Linda’s visit!

Northern part of Chicago

Chicago from the top of the John Hancock building, August 2007

A few weekends ago, Linda flew from Texas to hang with me, and we had such a good time together! We spent time at wineries on Saturday, discussing wine with the person behind the bar who seemed more than happy to talk to us about the flavors and such. We happened to be the only people down at her bar for the tasting, so it felt even more personal when she talked to us about the different types of wine and recommended us on what we’d like. She even let us try a bit of the beer the winery brewed, and we came home with a moonshine jug full of the amber ale and a bottle of cranberry wine. We all loved it and loved the experience!

After the wine tasting we came back to our house so Linda could unload her things, then we went out to dinner at the Mishawaka Brewing Company here in town. I wanted to take her to places she couldn’t go anywhere else, and even though beer isn’t her favorite alcoholic beverage of choice, she still enjoyed herself and the awesome wings we shared!

. . . . .

Linda and I On Sunday, we woke up relatively early and drove over to Chicago to check out the sights. We couldn’t have picked a better day to go; the weather had been humid and warm the entire week before she arrived, but that weekend we woke up to 70 degree weather and barely any humidity! I’m so very happy the drive didn’t take me long, and I’m still proud of myself for driving around downtown Chicago as I hadn’t ever done it before.

We had a bit of an adventure finding a place to park; the first place we pulled in wasn’t clear on pricing, and I want to say it was going to be something like 25-30 bucks to park for the day! So I somehow got myself out of the parking garage by driving backwards, and we found another place that ended up being only 11 bucks for the entire day. We got out, took our ticket from the parking guy, and made our way to the John Hancock Center.

Washing the windows! Being smart, we printed and paid for our tickets the day before, and there wasn’t much of a line when we arrived. We watched a few videos about the history of the building before we rode up the incredibly fast elevators to the top of the building. Wow. I hadn’t ever been in an elevator that fast; I want to say that the elevator was one of the fastest in the country, and I believe it! We admired the view from all four sides of the building and took a few goofy pictures; what’s a trip without goofy pics?

Girodano's! After we returned to the ground we ate lunch at Giordano’s, an awesome pizza place that serves authentic Chicago style, biiiiig crust pizza. I actually prefer thin crust, New York style pizza, but I didn’t shy away from the monster pizza we ordered! We enjoyed ourselves and enjoyed eating, because at that time we were starving!

We decided to walk down the Magnificent Mile after lunch, on our way to the Art Institute of Chicago. Now, my boss laughed at me after finding out we walked from the John Hancock to the Art Institute, but we didn’t mind walking a mile down the road! Since the day wasn’t excruciatinly, insanely hot and humid we had a great walk, but we did get a little warm near the end. We were happy to get to the museum.

I think this is a Ferris Bueller reference... Now, I’m not cultured at all and knew nothing about the paintings in the museums, nor do I remember any of the names of the paintings we saw. We scoped out a few things Linda wanted to see, and I took a few pictures of her in the museum. I had a good time, even though I know nothing about art!

I drove her up to O’Hare after we finished with the museum, and thankfully we didn’t run into much traffic! I dropped her off and headed back to South Bend, taking me only two hours from the airport to my house. Made me happy, that’s for sure!

I had such a good time with Linda. We’d known each other online for years and years and have gone through plenty of tough times, but she’s been a good friend to me and I had lots of fun with her! I’m hoping to go to Texas sometime to meet up with her and maybe we’ll have fun in Chicago again sometime. Either way, she rocks!

(It took me a week to write this. A week! I really need to write things in a much more timely manner.)