Monday, November 16, 2009

Exploring Indiana...

I will post something about the marching band, eventually, but to make a long story short... I ended up coming to Indianapolis to watch the band compete with only a few days’ notice. Rick was so sweet to use some company frequent flier miles in order to get me here. However, there were no flights out Sunday, when everyone else was flying out. So, I have had 2 days here by myself. After a very intense week completely immersed in marching band activities, it was a nice break to have a few days to myself.

On Sunday morning, my roommate (another band mom) left at 4 a.m. and drive to Chicago to catch her flight home. Rick rented a car for me so that I could go to church and drive around a little. The Indianapolis 3rd ward was so nice to me! I had a dozen people come and visit with me and one lady came over and got me during the opening song and said I shouldn't sit alone. I went over and sat by her and her mom. So sweet. The speaker told a story about Moab even, how ironic is that?

I hadn't ever been to Indiana (except for the airport, which I don't count) and I wanted to explore a little. So, after church I asked a few people where I could drive that would be pretty. I wanted to take a few fun pictures (I was getting so tired of taking pictures of marching band members!). They all told me Brown County was where I should go. After I got a great map, I headed out to explore the countryside. It was gorgeous! Here are a few pictures I took along the way...

I have a thing for a countryside with fields of corn, farms and old barns.

I took a little side road to find a covered bridge (I hadn't ever seen one before). This was an area I fell in love with and wanted to stay for a while!

I love running across old cemetaries.

One of the many covered bridges in the area.

I even got to drive across them.

And then, along the road I saw this antique shop. I'm a sucker for antique shops, especially when they have gorgeous old quilts hanging in front! I stopped and talked to the nicest man who ran the store out of his garage. I asked how much the blue and white Texas Star quilt was (hand stitched and in perfect condition)... $30! Sold.

His store was really cute. They really had great taste and a great eye to put things together.

Here are my purchases, the quilt and a $3 pair of old earrings I couldn't resist. (I didn't buy the gorgeous stool... I couldn't figure out how to get it on the airplane!)

Nashville is an old artist colony. It's very charming and has lots of little shops, Inns and charming places to eat. It is right outside of Brown County State Park, which has a gorgeous double covered bridge.

After dark, I headed back up to Indianapolis, taking my time until the Colts game started, so I wouldn't hit traffic.

There were a few times I had considered getting a scalped ticket (I figured I could get one single ticket fairly easily), but wasn't sure how I felt about going to an NFL game on a Sunday. I actually LOVE football lately, it's getting more and more fun to watch all the time. I also was hesitant because we had spent the past 48 hours in the Lucas Stadium for the Band of American competition. I didn't know if I wanted to have to park and spend all night in there again! :)

Even though I didn't have a team to cheer for, I thought I would go for the Colts since I was a guest in their town. The Colts ended up beating their HUGE rivals, the Patriots, in the last 4 minutes of the game. It probably will go down in history as one of the greatest rivalry games ever played. I can't believe I didn't go, but it was fun to be outside of the stadium and see the city all lit up in blue horseshoes. I went back to my hotel and watched the exciting game on t.v.

Every time we were downtown the past few nights, I didn't have my camera. I was happy to drive around and take a few photos at night, while everyone else in Indy was at the game!

Indiana is a gorgeous state and Indianapolis is a great city, especially at night. It isn't intimidating at all and the people are just so friendly. I have had a great trip. It was so nice to be here to watch Andrew perform in that stadium and was happy to be here for their last performance of this incredible year. Now I need to check out of my hotel room and head to the airport. I can't wait to see Rick & the kids tonight!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The underestimated popularity of The Pioneer Woman...

For my birthday this year my best friends Tracey and Stephanie gave me The Pioneer Woman's new cookbook! They actually pre-ordered it so that I received it in the mail the day it was released! They know how much I love her, which was so sweet of them. It's a great cookbook and I've already tried out a bunch of the recipes.

Part of the gift included Tracey taking me to the book signing in Salt Lake.(Stephanie lives in California and isn't a good enough friend to fly out for such an event.) Well, Tracey and I were busy yesterday with our crazy lives and we got off a little later than planned. Ree was going to be signing at the King's English book store in Sugarhouse. She was planning on starting at 7:00 p.m. Now, I've been to book signings, even when it is a very popular author. I know how they usually work. Well, we totally underestimated the popularity of The Pioneer Woman! We weren't able to get there until 7:20 p.m., and this is what we saw...

HUNDREDS of people all around the bookstore and down the block. Ooops. We really messed up. So, we went and asked two cute girls for the story. They said that people started lining up at 3:00 p.m. and by about 6:00 p.m. they had handed out 500 letters (groups of 20 for each letter) and they were long gone. When your letter group was called, it was your turn to enter the store. Our friends had the letter "H" and were waiting for their turn. We took a couple of pictures (really bad ones, sadly... why we look so dang happy is beyond me) and figured we might as well go and drown our sorrows in some molten chocolate cake and creme brulee across the street at our very favorite restaurant, The Paris.

The restaurant was full of women that were waiting for their turn to meet Ree. As we visited with some of the ladies, we got an idea. We asked if you were only allowed to have one book signed with your letter card. They said you could only have one person enter with that card, but could have more than one book signed. After we finished our dessert, we went outside to find our new "best friends" in line. We didn't see them anywhere, then we found out the "H" group was already inside! I lied my way into the store, telling the girl at the door that my friend Kirsten was in there with the letter "H" and she needed this book. I told her that I just needed to hand it to her and I promised to come right back out. With a lot of debating, she finally agreed and I went through the line yelling her name. When I finally found her, I shoved the book (that had my address and $10 in case she needed to ship it back to me) into her hands and said, "Here is the book you needed!" And then I walked out!

We decided to wait for them to come out and they were so darling when they did. She was laughing and thought we were pretty funny. So, I got my book signed but never got to lay eyes on PW. It was a blast though, even getting out of the house!

UPDATE... Kirsten just graciously sent me some photos of PW so that I could be jealous of them. Just kidding, I actually asked her to send them. I planned on Photo-shopping myself & Tracey in the photos. But, now that the story is already out that we DID NOT meet Ree, I will just post this cute picture of our new friends while they were getting my book signed! Thanks girls!