07 December 2011

Our Visit to IU - Part 1

We had an absolutely wonderful visit to IU this past weekend. The main reason we went was to see Bailey's performance with the World Percussion Ensemble. But as it happened, it was also the weekend for IU's production of The Nutcracker. Being a huge Nutcracker fan, I was really excited to see a performance produced by a renowned ballet school! This is the first of two posts about our weekend adventures.

Incidentally, this trip was the first time out with my new Droid Razr, which I'm obviously still getting used to -- judging by the quality of these photos! Now that I have a real smart phone, it was fun being able to post photos to Facebook throughout the weekend to share with friends and family. Yes, I have just crawled out from under a rock. Yay for modern conveniences!

After we arrived in Bloomington, we took in an early dinner at Nick's while Bailey was busy hauling gear to the performance venue for the percussion concert that evening. Nick's is a legendary spot for pizza.

And for good reason: The pizza is outstanding. I even had mushrooms on my side, which is a real treat for me!

And then we headed off to the concert. Shortly after we got there, we found her! As you can tell, we were pretty happy to see her! Spouse even looks like he is wearing a party hat.

The World Percussion Ensemble is an award-winning group which features the highly rhythmic call and response music of Afro-Cuban cultures. Spouse had heard the group perform at PASIC (the Percussive Arts Society International Convention) and was excited to see them again. I had never heard anything like this group and loved every minute of it! (Click on the collage to enlarge.)

After the concert, I grabbed a couple of photos of Bailey and Neil, this one on my "real" camera since I was still learning to operate my Droid camera...

After the performance, we ran up the street to Red Mango, their favorite "weigh and pay" (hey, I just made that up!) yogurt place. It was really great! It's very similar to the new Orange Leaf yogurt shops we have around here. And even though we were paying, these two insisted on sharing a cup! They must be very cost-conscious!

Afterwards, we went back to the concert venue and caught the IU Latin Jazz Band. What a great group! People were dancing in the aisles! Not me, of course...

On Saturday morning, we had a little time to poke around in the shops on the town square while our college student slept in. We ventured into a little "mall" which connected several old buildings. It was different than anything we'd seen before and quite a good use of urban space. It was festively decorated for Christmas and full of children and families enjoying holiday crafts and music. It was a good reminder that yes, there are real people who live in Bloomington -- not just college students! 

 Bloomington is a lovely little college town, but of course they do have a bit of crime, as suggested by the sign on this tampon machine in the mall bathroom. Are thieves now robbing tampon machines? And do the good folks at the mall actually remove the money twice a day? Exactly how much money would be in this machine, anyway? So many unanswered questions...

After lunch at a Greek place on the square and a quick Target run, we got to hang out with Bailey for a bit while Jay worked on winterizing her window. (Seems that she didn't really like having ice on the INSIDE of the glass last winter.) During this time, I tried out my camera phone so often and with such bad results that I began to get the "enough" look. We really were having fun! Really!

I even got to help decorate her door! These are the little things that you come to appreciate when you don't see your daughter very often. :)

Later that evening, we grabbed subs at Which Wich, WHICH was kind of fun and pretty good. And I had one more opportunity to take a photo with my phone, which somehow wasn't getting any easier. Luckily my subjects put up with my steep learning curve!

Of course, the best part of the weekend was getting to see our daughter and her friends. We cherish the times -- few and far between these days -- when we get to be with her! We are so excited that she'll soon be home for Christmas!


Daisy said...

That looks like a great visit! And I cannot even tell you how much my Mommeh wants some of that pizza!

Fonda said...

Glad Bailey is doing so well and that you get to have her home for the holidays!