If you're just tuning in, get up to speed with Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.
On my last day in Chi-Town, The Missus had to work in the morning, so it was up to The Mister to entertain me for most of the afternoon. Despite getting off to a bit of a rainy, chilly start, the day began as any good Sunday should—with a brunch featuring about four Mimosas. The food was pretty good, too, although a change to the menu copy could've saved both of us from an egg yolk bath. I got a fried egg sandwich, with what was described as an "over medium" egg but which, in reality, was more of an "over easy" egg. (OK, real quick: Over easy: runny, over medium: not-so-runny, over hard: not runny at all. Done. Over. Easy.) When I gave The Mister a bite, he promptly got runny egg yolk all over himself. Of course, being master of my sandwich, I laughed at his misfortune. Then about 10 minutes later, I had egg on my face (figuratively and literally) and on my dress. Luckily, there were napkins and soda water handy. Crisis averted. And, hey it could've been worse, right? Those eggs could've actually killed us! Ah, pre-egg recall life. How wonderful it was.
After dragging me away from what could've been a glorious all-day Mimosa binge, The Mister led me to the L, which took us to Wrigley Field. Even though I gave up caring about baseball years ago, Wrigley's just one of those awesome, truly "American" places on the map that begs to be visited. The Cubbies were playing at home all weekend, but none of us really had time to take in a game. Maybe next time. I think there's a good chance that, had I grown up in Chicago, I never would've given up on baseball. No matter what kind of season the Cubs have, and no matter how much residents talk shit on them, the town loves that team. I was right outside the stadium as they were getting clobbered 7-0, and I could still hear the constant, almost deafening cheering inside. It was just a great atmosphere. I loved the way the stadium is really IN the city, and I adored the rooftop seats across the street.
|The Cubs lost...to an Ohio team. Boo.||Rooftop seats, yo!|
Once we made our way out of the baseball-loving throng, we got back on the train and went downtown to walk around in the oppressive heat. Yes, what started off as a rather cool, wet day (so cool that I foolishly grabbed my hoodie when we left the apartment, forcing me to carry it around all day) turned out to be SOLAR MADNESS. We thought strolling around the Navy Pier might be a little cooler, being right on the water and all, but we thought wrong. However, I ignored the burning sensation and just enjoyed the scenery. Basically, if you get me near water, I'm a happy girl. I love water, boats (especially sailboats) and lighthouses, and I got to see all three that day. I also had an excellent strawberry daiquiri. (And for $8, I wouldn't have accepted anything less than excellence.) Then, I forced my adopted baby bro to ride the giant Ferris wheel, which I thought would A) be fun and B) cool us down a bit...you know, with the usual breeze that accompanies the spinning motion. And, for at least the third time that day, I thought wrong. The Ferris wheel wasn't so much a ride as it was a giant rotisserie that went once around at negative 3 mph, while the sun broiled us in our little plexiglass oven-cars. So, that was totally worth $6. We should've gone on the Wave Swinger instead.
|Beer Garden: always a good sign.||Two of my favorite things!|
We left the Navy Pier, walked around and melted some more before finally reaching the Riverwalk, where we—appropriately enough—walked along the river. I was kind of struck by how green the river looked (I'm used to a deep, poopy-brown river), and wondered if the green dye from St. Patrick's Day ever fully dissipates.
|Lurvely view.||A cute nook ideal for dry humps or body dumps.|
|Never met a water feature I didn't like.||Taken right before my camera ran out of juice.|
"Meet Me By The River's Edge," The Gaslight Anthem
Apparently, The Mister wanted to give me a small taste of NYC, as he led me down along Michigan Avenue, aka The Magnificent Mile. So named because there is nothing more magnificent than trying to navigate your way through a sea of slow-moving tourists and large groups of people who will come to a dead stop in front of a store's open doors to stand there and go, "Ahhh, the air conditioning feels good." And, much like what might happen in NYC, we had a celebrity sighting: Mike Dirnt from Green Day, who must have been enjoying a day of shopping with his wife/girlfriend/whoever at Macy's the day after his big headlining set at Lolla.
"Having A Blast," Green Day
We met up with The Missus at the Signature Lounge in the John Hancock Building. On the 96th floor, the bar had a great view of the city and, unlike the Sears Tower, there was no entry fee, no long wait and no crushing crowds. We managed to get a little table right by the window (which less lucky people kept eyeing up the entire time) and downed a few $8 domestic beers. (See, now the $8 strawberry daiquiri doesn't sound so extravagant, does it?) The Missus and I also got to check out the view from the ladies room, which might have been even better than the one in the main bar area. Sadly for The Mister, the little boys' room had no windows. That's some weird kind of sightseeing sexism right there.
After heading back home, we realized we probably wouldn't have time to get the grill and the brats to the beach (as was the plan we came up with on Saturday), so we just chowed down at their place and then went to hang out on the beach after the sun went down. It was lovely and peaceful. Dammit, why can't I live closer to the shore??
Time for me to fly. After having a wonderful weekend with my friends, I had to say goodbye and get back on the road. Almost right out of the gate, I made a bit of a wrong turn and ended up near the beach again. I'm pretty sure it was beckoning me. (It wasn't as dreary as it looks in this pic. Blame that on my crappy cell phone cam.)
I originally had this big plan to drive up to Wisconsin (just so I could say I'd been to Wisconsin) and then head down through Indianapolis (another big city I wanted to check out), stay overnight there and drive the rest of the way back to Pittsburgh on Tuesday. But I scrapped that because I was tired of driving and wanted to have all day Tuesday to just hang out and do nothing at home. I must have been in a big hurry to get home, because I got nabbed for a speeding ticket in Akron. But I know I wasn't in as much of a hurry as that cop said I was. *sigh* First speeding ticket in my 21 years of driving. (I'm driving to Akron on Friday to try to fight the damn thing.) And this brings me to an opinion that was bred into me as a Steelers fan and solidified during this road trip: If Ohio were to suddenly get sucked into a black hole, I would not miss it.* Seriously, aside from getting a ticket there, it's just...well, it's actually already kind of like a black hole. Driving through it is so depressing. The only time it rained while I was on the road was when I was in Ohio. I kid you not. It's like something out of a sci-fi movie. As soon as you cross the border into Ohio, you're thrust into a bleak, post-apocalyptic looking wasteland that just makes you feel sad and itchy all over.
For now, I'll leave you with my favorite picture from my Chicago trip. It's like, all artistic 'n shit.
*Sorry to my Ohioan blog pals, Flannery and Doc. Love you. Hate your state.