I've been trying to write about the Ohio/Chicago trip all week, and I wanted pictures, but they are mostly on The Husband's computer and I can't seem to arrange to get them. So, oh well.
It was a quiet, fun trip. Jammiesfest is always fun. We drove up on Friday with Ophelia in the back seat. She seemed to enjoy it(once she realized she wasn't going to the vet) and made occasional trips to sit in whomever's lap was available and gopher around at the scenery. Once we got there, the Husband set up the old dog crate with a shelf he'd made in Jammies little foyer, and we put up a pet gate. Littlefoot and Miss Underfoot, Jammies dogs, gave it a few sniffs, but only Underfoot really had interest. Littlefoot is interested in food, being pet, and taking naps. At night, since we were sleeping on the air mattress in the living room, we moved the pet gate and she slept with us -- or on the couch. Jammies has a superior couch.
The weekend with Jammies, Imp, Rob and Dampie went far too quickly. Imp had to return home early due to impending visitors, so we barely had time to really chat, much less do anything like we did last year and the year before. Still, we got to spend some time together, and there is Gobblefest yet.
Tuesday, The Husband and I drove to Chicago, leaving Ophelia in Jammies' guest room. Ohio is interesting until it starts flattening out into Indiana. Then, it looks a bit like Florida. Getting in to Chicago was also a touch tricky. We got to our hotel in one of the suburbs and met up with our friend Tommy, who moved there about 2 years ago. We had dinner at a little Greek restaurant in Oak Park, I think -- everything on that side is Park something or Forest something or River something).
The next day was the real Chicago experience. We met up with the Fabulous Michael Guy for a pizza lunch. We exchanged the code phrases ("Bring me a Bromide," he said. "And put some gin in it," I answered, and thereupon we hugged.) and went into Ginos to explore the menu. Everything about him is true. He even eats his fingerfood appetizer with a knife and fork. And, of course, he sparkled. He had to return to his glamorous day job -- something about a consultation, I think. I don't know for sure, as it was all in Italian and involved a lot of hand waving -- so we walked down the Miracle Mile to the Art Institute.
The few hours we had there were NOT enough. Seeing Night Hawks and American Gothic face to face were big enough events in my little life, but there was so much more we missed. We had barely reached the Thorne room where the miniature rooms were kept when guards announced the museum was closing. Damn! We had not covered even 1/2 the museum.
However. Tommy had a picnic dinner awaiting us in Millenium Park, right across the street, for some Symphony under the stars. The odd metal cage structure is really an incredible sound system. Music, wine, strawberries and cheese, and the sun sinking behind the buildings as the orchestra serenaded us. It was just like civilization.
When the music was over, we met up with Mr. Guy once again for a real treat -- cocktails in the Ritz Carlton Tea Room. When he talks about how they know him at the tea room, he is NOT KIDDING. It is so quiet and upscale and glorious. We talked and laughed and had to leave much too soon. I'll admit, Michael (he says I can call him Michael) has the most descreet entourage ever -- while his hair was perfectly coifed the whole time and his skin impeccably smooth with nary a shine, I never saw his make up and hair people dash in for those touch ups. Amazing! It was over all too soon.
The single negative of the little whirlwind trip was the bed in the hotel. An otherwise perfectly nice hotel room had the Bed with the Black Hole -- a soft, comfortable mattress that had, apparently, been hollowed out dead center. The Husband and I had to cling to the sides or end up uncomfortably tangled and squished together .
In fact, beds were a problem the whole trip. There is an undetectable leak in our air mattress, which means at about 3 am each night, The Husband (who is more sensitive to these things) awoke to reinflate the thing. It didn't prevent us from sleeping as much as we could, but it did put an interesting rhythm to the nights.
Thursday, we returned to Casa de Jammies and Friday we made a drive into Cleveland to visit more friends and see Loganberry Books. Incredible used bookstore, managed by Otis, the grey and white kitty. He supervises from his chair near the front door and all who enter must pet Otis. In fact, when The Husband ran out and returned, Otis INFORMED him that pet tax was required for EACH use of the door. Of course I bought books -- although not as many as tempted me. We met up with even more friends that evening and spent it eating and playing Apples to Apples, a cool little party game that has us all laughing. We stayed much too late. Saturday was really the only 'chill out' day of the trip, and Sunday we drove home.
It took me three days to recover from the vacation!