koralleen (koralleen) wrote,

a fine day in Indiana

I knew the conference was at Purdue, but I didn't have much time to get ready for this trip and gave it about zero thought ahead of time (I am not presenting anything, just attending). We flew into Indianapolis but hopped immediately into a rental car and drove about an hour north to West Lafayette. The college town is fine--very nice students, swell old buildings. My hotel has free broadband access. The weather is lovely. We get a per diem.

Our conference packet didn't include a notepad, so we went to the bookstore to get paper yesterday afternoon (minutes before they closed at five). There was a small display of regional interest stuff, so I got a pamphlet about a local cartoonist and booklet with the transcriptions of several interviews with the architect who designed many of the buildings on campus. Our evening program (a reception--torture--and dinner) was in one of these buildings and it was very impressive. One of my coworkers and I poked around for a while looking for a mural, "Spirit of the Land-Grant College", but it is proportedly now in another building. I'm still hunting. We did find our way to the basement, where some much newer (1998-99) wall paintings right on the cinderblock show famous alumni, including Amelia Earhart, Orville Redenbacher, Neil Armstrong, and a football player whose head and upper torso were sacrificed for a doorway. Nice butt, though.

Today the afternoon was supposed to be tours, but our budget doesn't include tour fees. Everyone else in my group went back to the hotel to take a nap. I am not kidding. I noticed that a student group was holding a blood drive, so I donated (and got a free t-shirt I wasn't even expecting) and then I went looking for the historical museum that's supposed to be nearby. There's a pedestrian bridge over the Wabash River into Lafayette and I stopped by the democratic party office across from the cool old couthouse to get a lapel pin. My boss was wearing an elephant pin this morning. It's supposed to look African, I think, but people might get the wrong impression this close to November. I had only the vaguest of maps, and I had walked quite a way without finding the museum when I found the library. Looked around the library a little, then asked about the museum and was told it was just up the hill. Found the museum. Cool old mansion. Closed Mondays. Bah. I walked around the neighborhood behind the museum for a long time and then headed back toward town. Stopped at an antique store and found three books. One was a good find, The Live Dolls in Wonderland with a dust jacket. One dollar. Oh yes. Got back to the hotel about 5pm and called my coworker to see if she wanted to go with me to dinner. She did. Tried to call the other peon but he was out. I assumed our boss was out networking or in napping, so I let her be. We went to the Turkish place across the street and soon after we ordered our other coworker strolled in by chance. Yay! The food was good and we had fun. Then I stopped in Borders to browse until they had to close.

I did hate having to go on this trip, but it's hard to complain after a day like today.

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