Sunday, October 2, 2011

A travelogue of the Teal Dear variety. You've been warned.

It should have been easy. Get in the car, drive to Indianapolis, scope out the test location, hit a couple yarn shops, watch my nieces' marching band, drink beer with in-laws. A nice reward after all the studying I did for the exam. If only things had turned out that simply.

The trip started off well enough, I got the oil changed, grabbed some drive-thru, and hit the highway. I was prepared for some congested traffic as soon as I crossed the Ohio River into Indiana, as the bridge for westbound drivers was closed and the detour took them along the same route I was using. What I wasn't prepared for was stopped traffic 35 miles north of the river. I-65 wasn't much better than a parking lot for about 5 miles, and the only maps in the car were for Tennessee and Michigan. After thirty minutes and a couple phone calls to find out I was out of luck, traffic finally got moving again and was mostly uneventful the rest of the way to Indianapolis.

This is not what the road looked like when I was on it. Image from Wikipedia.

Once in town, I made my way to IUPUI to try to find the building and the classroom where I would be taking my exam the next day. I'm sure every University thinks their campus is easy to get around, but what I mostly found were permit-only surface parking lots, side streets torn up for repaving and one-way streets that took me away from my destination. The good part about this was that I was finding all this out the day before the test, rather than the morning of the test. After a couple laps and figure-eights around the campus, I finally found a parking garage for visitors. After crossing four lanes of traffic, I found an entrance to the correct building and made my way to the classroom, which, it turns out, is very conveniently located next to the pedestrian walkway over the street that connects the building to the garage where I had parked. It seems I always find the hardest way to do things. At least I took the easy way back. I think I'd been parked in the garage for less than 30 minutes, but it cost me $2.50 to leave. At least it was free on Saturday.

This is the walkway, but there weren't this many people using it when I went across. Photo courtesy of IUPUI's website.

Since my test-related scouting trip was completed, I thought I'd check out  a local yarn shop I hadn't yet visited: Broad Ripple Knits. It's located on Guilford Avenue in a cute little house not far from Broad Ripple Avenue. Years ago, when I lived in Indy, I used to spend plenty of time in the neighborhood, so it was nice to be back, even if for just a little while. The owner of the shop, Karen, was very nice, told me all about the yarns she carries and offered chocolate-covered almonds. It felt a whole lot like our dear, departed Knit Nook, with a lot of ambiance and many of the same yarn brands. There was even a group of regulars knitting around a table full of newly-arrived yarn (Madelintosh fingering weight & worsted!). I was looking for some Cascade 220 for a specific project and then after a lap around the shop I also got a couple balls of Rowan Lima and a copy of Ysolda Teague's Whimsical Little Knits. Not a bad excursion and if I hadn't been trying to get to my in-law's house, I'd have brought in my knitting bag and hung out for awhile. It's definitely worth another trip.

A ball of Rowan Lima!

Once I left, I thought I might check out one more yarn shop on my way north, but as I was waiting to turn onto Keystone Avenue a considerate fellow driver let me know one of my tires was pretty low and that I should take a look. As soon as I made the turn, I noticed a tire place and decided that would be the perfect place to stop and look at my tire. Not only was it low, it was completely flat, and I had driven on it long enough that it had to be replaced. I'm not sure how it was that I didn't feel it in the handling of the car as I was driving it, but it didn't matter, at least I didn't drive any further. The tire place couldn't get to my tire for two hours, so I grabbed my knitting and walked the few blocks to what used to be the Glendale Mall, which is now called Glendale Towne Centre (I think), and settled in at the Panera for the duration of my tire repair. Notice I was too flaky to think of grabbing my study materials for some last-minute cramming for the test. Nope, my first thought when I found I had two hours to kill was to grab the knitting. Anyway, two hours and $115 later, I was on my way to Westfield, to hang out with my sister-in-law Susan, her husband Arron and their daughter, D.

The yarn shop is a few blocks to the right of this intersection, across the canal. Image from Wikipedia.

Once I got there, we decided at the last minute to go to the high school football game where our nieces Sarah & Maddie would be in the marching band at halftime. Our mutual brother-in-law, Terry, Sarah & Maddie's dad, would be working the concession stand, so it would be a good chance to say hi to everyone. We got there with 2:30 left in the first half of game, which was just as well because the Shamrocks had the game well in hand and it was too damned cold to sit in the stands all night. As the band took the field, we found Maddie easily, as she was helping move equipment. Sarah was a little tougher to find as she was actually on the field marching and all those kids were dressed alike, wearing those ridiculous hats you have to wear when you're in a marching band - they even had those awful vertical feather things on the top. As soon as the band finished performing, we went down to say hello to the girls. D found Maddie pretty quickly, yelled hello at her, to which Maddie responded with a clipped response and a look of worry that we might keep talking to her and embarrass her in front of her friends. I could see from Susan's face she really wanted to, and I was tempted myself, but D wanted some popcorn & hot cocoa, so we went on over to the concession stand to get some. We'll have to remind Maddie about this when we see her at Christmas.

After that we went back to Susan's where D & I played Scrabble Flash until her bedtime. I stayed up for awhile longer drinking some good beer and having a nice visit with the grown-ups. But eventually I had to get some sleep since I had to get up early to head back downtown for the test. Everything else went uneventfully: I got to town, took the test and felt pretty good about how I did. I definitely felt more prepared this time and I am cautiously optimistic that I'll pass this time. I had an uneventful drive home and arrived in time to have a late dinner with my husband. All in all, an alright road trip.

Maybe next time I'll have some knitting to show, hopefully a nearly-complete Schmidt vest and maybe the start of the next baby thing for one of the eight pregnant people I know. Until then.

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