Thursday night I drove to Bloomington (4 hour trip in the rain, thankfully with a half-hour stop at Qdoba for supper) and checked into the hotel at the Memorial Union. Still neat hotel - I was on the 2nd floor, which changes from hotel to conference rooms to... the 3rd floor of the university bookstore.
Anyhoo, yesterday was our fall follow-up meeting for ACP chemistry. Nearly all of us ACP chemistry teachers were present. They treated us to a continental breakfast (I had a bagel & a schmear and some fresh fruit) and had several interesting sessions, plus some time to chat with others "in the same boat."
I confessed to a small group that I was afraid that I wasn't teaching the material fast enough or rigorous enough, and one of the "old timers" assured me "Oh, don't worry. That fear never goes away." Which, honestly, reassured me. One of the ladies who helped me out before we started the program (who I met in person for the first time yesterday) let me know that I was only a little behind her and not to worry.
The ACP folks also treated us to lunch in the Tudor Room (in the little Coronation Room wing), which was wonderful. And then I discovered the dessert table which was even more wonderful. I had a slice of coconut cream pie (with meringue and not whipped topping - yum!) and then went back for a huge red velvet cake cupcake. (Alas, I then saw someone eating creme brulee! Ah well, what I had was lovely.)
After the workshops were over, I piled back into my car and ran my errands on the way home. First a stop at Krogers for Fat Tire beer for dad (and a 6-pack of Snow Day, their winter seasonal beer) and some gasoline for my car. Then a pull into Oliver Wineries for some hard cider. Alas, they had none of their peach-flavored cider, but I still got myself a 12-pack of the regular hard cider (and a nifty pint glass with the Beanblossom Cider logo). Then on to Indianapolis to Trader Joe's.
Just like my last trip home from Bloomington, I stopped at the Thai Taste for supper and had Pad Thai. But first, I had an appetizer of squid tempura, which was very tasty. Tempura is probably the best coating I've had on fried squid. After my short trip to Trader Joe's (yay, peppermint Joe-Joes!), I headed back home.
Unlike the drive there Thursday, my drive back was rain-free (sunny during the daylight hours, crisp & clear for the nighttime hours). I arrived in the house just before 10pm.
So today's main plan was for dad and me to go to the Dayton Train Show (which has become something of a tradition for us). When I got to the folks, I first suggested that mom and I visit our Co-Op (which doesn't have a storefront yet, but sells their wares in the Troy Meat Market). Mom suggested walking there, so we did. They were out of some of the things that I was interested in, but I saw several things I can get there when I'm out here.
By the time we returned, it was lunchtime, so mom recommended the "new" sandwich shop in town. And that we walk there too. Dad and I were game, so the three of us walked there. It's called 4 Starters Coffee Cafe. I got a turkey with feta & sun dried tomatoes sandwich while mom and I split a peach smoothie. It was all tasty (even the sandwiches mom and dad ordered) and we'll definitely return. Turns out they've been there since July, even though we only recently heard of the place.
Dad and I then headed off to the Train Show. We filled out our "door prize" cards, like always, and joked about how we never win. And weren't 3 booths from the entrance when they announced that dad had won a door prize! Go dad! He picked a train model from the options left (HO gauge, rather than N or G which he has - but it was from a company he'd always wanted to get but hadn't.)
The neat place that had loads of nifty tools last year was back again this year. So I bought another digital caliper for work for only $20. I think 5 will be ideal for my Advanced Problems in Science class (which is usually 10 students or fewer). I also decided to buy myself a Chessie mug (with a cute little kitty logo) The C&O was always my favorite railroad line, mostly for that kitty, but the B&O was always a close second. (I'm biased towards Ohio, what can I say?)
Dad found a few things to buy as well. Some G-scale straight track for his big train (which he's going to put up in the Club House for the holiday season) and a neat little miter box & saw perfect for small jobs that you need a 90 or 45° angles sawed.) And when we watched the displays, we saw an N-scale train with 126 cars that were going around & around the track! So we declared this the best train show ever. :-)
We got back home when it was Wine Time, so dad got me out a hard apple cider and mom popped us some popcorn. I showed mom how to download audiobooks from her library onto her iPod (thanks to OverDrive and iTunes). And then it was time for me to head home. And now, it's time to watch Thor, which I rented from the Kroger Redbox on my way home from the folks.