville.  I-69 does not run all the way from Indy to Evansville, there is a pretty substantial gap between the Indy and the end of the freeway.  So Siri took me on a rather "interesting" trip through central Indiana.  All worked well, though and I arrived at Lyrecrest (headquarters for Phi Mu Alpha) an hour earlier than expected -- southwest Indiana, as it turns out, is on Central time, not Eastern, so I gained an hour.

I spent the next several days attending our Province Governors Convocation.  This is an annual gathering of the Fraternity's PGs and deputy PGs.  We learned a lot of good info but the most important was just time to bond as a group and share stories and experiences.  I learned a lot of good stuff which I will take back to my province.  All in all I'm convinced that we are on the right track in my Province.  There is a lot to do, though!

Sunday morning we wrapped up our Convocation and after some extended conversations it was time to head back to Indy.  I hit the road (I took a different route) and got to the airport with plenty of time before my 9 p.m. flight.  After an uneventful flight I got to Phoenix, hopped in a cab, and a few minutes (and $46) later I was home, tired but happy.