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Thanksgiving Weeeeeekend 
1st-Dec-2008 10:13 am
I'm feeling so overwhelmed with "stuff" to do, that I could have stood to have a bunch of extra days at home, but that's not the sort of weekend this is.

Thursday we met some friends for turkey and cranberries and noshies and conversation, and it was all good.

Friday we left way-too-early for Chambanacon.
I hadn't gotten anything for breakfast other than a sugared mix-it-up flavored coffee. Due to causes unknown, and some perhaps un-guessed, I was in a pretty bad funk. I felt that to say I was worthless would be insulting anything of true worthlessness. Completely antisocial -- Talking was a challenge. We were stopping off at some friends' house to lend a strong arm. Well the spouse was, I was 98% useless. Allowing that 2% left to shine was a good thing, and I felt better than I had for the rest of the trip. It didn't help that I'd forgotten to bring the flier, and didn't even remember the name of the hotel. Thankfully, the spouse remembered the name of the hotel, and then I recalled the important adjective, and my GPS knew about that establishment, so I had someone (my GPS) who could tell me where to go in such a way that I didn't mind. 6+ hours later we were in Urbana. I had insisted upon stopping for lunch about an hour after we left the friends' house. About an hour and a half later I was HUNGRY. *sigh* Not going to stop again.

The Hotel -- the Historic Lincoln Hotel is a cool-looking castle-sort of hotel. It's not terribly high-class, but it has a dungeon, twisty-turny passages, odd staircases, pretty, OLD, wooden furniture, suits of armor, and last year we got our breakfast buffet in a huge, gorgeous library with a fireplace.

When we got in, I tried to get keys, and the person behind the counter either wasn't very bright or just didn't care. Um... that's not an exclusive "or". We finally got them, and were still up in our room when our roommates arrived. Despite the number of times that I had said "I want two of the four keys we will need for the room" we go the ONLY two keys. It wasn't until they arrived that the desk figured this out. Thankfully we were still there, and the desk told our roommates the room number.

I was REALLY in the mood for pizza, and filkcook remembered that billroper's favorite joint was Papa Del's. My GPS knew where that was too, but we didn't see it on the first pass. I understand why it's billroper's fave -- that was a darned good pizza -- and worth the wait.

We asked at the desk (luckily we got the bright clerk) what time breakfast was served in the morning... and she told us that they're under renovations, so they weren't. But she recommended a place. My bad ears couldn't parse what she said "the comma?" and there's only so many times I can ask a person to repeat. She said it was about two doors down.

Later, we checked the food guide, and found a place about 2 blocks away called The Courier Cafe.

Unfortunately, I was wiped out by 10:30 pm. Spouse was talking to the GoH, so I tapped the other person with a key to get me up to the room. More unfortunately, I was still awake 2 hours later when the next person appeared at the room. And I heard the person upstairs yelling. And the sirens at street level. And was awake when the final person appeared at 3-something. And was awake when the first person woke up... Sigh. So I missed out on all the filk, and have nothing to show for it.

Saturday: We started the day at the Courier Cafe. We walked through the door at about 11:42, learning later that on weekends breakfast goes until 11:45. Spouse had elected not to join us.

I got corned beef hash... which was HEAVENLY. Came with hash browns, and the eggs over easy were PERFECTLY cooked. Their specialty coffee was "Chocolate Thunder" which was quite yummy. She asked me what bread I wanted and I said wheat. Someone else at the table asked for the options. All home-made, white, wheat, rye, raisin, sourdough, english muffins, and biscuits. I changed my choice to biscuits -- two HUGE biscuits. Wow. Yum.

I did get the opportunity to socialize a bit this afternoon, but thinking back, I didn't really see all that many people.

For dinner, we were planning on going to Basmati -- a place in Champaign that has been our tradition for over a dozen years... but we learned (thankfully before we left) that they had closed. After some whimpering, we decided to go back to the Courier Cafe. There were many many yummy-looking choices, but I finally decided on my standard "first time" meal -- the Reuben. Had the choice of some kind of dressing (I don't even remember) or horse-radish. Guess what I got. It was a GOOD, and quite potent horse-radish. (More than once I put too much on, and my eyes watered and crossed as it was absorbed through my palate.) I got more chocolate coffee. We had 9 show up for dinner, and the both tables kept going completely silent as people inserted food. Yum. All of the items we got were shared amongst the folks at our table -- I had my back to the other table, so I don't know about that. The corned beef was very lean, and they were generous with it. Our table split a pie slice.

At the filk I used up the yarn for the one project I was working on, and started on another. And read some in my current book.

I don't even remember how I got up to the room -- probably I realized I was falling asleep and someone else said something about going up and I followed -- but I think it was after 2, so I was quite exhausted.

Sunday: Woke up too early -- but since there were 4 people to cycle through the shower and there was breakfast to get and we needed to check out (and get home) it was the right time. Probably 10-ish.

Anyone care to guess where we went for breakfast? Today the coffee was Cinnamon Butter Cream, and one of the specials was pumpkin pancakes. I couldn't resist, and got the hash for breakfast again, and split a short stack of the pancakes (with cinnamon butter, pecans, whipped cream and maybe powdered sugar) as well. Today I tried the English Muffins. Not bad, but the biscuits were better.

By 1pm local (2pm my time) we were on the road. It had taken just over 6 hours to get down (6.5 including food and potty stops). We'd gotten a couple inches of snow overnight (which is traditional for Chambanacon) and it was "warm" (36°) so there was a lot of mist, the clouds were low, and the visibility was more than a quarter mile, but less than a half. Traffic was fine until just before we hit Indiana. We lost 17 minutes before the border, and 30 just after. THEN the weather hit. We stopped at exit 15B to fill the tank (we'd filled at the Flying J there on the way down) and spouse noticed that the rain was now "bouncing". And sunset happened. In the next 10 miles or so, the temperature (as reported by the car) dropped 2 degrees. It spent the rest of the drive home mostly bouncing between 34° and 33°.

It snowed kind-of hard, and there were spots where the sticking snow was encroaching on the road, and other spots that were ICE, and I'm sure we'd have gotten home sooner had the spouse been driving, but I think it was about 9:30 when we got in. I skied, and had been planning on staying up a bit longer, but due to other reasons, I decided to just go to bed instead.

Today: Wanted to get up early today (because, among other things, I need work done on the car and if I got an appointment for 8am I could be on the shuttle that would get me to work by 9) but I don't think I heard the alarm until 7:45, and at that point it wouldn't have been early enough to make sense, so I slept for the next 12 minutes. Made an appointment for 2pm today once I got in to work. It's been more than 5,000 since my last maintenance, and I'm due for my 20K. (Yes, I'm driving a 2009 car that I bought in February, 2008.)

And although I had valiantly struggled up to skip=220 before the holiday, due to the time sans puter, I am now back to skip=560 (or I was this morning earlier) -- and I'm out of room in my work inbox (where 591 messages are currently unread -- down from 633 this morning)
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