Friday morning we packed the suitcase and our snacks into the Dakota and headed out. We were meeting Niles and Deb in Lebanon for breakfast. Tim Ranney was going to meet us as well and then we would all head to the Marriott in Indianapolis for the 2010 Winter Rendezvous.
We arrived at the motel shortly after 11:00 and got checked in quickly. Well not all of us did, Niles and Deb's room wasn't ready yet and they said it would be a couple of hours, bummer.
There were several of our chapter members already there and we quickly got ourselves acclimated to where everyones rooms were located. The chapter pays for a suite that we use as a hospitality room. This gives us all a place to gather and everyone brings snacks to share. We had a total of 31 members attending the rally.
Rudee and I picked up our registration packet and arm bands which gets you into all the activities. The vendors were finishing getting set up and we did a quick walk through but didn't see anything we just had to have.
Several of us went to the motel restaurant for an early dinner. Niles and Deb are our 2009 Chapter Couple of the Year and are competing to be the 2010 Indiana Couple of the Year. They had to be interviewed by the judges at 6:30 and then would suffer through the "open" interviews in front of all of us. We made sure we had good seats so we could yell and scream for "our" couple. I guess it worked because they won!! Great job guys. They now compete to be the Region Couple of the Year against couples from Michigan and Ohio. When they win that they will go to the National Rally, "Wing Ding", in 2011 and compete for the title of International Couple of the Year.
After all the Couple of the Year excitement they had the talent show. They divided up the acts so the serious acts, ie: the ones that actually have talent, competed against one another. They also awarded places for the comedy acts. There were 10 acts in each category and we were entertained for a couple of hours and had a great time.
Saturday morning we were up early for opening ceremonies which "officially" kicks off the rally. We have been in the organization a long time and know a lot of the members across the state. I always enjoy catching up with everyone and we spent a lot of the morning just visiting with people. Rudee did do a trivia quiz. There were 45 questions and the answers were posted all over the motel. I tried to impress her with my knowledge when she could not find the answer to one of the questions. I guess she didn't believe me when I told her that it was Hugh Heffner who had discovered the Virgin Islands. Education is a wonderful thing :-).
The rally has several games, seminars and activities that keep you busy most of the day. Things wind down about 3pm to give everyone a chance to get ready for the banquet which starts at 5:30. I spent my time taking a quick nap :-).
The dinner was held in the main ballroom. We had 3 large tables reserved for our chapter. They got our large group served very fast. I know it takes a lot of work to get 300 meals out at the same time and the food still be hot and they did a very good job.
After dinner they cleared some of the table away to make room for the Grand Parade. There were 5 floats entered in the competition. The guys had the floats all ready to go and they paraded past the judges and through the crowd. The floats showed a lot of creativity and the competition was fierce. The judges totaled up the scores and .......... We Won!! They also pass out voting slips to the crowd and they select a float for "peoples choice" and we won that too!!
Sunday morning our group all walked over to the restaurant next door and had breakfast. The closing ceremonies were completed and we loaded up the truck and headed for the RV show at the State Fairgrounds. The show this year seemed larger than in years past which surprised me given the troubles the RV industry has gone through. I did notice that there seemed to be more entry level "week end" type trailers and less of the higher end units. There also seemed to be fewer motorhomes and only a few of the high $$ ones. We went through almost all of the 5th wheels that were on display and we didn't see anything that was better than our 2007 Montana. We are both very satisfied with our choice and even though we wouldn't even consider a trade at this point, we still like to look :-).
We made plans to meet some of our friends in Lebanon at a local restaurant that has several big screen TV's. The Colts game started at 3pm and we were just finishing a late lunch when they kicked off. We watched the first 1/2 at the restaurant and then made a quick dash home to see the rest of the game. What an exciting game. Peyton Manning is such a joy to watch. He is not only a great athlete but a natural leader as well. Can't wait until the super bowl, it should be a great game.
No big plans this week. Matthew is coming to spend the night again on Wednesday. He had some testing for a job a couple of weeks ago and they want to talk to him some more. Keep your fingers crossed, it's looking pretty good for him and we are hoping he will get an offer. I'll keep you posted.