Monday, July 6, 2009

Husband and wife barcrawl?

Lots of pictures from today!! If only my gosh darn camera flash worked better... but the ones in the sun turned out ok :)

Mike and I slept in late today which was lovely. Then I had to get a 3 miler in, and Mike sweetly offered to run with me. By the time we headed outside it was about 11AM and was swelteringly hot... not only that, but I think I underestimated the HILLS in Bloomington!! They are nothing that intense, but to a Chicago runner accustomed to flat as paper runs with no incline whatsoever, this was a pretty torturous run.

Mike left me halfway through to head back to the hotel, while I forged ahead. Yet again, my short run was harder than my most recent long run - I found it ENORMOUSLY easier to run 9 miles on Saturday than I did to run 3 miles today! Regardless of the difficulty of the run, it was a lot of fun to run around my old campus. IU is truly one of the most beautiful campuses and college towns out there!!

Soon after the run, we walked from the hotel (which is in the heart of campus) through campus to the downtown part of Bloomington. This is us in front of the Sample Gates: Mike in front of his favorite street, Kirkwood!
Our breakfast/brunch/lunch took place at the Uptown Cafe. Mike loved his Uptown Brewery beer!

Posing in front of a "Kirkwood St" sign, with "the square" behind me

I loved my meal! This was basically a pita wrapped around grilled salmon which was cooked to perfection, lettuce, tomato, and avocado mousse. I had steamed veggies on the side, which were not quite as good as the greasy home fries alongside Mike's sandwich, shockingly ;)
Mike got something that resembled a chicken gyro sandwich with home fries on the side. He also found an interesting-looking hot sauce from Costa Rica to put on top whose main ingredient is carrots!
Upon my sister's recommendation, for dessert we split the creme brulee french toast. Mike found it to be just "ok", but I think he's nuts ;) It was awesome!!! Hmm, if it wasn't that good I wonder why he ate his portion up so quickly...

After meandering through the streets of downtown Bloomington and wandering into a couple shops, we stopped at Starbucks for some ice water and an iced coffee with a soy top-off.Mike and I loved cardinals when we were living in Bloomington and it seemed like we heard and saw them whereve we went, so I tried to get a pic of one!

Lovely flowers on the IU campus!

Mike in front of the arboretum - again, my crappy camera does not do it justice. This is one of the prettiest parts of campus!
Me in front of the arboretum and library in the background

Mike wanted to buy some rollerblades, so we went to the College Mall to check at Dick's Sporting Goods, which did not come through for us. However, we DID end up finding something even better, aka the cutest tiny dog I have ever seen!!!
Mike and I both love big dogs, but due to the fact that we have a condo in the city, we have resigned to the fact that we are going to have to get a smaller dog. I never considered a dachsund, but this one reminded me of a golden retriever with its coloring and the shape of its face. SO CUTE!!!

Old-as-dirt mirror next to the elevator in our hotel. My husband, being his mature self!
Oops didn't realize I had cut off part of this menu, but for dinner I ordered the angel hair pasta with lump crab at Grazie. Grazie is truly one of the finest Italian restaurants in this country!!! It is a hidden gem. With your entree, you get fabulous, homemade foccacia bread with out-of-this-world good dipping oil made from chopped fresh herbs. Even the salad is spectacular - the dressing tasted like it was made from an olive tapenade of sorts.

Mike's sea scallops were equally as delicous as my pasta was!!

Ok, I feel sily admitting this, but I am one of those all-or-nothing people. I mean this in regards to many areas of my life - for example, when I decide I want to run a race, I don't just sign up for a 5K, I register for a marathon! In this respect it is a good thing, but not so much when it comes to eating.
I know for a fact that once I am back in Chicago I will resume my high-raw lifestyle, but until then, I am on vacation!!! I often feel like once I have gone off the diet deepend then it is too late to try to forgo dessert afterward too. Basically, once I enjoy a decadent meal I feel like my taste buds are so hightened that all I want is something equally decadent but that is fabulously sweet! So, I indulged in some FAN FREAKING TASTIC gelato.
I got a large :) since the small sized cup was a dinky 1/2 cup serving - and got one scoop of caramel pistachio mascarpone, and one scoop of German chocolate cake. This was probably the best gelato I have ever had!! It was at a new place on the S. side of Kirkwood that wasn't there when I was a college student - I think it's called Blue Boy Chocolates. Try it and love it!
After getting sufficiently stuffed with gelato, we walked down to the bars. We had joked earlier about having a "two person bar crawl" and getting one drink at each of our favorite bars (Kilroy's, Nick's and Upstairs), but someone that turned into Mike getting a grand total of one drink from one bar! Haha, funny how that happens. We ended up at Upstairs for quite a while, as we were being entertained by a middle-aged townie talking about his crazy stories, such as the one about how as a kid he used to steal people's cars just to drive across town, which was "a better idea" than hitchhiking on railroad cars! Oh, Bloomington, how we love thee and thy locals :)
We didn't end up making it to Nick's, but we did walk through Kilroy's. I worked there back during the days when Mike and I had first met, and we have lots of memories from there. It was so crazy to be back!

Once we got back to the Student Union Hotel, we were amused by the pictures on the hallway walls of famous IU professors of the past. Here are a few of our favorites:

It's been SUCH a fun trip down memory lane!!!! Mike and I have had a blast reliving old college memories, and Bloomington is such a beautiful town in the summer. Any high school students out there reading this - I highly encourage you to look into going to IU!!
We will be heading back to Chicago sometime tomorrow, but I'm sure we will get in another great meal or two before that.
I have been loving every minute of the food and drink here, but, especially since I am in the middle of marathon training season, I have definitely felt some moments of regret for eating food that I know ain't good for me! How do you get back on track after overindulging on vacation?


  1. What a fun trip. I usually try to eat lots of salad and drink lots of water after a foodie filled vacay! Try it and see...

  2. I love all the pictures... you guys looked like you had a fun weekend!

  3. Looks like a nice place! And that puppy is sooo cute, I have no control over myself when it comes to cute animals, I just want to take everything home with me! haha. But I do like big dogs more than small ones, I'm always scared I'll step on them, lol

  4. Looks like a beautiful place and a very fun time!

    I usually try to have a "crap free" day when I get back from a vacation - I eat as cleanly as possible, do some yoga or go for a run, and wear clothes that make me feel good no matter how much water weight I'm carrying around for a day or two ;-)

  5. I love all the fun photos! Good job on getting your run in. Sometimes the short runs are so much more challenging than longer ones. Weird!

  6. That's what vacation is for - indulging! Just get back on track when you get back.

    I used to live in Oak Park, so flat roads were the norm for me.

    Now I live in "the sticks" and its very hilly - its so much harder, even on a bike!

  7. What a fun trip. When I get back from a trip I don't weigh myself for at least a week. I get back to eating right and get my exercise in.