Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The Bird goes to Chicago!
On Sunday JB, Olivia, and I made a sort of impromptu trip to Chicago to see our brothers. Neither of them have met Olivia. Austin has been traveling a lot the last few months and we probably won't see him until the new year, and it's always fun to see my brother and his girlfriend Virginia, so we hopped in the car and went!
Unfortunately for me, the Bird only slept from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. that day, and I had volunteered to drive TO Chicago, because JB is a better night driver and would be driving us home. I was soo tired! Agh! I drank this crappy gas station cappuccino to keep me up but caffeine doesn't really help me. Then I decided to count the cars on the other side of the highway. That also wasn't effective, as it was early Sunday morning and no one was driving around. So I filled my mind with "worst case scenarios" about the drive, which I do often (gotta be prepared!). I came up with game plans of what to do if, say for instance, a giant semi-truck suddenly came barreling out of the woods to the right and was about to t-bone our car. Would I a.) drive down into the steep median but keep going in the same direction, hoping to avoid the semi by inches, b.) yank the wheel hard left, causing the car to do a 180 and drive into the oncoming traffic lane and attempt to maneuver around THAT traffic, or c.) try to miss the truck by either hitting the brakes or the gas? This game worked pretty well until I got too wrapped up in it and started to wander out of my lane because I was looking at the amount of oncoming traffic across the median to determine if driving directly across the median to avoid the semi would be my best bet. The car's tires hit the rumble strip and JB woke up. He got nervous because he thought I was falling asleep. I was not--can't be falling asleep if an evil semi could be lurking in the woods!
When we arrived in Chicago we met up with Austin and went to Eleven City Diner, a neat cafe in the Grant Park area. It still strikes me how excited people get when they see babies. Olivia was riding in the Baby Bjorn (front-carrying backpack thingy) and no one could see her face, but ladies got excited nonetheless. (I'd at least wait until I saw the baby's face: what if the baby was SCARY looking??) The owner was just enamored with Olivia, especially after she looked in the carrier and saw her. She was an older woman wearing these sweet funky eyeglasses, and I was pleased to have such a lady take interest in my child. This was the second restaurant owner to rave about Olivia. The first was Marie Caltrib, whom I blogged about previously. When Marian had returned to Marie Caltrib's three days after Olivia's visit, Marie had asked Marian, "Where is your baby?" Well, either that lady has some memory or Olivia made a major impression on her!
The hostess at Eleven City Diner looked at Olivia and then at me and said, "I think she's going to have your red hair!"
I didn't have the heart to tell her that my brown hair had randomly turned reddish, though I did point out JB's red locks to her.
After lunch we headed with Austin to Tommy and Virginia's place in the Lakeview area. I would like the record to show that on the Wii I am the cow racing champion. I can't play any other video games worth a dime, but man, can I race them cows! haha. Olivia sort of played her first video game, as JB managed to juggle holding Olivia and the Wii remote control at the same time. We had dinner at Joy's, my favorite Thai restaurant. I was very excited to be there but the Bird was not, and so she cried the whole time, which prevented me from eating. Boo, Olivia! I say, Boo!
JB and I both agree that if we were to live in a big city, it would be Chicago. For now, though, we'll just have to make the 3-hour trip here and there.