Saturday, October 23, 2004

Vacation Notes

So, these are my observations from my family vacation to Chicago.

I don't know why anyone would stand around the train depot in downtown Chicago with a headphone/phone on, whistling Terry Jack's "Seasons in the Sun". It's just weird and it makes me nervous. He looked Malaysian, but that's probably coincidence.

Doing traditional Chicago things is fun - deep dish pizza at Giordano's (note that sausage and pepperoni deep dish pizza at this particular place tastes pretty much like bread covered with cheese. I think no matter how many toppings you had, it would taste like bread covered with cheese) - beeping at your sister-in-law because she slows down for a pothole (everyone in Chicago beeps their horn all the time, it doesn't matter if the person ahead of you is being held in place by a building falling on their car, you still beep) - wandering aimlessly along the sidewalk and getting in everyone's way - all of these are fun.

If it's not rush hour, the train (the Metra) departs every 1 to 2 hours. This is important if you don't have anything to do for one to two hours and you didn't pay careful attention to the schedule coming or going, and you have a rambunctious eighteen-month old with you. However, it gives you the chance to watch Boston win over a rather lackluster Sam Adams (damn Chicago and their lack of Summit) while you're chasing your little girl around the train station at 9:00 p.m.

Little girls like water parks (Daddy and Eryn near the slides. Eryn realizing how big a water park actually is and wondering when that 700 gallon bucket is going to tip - a word of caution, the Metra train horn sounds like the big bucket warning horn and some little girl gets very anxious worrying that the train is going to dump a lot of water on their head).

I also don't know why a waterpark in Wisconsin would have wallpaper that encourages those staying at the waterpark to travel to Minnesota - as near as I can tell, none of these places is in Wisconsin.

Walking downtown is fun if your wife is prepared to actually walk downtown (I'm sure she'll be blogging about that soon). Chicago is fun just for the architecture and weird sculpture gardens (Millenium Park face sculputure, with and without me and Eryn, the Bean, my favorite building in Chicago, Marina City, and the opening to Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life").

Chicago Police, when equipped appropriately with two wheeled transportation and a lot of balloons, can fly. Don't even try to escape.

An eighteen month old daughter who makes lots of noise can ruin your tour of a Frank Lloyd Wright house. However, it is possible to ruin a Frank Lloyd Wright house more completely (from far away, and then the close up, then very close up).

Never ever, ever, never, go to a place named Michaels that serves hot dogs. It should have been a hint that it's got the same name as a crafts store. It was nauseating - permeated with the smell of ketchup, it was difficult muster more than a single thought in several minutes between the cognitive interference of the Wizard of Oz (on two large screens), a West Virginia football game (on the screen in the middle), the clown making crappy balloon animals, the hundreds of children with dip and dots pseudo ice cream and the numerous parents who looked like they were barely tolerating the existence of the place. But the chicken sandwich was pretty good.

Finally, I very much liked the way the local Democrats were tying Barack Obama to Kerry/Edwards on all the campaign signs. You simply didn't see that with the Keyes signs or the Bush/Cheney signs. It was almost like they (the Republicans) didn't want to be on the same sign...go figure - maybe that "two politicians, two gay daughters, two much discrimination" design was shot down. On a similar note, in Wisconsin, not too far from the border, is a nice Bush/Cheney sign on the same pair of posts as a sign for the local Assembly of God congregation. I'd worry a little about messing with my ability to register as a conscientious objector/pacifist if I were them - dip your toes into politics and take your chances - some of us think taxing churches and sending your kids off to the wars politicians you vote for create isn't such a bad idea.

No comments: