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10/19/00 - Bloomington, Indiana

I took a different way into Bloomington from Indianapolis than the directions Lisa gave me, taking I-65 to State Road 46 instead of State Road 37. Turns out, I took the most scenic road in the state and the part of the state with the most hills. Cutting through Brown County, I navigated the Apache through winding roads, rust-colored tree-lined bends and dips and climbs. At one point, we chugged away at 35 mph up a hill. At another, we puttered along at 25 mph. So much for making it through any Rockies later in the trip!

Later, I found out that I had climbed the highest point in Indiana. Went through Nashville, Indiana and passed the Little Nashville Opry where the Statler Brothers were scheduled to play. It was a really nice ride but took about an hour longer than I had thought it would.

As I pulled into the town of Bloomington, I called Lisa on the cellphone and she directed me to her house, with me giving a street-by-street account of where I was at the moment. "There you are!" she exclaimed and I could see her standing on her front lawn, white towel on her head, cordless phone in one hand, waving with the other. We made it! lisa imac

We had lunch at the Laughing Planet - black bean burrito with the Berts sitting out on the front patio, enjoying the weather. Then on to Lisa's office or "dorm room" as she calls it, with its desks, mini-fridge and small futon sofa.

Later in the evening, we went to the Scholar's Inn for their Martini Bar, sitting outside on the back deck, sipping martinis and stuffing ourselves on appetizers. It was so nice to be visiting with Lisa, someone who had worked for me at Cybergrrl, Inc. and who had become a friend over the years. I always find that I gain a lot of insight into how others perceive me when I talk to people who have known me for several years. I realize that I'm not close to many people - Toni in Richmond, my parents, my sister, my boyfriend - and I'd count Lisa as one of those people. She's one of the most honest and open people I know, just like Toni, and while we seem so much alike, we are really almost complete opposites.

After dinner, we went to see a movie at the University - "U-571." We really enjoyed it, jumping forward in our seats a few times at the exciting parts. And yes, the Berts were with us, on my lap under a sweater. They snoozed through the whole flick.

One of the best things about meeting up with friends along the way is access to a laundry room - that is right up there with access to a hot shower with real water pressure. So spent the rest of the night doing laundry, then settled into a big, fluffy futon with feather comforter. It's good to have friends.

10/20/00 - Friday in Bloomington

Lisa made scrambled eggs and cheese for breakfast, then we headed to the office to work all day, taking a break only to have lunch at Laughing Planet, then for me to have a massage (yes, aching back again). I loved the masseuse who taught me how to breathe from my lower ribcage instead of upper chest. I've been practicing ever since. She said it was better for my oxygen intake, energy level, my stomach, my back, etc., and it is the way to breathe in yoga.

Lisa and I continued to work - both of us writing articles - until 8:00pm when we packed up the Berts and headed for the Mikado for sushi. Yes, I know. "Sushi in the MidWest?" Well, Lisa swore it was excellent, so I took a chance and it was really great. Who knew? me cleaning

10/21/00 - Saturday in Bloomington

After a breakfast of pancakes and sausage, we went to a do-it-yourself carwash to wash the RV - first time since I got it - and it needed it! Lisa and I took turns using the high-powered water hose and the sudsy brush. It was actually a lot of fun! The Berts sat in the RV and didn't know what in the world was going on, but I was happy to have a sparkling RV. lisa cleaning

Then Lisa, her boyfriend Rob, the Berts and I piled into Lisa's car and headed to Nashville, Indiana in Brown County, the town I passed through on the way to Bloomington. Crowds of people milled around the streets, looking at the quaint architecture and shopping at the old-fashioned stores. We had lunch at the Hob Knob Corner Cafe, where a long, long line of people waited endlessly for a table and the staff inside meandered around at their own pace, unfazed by the pressing crowds.

The Berts were the star attraction later when I let their heads poke out of their Sherpa bag outside in a courtyard. Families gathered to ask questions and hear me go on and on about them. The whole day was really pleasant with just the right amount of sightseeing, eating and walking with the 20 pounds of chihuahua on my shoulder.

On the way home, we stopped at Blooming Foods to pick up fixings for dinner, and back at the house, I pulled my wok out of the RV to make a shrimp stirfry. I hadn't even seasoned the wok, it was brand new, ordered from but because they didn't specify the dimensions, it was actually big enough to prepare a meal for 6 people. I decided to give it to Lisa and Rob as a housewarming gift in their new home. lisa, rob

Lisa's sister joined us for dinner as did the lead singer in Rob's band, "The Cutters" along with his girlfriend. We had a great dinner with wine and fun conversation. This was definitely the first dinner party I had attended in years, and really enjoyed it. But as everyone geared up to go out for drinks, the Berts and I were winding down and begged off, crawling into bed to get a good night's rest.

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