We spent last weekend visiting Bailey at Indiana University. We hadn't seen her since dropping her off at school in August -- WAY TOO LONG! This time, we were able to leave a day earlier than usual which gave us a bit of extra time to check out the local area while she was in class.
On Friday we ventured out of Bloomington toward Lake Monroe, the largest lake/park area in Indiana. Southern Indiana is quite hilly and beautiful, especially at this time of year.
I think we missed the peak of the fall color by a week or so, but the leaves were still gorgeous.
It was nice to have a little bit of extra time to see this area. I think the 100-year old park ranger was glad to have visitors, too. He regaled us with all kinds of information about the lake and surrounding areas and provided us with a stack of maps he had carefully highlighted. It was obviously a slow time of year for him, as he had completely plastered his ranger station with Halloween cling-ons!
We stayed at the Union hotel for a couple of nights. Brightly colored mums had been planted all over the campus, adding to the already beautiful fall color.
IU's campus is really gorgeous at this time of year. This photo features the Sample Gates, one of the prettiest areas on campus.
On Friday evening, we went to the Homecoming parade to see the Marching Hundred. Since it was Halloween weekend, the band members were in costume. I've never before seen a cowgirl playing cymbals!
Todd Rundgren was back again, this time as grand marshal of the parade. (Jay thinks he's looking for gigs these days.) Last fall, the legendary rocker was a guest lecturer at IU and came out to "direct" the Marching Hundred at a football game when they played "Bang on the Drum".
We met up with Neil and Bailey after the parade. He doesn't always dress like this. :)
Bright and early the next morning (as in 6am for the drumline), the band was back at it. We got to see "Sing Sing Sing" again played in front of Assembly Hall.
And Bailey asked me to take a photo with Andrew and Evan, the other two percussion/music ed majors in drumline. (She's the daughter of a scrapbooker, you know!)
Other than the fantastic marching band, the fireworks were the best part of Saturday's game against Northwestern. IU football is in a sorry state again this year, in spite of the best efforts of the new coach.
It's a shame the football team continues to struggle. The stadium is really beautiful -- it's sad that the games are not well-attended. The "public" side of the stadium was relatively full for Saturday's game, but the student side largely emptied after halftime.
By the time of the post-game show, the student section was basically empty. Too bad they missed such a terrific performance! It was also alumni band day, and nearly 100 former band members participated in the show. They sounded great!
We got to see one last performance of "Sing Sing Sing" featuring the drumline...
... and our favorite cymbal player!
After the game, she posed for ONE MORE PICTURE for her mama.
Later, Jay and I had some additional time to walk around the campus. The colorful trees against the limestone buildings were very striking.
There is a large wooded area running through campus which adds to its character.
We stopped by to see the bronze tribute to Hoagy Carmichael, an IU graduate who wrote "Stardust" and many other old standards.
And we got to take these two very tired and hungry music ed majors to dinner one more time. Such a treat for us!