Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Road Trip: Chicago

After Sonic, Eehern and I decided that the only way to make it to Chicago was by hopping between food stops. Next up, Zukey Lake tavern - a nostalgic favorite of his. It was really only fair - one of mine food picks, one of his.

Figure: Tavern on the lake.
Apparently, Eehern remembered this place as being down a bumpy dirt road, a only-the-locals-know type of retreat. But instead of a gravel parking lot next to a hole in the wall, now it's a newly renovated restaurant on prime real estate by the gorgeous lake.

Figure: We just hope the ribs are still as good.
We had called ahead from the car to place an order for ribs. We popped in, picked up the order, and went on our way!

Let me just note - did we eat in the car? No, no we did not.... :)

Figure: You can't see it here, but this is the twelve hour mark for us in the car.
We drove. And drove. And drove some more. That two hour block at the Canadian border really put us behind, (as well as my shopping, ahem...). We hit twelve hours in the car, and man I was tired. The energy was visibly leaking from the car.

I got sleepy and took a nap. I think I drooled, but I managed not to snore (I think). Eehern soldiered on. I woke up, and still we drove.

Finally, we both determined we needed one last stop before the final push.

Figure: Stop at the gas station, to fill up on gas and on that order of ribs. Miss Outlier's last road trip drink.
We still couldn't eat in the car, so we got out and sat at a picnic table to dig into the ribs. But oh - did I mention - the picnic table was right next to the swampy forest? And we were eating delicious meat? The mosquitoes came out in droves. DROVES, I tell you.

First they came for me. I started slapping and fidgeting trying to fight them off. The ribs were delicious, so I couldn't bear to stop eating. Eehern just laughed at me.

Then, they came for Eehern. Buzzing and humming, they honed in on any exposed flesh. Finally he was driven from the pool table, relegated to pacing back and forth while he ate to avoid the insects. Now who's so tough?

I was still eating as fast as I could, and the mosquitoes didn't even bother to find open skin - they bit right through my clothes. Ack! Moving on.

For the final leg to Chicago, Eehern was finally getting tired. We had talked about most other topics, so I asked a question on politics. Well THAT'S a conversation starter. Did you realize that Eehern doesn't think there is a fundamental right and wrong - that right and wrong are defined by majority vote? This means, of course, that absolutely anything, no matter how heinous, can be justified if a majority of people think it's right.

We killed an hour just discussing that.

Figure: Ah yes, just what the day needed. Rain.
As we got close to Chicago, it started to rain. I put on some country music to get us through the final push. My job is the iPod, you know.

Figure: Man, did the country music do this?
And it rained harder. It poured. The RainX had met its match.

Figure: Yikes! Okay, okay, I'll go back to Top 40 radio...
But rain or no, all things must end and we did make it to the destination city. We met up with his friend Sai Hei, who generously opened his home to us to stay for the night.

Figure: Thanks Sai Hei!
We found a parking spot for the car, I brought up my carryon to the room. I was thinking the night was just about over. But indeed it was not!

Figure: Eehern busting out the guitar. He's quite good.
Apparently, long ago Eehern taught Sai Hei how to play guitar. Men being what they are, Sai Hei wanted to show off how much he'd learned since then, and Eehern wanted to prove he was still better. So they jammed for a while. Sai Hei also got to show off his Linux program for learning new guitar songs on his huge gorgeous plasma TV, so all manner of male itches were scratched. I just sat and enjoyed the entertainment.

And then I thought, off to bed? But no! The night is still young!

We hopped in a cab and took off downtown. Can I just say - the financial district of Chicago has some well-heeled women running around. I loved looking at the street fashion!

Figure: We took ourselves to a comedy club.
A place called Second City is a famous comedy club in Chicago - a lot of comedy stars have come up through here. The trainees do really cheap shows at midnight, and it was here that we found ourselves.

Figure: Cozy little theater, just us and a dozen others.
I've never been to a comedy club, so it was a neat experience to see live improv. Honestly actors always make me a little nervous - I just think, "Man you are so over-the-top that I'm embarrassed for you!" But that's just my introverted, engineer hangup... I was glad we went!

We got back home, and plopped into bed. Right? WRONG!

The boys just couldn't let that plasma screen go to waste. They fired up StreetFighter, splayed themselves out on the floor, and proceeded to beat each other up. Just like my brothers - get them together, and the testosterone goes flying.

After one got fed up with losing to the other (can you guess which one?), they finally decided to call it a night. That might also have to do with the fact that I went ahead and crawled under the covers on the futon and went to bed. Even though the futon was in the same room as the TV (I just was too tired to be bothered by the video games).

And with that, my friends, the marathon day was finally over. From the honeymoon suite in Canada at 7am to the bedroom floor in financial Chicago at 3am, we did justice to the road trip.

And to all a goodnight!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds fun. I still can't believe he didn't let you drive at all. Boys are so silly. I had something that I actually wanted to say but I can't remember. OOooh well.