Here is Alex at Memorial Stadium where we went to pick up his race packet. He might as well get a t-shirt out of it, right?
Remember a while back when I enthusiastically wrote about the half marathon I planned on running in April at my college campus? Well, I wasn't able to run it. My knee was bothering me - my Cortisone shot had worn off, and I couldn't get another one until after the date of the race. I was bummed for sure, but my son had started track and he decided to run it. Even better! I could go to my old campus in Bloomington, Indiana, and cheer him on! And I wouldn't even have to break a sweat.
So I signed him up and we planned our trip. Just me and him. But two days before we were to leave he learned that because he's on his high school track team, he would be ineligible to run in the race. There are rules about student athletes competing in races outside of school. So now we both were bummed. He would have done really well, too, because he'd been running 10-12 miles every day for track.
But we weren't deterred - we went anyway. We stayed for one night instead of two, but it was plenty of time for me to show him around my old campus and check out the race course. We had so much fun. The last time I had been to IU was when Alex was a toddler. Now he's a freshman in high school. Things definitely changed, but they also remained very much the same and so familiar.
This is Alex in front of the Sample Gates that lead to the heart of the campus, an obligatory photo spot. The race course went through the gates (see the sign in the back?).
And here are me and Alex about 12 years ago in front of the Sample Gates. He was much less fussy during his second visit (thank goodness).
Right before we left I remembered to take Alex back to Bryan Park, a spot we had visited back when he was 2 because, well, he was 2 and we needed a park. When we got there, I took a quick picture of Alex on this dinosaur. Maybe we got a few strange looks from parents of toddlers at the park, but we didn't care.
Here's Alex at our last visit. His obsession with dinosaurs was just beginning, and I remember we thought we'd hit the jackpot when we saw this cement dino at the park.
We ate dinner at the Trojan Horse and breakfast at the Village Deli. And in between we walked all over campus. We visited my old dorm (totally updated!), Assembly Hall and Ernie Pyle Hall, where I studied journalism and worked for the school paper. I practically lived in that building. It felt good to go back and have a look around.
Before we left, I remembered that the Bloomington Handmade Market was the same weekend (quite a good coincidence), so we ventured on over there and walked around. The place was packed, and there were a lot of Etsy sellers and just so many talented artists. It was really wonderful. When we got to the table of Melissa Bryant of mywireempire, a print caught our eye:
Melissa Bryant makes amazing prints, and she's doing an animal a-z series. You can see more of her work at mywireempire.
On our way home, Alex took a few pictures of the wind turbines in Northwest Indiana. We had never seen them up close before, and boy are they huge! There is a long stretch of them and it feels like you will never pass them all. When we got home and I looked up mywireempire on Etsy to see Melissa's other prints, I found this one:
One of those cool coincidences, don't you think? Her print is called tiny paper cranes, and I just love it.