Mike Pence returns home after VP announcement and Chili's dinner

Donald Trump and Mike Pence Step Out Into the Spotlight For the First Time

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. — Mike Pence returned home to Indiana on Saturday night to a "Welcome Home Rally" after a two-day trip to New York City in which Donald Trump announced him as his vice presidential running mate - and his quick dinner at Chili's turned into the most viral online meal in the country.

The Indiana governor flew in on a gray, private jet that rolled up to a modest hometown crowd of nearly 500 at an airport hanger in Zionsville, a town 35 minutes outside of downtown Indianapolis.

"You know, the last few days have been pretty overwhelming," Pence said from the stage, moments after waving to the crowd as he walked down the jet staircase with the Air Force One theme song blaring inside the hanger.

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Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., Derek Karachner, Ian Slatter, Molly Jurmu, Mark Ahearn.

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Mike Pence, R-Ind., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., talk during the markup of the bill which would establish the Department of Homeland Security.

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(L-R) Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), attorney Floyd Abrams, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and attorney Kenneth Starr speak to reporters in the U.S. Supreme Court Plaza in Washington, D.C., September 8, 2003. Attorneys made arguments during a special session of the Supreme Court about the constitutionality of the McCain-Feingold campaign financing reform law.

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Rep. Mike Pence, new head of the Republican conservative caucus, taken in his Hill office. Includes a bust of Ronald Reagan.

(Photo by Robert A. Reeder/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) and Indiana Governor Mike Pence (L) wave to the crowd before addressing the crowd during a campaign stop at the Grand Park Events Center in Westfield, Indiana, July 12, 2016.

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UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 07: Mike Pence, R-Ind.

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Pictured: Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) left, and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) right, appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010.

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(REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

President-elect Donald Trump takes the stage with Vice President-elect Mike Pence during a rally in Orlando, Fla., on Friday, Dec. 16, 2016.

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Vice President-elect Mike Pence arrives at Trump Tower on December 15, 2016 in New York City. President-Elect Donald Trump continues to hold meetings with potential members of his cabinet at his office.

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Tim Kaine, 2016 Democratic vice presidential nominee, left, and Mike Pence, 2016 Republican vice presidential nominee, speak during the vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. Indiana Governor Mike Pence and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine arrive at tonight's debate with three main assignments: defend their bosses from attack, try to land a few blows, and avoid any mistakes showing them unfit to be president.

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Sergio Marchionne, chief executive officer of Chrysler Group LLC and Fiat SpA, left, speaks with Mike Pence, governor of Indiana, at the Chrysler Group transmission plant in Kokomo, Indiana, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. Chrysler Group LLC, the automaker majority owned by Fiat SpA, will invest about $374 million and add 1,250 jobs at Indiana factories to boost output of eight-and nine-speed transmissions.

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UNITED STATES - JULY 25: Mike Pence--IND

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Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., makes marks on the House health care bill as House Republicans gathered in the House Republicans Reading Room in the Longworth House Office Building on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009.

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U.S. Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) speaks during a rally on Capitol Hill April 6, 2011 in Washington, DC. U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), thought to be a contender for the 2012 presidential race, also spoke at the rally held on Capitol Hill by Americans for Prosperity in support of spending cuts.

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House Budget chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., speaks with Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., as they arrive for a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the basement of the U.S. Capitol on Monday, July 25, 2011.

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Indiana Governor Mike Pence is seen at the 2015 IPL 500 Festival Parade on May 23, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) while Vice President Mike Pence (C) looks on during a luncheon at the Congress of Tomorrow Republican Member Retreat January 26, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Congressional Republicans are gathering for three days to plan their 2017 legislative agenda.

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US Vice President Mike Pence and Karen Pence dance during the Liberty ball at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.

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From left, First Lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, Major General Bradley Becker, Vice President Mike Pence, and his wife Karen Pence review the troops following the swearing in of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017.

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"My fellow Hoosiers, I'm here to announce that today in New York City, I accepted Donald Trump's invitation to run and serve as Vice President of the United States of America," Pence said during his brief, eight-minute address to the gathering.

Just hours after Trump introduced Pence as his VP pick in a scattered New York City speech, Pence looked to return home for the weekend before heading to Cleveland on Monday for the Republican National Convention.

More from NBC News: Trump Reminds Voters He's No. 1 When Introducing His No. 2

Yet his flight to the Hoosier state was delayed by an hour - and the governor, his wife and one of his daughters made a pre-flight stop at a Chili's near the Teterboro, New Jersey, airport. Within two hours of the tweet, "Chili's" was trending on Twitter across the United States.

The governor, relatively unknown nationally, told NBC News after his remarks in Indiana that he has "already started" on his speech to deliver to the country on Wednesday from the convention. And he told a woman standing among the adoring Hoosier crowd to "buckle up."

As for his immediate plans on Saturday night, Pence told NBC News: "We're going to go pick up a pizza, and go home, and watch a movie."

The Trump campaign hopes that Pence's conservative credentials used to win over his own Hoosier constituents could be a sample of what he could bring to the Trump ticket in red states.

Before the event, Bobbie and Larry Richardson - both passionate Ted Cruz advocates who attended the former candidate's rally on the night of the Indiana primary rally - drove to Zionsville to back Pence on Saturday.

"When Cruz pulled out and it looked like Trump was going to get it, I said at some point I wasn't going to vote at all," Bobbi Richardson said. But wanting to ensure, foremost, Hillary Clinton did not win in November, she said, with the addition of Pence, she intends to vote for the real estate mogul in November.

"I think [Pence] solidified the ticket," her husband, Larry, then added.

Terry Whitesell, who owned a manufacturing company out of Carmel, Indiana, also attend the rally and applauded the addition of Pence: "Trump needed someone to help pull the coalition together, and Pence has a strong record of pulling conservatives in and has knowledge of Washington. And he certainly helps in the Christian area."

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