Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Day Three and Four

Since Michelle doesn’t have enough money to buy me off and there’s nothing that I want to blackmail her for, the story of our trip to Chicago will end with the beginning.

Let me just say this. I like to plan. If I’m going some place new I like maps and schedules and all the information I can get. I actually had all that stuff for Chicago, but I left it at the house because I trusted Michelle. That was my first mistake. Kidding! But really, I was just having a good time and not really paying attention where we needed to be and when. I figured Mich would keep track of all of that. However, Mich only got three hours of sleep the night before.

We got off the train at 9 PM. There are two cars in the parking lot, neither of which were Michelle’s. We got off at the wrong stop. One stop PAST our stop. And no trains going back that direction.

So it’s dark. And there’s nothing around but a small gas station. Luckily, it has a mini-mart inside where we got something to drink and a place to wait outside.

We could walk 4 miles in the dark on a two-lane road to the station where our car was at, with three tired kids. Or call a cab. Or call Phil but he’d take at least an hour to get to us.

Luckily, Mich has a friend who lives about 20 minutes from the station. She came and took us to the station. Mich was able to talk to the lady at the mini-mart and get directions. She also told us that people get off at this stop by mistake all the time. So Mich’s friend came and got us, took us to our car and then we had another hour drive home. But we talked writing and stuff, like we have been all weekend while the kids slept.

So, back to the beginning. I forgot to mention that yesterday, even though it was upper 40s, Mich and I sat outside on her porch and wrote. With my heavy coat, my warm laptop, and a blanket on my legs, I was pretty cozy. Of course our being outside was necessitated by Calvin’s attempt to walk on their not-totally-frozen-solid pond.

Today we went to Chicago (okay, it’s yesterday now). I’ve never been. Then again, I’ve never been anywhere. We took the train in, which was also a new experience, and hit the Starbucks in the train station. Mich and I were critiquing some Misfit stuff on the train.

When then took the bus (going the wrong way at first) to Navy Pier where we spent the day at the Children’s Museum.

We also walked the length of the pier and visited the stained glass museum. Apparently at the turn of the century (19th to 20th) Chicago was quite the place for art glass. We saw some beautiful examples.

It was pretty comfortable temp wise. It was drizzling in the morning, but soon turned sunny with a light breeze. I wasn’t cold once.

Mich and I are also teaching our children our rule breaking tendency. They were doing an elevated net/rope course when two of them turned and started coming back. We waved at them to continue on when we heard a chorus of “we’re not allowed!” Huh? We’d sent them through the exit.

Later on the way home we were trying to find the train station. We found the El stations and the bus stops, but we couldn’t find the entrance to the train station. Turns out we walked past it three times, once going a couple of blocks out of our way. I think we were talking. Then we proceeded down the stairs, en masse, on the wrong side. Irritating hurried commuters, I’m sure.

Actually, everyone we met was really nice to us. We were hurrying to make our train, after another stop at the bathroom and Starbucks, only to find every car was full we were going to have to sit apart. Several people changed seats so we were each able to sit with our kids. We found out that even though we got on the train at 7:10 PM, this was actually the 6:08 train. It finally left at 7:30. Because it was running so late, we got to ride for free. Let’s just say I was glad to have my venti chai latte. Especially given what came later.

More tomorrow after we’ve recovered.


Heather said...

Shocking post! You never once got cold? Right it in the books, folks.
I'm jealous. I want to be there.

Jenny said...

And they call it "the windy city". IF you didn't get cold, you weren't trying!
Glad you're having fun but miss you.
Hug Michelle for me.
Abundant blessings,
Jenny Cary

Alison Strobel Morrow said...

Chicago! I miss it. Sounds like y'all had a fun time. I think I've been downtown more as a tourist than I ever was as a suburbanite--when I lived in the NW suburbs I was always afraid of "the big city," and now I'm always dying to get there when we go back to visit family. Wish I'd checked your blog sooner to know you were going; I could have pointed you towards some of my favorite spots!