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Twelve Things I Did on My Five Days Off June 22, 2011

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

I’m back from my Bloomington mini-vacation. Last Thursday, when the Park & Fly driver at the airport found out where I was going, he asked if I’d be getting there by dirt road. He clearly had no idea where I was coming from, let alone where I was headed.

I had a predictably great time with Esther and Terry. Here are twelve things I did on my five days off:

1. Got on a plane after four years and nine months of not getting on a plane. Every plane was a 737, thus meeting my size requirements (insert juvenile snicker here). I ascended and descended four times and only felt completely horrible during the bumpy descent into Indianapolis. Luckily, I recovered quickly.

2. Ate some of the best pulled pork I’ve ever tasted, which was, in fact, purchased at a gas station. Esther had the foresight to order it early in the day for later pickup. Good thing she did, because they sold out before we got there.

3. Went to a real movie. In the afternoon. We got all hopeful that Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams would still be around, but when it wasn’t, we made do with Bridesmaids. A great way to dodge the heat and be lazy before going to the airport to get Terry.

4. Went to the WonderLab Museum (where Esther works). Played with all the cool science toys and had great fun climbing the Grapevine Climber. Admittedly, I was a bit on the large side to attempt such a thing, but Terry, both climber and petite in real life, was quick!

Terry and the Grapevine Climber

Moi et la Grapevine Climber

5. Stopped at the homemade ice cream place three successive days because Terry makes it a point to eat ice cream every day of a vacation (maybe every day ever—I’m not completely clear on this point). To be sure that this place was good enough for Terry, on the way to the airport, Esther and I selflessly checked out the one closest to home. We both got black raspberry, which, being phenomenal, passed our Terry test. We took her there the next night, and I was primed to order the coconut cream pie, but apparently they switch out their coconut flavor every day. I was disappointed, but that day’s alternate—coconut monkey—proved delicious. The third day things got crazy when I mixed the favorite black raspberry with a heavenly graham cracker concoction. It felt really good to support Terry in this way.

6. Got shit on by a bird. While sitting in a car. A car that is not a convertible. Despite this setback, we stopped for ice cream on the way home. I believe this was the day I did not order black raspberry.

7. Visited the West Baden Springs Hotel (built in 1902), where Esther had booked mineral baths for us. Not only was the bath relaxing and gave us all surprisingly smooth skin, but the hotel itself is something to behold. Until 1955, its free-spanning dome was the largest in the United States, and for almost a decade, it was the largest in the world. After our baths, we had lunch in the jaw-droppingly beautiful atrium (keeping tabs on said jaw while eating, of course).

8. Visited the Archives of Traditional Music at the university and got a tour of the room and collection devoted to a certain songwriter and native son of Bloomington, whose own son is a dear acquaintance of mine. Said son-that-I-know hooked me up with the fascinating and knowledgeable librarian, who not only gave us the room tour, but also took us into the archives (electronically controlled moveable stacks!). She has a really cool job, and I was thrilled that she found some time to spend with us.

9. ACOG goes to the Kinsey Institute! Esther, Terry, and I worked together years ago on publications for ob/gyns and their patients. What better field trip, then, than for the three of us to head to the Kinsey Institute, which is housed in the same building as the Archives of Traditional Music? (Isn’t that amazing? We couldn’t believe our luck.)

Alfred, Terry, and Esther look so good that I will ignore how bad I look and post this anyway.

The Kinsey Institute is working offices, lots of erotic art, and posters of abstracts describing current research. There are handwritten letters on display from Sigmund Freud and Tennessee Williams. There is a gift shop, although it didn’t have any of the items that I think my friend Dana was imagining when she wondered if they had a gift shop. There were some t-shirts with Kinsey scale numbers—K0 to K6. Neither of the two available styles really suited me, and although my number would be lower rather than higher, I didn’t know which number I should commit to, and we had to leave to get Terry to the airport. (I figured I could order them online later, if necessary, but the gift shop link doesn’t seem to be working. However, I found a nice shot of the one of the styles here.) So I picked up a hoodie I liked better. It has the institute name, no number.

10. Acquired a new boyfriend, Gary. I think he won my heart with his awesome haircut. Also, he is allegedly aloof but warmed up to me quickly. (I am easily flattered, it turns out.) Many lovefests ensued. My immediate love of Gary (perhaps a little too obviously more than Mira, his equally feline but feminine housemate) may be further evidence that my Kinsey scale number is low.


11. Visited the Rose Hill Cemetery. Found the grave of said songwriter and left the requisite penny. We looked for, but didn’t find, the Kinsey graves. That was OK. I was there for the songwriter.

12. Had breakfast (most days) on the back patio. Greek yogurt with blueberries and granola. Coffee. Mmmmmm.

I had a really great time. And now I am home.

Souvenir Terry (Joy Ride) socks for all!


1. helen - June 22, 2011

Wow, what a holiday variety pack! I’m going to get you to plan my next trip. And you all look great in the photo (speaking of which, I would have succumbed to Gary’s charms as well).

indigo bunting - June 23, 2011

Helen: I’ll certainly be useful if you plan a trip to Bloomington.

2. LisaS - June 22, 2011

is there a better vacation than one spent with friends? I don’t think so. especially if you get to spend part of it in that amazing building in West Baden … so jealous.

indigo bunting - June 23, 2011

Lisa, I was pretty sure this was a place you’d been. Wondering about Ms. Vesper Sparrow too! Fantastic.

3. Mali - June 24, 2011

I love Terry because of no.5. I certainly agree with her philosophy about ice-cream on holidays (vacations), but usually can’t manage it every day. That’s not without trying though.

And I think I’m a bit in love with Gary too.

4. Mali - June 24, 2011

Oh, and I’ve just followed your link to the West Baden Springs Hotel. Amazing!

5. laurie - June 24, 2011

what a great trip! and what an amazing bird. a contortionist.

6. Eulalia Benejam Cobb - June 25, 2011

Sounds like it was worth every minute of the plane trip.

7. Damyanti - June 26, 2011

Wow, am sooo envious :). Wish I could have me a vacation too, and with good friends! Very much worth braving the flights…(I’m not terribly crazy about flying either )

indigo bunting - June 29, 2011

Damyanti: I forgot that you know Terry too!

8. Jenny - June 29, 2011

#6 made me laugh so hard I spit out my coffee. Happy vacation!

indigo bunting - July 6, 2011

Thank you!

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