All on it's own the fly-in was great, but to meet a few forum friends IRL, and chat with them and aspiring pilots on the other side of the fence, made the 5 hour trip worth it.
We're moving into the fall fly-in season here in the southeast US. If any of you see a fly-in listed nearby:
1. Go. It'll be worth the trip. You may not be able to do everything you want to, when you want to (Monkey had to wait until the end to pull out his FPV rig), but these events are about putting planes in the air for fun! Stodgy clubs turning their nose up at visitors will still happen, but you're more likely to come away with a great day and new friends.
2. Post the notice here. There might be a few folk from nearby who might be interested in a meetup. If they do, you'll have an automatic virtual-friend to make new freinds with at the show!
3. Chat with folks on both sides of the fence. It's nice to chat with other flyers -- a nice perk of fly-ins -- but these events can attract people who are curious. Feel free to show off your planes, explain what you know, and show them the easy ways to earn their way to our side of the fence.