like a band of gypsies we go down the highway

I spent a whirlwind 36 hours away from home this weekend. Mindy, her boy, & I went to Chicago to see Eddie Izzard at the Chicago Theater on Saturday night.

We left unbelievably early yesterday morning so we could get to the hotel and check in before an appointment we had at a local bridal shop for Mindy to try on a dress. THE dress. It’s really quite fantastic.

Mindy's Bloody Mary

Food: Dinner Saturday nightwas at the Emerald Loop Bar & Grill and other than the waiter seeming to forget about us once the food arrived, it was good. In fact, Mindy’s bloody mary came with meat. You know, celery, olive, pepper, salami…the traditional bloody mary.

I had the Shepherd’s Pie which was sooooo good. I wish I had a way to take the leftovers home with me – I could have eaten that again tonight. YUM!

On the way home, we tried to go to Superdawg. We did not get Superdawg because the place was PACKED. Which kinda sucked after sitting in insane traffic to get there.

MarqueeThe show: I had fun, I liked the show a lot, and Eddie was good. It was no Dress to Kill, but it was still really good. And the 2 hours kind of flew by. Until we left and it was raining, that is.

A review of one of the earlier shows from the weekend is here (via Chicago Tribune).

Traveling: Sucked. Seriously, the traveling to places really killed it for me. I planned our route to the show via the El not knowing that the train wasn’t running between 2 of the stations (one being where we parked, the other being where we WOULD have parked had the CTA’s website mentioned this somewhere when I did the trip planner or researched the train lines. Just SOMETHING. Seriously). So we were shuttled to the next station, which was fine on the way to the show.

On the way back we were packed onto that bus like sardines. It was wholly uncomfortable and made me cranky. The crankiness was further compounded when I couldn’t get back on the damn highway from where we were and wound up going the wrong direction on the highway, after which I turned around and got going to right direction. But still. Tired, cranky, and lost is not a good combination for me.

The whole driving in Chicago’s suburbs thing pisses me off. The tollways were kind of insane to drive on, and not being a native, we had to pay cash at every single one of them. Every time we were on them. Which, considering our hotel was right off one of the tollways, was quite a lot. There should be an I-pass for visitors or something.

Of course, we stayed in the ‘burbs because we were going to Ikea today, followed by our unsuccessful trip to Superdawg.

What I haven’t told you: There was apparently an anime convention of some kind going on this weekend in Rosemont. We saw a lot of people dressed up for said convention. It was…something. I’ll say interesting. What was not interesting was almost running them all over as I was in the process of getting lost (see “travel” above).

Lesson, further reiterated on this trip: Always stay downtown or at least in the freakin’ city. The ‘burbs suck if you’re a visitor.

New lesson this trip: Amtrak. Unless you are planning a trip to Ikea and need to bring home a lot of stuff, spend a little cash and take the train. I’ve never done this, but you can bet your ass I’m doing it next time I go there. I can drink, knit, and sleep.

On the way home, I let the other folks drive and I relaxed on the passenger side. So I took some pictures out the car window. Here are a couple of my favorites:

The sky was fantastic

On the road again

Gateway Arch

It was, overall, a good trip. But I am glad to be home and I’m glad to be back in my own bed tonight.