So I forgot to mention that on the way to Ohio Corvin’s check engine light came on. Again. After just being fixed hours prior in New York. My parents insisted upon switching cars. Which we did, gratefully. But it was sad to pull out of my grandma’s driveway and leave Corvin pitifully, brokenly behind. But my parents’ car is much fancier. Volume control on the steering wheel, a CD player that works 100% of the time, seat warmers (not something I enjoy, but still), an honest to goodness clock, and admittedly much more room. Luxury. So Corvin was soon all but forgotten. Well, that is until we were about ten miles from Cassie’s family’s home and we filled the tank of our new vehicle. I think my heart changed its rhythm as the dollar signs increased. Little Corvin had been averaging about $27 per tank on the trip so far. My parents’ reached $66. I was not impressed. But I reminded myself 1) that their tank was larger, and 2) that we were incredibly lucky to even have a vehicle at this point. Thank God for my overwhelmingly generous parents.
The very blue house in Batavia became quite full when our party of four merged with the usual six residents. Between receiving numerous gifts and much adoration from the two youngest, and catching up with Beth, whom I’ve not seen for several years, our arrival stood in stark contrast to the past several hours of driving. I’ve realized road trips are a good balance of calm and [hopefully] uneventful stretches of driving past miles of gorgeous scenery, and periods of concentrated and vivid interaction with the people where and with the places in which you arrive. I appreciate both, but what I really appreciate is their harmony.
The events of Chicago (or, in my mind The City of Revolving Doors) sadly did not mirror Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, as planned. But I still very much enjoyed the day. The Sears (or Willis, if you insist on being current) Tower was skippable in my opinion. Especially after just having been on the Empire State Building. But, whatever. The Bean in Millennium park was enchanting, however. I could have stayed and regarded it for hours. We stopped at a grocery store/vegetarian cafe called Kramer’s, which was a great decision. I’ve had this vegan Cuban sandwich in my mind for months now, seeing as Cuban sandwiches are the only form of pork I enjoy, and are the main situation in which I actually miss meat. But I haven’t gotten around to actually realizing this idea. Well Kramer’s beat me to it. Their Cuban sandwich was good, but I still think I can do it better, and I plan to.
There were non-food related events between lunch and dinner, but they weren’t especially noteworthy, so I’ll move right on to Gino’s. It had happened four or five times that when I mentioned the word ‘Chicago’ in relation to our itinerary, people responded with “go to Gino’s!” And so we did. Despite the fact that for the majority of the trip I’ve reduced myself to two meals a day, I consider both my vegan Cuban, and my deep dish pizza worthy investments. Not to mention, our server Dane! was one of the best waiters on the planet. We skipped out on the comedy venue we had planned on going to that evening in favor of spending more time at Gino’s and also stopping by the very fancy Grand Lux Cafe for Cassie’s dessert. By then we were exhausted. Three out of the four of us slept on the train ride back to Batavia.
I really like the aesthetic of Chicago. It has interesting tall buildings and a lot going on, but it has a lot of space. Just walking through, there are pockets of air and sky filled places, the streets feel wide, and the people walking about don’t resemble some sort of human sardine run. It is has a sense on non-oppressive muchness.
My favorite part was the Tribune Tower. I started noticing these odd pieces of rocks here and there that didn’t seem to belong to the smooth facade. There were engravings of place names beneath each protrusion. As I walked along, I realized that these were collected from famous structures from across the world and then displayed in the walls of this building. It was fascinating. I think I can safely say that the Tribune Tower is my favorite structure in the US. I love that it wasn’t even an intended destination of our visit, we just brushed past it. You can’t even begin to imagine all that you’ll encounter on any given day.