Monday, October 23, 2006

The Bean and me

I'd like to thank the people at Don's Books for throwing a great party on Saturday. Manager Robert Holz and his staff are friendly and fun, so if you're ever in Kokomo, Indiana, be sure to stop by their place.

On Saturday evening my husband and I had dinner with Golden Heart finalist and newly contracted Love Inspired Historical author Janet Dean, whom I met this past summer at the RWA conference in Atlanta. (Janet's first book will be out in February.) Her husband joined us, as did her critique partner, Shirley Jump (who was one of the featured authors at the bookstore event). The food was forgettable, but the company was loads of fun, so it was a memorable evening.

Yesterday morning (Sunday), my husband pointed our car toward Chicago. It was a crisp autumn day, so the trip up Lake Shore Drive (with Lake Michigan right there on the passenger side) and then to our Number One Son's downtown apartment was lovely. We arrived at lunchtime, so we grabbed the kid and went out for some deep-dish pizza. After that we drove over to Millennium Park so I could see Cloud Gate, a new(ish) sculpture that I've read a lot about. Chicagoans call it The Bean because that's what it's shaped like. (You're not going to be able to tell that from my photo, so click on the link.)

With a camera in your hands, you can have all sorts of fun with The Bean's mirrored surface. You can walk under the piece and take weird photos like this one. (Click on the pic to make it big. Just don't look at it too long or too hard because you'll risk eyestrain.)

Last night we stayed at the Crown Plaza in downtown Chicago. The El was right outside the window of our fifth-floor room, so we heard trains whoosh by every few minutes all night long. "Just imagine it's the wind," my helpful husband suggested, and I was almost able to do that.

Today we drove to Minneapolis, and right now I'm blogging from the Crown Plaza near the airport. I just heard a plane roar overhead, and I'm thinking it sounds a bit like a train on the El--which sounds a bit like a gust of wind.

We're about to head out for some dinner now, but before I go, I thought I'd toss out a question and see if any of you know the answer: Where does Wisconsin hide its dairy cows? Wisconsin is a huge cheese producer, so shouldn't they have more than the three small herds of Holsteins I saw on the drive from Chicago to the Twin Cities? I've been wondering about that all afternoon.

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Paul said...

Thanks for sharing the picture of the Bean. I think my youngest daughter would have a blast with it, taking pictures, I am sure she would get some good effects from it.

Just blogging by to catch up with everyone and see what is happening.

Have a good book tour!

Writing for the King,


Pattie said...

I am a huge Shirley fan, so I'm glad you all had fun and fellowship!

My parents and sister used to live in Hudson, WI, which is across the state line/St. Croix River from the Twin Cities, and I remember a LOT of cattle around that area. But it's been 10 years since I was there, so I'm not much help. I'd imagine, though, that the majority of the cattle farms are OUTSIDE the metro areas you were probably near, and more in the middle of the state.

Barb said...

Um, real Wisconsin cows don't hang out by the interstate ma'am. They prefer the laid-back rural life near the slower roads!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

LOL...I'm glad you're having so much fun, but I was about to echo the sentiment of Barb and Pattie.

To give milk that isn't curtled *grin*, cows need peace and quiet, not cars whizzing by or airplanes roaring over head, or bratty little boys sneaking up on them with grain sacks over their heads...never mind that's another story! LOL

Pattie said...

LOL Bonnie,
That reminds me of the old Far Side cartoon, cows standing up as people, lounging and chatting until one of them says, "Car!" Next frame, they're on all fours, eating grass!

Brenda Coulter said...

To clarify the cow question: I didn't actually expect to see cows lined up next to the fences on the interstate, but the land was pretty flat (except for the Wisconsin Dells, of course), and I didn't see cows even in the distance. Southern Minnesota, on the other hand, had lots of cows. Maybe they're migrating from Wisconsin? Somebody really ought to look into that.

Thanks, everyone, for chiming in. Your comments are always so much fun.

brad said...

I haven't seen a picture of the Gate from an angle like that before. Nice.

Brenda Coulter said...

Thanks, Brad.

I can't look at it too long without going cross-eyed.