Tuesday, June 24, 2008

road trip pt.2

"I feel like I'm going to throw up."

We had found the brewpub and were now looking for a parking space. Mike looked at me as if I had completely lost my mind.

"I know, I know - it's too late now. We're already here...and, besides, it'll be great. Yep, great." I was babbling. Nervous.

I shouldn't have worried.

It really was great.

Our drive was lovely and uneventful. We ate snacks (I am a master picnic packer), listened to bad music on the radio and admired the scenery - lots of flat open space, wide skies, red barns, distant horizons, and corn fields. I informed Mike that if we ever won the lottery we'd be buying a big piece of land. "I'd like to just go out and stand in the middle of it and shout, 'Mine! Mine!'...and then we would raise some goats."

"Goats, huh?" Mike said, humoring me as usual.

"Yeah. For goat cheese and you know, baby goats...because they're cute."

(Of course, the longer the road got, the sillier the conversations became...

"Hey, look at that sign!" I pointed out the window. "It says D&D RV!"

"I'll take a +5 camper, please.")

Anyway, for someone used to the urban/suburban sprawl of the Cleveland area, Indianapolis seemed to appear out of nowhere. And people live there. You say "city" to us and we immediately think of a place people commute to and then vacate as quickly as possible at 5PM. But Indianapolis is full of beautiful homes and thriving neighborhoods - definite signs of a nice place to live.

We found the hotel (I ♥ you, Google Maps), got cleaned up and headed for the Indy Blog Meet. Broad Ripple Village is exactly what a quirky eclectic neighborhood should be - lots of foot traffic, public artwork, restaurants...Mike and I only wish we had more time to explore.

The brewpub was filled with bloggers and blog readers, all smiling and talking and laughing, all at once and oh, it was just amazing. I laugh like a moron when I'm nervous and it took me about an hour to get settled down enough to where I was just grinning like a moron instead but, come on! I totally had good reason. I was sitting directly across the table from the sweet Mark Alger and SWMBO, handsome Turk Turon was to my right, future POTUS Caleb from Call Me Ahab and I talked about Battlestar Galactica, I got hugged by two other bloggers who shall remain nameless (and linkless), I was introduced to Old Grouch (who doesn't really live up to that name), and I finally met the amazing Tam (cooler than her own blog, if such a thing is possible) and the delightful RobertaX (cute on a stick and scary smart) who were kind enough to gift me with the Cthulhu Hat of Doom which I promptly put on my head.

I managed to keep the squee to a minimum but I had a moment where I looked across the table and said (yes, out loud), "Holy crap! it's Tam! in real life!" and then Roberta and I looked at each other and she said, "This is so kewl!" and I grinned and said, "I know!"

Mike had his own little starstruck moment when all the bloggers took turns standing up and introducing themselves. When a gentleman in a broad rimmed hat, way down at the other end of the room, stood up and said that he was James from Hell in Handbasket, I heard Mike exclaim, "Oh my gosh! I read him every single morning!" I was delighted to find them deep in conversation later in the evening.

(Mike, of course, is the one who should be blogging, not me. He is tremendously likeable, incredibly smart and outrageously funny. More than once I heard, "What happened to Mike-istan? Too bad you're not writing anymore." Maybe this will be the incentive he needs...he already called home today to ask if I remembered his Blogger password.)

Dinner and drinks at the brewpub, a walk by the river with shaved ice - the evening was wonderful and over too soon. I apologize to all who were there that I never really got a chance to talk to....we'll be back, hoping to meet you.

We got back to the motel and fell into that big bed, happy and exhausted. I don't even remember closing my eyes.

On the way home, I decided that we had to stop at Warm Glow because they have a giant candle attached to their building and long string of billboards along the highway. They've put so much work into their advertising, it would be kind of rude not to stop. I bought a candle for my mom to thank her for taking care of her grandcats and posed in the parking lot like a tourist. The place must be famous or something - they had parking for buses.

We stopped for a late lunch near a mall somewhere in Columbus. As we were getting out of the car Mike said, "I wonder if they serve alcohol?" He started taking off his pistol and putting it in the glovebox.

Yep, we were definitely back in Ohio.


Rustmeister said...

That was one of the strange things for me in Louisville.

In TN we're not allowed to pack in places that serve alcohol, and seeing folks packing openly in a bar was strange to me.

Strange, but good, ya know?

Turk Turon said...

Thanks for taking that picture of the river walk.

Lydia said...

yes, Mike needs to be writing more. Tell him he can't have spicey foods again until he is writing regularly, that should get him moving.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Nervous? I can hardly believe it. A HUMBLE rock star

Anonymous said...

Great write-up. Now knowing that other people are nervous too, I might actually show up. (New people scare me.) 'Cause, you know, I'm just a blog READER and not one of you (in)famous blog WRITERS. :) And I only have to drive a few minutes, not all the way from the far reaches of Ohio!

Anonymous said...

It was great. . next time, you and Mike are welcome to bunk at my place if you want. . it's only 40 minutes west of the pub and the place is plenty big.

"nameless and linkless" (ha)

Anonymous said...

I was nervous, too, but everyone was warm and friendly.Mark told me that I'd have a great time. He was right!I look forward to seeing you again !

And Loki sends his best!


Willorith said...

Curious thing about goats. The young lady goats must have their labia trimmed to prevent them from getting skin cancer. It seem that they stick out a bit. Just a little info for madam librarian.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

TMI, willorith...

Carteach said...

I enjoyed putting faces to names, especially you and Mike.

Yup.... I can't wait for the next one, and sure hope I can make it.

phlegmfatale said...

Wow, breda- I'm in full-on envy mode, and btw-- I always secretly suspected Turk was WAY sexay!

ANyhoo, one of these days, I'm gonna sneak up there and join the lot for the blogmeet, just to give a hot southern technicolor injection. NOT that it wasn't colorful enough already. Sounds like a blast!

Anonymous said...

...but where's the pic of you with the Chthulu hat???

Anonymous said...

You seem to know a little about goats.
Maybe you know something about sheep. When I was at the state fair, did I really see the "sheep people" steering their sheep around by their mommy parts? I really didn't want to look too closely.

breda said...

jeff, you should definitely attend a Blog Meet - the people will be new but very friendly and welcoming. You'll be glad you did.

willorith, I am both fascinated and horrified...and as usual, I love your commentary. Thank you.

phlegmmy - there were many hunky men in the gunny crowd. No surprise there!

farmist, poke around the links in this post and you'll probably find it.

Anonymous said...

Suddenly it occurs to me you might NOT have gotten a pic of the Cthulu hat. I have two, if you want. Lemme know.


breda said...

oh, no, Mark. I've got some. ;)

Tam said...

"Wow, breda- I'm in full-on envy mode, and btw-- I always secretly suspected Turk was WAY sexay!"

Yup, he doesn't look like his avatar at all. ;)

On top of that, carteach0 could pose for "separated at birth" pics with Terry Pratchett.

I wish I'd had a chance to talk to him more; I spent a couple hours in a room with someone who's an even bigger Old Rifle geek than I am and I never got a chance to pick his brains. :(

Next time! :)

Weer'd Beard said...

Sounds like a great road trip!

BTW, if I was gonna ranch it would HAVE to be Emus. Their babies are wayyy cuite

The adults aren't bad either, AND they're filled with yummy meat!


breda said...

"filled with yummy meat!"


Willorith said...

I have no actual knowledge of goats and sheep and such. However, much as the other frequenters of M. Breda's wonderful creation, odd bits of information seem to lodge in my memory banks and spew forth with slight prompting.

M. Breda I'm sure that you were just being nice to the weird guy, as you would some of your library patrons, but you made me smile all day when you said you love my commentary.

breda said...

'tis true, willorith!