Easter in Macomb with Brandon

First time in awhile that i’ve made the drive to Macomb to visit Brandon here at WIU.  But only after being up at 4am to entertain 4 clients I had scheduled this morning.  Troy was booked for 8am and ran his second USMC PFT in conjunction with my ongoing competition at the club which I simply refer to as my USMC PFT Invitational.  Yes, PFT is the acronym for Physical Fitness Test.  Troy moved into 1st place amongst the 5 other clients who are competing and who are midway thru their various PFT’s.  I’m having each of the folks do 3 PFT’s over the course of about 4 months with the max possible on each PFT  being 300 points.   What I was once using as a simple measurement tool for fitness performance has indeed turned into a competition of sorts and its seems to be quite popular.  I closed out the morning with Jeff who ran his first PFT last week.  Always good to see Jeff and he describes his training as being “cutting edge” with my emphasis on total body fitness including one’s attitude about fitness as it applies to our daily lives.  His wife gave me some of her homemade brownies to try, which I ate on the way to Macomb.

Speaking of which, I had good weather today when i left, first time in a couple weeks it seems.  Nice bright sun, low clouds were a  nice reprieve from the chilly, wet and windy days we’ve had as of late.  The drive to Macomb is about 3 hours non-stop.  Its the long drive out I-88 that is the longest with about 3 or 4 toll booths one passes on the same stretch of highway!  Never did understand that.  I left Chippy at home sort of at the last minute because I didn’t want to be stressed trying to deal with the hotel and getting chips into my room, etc….the days have passed when he used to just fit in my duffle bag.  So, he is being tended to by Connie who graciously agreed to see that Chips was taken care of .  I appreciated that and I just have to get used to the fact that Chips is a dog and I need to realize he can be without me for the brief period that i’m gone on this particular trip.  I really have been craving a chance to get away from the house and get out this way not only to see Brandon but to also stay in the overpriced Hampton Inn and simply enjoy some quiet time.

I wasn’t far out of Macomb when Brandon checked in with me and told me he was going for a run, which I was glad to hear.  I told him to just head toward the hotel and I’d pick him up on my way thru town, which I did.  Checked in at the Hampton and established my internet connection so i could of course, check email.  Brandon took the car back to his dorm to get a few clothes and things and then he returned.  We then went to dinner at Vitalies Italian Resturant, which had been recommended to me by Cathy, yet another client of mine whose son went to school here couple years back and she was familiar with this particular resturant.  So Brandon and I had a good meal at this place and then we proceeded out to Argyle State Park so i could recon the campground area that Andy and I checked out this past summer on our bikes when we were down here with Brandon before.  The park is about 3-4 miles outside of macomb but easy to find.  I’ve had thoughts about wanting to camp there on one of these trips here, but not this trip, a bit to cold yet.

Brandon and i returned to town and hit the Walmart where i picked him up some polo shirts after he had asked me about his desire to want to start wearing nicer pants and polo shirts to class vice the t-shirt and jeans that has been his usual attire since high school.  Nice to see him wanting to upgrade his attire a bit, perhaps a sign that he’s taking his appearance a bit more seriously than he used to.  I know he’s met alot of people here, professors and the like and he seems to have taken in alot of information.  Says his best class this semester was Criminal investigations and that he learned so much.  I was also quick to find out that I’ll be returning here in about 3 weeks when he’s done to move him out of his dorm…that will be a day trip i think, but his first year has really gone by fast.  Andy returns here early June for his orientation.  We stopped at the local Dairy Queen and sat outside just enjoying the pace of this place called Macomb and it was good to chat and visit with Brandon as I did.  He’ll stay with me this eve here at the hotel and I can tell he’s enjoying the hot shower…must pale in comparison to that long walk down the hall to the showers in the dorm.  We’ll enjoy breakfast here tomorrow morning and then I’ll be on the road home.  I’m going to miss Brandon when I leave but he’ll be done soon and home where he’ll spend the summer and accompany me with Andy up to Boundary Waters for yet another canoe trip in August.

Happy Easter Brandon!  Thanks for making the time for me on this visit…..see you in a few weeks!  Good luck on finals!

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