Chi-town fun…

So this weekend was Chicago. Mae picked me up at 05:30-ish and we hit the road, driving up IN-63 N, then I-94 W. I took the second leg of the drive, and Mae and I chatting about just about anything that came to mind, despite the early hour.

A tinkle stop just inside of Chicago got us all kinds of lost. See, I’m used to highways where if you get off , you should be able to go through whatever intersection is at the overpass, then hop right back on the highway.

Nope. We stopped at a McDonald’s and were never able to get back on the highway. I got to watch sadly as we continued down one road and the highway curved away from us, no other on-ramps provided…

We drove through the hood for a while (much to Mae’s [slightly funny] consternation) until a turn onto Martin Luther King Drive took us out of the ghetto and towards downtown. I think Dr. 7 would insert a Chris Rock joke here…

Mae called her mother for directions (despite the fun I was having driving around and seeing bunches of Chicago), and we eventually got to the area of the hotel, which was near one of the Lakes (Looking at a map, though, a lot of Chicago is near whatever that lake is. *shrug*).

Driving in Chicago is something I want an f’ing merit badge for. I kinda wished I’d been in my car (and that Mae hadn’t been gripping the door handle) so I could’ve really gotten into the spirit of Chicago driving. Mae and I had a hell of a time figuring out the algorithm for when to hit the horn, because goddamn if it doesn’t seem like a system of “if (foot.isOnBrake) { horn.honk(); }”. A little nerve-wracking at first until you realize they’re probably just honking to make themselves feel as though their presence on the roads makes a damn bit of difference in influencing traffic. Honestly, though, it was a lot of fun.

Although driving was entertaining (and parking was impossible), walking was awesomely cool, too. Once we got parked, we headed out to a farmer’s market right near our parking lot. Unfortunately, we didn’t really have a good way to keep produce cold overnight, so we didn’t buy anything, but they had fresh breads, peaches (I tried my first real non-canned peach! Yummy.), corn, potatoes, etc.

We definitely need a farmer’s market in Terre Haute.

We browsed for a minute, then started walking towards the museum. Mae pointed out cool stores that we would visit on the way back, and we ran into another farmer’s market near the park holding Lollapalooza.

One of the cool things about the walk: Chicago was full of fun eye candy, as it seemed that a good bit of the city’s population was either out walking like we were, running, or riding bikes.

After a wonderful (and long, as we got lost again) stroll, we arrived at the Art Institute. The nice thing is that I am a little more discerning now in the types of art I want to see, but we still spent about three hours perusing the galleries. My favorite type of paintings are probably 18th century Dutch stuff, but I’m really a fan of ancient Indian and Islamic art (which this museum had none of, but the Los Angeles museum had in spades) and WO showed me some surrealistic stuff that I liked.

After the museum came Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe. Mae bought me a Mayan Truffle, which was this wonderful milky chocolate truffle coated with sugar and cinnamon. We browsed there for a while, and I picked up a box for me and another for WO. Mae and I cruised down Michigan Ave for a while, peering into stores and just relaxing.

Then came dinner at Ed Debevic’s, a restaurant whose motto is “Eat and get out,” or something similar. It’s a 50’s (or 60’s?) style diner with deliberately rude waiters, mediocre food (high on the grease), and the world’s smallest hot fudge sundae. The volume of the glass they serve the sundae in must be only an once or two, but they fit an entire sundae in there, complete with a proportionately small spoon. They let you take the glasses home, which is even better. While we were eating, all the waiters jumped up on the counters and started dancing to “Carwash”, which involved some rather funny hip-shaking of dudes dressed in 50’s clothing…

Following dinner was a moseying walk back to the hotel room, if memory serves. Mae and I were both rather pooped at that point. We spent the evening relaxing (watching a little Food Network and a bit of a show about celebrity “oops”, like Michael Jackson wearing pajamas to court and Brittany Spears having a television show about her truckloads of sex… yeah, don’t ask.), and I crashed rather early (long before Mae’s sister got to the room).

We were up decently early the next morning; we grabbed a quick breakfast at the hotel and hit the road again, arriving in Terre Haute around half-past noon.

I didn’t take my camera, so I have no pictures, but Chicago seemed like a wonderfully large and alive city, and the trip with Mae was awesomely fun and relaxing. I could live in a place like Chicago, I think.