"If you drink, don't drive. Don't even putt." Dean Martin
Last Friday three ladies set forth from Champaign on a road trip. K, W, and I drove down to the Collinsville / Edwardsville area of Illinois to attend the IAS Conference at Cahokia Mounds and SIUE.
Now I had been looking forward to this road trip. K provided us with wonderful travel necessities (Twizzlers, Pringles, tissues, gum, breath mints and other assorted goodies). W provided the automobile and I was the designated driver (secretly I like to drive on road trips).
We arrived at Cahokia Mounds State Park around 3:00pm(we took a short shopping trip in Decatur to look for a special dress and some killer shoes for W who will soon be the mother of the bride! and it was quite fun, I must say). We wandered around the Interpretive Center marveling at the exhibts, then we shopped in the museum store. I purchased a pair of small silver and turquoise post earrings(Zuni). You see, I had forgotten to put earrings in my second pierce, so I just had to have a set. I also purchased a pair of silver and turqouise dragonfly earrings (Wapiti). I have a fascination with dragonfly imagery and I just absolutely could not pass these up. Sure it was an impulse buy, but hey I didn't buy anything on the impulsive trip to the store in Decatur.
After the museum store, I put my earrings in the second pierce and we headed out on the trail to see the mounds. It was rather warm, but a beautiful day. We opted out of climbing the stairs to the top of Monks Mound. Been there done that. We then headed into Edwardsville to check into the hotel.
It was a nice place, with chocolate chip cookies on check in. We dropped off the bags, washed faces and freshened up a bit and headed to Shenanigans for a bit of supper before the meeting. The best thing on the menu was homemade chips with horseradish sauce. Yummy with a pork tenderloin sandwich. On to the meeting. On the whole, not so bad. The passing of the new constitution went quickly, some old and new business and a couple of outbursts by the usual jerks, and we were off to the meet and greet. We stayed a few minutes, heard some tunes by a local band of three, with a lead singer that sounded exactly like Willie Nelson. I did some toe tapping, but archaeologist are a dull bunch, they like to drink, but seldom dance.
We headed back to the hotel, where we indulged in wine, cheese, grapes and conversation, just the 3 of us. First we opened a lovely Pinot Grigot with a great label. The delectable manchego and brie cheeses, along with some plump juicy seedless black grapes, where just the ticket to accompany our wine. The second bottle was an oaky chardonnay. Now after two bottles, I am beginning to feel it. I believe I took my shower between bottles of white, now that is a funny story in itself. I am feeling a bit tipsy, there is no shower curtain in the bathroom and no bathtub either! I get in get all wet, wet the hair and to my shock and horror the shampoo dispenser was empty! Well, i got just a little out of it. So I just washed the hair with what I had, knowing it wasn't enough. I got a little conditioner out of the near empty dispenser. Now had I not been drinking wine, I probably would have gotten out of the shower, grabbed a towel and went out to see if someone else had some shampoo. But, that just seemed like too much work at the time!
After the shower, and the end of the white wine, we opened the red. I had one glass, then switched to diet coke. The conversation was good and lots of fun as it got sillier and sillier as the evening progressed. I hated for the evening to come to a close, but by 11:00pm I knew I had better get some sleep, 6:30am was going to come early, and after the paper session I would be driving back to Urbana.
The papers were good. We left early, at the lunch break, as one of us was coming down with a virus. We stopped off at my hold stomping grounds, The Stagger Inn for a truly delicious burger and some homemade french fries.
The time at Cahokia and SIUE (my alma mater), left me feeling a bit sad. A plethora of memories flooded my mind(you see I met my husband at SIUE when we were undergrads). I think I was a little more quiet on the way home. I am not sure I have shaken the feelings yet, but I am working on it.
The conference did motivate me quite a bit. I came back to work ready to be better, do a better job. I am already pretty good at what I do and I am ready to get back to it.
It was just the road trip I needed.