So after touring the ballpark on Friday morning we left the Murbargers in STL and headed southeast towards Carbondale to see my niece, Ashley, at Southern Illinois University. Ashley gave us a tour of her apartment, and it is really nice. Her bedroom and closet are larger than mine, and she has her own bathroom. She leads a charmed life. We met her roommates Jamie and LeAnne, sisters from Riverton, Illinois. Jamie is one of Ashley's architecture buddies, and her sister LeAnne is a freshman in pre-med.
After relaxing at the apartment for awhile we hopped in the van and Ashley gave us a tour of the campus. Her apartment is just a few blocks from her architecture studio and and a relatively easy walk to the track stadium, weight room etc. as well. She gave us a tour of the stadium, the weight room/athletic complex, as well as the basketball arena. We saw the football team practicing and met a few of the members of the men's track team. The men's team had already started practice, but Ashley's women's team doesn't start until next week.
After the tour we headed to Garfield's for dinner. We had a great time, primarily teasing my Dad. He said we were always giving him grief, until it was time for him to pay, then and only then did we shut up and leave him alone. I don't disagree with his assessment at all.
We got caught up on the latest Gibson City gossip. At one point we were discussing the party lifestyle of the Gibson City youngins, and a would be marijuana bust. To which my Dad says "Well I guess that pot really isn't nearly as addictive as that crystal meth. I hear that stuff will just mess you up!" This was all while he was wearing his "gangsta style" STL trucker cap. Needless to say Ashley and I were cracking up.
Ashley said that when she was up late in her studio earlier in the week she and her classmates were getting slap happy and silly and remembering "old times". Ashley said that for some reason she was telling them about how when she was little and she asked Grandpa George (my Dad) what his middle name was and he replied "My name is George Warner, ask me again and I will put you in the corner!" Evidently to this day that is still the only way Ashley remembers my Dad's middle name. Anyway I guess that when he was telling her this he told her that if anyone ever asks her middle name she could reply in a similar fashion... "My name is Ashley Ann, ask me again and I will toss you in the trash can!" My middle name is Elizabeth... I can't play this game.
After dinner we headed back to Gibson City. The drive took just under 4 hours and went relatively quickly despite some heavy rain hear and there along the way.
It was a whirlwind couple of days, and I did a lot of driving, but it was a lot of fun.