And now, children, part two of our mini vacation from reality...
Our next stop on the road trip was Indiana University. I was so excited to be back on the campus. For those of you who have never been to Bloomington, Indiana, I definitely recommend it. It's a huge campus and a really pretty one at that. It was the place I called home from 1999 to 2003, and when I left to go to law school in the fall of 2003, I was so sad to say good bye. I haven't been down there as much as I'd like since that time, but I was more than happy to show T around finally.
I gave him the driving tour first, hitting all the major places - the football stadium, Assembly Hall, showing him where I lived my freshman, sophomore and junior years on campus (Note: My roommate Erika and I got somehow screwed in the housing lottery freshman year so our dorm is about as far off of campus as is humanly possible). We then parked at the Union and took a walking tour of campus.
It's amazing how much came back to me as I was walking around. It's not like I block those memories out or anything, but it's hard, seven years later, to recall all of these places and events that meant so much to you for four years. But it all came back pretty quickly.
We walked past the Showalter Fountain, which I've actually been in during my senior year at IU (It was fun, but the water was cold and icky). My freshman year I wrote a story for the school newspaper about the history behind this fountain. Back in the day when IU had won the NCAA basketball championship, the students rioted (as is normal at any Big Ten campus), and they stole two of these huge fish from the fountain. No one knows where they are, but I can't imagine they'd be hard to miss. (Nice lawn ornament!) Urban legend has it that when a virgin graduates from IU, these two remaining fish will leap out of the fountain. Hmm..interesting that they are still there...
As you can tell, I was pretty happy to be back on campus.
We went to the student union to go to the bookstore and to also get out of the heat, because it was rapidly starting to warm up. I made T get an IU t-shirt, of course, but none for me as I worked at the bookstore for 3 years and have my fair share of IU t-shirts. We then headed to the Ernie Pyle School of Journalism where I spent a majority of my time while at IU.
I wrote for the Indiana Daily Student my first two years at IU and then worked for the Arbutus yearbook my last two. I loved doing the yearbook thing. I met some of my closest friends there and really had a good experience doing it. Some good good memories, but it was definitely weird to be back there after seven years.
And yes, I am a dork.
After walking around for a bit, we headed to the hotel and checked in before heading out for dinner. Bloomington is well known for its cool local restaurants, so I picked one that I thought T would like for dinner. Since we'll be going to Ireland for our honeymoon in four short, months, I chose the Irish Lion, which has really good Irish cuisine and a good selection of beers. (Photo: T's Guinness and my Black & Tan)
After dinner, we headed to the bars. Now to get the full IU experience, you have to go to a variety of bars, which means going to ones I normally wouldn't consider. Kilroys, while it has good drink specials and is an IU staple, is well known for its...how do I say this appropriately...douchebaggery. Yes, if you want to witness a lot of douchey guys in popped collars and backwards baseball caps trying to act like they're "the man," definitely go to Kilroys. (I know I may be insulting a lot of people with this, but I stand by my opinion) Case in point: Shortly after we got there, we witnessed this one rather large kid projectile vomit all over his friend, who was your typical douche (baby blue popped collar shirt, aviator shades and a backwards baseball cap). Then the big guy passed out. Did his friends help him? No, they were laughing at him as he passed out and was pulled out of the bar by the two bouncers on duty, taping it while it was happening (I'm sure to post on YouTube later). Witnessing this display of rampant douchebaggery made me realize two things: 1) I'm too old to deal with this kind of stupidity and 2) I'm REALLY glad YouTube wasn't popular in my college days because I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want some of my "best" moments (and I use the word "best" loosely) documented and published. Yikes. I felt for the guy, even though he's an idiot for drinking that much. And man, he was big, too! He must have consumed an enormous amount of booze to get like that. Double yikes.
We ended our night with a stop at Nick's English Hut, which is a must if you're visiting Bloomington. All in all, it was a great Saturday, and I couldn't have asked for better company.
More to come...the last installment in this trilogy known as my vacation from reality...next stop: McCormick's Creek State Park!