Daytripping | Coffee, Books, and Thrifting in Bloomington

I'm not a super sentimental person, really. I've been known to donate personalized gifts from loved ones to Goodwill with aplomb. (I Marie Kondo'd that shit). Charlie is a bit more caring in that regard, but we're both guilty as charged when it comes to remembering our wedding anniversary. Not that we don't care about it at all, per se—it's more's just a day. Why force something "special"?

This year, I happened to remember our anniversary the day before it arrived, and that night, we went out to dinner (*Biggie Smalls voice* Olive Garden, babay babay!). This obviously wasn't enough for me, and I suggested we plan a day trip for that coming weekend. So we did! And invited some friends along for the ride.

Food was obviously the most important thing so after driving for about an hour, we arrived at our first destination: brunch!

Fort Jesse Cafe

This family-style restaurant came up first on the list of popular brunch spots in Bloomington. I wasn't convinced until I saw a picture someone took of their chicken and waffles. Sold! I vowed to document our trip here, but we got engaged in conversation and by the time our food came out, it looked so good I was like, what camera? So the above shot of the menu is all you get, I guess.

According to my spotty memory, I'd never actually had chicken and waffles before arriving to Fort Jesse. I must say, these were good, but their recipe includes green onions on top, which were not my fave. Not my fave, bruh.


Goodwill was around the corner, so obviously I ordered our chauffeur (poor Charlie) to pull into the parking lot so we could duck inside and have a look see. I am, ironically, kind of a germaphobe, and that day I was particularly grossed-out by everything. Luckily, my partner in thrifting crime (Rachel Dolezal) is also germ-averse and we bonded over our mutual neuroses while gingerly handling hangers and housewares. I ended up leaving with 3 pieces of clothing, none of which I needed to try on—MAJOR KEY.

I'll be sharing my haul from this trip in a totally separate post very soon!


We then drove to a nearby used book/comic/movie/etc. store where everyone's interests (ahem, Charlie) were more accommodated. I have this thing where I love to collect + have books on books on books on books that I may or may not read. It's not, like, out of control or anything *breathes heavily* but I do get some flack for it from various family members. Guess what? DON'T CARE. (But, like, obviously I care a little bit since I'm even mentioning it).

I liked this bookstore. It had a good mixture of things for sale (an Atari system, old records, a copy of The Boondock Saints on DVD) and an eclectic, home-y feel. My friend and I had briefly discussed Salinger's Franny and Zooey at Fort Jesse and lo and behold: I snagged a copy for $4 here.

Family Thrift Store

*Dances* I looooove old stuff! Even though so much of it is Christina Aguilera's "Dirrty feat. Redman," and, like I said, I'm a g e r m a p h o b e. It's just so fun! And old! Anyway, we stopped in this spot and the first thing I commented on was the font used for their logo, which was a bunch of different colors and looked like a knock off of Comic Sans. But like, you know, Don't Hate; Appreciate!

And appreciate I did. They had a lot of cool MCM pieces that were all a million dollars, but they also had some really affordable, interesting pieces. I didn't find anything I couldn't live without, and even if I had I doubt we could have fit it in our car. My philosophy, though, for when I love everything but can't afford any of it is to Take A Lot Of Pictures, Please. So I did.

[A sidenote on that last pic of the room with all those cool chairs? This was in the basement area of the store, and it smelled like death but I'm a rebel and decided to brave the years and years of must to see what I could see. Even though my eyes started itching from all the layers of dust. I'm building up my immune system, or whatever. Right?]

Babbitt's Bookstore

Hey! Another bookstore! Who would have thought? Babbit's was in a cool old building with high ceilings. If I owned it I would definitely use it as a bookstore slash cafe slash art space slash zine distro slash record store. You dig?

I don't necessarily have much to say about this place, but that fact has never stopped me from crafting paragraphs on paragraphs of nonsense before (see: this entire blog). There were some cool books here about witches and one called "Marihuana" that had a groovy looking typeface and was published in (obviously) the 60's. I really wanted to buy it, but had literally no reason to because I was definitely not going to read it.

The Coffeehouse

Last stop: caffeine. Except I actually didn't get any here because I had already had some at Fort Jesse. Instead, I opted for a croissant. We went in under the illusion of reading quietly + resting (I guess)? But we ended up loudly discussing a near-future weekend trip to Chicago, and food, and some other things that I can't remember. I do know chicken strips came up, as well as our general distaste for the bathroom situation at this place. It was preeeetttty unsightly, but I'll squat-hover almost anywhere—as long as there's no vomit in sight.

I'm definitely going to end this post with a sentence containing the word vomit.


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