Monday, December 05, 2005

Chi. Ca. Go.

The weekend kind of made a swooshing sound as it went by. These Chicago weekends with John & Judy are always this way, though; by now I shouldn't be surprised.

We headed out Friday at 2:30pm, all six of us and our gear in a Dodge Durango. We were short on legroom and long on road time, so we did the best we could to manage without complaining, even through a snowstorm. I think we did all right, but I'm probably not the right one to make that assessment. I may be giving those of us in the middle seat a wee bit more credit than we deserve. We hit Elgin, Illinois, Barren Wasteland of Nothingness, shortly after midnight and settled in for a short night.

Saturday morning we all showered and shuffled about our adjoining rooms and one of us (*ahem*yourstruly*ahem*) went shamelessly to the lobby wearing no footwear whatsoever to get coffee. As soon as we were all properly dressed for the weather (socks and shoes included), we headed out. There was a very large breakfast which left no room for food until dinnertime, and then only limited room. There was shopping. There was Starbucks. And then, thank heaven for 7-Eleven and the fact that Nikki Nicole moved to Chicago, there was a dropoff of one certain person (moi) who was grateful to be hanging out with a friend and attending an Over the Rhine show instead of making an appearance at the annual Meat and Cheese Extravaganza Christmas party, which is the official reason for the trip.

Over the Rhine was an added bonus, an afterthought, a happy coincidence, but such a good one. For me it was the highlight of the trip. Nicole is my favorite show-going companion for many reasons, not the least of which is her sincere appreciation for a good live show and her willingness to express it enthusiastically and out loud. To have her along for a night of good music is always a pleasure. Over the Rhine cosistently puts on a good show, which we anticipated, but we had the added enjoyment of a cozy venue and a great opener. Kim Taylor was exquisite, and I was pleased as punch that Nicole thought so, too. We raved about the whole thing all the way back to Nicole's apartment. It was fantastic.

And then I drove back to Elgin, Illinois, Barren Wasteland of Nothingness.

Luckily I only had to sleep there, and not for very long, either. Sunday morning found one of us (*ahem*yourstruly*ahem*) in the lobby in her pajamas getting coffee, and once we were all showered and dressed, we hit the ground driving. We had a few more good stops, some detours (two of which involved the consumption of bacon), and finally we were back on our way home.

Finally.

I do enjoy Chicago, but it feels more than good to be back in my own warm apartment, and with a full night of sleep ahead of me besides. Goodnight, all.

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