The trip to Chicago actually didn't start on a great note. If you recall from my entries right before leaving, I hadn't exactly taken the time out to pack and had been sort of rushed that last day. I start most trips like this sleep deprived since I get either very little or no sleep at all the night before the flight. The problem with that is lack of sleep makes me nauseous. I dunno why but whenever I've been sleep deprived and there's something I have to stay awake for, nausea is never far behind. Add to that a slight tendency to get air sick and nausea inducing medication and you sort of get the idea. The flight wasn't all that bad in and of itself but I was not feeling fantastic by the time I got to Chicago.
The plan had been to catch a shuttle from O'hare airport down to Midway where I could pick up my rental car. After I had booked my flight around 6 months ago, Continental had decided to cancel all of their flights into Midway. That meant that I was bumped to a flight coming into O'hare and my car rental reservations were still for Midway. Since I had booked those through priceline, there was no chance of getting the company to swap airports. It wasn't supposed to be a big deal really. I had arrived a little before noon local time and it's not like I had a lot on my schedule. I figured I'd take my time getting to Midway, scooping up the car, and then making my way to mock26's. The first major snafu was not feeling all that well. The second was the fact that I had to lug all of my incredibly heavy luggage all over the airport and still failed to find where the shuttles were. It never seemed to be where people said it should be. After waiting around a bit, I decided to just say fuck it and took a cab right to mock26's place, figuring I'd deal with the car later. The cab ride was a study in self-control and one of the first things I did upon arriving at my destination was to projectile vomit all over a bush in front of mock26's apartment. I felt better immediately. Yay for vomit.
The game plan was to meet up with Melissa and then take the El downtown, where we could get a bite to eat and mock26 could pick up some parking permits, and then from there go to Midway where I could pickup the rental. I should mention that despite living in the city for over 5 years, I'd never actually ridden on any of its public transportation so this would be a first for me. My motto hd always been that on public transportation you're forced to meet the public, and in Chicago that's a losing proposition. It turns out the journey was a lot more entertaining then I thought it would be. First and foremost, there was roaming entertainment on our train.
Neat eh? It's one of those things you usually only read about or see on tv. I never would have thought that there actually were people still running the old shell and pea game. Now all that's left is to stumble over someone doing Find the Queen. Can you spot all of his accomplices in this video? It's like one of those Highlights puzzles. When the guy in blue approached to scope us out, I was a little worried he was going to snatch the Flip Ultra.
More and more people got on the El as it ventured closer to downtown. At one stop, there was the inevitable breakdown. I took the opportunity to film a little more.
When we finally got down into the loop, we ventured forth to Macy's for food. John and Melissa sated themselves on fish and chips while I found a frozen yogurt stand. Afterwards, Melissa went into purse shopping mode.
I'm not even sure exactly what they're selling here. I just found it ridiculous that it had Viva La Juicy scrawled across it. I, of course, had to get a picture of it.
I mean, is this bag so me or what? It was all I could do not to buy it immediately and start using it as my purse.
Eventually, we moved onto the horns of a dilemma. Which of these completely overpriced and crappy bags should Melissa buy? She foolishly decided to ask mock26 and I for advice and I punted.
Which bag should Melissa purchase?
She eventually purchased one of the two contenders, plus something that looked like they gutted a large hamster and then inflated it into a roughly cylindrical shape. I was immediately of the opinion that we should buy a pair of large googily eyes to stick on the purse and maybe a tail too. Melissa vetoed the suggestion despite all attempts to convince her.
After that we hopped on yet another set of the El trains and rocketed off to Midway. I reprised my role as Man Spewing Projectile Vomit upon getting off of the train, and this time it was all red thanks to a cherry flavored sports drink. I just have to note here that I have never experienced so much explusitory (not a word but it should be) pressure for vomit leaving my body. This thing could have won awards for distance shooting. I was like a cannon set on high.
The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. I got lucky again for the third year in a row as they were out of the economy sub-compact I had ordered and so I got bumped up to a full sized vehicle. It was a Mercury something or other and quite nice overall. Very comfy with leather seats and what must be the most ancient GPS system known to man. This thing was huge. It looked like it should also serve espresso or something. It was also incredibly flawed, failing to give directions when needed and offering the completely unhelpful advice of 'turn around'.
Despite the GPS, we eventually made it back to mock26's place where we ordered in Leona's for the night. The calamari was spiffy.