Saturday, June 14, 2008

I'm hooooome! And reviews!

What a hellish day of traveling. Yesterday should've been a short the airport by 5:00am'ish and home by noon, but it turned into a 5:00am - 6:00pm day (8:00 by the time I got home from the long drive from the airport). Bad weather in Detroit delayed everything (including my leaving Bloomington), and by the time I did get to Detroit my connecting flight to Raleigh was long gone. I was already re-booked on another flight (YAY Northwest Airlines!), but it was delayed until 4:30 because a flight from Philadelphia that would later be our leg to Raleigh was delayed due to the earlier troubles. If I may be so bold--it was a clusterfuck of a day. I was ready to pass out by the time I got home.

In good news, Daisy is doing very well in the wake of her "alteration." She has a heck of a suture line down the middle of her tum, but she's keeping it very clean and not chewing, so she hasn't even had to wear the big Elizabethan collar. And while her instructions say to "restrict activity for 5 days" I'm really thankful she was inertly boarded at the vet for 3 because she is a WILD CHILD at home. Given, she's been doing her fair share of sleeping, but she's done a good bit of jumping around, too. Which makes my butt pucker, but we won't go into all of that detail.

My conference was fantastic. I got to see several women I attended grad school with, and I got to meet several new students to the grad program. We ate, we drank, we talked, we giggled til we cried. A very good time was had by all. Ever had a strawberry Long Island iced tea? That's a new conference discovery, and it was amazing. The food in Bloomington was definitely worth two thumbs up and a tub of celebratory fireworks. I started off at Le Radis Rose, the French restaurant in the Chateau Hotel (click and look at the site, it's swanky and wonderful). I had a tame lunch special of chicken salad croissant, homemade potato chips, and fruit the first day, and the first night was Chicken Oscar. Yummmmm! Not to mention the "orgasmic pork chops" (our title, not theirs) and bread pudding with white chocolate sauce at Biaggi's restaurant on Wednesday night. If you ever get a chance, GO! It's a chain, but who the hell cares when it tastes THAT GOOD.

Oddly enough, I actually got a chance to read on my trip. I figured I'd be so busy I wouldn't have time, and I'm a notoriously bad plane reader, but the reading fairies were on my side apparently. I read almost all of Sarah Addison Allen's Garden Spells on the flights to Bloomington, and I finished it up when I got checked into the hotel. Susan was a few hours behind me, so that pod of reading time served me well. On the way back--including all the layover time--I finished Blood Kin, by Ceridwen Dovey. Both interesting books in different respects. I'm tired and sleepy right now, but you can expect full reviews for tomorrow's Sunday Salon.

During my five hour layover in Detroit I dipped in and out of The Solitary Vice: Against Reading, by Mikita Brottman, and I finally settled on Richard Powers' Galatea 2.2. I'll give you the skinny on those tomorrow, too.

While Susan was touring me around Bloomington-Normal and the ISU campus, we stumbled into Babbit's Books. It's a chain of used and rare books in central Illinois, and I LOVE IT. It was cozy, stacked to the ceiling (literally), and the people there were knowledgeable about books! Who knew! I picked up a hardcover copy of Galatea 2.2 and another hardcover, Burning Your Boats, the collected short stories of Angela Carter. Now if only they'd branch out into North Carolina. I think I'll start that campaign now.

For now I'm off to grab a popsicle to stave off this 95-degree heat, and I might take a nap. Shhhh! Don't tell B. See you all tomorrow for the Salon!


  1. Welcome home! I've never been to Biaggi's, but on your recommendation? I'm going soon. We have one that just opened up not far from me. I've never been to Babbitt's book store, but it sounds so wonderful! Books to the Aunt Eleanor in Inkheart.

  2. What a long day you had! I am glad you had a safe trip, Andi. It sounds like you had a wonderful time.

    I am looking forward to reading your thoughts on The Solitary Vice.

    Enjoy the weekend!

  3. It sounds like your trip was wonderful (other than the long trip back). I'm glad Daisy is doing well. Enjoy that nap.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful time (travel chaos aside!). I wouldn't mind one of those strawberry long island ice tea drinks now - it's so freakin' hot here! :)
    See you at the sunday salon!

  5. Bellezza, it was great! You should definitely try it. In addition to the orgasmic pork chops, I hear the linguini with lobster is amazing. And as for Babbit's, check out their website. You might find something you can't live without!

    Wendy, thanks! It's great to be home....finally! The Solitary Vice is slow going as it's a little more cerebral than other books about books I've read like Anna Quindlen's How Reading Changed My Life, etc. Good, though. I'll keep you posted.

    Thanks, Kristy. It was a fantabulous trip save the layovers. It was nice to get some girl time.

    Iliana, it was delicious! Way heavy on the booze, but the strawberry was soo yummy.

  6. Gee, Andi, if you're ever stranded in Detroit again, call me and I'll come rescue you. I'm only 20 minutes from the airport. And you are the only person I've ever known to say "Yay, Northwest"! It's usually a four letter expletive associated with that name around here.

    Your conference activities sound great, however, especially the fellowship, food, and drink - what else are conferences for ??

  7. The thing I find most difficult about this post is the thought the you went to a conference where the food was decent. Can you please get whoever was doing the catering to give our UK universities a few tips?

    I'm glad all is well with Daisy.


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