Since I have been terribly busy and since Erik just sent the pictures to me Monday night, here is my lovely recollection of my trip to Chicago over the 4th of July weekend.  Forgive me if I leave anything out; you probably won't notice.

Friday:  Nice trip up there on the Megabus.  Chatted the whole way there with a recent NWU graduate on his way to Korea to teach English for a year.  (Good luck, Jason!)  Erik and I had planned to bake a pie, specifically a sugar cream pie, which he had never heard of before.  After getting the ingredients and putting it in the oven to bake, we both promptly forgot about the whole thing when we went up to the sun deck to eat some Middle Eastern/Indian food and share a bottle of wine.  When he went down to get blankets, the place was full of smoke.  Brilliant.  But what was seriously brilliant was the view from the top of his building…amazing skyline with the city and the lake, right there.  Before half of Chicago came up to watch the fireworks with us, it was amazing; there were fireworks going off as far as one could see into the distance.  Simply stunning.  One would think this would be the end of the night, but oh no, one would be wrong.  We met up with some of his Chesterton friends at a few different places around town, and ended the night on a somewhat blurry note.

Saturday: Horrible hangovers all around.  Even with Tylenol, they lasted until that evening.  Anyway, I was up at 8am because I can no longer sleep past that time, no matter what time I go to bedThanks, real job. After getting ready, we headed off to the Taste of Chicago to find out what goat meat tastes like.  If you were wondering, it is a lot like pot roast, in every way. 

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Yes, that's me, eating watermelon in front of a pretty fountain.  Could I be more of a hick?

Then to the Art Institute, where we saw lots of paintings and wanted to take naps in the cool, dark hallways.  I'm definitely condensing this, if you were wondering. 

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That's my pasty self in the grey cami and shorts.  I'm standing in front of what Erik referred to as "The Bean," but I am steadfast in my opinion that it is actually a spaceship I saw on Doctor Who.

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Some sort of artistic swing outside the Art Institute.

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Another art installation; this one is a video of a person's face for…oh, thirty minutes or so I think.  It occasionally shoots water from the mouth, giving those city kids a place to cool off on hot summer days (though as I understand it, that was not the original plan).

That night, we took the train (metro? metra?) out to Tinley Park, where we caught a ride from an interesting cab driver named Terry.  He was a character; but that's sort of a story all in itself that I'm not going to get into here.    We saw Joe Cocker and Steve Miller, and it was a pretty good show overall.

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Erik's friend Mike, me, and Erik at the concert.

Lots of interesting people.  It was here that our hangovers ended, as we had another drink finally. Goodness, if I had known that it really was the hair of the dog sort of thing, I would have done that much earlier.  Although I will say, it was painful to pay $16 for a yard margarita.  Took forever to get back to the apartment, where we then ordered some late-night grub and hit the hay.

Sunday:  Woke up to one of Erik's cats licking my foot.  Got ready and went to the Field Museum, where we saw lots of pretty rocks and dino bones.  I think we somehow wandered into one of the special exhibits without paying, so that was a bonus. 

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Me and…a dinosaur of some sort.  Perhaps a cousin of Sue?

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This one is Sue, a T-Rex.  If I remember correctly, she is the most complete T-Rex skeleton ever found.

After all that, it was time to catch my bus.  This is where the problems started.  Though we found a bus that said it was going to Indianapolis and then Cincinnati, a driver of another bus told us that it wasn't going to Indy after all.  Yet there was no other bus around.  Conundrum.  After about 45 minutes of waiting around when we were supposed to be on the road, they found another bus, a Coach USA bus, for us to ride.  We boarded and prayed that we would actually make it to our destination.  A few times down the road, we had to stop for no known reason and pull over on the side of the interstate to sit for about 10 minutes at a time.  Later we were told by other passengers that it was the Megabus driver's first time on this route, and he was supposed to be following the Coach USA bus, so we were pulling over to let him catch up.  In Zionsville at a travel center where we were supposed to stop for 15 minutes, we ended up being stopped for over an hour; once again, no good reason was given, and the drivers told us they didn't know when we would be getting back on the road.  It was to the point where many passengers were calling friends and family to see if they could pick them up in Zionsville, as it is a short drive away from Indy.  We finally got back on the road and arrived at our destination over 2 hours late.  I was not amused.  However, I commiserated with a fellow passenger, Patrick, who had been on the trip up to Chicago with me.

Anywho, that was my whole trip, or at least the parts I want to put on here.  I really can't wait to go back, maybe with fewer things to do next time so I can actually relax.  Also, must return before summer ends; I might hate the city again in the winter.  I'm hoping for a better trip home as well.

Next belated post:  Last weekend's wedding…

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