Om Namah Shivaya


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A whirl-wind weekend in Chicago!

I spent a fast and fun three days in Chicago (and surrounding areas) with old friends and "family".  It was wonderful seeing those old faces, and getting those hugs.  Nothing better.  

I landed Friday morning at about 9am or so.  My most stressful task was ahead of me as soon as I landed.  I had to navigate O'Hare airport on my own;  get my bag, find the train, buy a ticket, get on the train with my bag, get off on the correct stop, *hail a cab* (when the truck have I *ev-er* hailed a cab), and then take a cab ride to Greg's place.  Sounds simple enough right?  *Right.*  I successfully completed all of my tasks in a confident fashion, I thought, right down to hailing a cab.  I got in the cab and said exactly what I was told to say.  The cabbie stars driving and has to ask *me* where that is.  Cheese and Rice.  I *had* to pick the only farking cab driver in Chicago that didn't know how to get to Greg's apartment.  This is awesome.  Finally after a phone call by me, and a look in his book, he got me there and it was still under $10. 


I spent the day with Greg mainly at his swanky pad, just chillin', mainly.  We went to "Urban Burger Barn" for lunch, and passed this sign that struck me as extremely funny.  So much so that I had to take a picture on the way back!  Make sure to Unleash your clients before parking! *laugh*

Then Ben *Po*Tatar picked me up in his Prius, and it happened to also be my first ride ever in one of those cars.  Pretty interesting and fancy.  :)  We scooted the short distance to Ben's pad where I walked into a wicked cool house infused with the very essence of my friend.  Very neat.  Pizza, pajamas, and catching up was right in order for the evening.  I introduced Ben to the show "Ghost Adventures", and he introduced me to pizza topped with mashed potatoes.  *I know right?!*  Believe me when I say it was amazing.  I wish I would have taken a picture of that pizza, and of mine as well.  I had a "white" pizza with chicken, spinach, and artichokes (the mashed potato and sausage pizza was a "red" pizza).  I recommend trying The Piece pizza if you're ever in that area.  Good food.

Saturday morning allowed us both to sleep in, and then another first (this trip was full of them!), Dunkin' Donuts coffee.  In all the years I've lived, I've never had DD coffee.  I can't even tell you the last time I had one of their doughnuts.  The powdered, chocolate filled ones were my favorite.  I might have to rectify this situation some Saturday or Sunday morning here soon. :)  After getting coffee and getting dressed, we walked down to "the bongo room" to have brunch with the Tatar clan.  "Ma and Pa" Tatar, and also Jenny and her husband Bill.  Talk about being overjoyed at seeing some people.  I can't even begin to explain how special this family is too me.  They are so loving, welcoming, friendly, interesting, funny, kind, on and on and on.  I wish I saw them more often, but it was so special to have those precious hours with them and Ben.  Onto the bongo room...

The bongo room is apparently *the place* to get brunch on a Saturday afternoon, and I can see why.  The food was amazing.  We all got our protein dish, I had the "Tomatillo Salsa Scramble", with multi-grain toast, then three "sweets" were ordered for the table.  

There was the banana caramel pancake

The berries and cream pancake; I think that's what it was called.  Quite frankly it was so heavenly that I kind of tuned everyone out and had a mini-love affair with it. 

Then the piece de resistance...the chocolate tower of french toast.  *Chocolate French Toast people!*  This is craziness!  Oh but it was soooo good.    

I had a Raspberry and Pear Mimosa to drink.  It wasn't quite what I expected, but it was good.  

After brunch, Ben took me on a train ride into the city where we walked around in the cold, drippy, foggy weather to Millennium park where we saw the Pavillion, the "Bean", and the waterfall art sculptures.  The fog was fantastic as we walked around the city to the Chicago river, and the Trump tower.  A view of the marquee for the CHICAGO theatre rounded out the trip.  It was a fabulous day with yucky weather but that's okay. 

Sunday finally brought me back into the company of my friend Niki.  She is expecting her first child, a boy, with her hubby Josh and I couldn't be more thrilled for them.  Her and I met in college, a tragedy brought us closer, and she's one of those people in my life who may be far away and I may not see as often as I'd like, but is always in my thoughts.  Her shower was filled with love and stylish gifts (that little boy's gonna be one well dressed little dude!) to make sure this baby boy has a good start in life.  After her shower, we went to the local mall to just walk around, shop, and catch up before going to the airport.  It was wonderful filling the time chatting away with my old friend but bittersweet when it was time to go.  

As they say, all good things must come to an end, and on Sunday evening, my whirlwind weekend in Chicago came to an end as Niki dropped me off at the madhouse that is O'Hare airport and I boarded the plane home bound to Kansas City.  I hope to go back at some point after the baby is born to see this wonderful creation in action as well as the mother and father that created it, and of course to see the Tatar's.  :)   

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