Its late, I have been getting little sleep, working lousy shifts and by god I need a vacation... and its Angela's birthday, I have an excuse! Chicago here I come!
Left Lexington at five-ish heading to Cincinnati in Angela's electric golf cart, I mean car... Had dinner at an excellent Chinese restaraunt, visited with her brother and sister, took a nap and then off to the bus stop. Megabus is our ride, $13 round trip for two, sure beats the heck out of driving or flying as least as far as the pocketbook goes. (If you have not heard of Mega-Bus it is a really cheap commuter bus with hubs in Chicago, LA, and some place out east...) So at 1:25 am on Sunday July 6th we are on board and squeezed into tight quarters praying that we will be able to sleep. I am unsuccessful and Angela is not much better, but we arrive in one piece at Union Station at 7am with a whole day ahead of us.
We are here! After running into Union Station to use the facilities we start hoofing it to the hotel, anticipating dropping off the bags and then going to find some place for breakfast. Daryl, the bellman at the hotel has other plans, he calls up to the front desk and within 15 minutes we are checked in. At 7 am. That was awesome! After a few hours of sleep we head outside to see what we can see. And what do you know, Jersey Boys has seats available, limited view but it is a good limited view, and $25 dollars a ticket... we had to do it. With an hour to burn before showtime we were starving and with being on vacation I am off the diet, lead me to the trough! But apparently the theatre district is shut down on Sundays, even the McDonalds is closed! But accross the street from the LaSalle Bank Theatre is a wine bar. Fine, we have a glass of wine but show time is close and we are out of time to get something to eat... off the diet, itching for junk food and still have not cheated, wine is LEGAL on South Beach... The show was a lot of fun, I was amazed how many songs I knew that they performed and greatly enjoyed watching the group grow and mature. Definatly well worth seeing.
After getting out of the theatre we are starved. We decide to walk up the street to the Oriental Theatre (I am already liking the name) and are told that there is a special drawing happening at the bookstore at the corner. To the bookstore we must go, and wander around, and get Speck a JFK (three shots) of espresso. After entering the raffle we step back onto the streen and come to a place called Potbelly's. There is food I can't eat at home! And it was good sayeth the Speck. The drawing for tickets is at the bookstore at the corner so back we go and we are told the drawing is at 6pm. Not 5:30? No, its at 6pm. Frickin' liars. The drawing was at 5:30, but they do have a couple of limited view tickets available... $25 a piece for $72 tickets... OK, why not a second show in one day, we won't be able to afford it later in the week if we can't win a drawing. Limited view is right. I have a wonderful view of the steps at the side of the stage and such an oblique angle that if characters are not out front they might as well not exist... thank god there are empty seats behind us, we shift back and suddenly there is a fantastical world in front of us with a bunch of racist midgets and a Meglomanical inventor running the show.
You might think that Speck would be tired by now, but a bottle of, what else, wine is calling. But like restaraunts in this neighborhood, liquor stores are closed. Resorting to a 7-eleven and an overpriced bottle of reisling we continue back to the hotel where Speck watches August Rush (its got Robin Williams in it) and the day finally ends.
Day 2 dawns, and dawns, and dawns. Speck awoke early and read a book, grabbed breakfast, indulged his dirty and disgusting habit (I really have to quit smoking) and finally not being able to stand it anymore, woke Angela up so that the day could begin. After getting ready and purchasing tickets for the Museum of Science and Industry (a truly incredible place) and getting bus directions from Cynthia (who is wonderful, if I had a front desk staffed with people like her I could have the highest SALT scores of all time) we headed out to see what could be seen.
We hop on the 62? bus that takes us to the museum. A wanna-be comedian boards a few stops later and starts his shtick. Every one looks like an actor or actress, Speck looks like Justin Timberlake, Angela looks like J-Lo (She has the butt), the asian girl next to him looks like Jackie Chan all serious and s^!t... He goes on and on, offers to
set the kid next to him up with a black chick, and eventually starts to question the sexuality of every one around him, I guess that he just wanted to know which men on the bus would sleep with him, because there was not a single woman who would give him the time of day. Serious jerk, after debarking the bus Speck remarked, wouldn't it be terrible to spend the vacation in jail for decking a dude on the bus who really deserved it...
On to the Museum! It is a quick process to get thru the Members line and then into the musuem proper. We began with the section on Genetics and after Speck got bored (yeah I did, maybe I need Ritalin) we hit up the mambers lounge and got tickets to the Chihuly glass exhibit, tickets for an Omnimax, and a U505 t shirt, but no tickets for the U505 (I simply must go back, I really wanted to see it...) We wander and wander, Speck is enamoured of the submarine and aircraft carrier and then it is time for the Omnimax (not as big as i remember it being when i was a little kid...) and a movie about dinosaurs. After a the movie it was a wuick bite to eat and then to the Glass Exhibit. It was really interesting and the coolest thing Speck saw at the museum.
At closing time we cornered an employee and asked where the best pizza around was. Edwardo's was the answer and we were off. And even if it was a long hungry mile to get there the pizza was excellent, but no beer... they could not serve any beer because of local regs, it was a cryin' shame...
Another mile or so back to the bus stop and then home we go.
Stopping at a 7eleven (cause its the only place open) Speck picked up another bottle of Reisling and an early night is called rounded out with a movie.
Day Three dawns and guess what? Speck is awake retardedly early (if you have traveled with me before you know this is out of habit for me at home but typical when I escape the confines of Lexington).
Breakfasted and caught up on email I manage to annoy Angela out of her bed and shake a leg. She needs to run and so heads to the hotel gym while I catch a little tv. (ESPN is somehow more special when you don't have cable at home...
Finally we get out the door and head for the rail. We need to catch the El to Oak Park 'cause that's where there are like 11 Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings, I enjoy the architecture and Angela has been reading a book called Loving Frank about his long term affair.
Anyway we get there and sign up for the tour of his home and office and the audio walking tour. The house is really facinating and you can start to see how his design develops as he modifies and adds on to his house. The attention to detail in both his design and the restoration was amazing, including cutting a hole in the wall above the stair off the playroom so that a full size piano could be installed without taking up a great deal of floor space. The office was incredible with the suspended balcony, reliefs, and an octagonal drawing/meeting room that had a twist (about a eighth turn) as it reached the ceiling.