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Into the Windy City

May 29, 2010

This post got saved as a draft and was originally intended to come out before the FermiLabs Post.

Chicago loomed in the distance as we made our way from one of the crappiest motels I’ve ever seen, not to mention had the luxury of residing in for the night. We planned our route making sure to specifically avoid the Toll Roads and major highways because… as we approached the city, the trucking traffic grew steadily, to the point where they out numbered cars almost 3:1. One thing that our map failed to impress upon us was the size of the city. We reached the city limits from the South. Signs of decay were evident and the neighborhoods definitely needed some TLC. We passed the BP refinery, which I was expecting to be surrounded by protesters but was surprisingly vacant. I noticed, actually that as soon as we got with in 10 miles of the city that the air quality dropped significantly, it probably coincided with the familiar smell of coal burning which I happen to enjoy (both the activity and the smell). As we made our way to Addison, our proposed place of lodging, we found that we had to go a very long *40* miles on city streets to reach this destination, and the traffic was horrible. If had to make one complaint about my bike it would be that the clutch handle is incredibly stiff, and that fact makes traffic a nightmare. But I survived. The mission in Chicago was twofold, first was for me to meet my friend “Tiffers” from World of Warcraft (Orillis to those who play) and Second, was to find the vendor that had promised my father his set of Frog Togs, Located in Addison. The deal with that was that the vendor would hold on to them for us until we got to Chicago, should they come in after we left on our trip (Frog Togs are made in the UK, and are horribly backordered from the manufacturer.) But alas, they had not arrived. My meeting with Tiffers was a huge success though.

On a side note, we encountered a strange law that seemed to be true only in Addison, although we did not investigate too much. It seems that in Addison, one cannot rent a room to two men, with only one bed. A king sized bed is plenty of room for two people to sleep without any fear of even accidental contact, but in Addison, its either 2 beds or two rooms. Being on a tight budget, we had been often opting for the 1 bed because it was decidedly cheaper.

I had a GPS that helped me navigate to her home. The street was dark, and she called me from the Minivan on the corner, it was very strange! But sure enough as I came closer… there she was! After a big hug we took off for the bar, I only had one helmet and her dad was already waiting with the van, so I decided it would be best if I followed them to the destination. We arrived several minutes later (after having passed many bars to get there) at the billiards hall only to find that it was not itself a bar *gasp!*. However, after talking to the proprietor he informed us that it was a BYOB establishment and the convenience store across the street could help us with our alcohol! So away we went, and just barely snuck under the metal security doors in time for one final purchase. Pool was awesome, Tiffers had revealed to me that she had only ever played pool a few times in her life and she would be really bad at it, but in fact she was not, and with a little coaching, was hitting the pockets ok. Tiffers was excellent company (she is convinced that its because our astrological signs are so in sync), and I Sorely regretted letting her get on the bus after the doors closed, but we had already walked 2 miles to get there, and her house was much farther away. Once again alone in a strange city, I turned to my trusted, stalwart, ever-ready friend, GPS, to guide me back to the motel.


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