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National FFA Convention
It all started when the Elkton Meats Evaluation Team got first at the State FFA Convention. Austin, Zak and I worked diligently to earn this award and in return we won a trip to the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.
On the morning of October 24, Mr. Robbins arrived at my place with his silver mini-van. Zak and Austin were already in the van and I was the last person that he needed to pick up. So I double and triple checked my luggage, making sure I had all of my necessities, and threw my heavy luggage in the back of the already crowded mini-van.
We then jumped on I-29 and headed south toward Omaha where our airplane awaited us. It was an unusually warm day for October and this caused me to sleep most of the way down there. We stopped once at a small Sinclair gas station that was locally owned to go to the restroom and buy a soda. But otherwise it was a fairly smooth and fast trip.
We arrived at the airport at about 9:30 in the morning. Our plane left at 11:00 A.M. so we wanted to be early, just in case there were any delays. This was my first time traveling on an airplane, so I didn’t know what to expect. Once we parked I was surprised at how fast the shuttle buses arrived. Within a few minutes we had our entire luggage loaded onto the bus and were heading toward the airport.
The airport was not as crowded as I thought it would be and it was for the better. We checked in our luggage and then took our carry on bags with us to the beginning of the terminal where security measures were tight. I had brought my Xbox 360 along on the trip and decided that it was best to bring it within my carry-on bag. I had a good feeling that it would have been broken if I put it under the plane. Before we entered the terminal we had to take off our shoes, and take out everything in our pockets and any electronics in our bag. This took awhile but I made it through with out having the alarm going off.
When it was 11:00 A.M. we grabbed our luggage and boarded the plane. The plane was very small and crowded. It had two seats on the right side of the aisle and one seat on the left. It was very hot and crowded and I had a tough time placing my carry-on bag under my seat, due to my Xbox.
Departure was a neat experience to me. As the plane took off my whole body pushed back into the seat and my ears started to pop. I was glad that my mom told me to bring some gum along. As the end of the runway approached I feared that the plane was not going to pull up in time. Fortunately, it did and I could finally relax as we ascended into the air.
It was a very short trip from Omaha, Nebraska, to Chicago, Illinois. Only a few minutes passed after the plane leveled off before we started to descend. On the way down we hit some turbulence and I was expecting it. I grabbed hold of my arm rest and gripped them very tightly until the shaking stopped.
The landing of the plane was almost exactly like the take off. I thought we were going to run out of pavement, but the pilot of the plane punched the plane’s turbines in reverse and our speed decreased very rapidly.
Chicago O’ Hare was a very huge airport. The terminals were very long and it felt like we walked a mile to our next terminal. Our next plane was scheduled to leave at 4:30 P.M. so we all dosed off after having a few juicy hamburgers at the dependable McDonalds.
When we arrived at Indianapolis, Mr. Robbins directed us toward the car rental center and after a few minutes of negotiating we jumped into our brand new, red Durango and sped off toward our hotel. The Durango smelt like a new vehicle and had some nice brown leather seats that were very comfortable to ride in.
After arriving at our five star hotel, we immediately changed into our blue corduroy jackets and black dress pants and shoes. We scanned our room and were in shock of its hospitality. It had a huge 52-inch, LG, HDTV television that sat in the middle of the room and swiveled back and forth. Along with the TV there were free high speed internet, two beds, a fridge, and a couch. Compared to home this was like going on a vacation.
We left that evening and went to the RCA Dome, which is where the Colts play, and went to the career show. It was held in a gigantic room, bigger than the entire school. It had every college or university imaginable, with rows and rows of booths. It was like the South Dakota State Fair all over again except there weren’t any rides.
We spent the whole evening and the following day going through each booth, looking at what it had to offer, and picking up a few freebies on the way. We were very tired at the end of each day because of all the activities that one could do. The Army’s booth took up about 100 square feet and it looked as if they were setting up a boot camp. They had about 30 computers set up around there booth with hundreds of blue jackets wondering around them and playing the America’s Army game, which was invented by the Army. They were holding contest to see who could do the post push-ups for prizes like an iPod Nano and Army T-shirts.
After an exhausting day at the RCA Dome we went back to our hotel and fell asleep almost immediately. I was as tired as a newborn baby and I retired for the night with my official dress still on.
The following day proved to be a blast as we walked from skywalk to skywalk examining everything that the stores had to offer. It seemed like you could walk through all of downtown Indianapolis without ever going outside. With a trip to Conseco Field House where the Indiana Pacers play to rodeos at the RCA Dome, this was a trip that I would remember for a long time. There was a vast amount of things you could do or see and after the four days that we spent there I felt like we were stilling missing quite a few things.
The trip back home proved to be very difficult. I felt as if someone tied two 10 pound bags of sand to my feet and threw some of it in my eyes. My ears kept on popping and it felt like they were going to burst at any moment. I had a cramp in the back of my neck from falling asleep in the wrong position and as we pulled into my driveway, I could only think of my comfortable bed and hour and hours of sleep.
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