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Des Moines, Iowa


And the winner is...

Geoff Wood

After eight straight days away from home, I flew from Omaha to Indy on Friday just in time to experience my first Carb Day at the Speedway. You see Memorial Day weekend is huge in Indy since that's when they run the 500. The festival's been going on pretty much for the entire month but the big weekend gets kicked off by Carb Day. Carb Day is short for "Carburation" and is the last day that drivers can work out at the track before the race.

We didn't get to the track until Noon:thirty 'cause of all the traffic and actually missed the practice rounds. I did get to see my first IndyCar's run, though only for a lap. I caught the tail end of the "minor league" race they run on Carb Day and it was neat. I hung out with a large group of folks from work in the stands until we decided to retreat to tailgate in the parking lot. Following that we all walked over to the main stage and saw the beginning of the Black Crowes concert. I heard "Jealous Again" and decided that the four hours in the sun was enough for me. I had Jeff drop me off at Hope's office downtown and we went out with a few of her coworkers to an awesome beer garden, "The Rathskeller". We haven't been out downtown much, but I really enjoyed this place...we'll have to try it again.

After a quick trip home to feed the dogs we intended to head back downtown to catch the Bob & Tom concert but wound up cashing it in. Too much fun for one afternoon for this kid and his wife.

Saturday Morning was the 500 Parade and we took the dogs with us downtown. Her office parking lot served us well and we only had to walk a few blocks. We were able to grab a spot to stand in the doorway to an IU medical building and it turned out we were just across the street from an annoucer. The parade was, um, interesting. I hear it was on ESPN2 nationally and thus had the class of the 'B' list celebrities. Believe it or not, but we were a mere ten feet away from the likes of Montel Williams, Tony Danza, Cheech Marin, even Jim Nabors (Gol-l-l-ly, Andy). The most famous Hollywood celeb was Patrick Dempsey, who Hope tried to ditch me for. Luckily, after getting a bad shot the first time, she only had to run a block or so down the street to get this one:

We also saw Reggie Miller, the crown prince of Indy, who lead the parade as the Grand Marshal:

We finished off the night by going to a party at a bar off 86th Street with our neighbors Jeff & Karen. The party boasted that it would have celebrities who were in town for the race as well as a Hawaiian Tropic Bikini Contest. Let's just say the party left a little to be desired.

The promotion for the party mentioned Owen Wilson, famous for being an actor. But we didn't seem him. We did however see Kato Kaelin, famous for, um, nothing really. For those that don't remember Kato was OJ Simpson's house guests during the murder of Nicole Simpson. Apparently that makes him a celeb.

It worked out well for Hope, since she saw OJ a couple years ago at a bar in Las Vegas. Now if she could only find Judge Ito.