16 October 2013

The Windy City

Go FASTER or go home!!!
We got to take an impromptu visit up to Chicago a few days ago.  Jack's mom was there for a business trip and since it was only a few hours away, Jack took off some time from work and we made the drive.
It's a fascinating city for sure but Jack and I kept repeating, "I'm so glad we don't live here.  I'm so glad we don't live here."  A good portion of the city looks in dire need of a new coat of paint, the areas we saw were crammed tightly with tiny little brick homes or sprawling apartment complexes and the traffic was horrendous.  And everyone is angry.  You're not going fast enough.  You're unknowingly blocking them from an illegal u-turn.  You aren't turning fast enough so they're going to turn behind you and honk when you almost hit them.  They're angry when you make a proper turn and you almost t-bone them because they're illegally speeding up the shoulder.  Oh, and it costs a wad of cash just to get in and out of the city.
Some pretty little neons at the aquarium.
Other than wondering how on earth people can be content living in a place where all drivers seem constantly infuriated, we had a wonderful time.  We took advantage of my mother-in-law's hotel pool and watched a ridiculous animated move together before bidding her farewell.
Who needs a double stroller?
The next day, we toured a bit of The Windy City and ended up going to the Shedd Aquarium.  Had it not taken nearly an hour to get up the door to buy tickets, we may have splurged but this time, we took the basic tour and admired the many aquatic creations at the aquarium.
I asked Evie if she thought she could eat a lobster that big.  She didn't think so.
We made pretty good time after leaving.  I didn't bother pulling off the road for lunch or gas because, true to form, the girls zonked out.  I cut it a bit close and made it to empty before pulling into the gas station but what's life without a little nail-biting adventure?

I chose a little diner who advertised heavily on the interstate.  Turns out they've even been on television.  The root beer was great but the rest of the food was pretty much like any other diner and the rundown, peeling paint decor seemed to match.  At least now I can say we've been.
It was a fun trip--seeing family and friends always is.  But, we were thrilled to pull in the driveway, have space to stretch our legs and be reminded just how happy we are to have a slice of our own land.  Our house and Chicago may need a coat of paint and Chicago's painting time line is questionable.  At least I know I'll be getting to our house sooner or later.

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