We have a few things lined up for tomorrow to catch up with people in (West) Lafayette but we had left today mostly free to see what might develop. That was also going to give us time to catch our breath after a hectic week and a bit of travel. Because we had nothing planned for the morning we closed the curtains on our room last night and I did not set an alarm. It was just as well we had nothing scheduled because it was 8:30 am before we stirred, realized what the time was, and set about getting started for the day.
After breakfast we sat around for a while catching up on some quilting and email. Shortly after 10:00 am, when we knew the shops would open, we headed out to Tippecanoe Mall so that Majella could shop for clothes. We agreed to meet in an hour. She headed into J C Penney and I visited Best Buy to look at what was happening with computers, cameras, phones and tablets in this part of the world. From there I checked a few stores in search of trousers that I did not really need just now. The result was that I spent an hour wandering about and bought nothing. Majella managed to find and buy a few items of clothing in the same time.
Toys ‘r’ Us was just across the road so we visited there to look for gifts for kids before heading toward West Lafayette for our intended picnic lunch in Happy Hollow Park. We paused at Marsh Supermarket, where we used to shop when we lived here, to buy salad, rolls, and root beer for our picnic and then drove on to Happy Hollow. It was much as we remembered it, a peaceful oasis in the midst of the city, but as a result of the drought the stream that runs through it was just a dry bed at the bottom end of the park. When we walked up the trail after lunch we did find some running water that must disappear into the sandy bed lower down.
After lunch we drove down River Road and followed it some way to the west of town looking in vain for a quilting shop that used to exist somewhere in the area and that we both thought was in that direction. Either the shop has gone or our memories are faulty – likely the latter. On the way we drove past Fort Ouiatenon which we had visited while we lived here. That visit is described in Majella’s 2001 piece about Feast of the Hunters’ Moon.
Since we could not find the quilt shop the next best thing was shopping for shoes. We found another collection of shops not far from our motel and Majella checked for shoes in 3 or 4 of those. It was a bit like Goldilocks and the Three Bears – the shoes were either suitable style but wrong size or right size but unsuitable style. It was unlike Goldilocks in that she never did find the shoes that were just right. We did find Hobby Lobby at the end of the row and some quilting fabric was purchased. After coffee at a nearby Starbucks we picked up a couple of necessities at a supermarket before visiting two more shoe shops with the same Goldilocks result. We went back to the motel to rest before going to dinner with Sue, Majella’s good friend during our time here.
Our dinner with Sue and her friend, Clark, was an enjoyable few hours of catching up on several years of news over good food and wine. Between main course (grilled chicken, double baked potato, and salad) and dessert we took a drive into the country to visit Sue’s daughter Heidi and her family on their property where they keep horses. On our return we enjoyed strawberries and blackberries with cream and more conversation.
Distance covered today was just more than 100 km in and around Lafayette. It was a day of renewing memories and friendships.