Fanciful

Weekend excursion: in photos

Remember that I went away for the weekend? To Indiana? Here are some photos, kidlets!

I was visiting my friend Lauren for the weekend. I met Lauren maybe in third grade? Fourth grade? We were definitely Pioneer Girls together at Lauren’s church, Pathfinders workin’ on our balancing badge, I think? If memory serves, we were partners-in-acro. I said I was strong and that I had three brothers. She said she was strong and had two sisters, but the youngest one was a handful and that kind of counted as extra brothers.

Okay, then.

But then we were schooled together and together and together through high school and community college and then she transferred a million miles away to Indiana and has stayed there ever since.

When I returned from Spain she said, “You love to travel…travel to me!”

So, I did. This weekend.

Lone photo of us together. Selfies from a tree. Please note the lovely river and the fine neighborhood.

Lone photo of us together. Selfies from a tree. Please note the lovely river and the fine neighborhood.

And Saturday was a beautiful day.

We stopped by a ribbon-cutting ceremony where an artist shared about the mural he and his wife created.

An artist and (a portion of) his mural.

We stopped by a ribbon-cutting ceremony where an artist shared about the mural he and his wife created. So cool.

Background: there was an old railroad bridge that covered a road. Only, the railroad no longer used the bridge and it was converted to a path. Only, the railroad bridge was dark and often used as a point of crime for hooligans.

Sooooo, a local hospital was like, “We will sponsor a mural!”

And the artist listed above submitted plans for the mural. He’s a professor at a local university but had also studied Greek and Roman ruins and had worked as an archeologist abroad. So: super interesting guy. The hospital requested that the mural would not feature people, so he created artistic designs based off of historical architecture in the city.

Really interesting stuff. For instance: he looked at the tombstones of early city-founders and saw that they featured pomegranate reliefs, so on one leg of the bridge pictured, you could see a pomegranate design. Cool, huh?

Lauren did approximately zero painting of this mural...but, lots of supporting.

I apologize for the unfortunate sharp shadows. Alas, the sun was out. It was magnificent, though.

I especially loved how he involved the community in this project. Apparently there was an open invite for anyone in the city to be involved, so the project was completed by the artist and his wife…and hundreds more, from the local churches to the Derby girls to the Montessori school down the road.

I asked a young woman my age, a little girl in an owl hat, and an old man walking his two basset hounds what they did for the project–and they all proudly revealed on which segment they had worked. Paint had been donated, and the artist talked about how he didn’t want his work to be a financial burden (i.e. tax) to the community.

So, now this place of crime was transformed into a place of pride for the hundreds of people who worked there.

Isn’t that inspirational?

Call your grandchildren into the room and tell them--this is a phonebooth. Maybe the last of its kind.

Call your grandchildren into the room and tell them–this is a phonebooth. Maybe the last of its kind.

Now, much of the mural centered on local architecture, so Lauren was obliged to give me a tour of the town so I could see the columns and windows IN REAL LIFE.

Oh, and we browsed some shops, too.

And stopped for Thai food.

Thai food speaks to my heart.

Our server, Alex, brings us our meal.

Our server, Alex, brings us our meal.

I didn’t know what to order, so I told our waiter, “I’ve only ever had these two noodle dishes…and I love them. But, I want to try something new. Should I try this or this or this?”

And he said, “Shut your menu. I’ll bring you something, it’ll be a surprise.”

So I made sure to be like, “Gluten-free and meat-free. And no spice since I CAN’T DO IT.”

He didn’t judge.

Lunch was FANTASTIC.

Pity I don’t even know what it was/ can’t order it again. 🙂

Alex, you have my admiration.

I'm still captivated by complimentary colors. Maybe it's a phase. Isn't the juxtaposition stunning, though?

I’m still captivated by complimentary colors. Maybe it’s a phase. Isn’t the juxtaposition stunning, though? (“Juxtaposition” is a new favorite word of mine.)

And then Lauren said, “Do you want to go out dancing?”

And I said, “No. I want to take a nap and watch a movie.”

Be it known: the people I am this honest with are few and far between. And rarely do I turn down dancing. I was speaking from my heart.

Movie night!

Movie night!

I made a squash-quiche (tastes delicious, I assure you!) and then we began watching an Alfred Hitchcock with Grace Kelly and Cary Grant when Lauren said, “Do you want some ice cream?”

And I wanted “a tablespoon amount but a teaspoon to eat it with” and she totally supported my whims.

And I drew her a picture.

In above-photo: Hitchcock on the screen, wedding magazine for one of Lauren’s friends, picture for Lauren, ice cream for me.

Lauren's crayons and picture.

Lauren’s crayons and picture.

The next morning I went to mass and then went to Lauren’s church and one of her friends was like, “Ireland” and I was like, “NOT FAIR, DO YOU KNOW HOW EASILY I GET WANDERLUST??”

Which is to say: very easily.

Lauren drawing me a map.

Lauren drawing me a map.

And then Lauren drew me a map to help me get home and we ate the rest of the squash-quiche and I started the drive back to my city.

Michigan! I turned a corner and saw this: water, clouds, fall colors. Ahhh.

Michigan! I turned a corner and saw this: water, clouds, fall colors. Ahhh.

I elected for the scenic trip home.

But I seriously stopped myself from taking too many pictures for you. It would’ve gotten out of hand, man. I seriously love the colors of November. They astound me.

L and I schemed a few-day kayaking trip down the river come summer. This town had a docking port...and then I saw this sign. Affordable! ;) (And, if not vintage, suspicious).

L and I schemed a few-day kayaking trip down the river come summer. This town had a docking port…and then I saw this sign. Affordable! 😉 (And, if not vintage, suspicious).

Mowed field. Sunlight. Blue skies.

Mowed field. Sunlight. Blue skies.

Home sweet home. Kidding! This is merely an abandoned house.

Home sweet home. Kidding! This is merely an abandoned house.

And…that’s that! Happy Monday. Fill me in on your weekends, k?

(Also, isn’t that a cool photo of Lauren?? Call me Vermeer. It helps that she’s perfect.)

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