WOW. What a trip. It had a bit of almost everything: travel drama, meeting famous athletes, BYOB, etc…! I hope that you enjoy reading about the trip as much as we had living it. Kyle, Kelsey, and Clark know how important chronological order is to me, so, in the famous words of Jackie Gleason, “Away we go!”
Travel Drama #1. Wednesday Night.
My original flight plan was Birmingham to Chicago. Sounded easy and simple enough, but NO! Flight was re-routed from Birmingham to Minneapolis (no extra charge for the stop in Minneapolis or the overnight stay in the Minneapolis airport, LOL!) to Chicago. The overnight stay in Minneapolis was an “interesting” adventure, so I tried to make the best of it. The Minneapolis airport at 1:29 A.M. was interesting and very, very deserted. Anyway. The next morning I was on a 5:15 A.M. flight to Chicago. Early but okay with me. The flight would have been even better if my baggage was with me but, again, NO! Clark met me at the L and the baggage arrived on Thursday at about noon. A nap and shower and I was ready to explore Chicago!
Chicago – Day 1 – Thursday
Clark suggested I try Dry Hop for lunch. I took the L from Clark’s apartment to the Belmont stop on the Red Line. After about a 15-minute walk, I was there. A very, very good restaurant call by Clark.
In the early evening, I went to check our group into an apartment that Kelsey had booked for Kyle, Kari, Phillip (AKA Maxx Gruber), and I to stay in during the rest of the weekend. In the famous words from the TV series Dragnet, “The names have been changed to protect the innocent.” The location of this apartment was terrific, only a single block from the Belmont station. Kelsey booked this apartment via an online service named very similarly to “ground B-N-B.” I think the owner described this location as a condo, but it is NOT a condo. It really was a large one-bedroom apartment. Quirky and different but fine for the five of us. I won’t mention anything about having to dodge the exposed pipes that were hanging below the ceiling…plus, the owner seemed surprised that three sets of keys were needed for our group. Yikes!
Anyway, back to Clark. Clark and I walked to dinner and then took the L to Target to do some light shopping. Very, very important point here: As Clark pointed out, Chicago is a very pedestrian town with lots of walking, which is okay because Chicago is very, very flat. I did not see a hill the entire time I was there, but walking is walking. Shopping at Target was very, very strategic because we had to carry all the items that we bought. Plus, we then walked 4.8 miles back to Clark’s apartment. Did I remember to mention that by now my FEET WERE KILLING ME?!
Later on Thursday night, Kyle, Kari, Kelsey, and Maxx arrived. The humor started almost immediately! Apparently Kari had packed her suitcase and then someone decided to unpack some of her delicates…Yikes again! This someone explained how this unpacking occurred, which was interesting but still difficult to understand.