Chicago nabbed me. Well, last weekend did altogether. After missing two flights and barely making the third from SeaTac to Chicago, I wanted to skip the whole vacation thing altogether and instead just kick the terrorists in the balls. But all the logged airport time was forgotten when I finally made it into Brent’s couch on wheels and realized why I thought it was worth the trip in the first place. That night he toured me through his hometown, showed me where he had learned to ride a bike and drive a car, where he spent his high school Saturday nights, reminded me of his unique dancing and vocal abilities… and I remembered how hard it is for me to not pee my pants when we’re hanging out.
So if Brent ever wanted to write a book on his car knowledge, people would probably buy it. Friday we hit the Volo Museum, which was pure education for me, even if my favorite car was still the one from Wayne’s World. That night his coworkers were taking him out for a goodbye dinner at a new Mexican place, so we hit the costume shop and showed up to dinner with sombreros. Again, seeing the middle-aged top lawyer forced into Mexican headwear against his will and probably enjoying it way more than he’d let on was classic. Not sure what they’re going to do without Brent… he brings a lot to the table.
Saturday involved bikes and booze: absolutely gorgeous weather, and we hopped on bikes and rode down the Loop, onto Navy Pier, and out by the Shedd Aquarium. Finished the night with perfection: polished off two bottles of wine at Penny’s, a BYOB Thai place, and rode our bikes home. And by rode, I mean, Brent made friends with everyone we passed while I lagged behind yelling DANGER! When I thought he was frolicking too wildly.
Sunday we accidentally slept waayy in and only had time for the Field Museum. Heaven. Discovered we both have unrealized childhood dreams of being paleontologists. What are the odds? Met Kimberly, Mike and his parents for dinner and found out where he gets his personality and why he gets quieter at home: Herb was meant to be a standup comedian, and Sandy can discuss why Elvis couldn’t lead a normal life (defending his drug addiction, I suspect) until the cows come home. I simultaneously pitied him for having to keep up with them and envied him for having free entertainment whenever he wants. Candace blazed in later and we drank wine and danced in her living room until about 3.
Monday Candace and I powered through minor hangovers and I went downtown with her when she went to work. I spent the morning gazing at all the gorgeous buildings, seeking out the Monets, Renoirs, Dalís and Van Goghs at the Art Institute, and generally enjoying alone time downtown (“alone time? Like without Brent? Well that sounds weird.”- Dad).
When we met up again, he loaded my stuff into his perfectly polished Oldsmobile (his baby for sure), looked over at me and asked, “Are you scared?” And the lump in my throat got a little bigger as I answered YES! I hated to leave. I spent an hour or two walking around O’Hare with wet eyelashes until I pulled myself together again.
I loved just about everything about Chicago, from the fact that it’s a beer-drinking city, to the fact that people still stick with the Cubs when they’re losing, to the fact that I had an awesome host to enjoy it with. The whole weekend was perfect and a great last US vacation.
Bye, USA, Hello UK!