Bloomington Beer Fest With Marilyn

As if Marilyn herself wasn't enough of an attraction, she dangled the coming Bloomington Craft Beer Festival in front of me as bait to come back to Indiana. It worked, I hitchhiked across the country from California and arrived with time to spare.

Marilyn spent her weekdays at her job as a women's health nurse, sometimes dropping in on me during her lunch break for a meal or a go. I was mostly catching up on writing and coding for some projects until she'd get off work, then it was off to see some of her friends, grab a pint somewhere and chow some tasty food.

Bloomington itself was a nice little town, Marilyn was pretty proud of it. She took me out to the property she was looking into buying, an empty corner lot in a neighborhood up on a hill. One day we met there with some people talking about potential house designs, permits required and that sort of thing; everything was in motion to make it work.

When the weekend rolled around we borrowed her coworkers kayak and headed out to the nearby Lake Monroe. It was a beautiful day to go paddling, across the lake we went weighed down with camping gear to the opposite shore until we found a good spot. After a night of campfire and good times we packed up and did some more paddling around before heading to my favorite brewery in the area on the way back to town, Salt Creek.

The next week was Beer Week, which led up to the Saturday festival. All around towns there were deals on beer, specialty brews to try a beer archaeology lecture and more fun excuses to try good beer. Fun nights, drunk nights getting lost and all kinds of Indiana beers to be had.

Saturday finally came, after Marilyn unknowingly overdosed a friends cat with insulin, we were ready to head to the festival. It took place in a big structure with rows of tables pouring beers, almost exclusively from Indiana breweries. There was even a table pouring brews from the local homebrew club. I tried as about as many stouts and IPAs and everything else I could handle, then drank some more. Beers ranged from run of the mill to amazing to experimental to stouts infused with ghost peppers. It was a good time.

We took it pretty easy the next day. I was planning on leaving the next day, towards the east coast to meet up with another traveler for a stint. I decided to stay one extra day, another relaxing one with one last meal and beer at the main brewery in town, Upland.

Back at the house I watched the basketball game while Marilyn put her head on me, leaking her tears and making sounds. She had what she was calling "an existential breakdown", explaining that she was ready for a change. She wanted to get away, go on a trip, do something. I told her I'd be happy to tour around with her if the opportunity arose, she just had work and everything else to deal with.

I woke up to her crying again, as she woke up, from the bathroom as she got ready for work and some more as she said goodbye and headed out. I slept in and saw her once more on her lunch break where she was slightly more composed, a bit, seemingly more set on the idea of a traveling hiatus.

She headed back to work, I got my pre-road shower in and then headed out the door myself, off in an eastbound direction towards some kind of new adventure.

April 1, 2013 to April 16, 2013

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