Thursday, June 01, 2006


3AM came awfully early the morning of our departure to Denver, the halfway stop between Portland and Chicago Midway Airport. Of course I had been up late tweaking my packing system only to have Dag call to remind me we might need to dress up a bit more for some of the blues clubs in Chicago. So there I was, at 10:30PM, five hours before I needed to wake up, safety pinning the front of the most ridiculously impractical (but oh-so-lovely!) little black dress. Reason overcame me and I brought a dress that did not need an additional independent closure system to remain decent and finally got about four hours of sleep. Despite the Holiday weekend, the airport was desolate at 4:45 in the morning, yet our plane still filled up. I don't know where all those people came from, because they weren't at the gate, but they ALL had children under the age of 1. Seriously, we were surrounded! On both flights!
In front of the elevators in MDW airport, they loop the song "Working in a Coal Mine". I guess they figure you will never be standing there long enough to hear the song more than once, so why play more than one? (We just happened to arrive at the doors to hear the end of one loop and the beginning of the next).
We arrived at our miniature hotel room in the mid-afternoon. It's the kind of hotel room that makes you really want to get out and see the city!


We started out with Thai food, a welcome break from the salted nuts we'd been surviving on for the past twelve hours. But I have to wonder if I could have eaten those icky spring rolls if I'd not been starving to death. They had this odd congealed sugary oyster sauce on top of them and the wrapper seemed kind of chalky. But we ate them all up.
Afterwards we checked out the famous Billy Goat tavern, of Belushi's Cheezborger skit. I haven't seen it myself, but I've now heard several different people's renditions and feel that I have a pretty good grasp on the intricacies.
After a nap, we stopped in at the Sea of Happiness, the bar attached to the hotel. It's your classic teeny dive bar. Very comfy and friendly and cheap and smelling of smoke. We walked down to Navy Pier and caught the fireworks display.
Why would someone think that a fireworks display would require a soundtrack? Are colorful explosions in the sky not majestic enough without Neil Diamond's "They come into America"? I then paid almost four dollars for a sad little scoop of ice cream while Dag followed the constant stream of signs indicating a nearby restroom (yet not actually being nearby a restroom and seeming to be designed only to lead you by all of the vendor booths!). We hightailed it out of there and had a late night breakfast at the place our bartender at the Sea of Happiness had recommended.
The weather was hot hot hot and humid...the restaurants air conditioned beyond belief. So we had alternating shots at comfort.

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