Chicago - Day 1

This was more of the "getting to Chicago" part than the actual "doing anything in Chicago" part, but I thought I'd share anyway...

2:30- Leave the house and start out on my big adventure. It's weird going some place without Tony...I can count on one hand the number of times one of us has left the state without the other, and all but one of those times have been work related. Regardless, I will persevere on my quest. The Seester awaits.

2:38pm- Headed for Nashville, which is the first leg of my trip. The Knoxville airport only has 10 gates to its name, so the airlines do not feel the need to give competitive pricing. Therefore, we usually skip on over to Nashville to fly out of that airport instead.

2:42pm- pop in the specially-created-for-this-driving-trip mix CD. Because Tony isn't around to shush me, the CD has been specially formulated with all of my favorite singing-at-the-top-of-my-lungs songs. I sing through the entire CD twice while driving.

3:29pm- Stop for gas. Regular is running $2.59 a gallon. Pump handle does not have that little flippy thing that locks it into place so I have to stand there and squeeze the handle the entire time. I decline the car wash offer.

3:51pm- I have now added a dance routine to go with my CD. Most of it involves jazz hands and shoulder wiggles since everything else is impeded by the seat belt. Somewhere around Lebanon, a guy pulling a horse trailer catches me in the middle of my guitar solo and gives me a weird look.

4:23pm- spot Nashville.

4:37pm- Head to my favorite restaurant in Nashville, Demos'. (Sorry for the blurry picture...I was trying to take it and drive at the same time. I'm a pillar of safety-conscious driving, I know).

4:45pm- Pro: Demos' chicken and rice soup, salad, and Parmesan rolls. HEAVEN! Cons: Eating at a table by myself while seated next to a party of 15. Endure looks of pity from the group because they think no one loves me. I don't care. The soup alone is worth it.

6:00pm- Arrive at airport. Park, get checked-in, go through security. So far, so good. Flight is listed as on time.

6:03pm- Settle in at the gate with my new book- a volume of the complete works of Sherlock Holmes including 4 full-length stories and 56 short stories! I've been saving this book especially for this trip. The short stories make it a perfect airport read.

6:05pm- The TV at the gate is tuned to the Haiti telethon. Several celebrities are holding hands and singing "We are the world". In the background is the constant ringing of phones. I try to ignore it.

6:35pm- Announcement is made that flight has been delayed an hour. No reason is given. Grrrr. It's like they don't even care enough to lie to us anymore. At least tell me it was the weather. Gate agent is clutching his Starbucks cup like it's a lifeline.

6:36pm- Telethon celebrities are obviously under the impression that singing the song with eyes closed and at half its normal speed will make it seem more heartfelt. They have switched to "Wind beneath my wings". I switch to headphones to block it out.

6:57pm- Holmes solves the first crime. (Surprise, surprise).

7:10pm- Can still hear telethon through my headphones, boring a whole into my brain. Bill Clinton is talking now. Decide to take a walk around the gates to look at the artwork on display.

8:03pm- Flight is delayed another 10 minutes. New departure time is now 8:40. For the love of all that's holy, please let me be able to escape the endless droning of the telethon!

8:48pm- FINALLY boarding the plane. Why do they always smell so funky? This one smells like citrus...if that citrus had been created in a chemical plant and had no organic aspects whatsoever. Digging the on board Enya music though. A nice change from two and a half hours of telethon.

8:50pm- Found my seat: 9B. Nobody sitting next to me! Woohoo!

8:57pm- plane takes off. Suddenly realize that I have forgotten to take my Dramamine. It's still in the front pocket of my suitcase which is now riding in the belly of the plane. (In case you haven't figured it out, I get horribly air sick). Crap! Crap! Crappity-crap-crap!

8:58pm- No matter. I will just will myself to not get sick. I will point this little air vent at myself and think non-sick thoughts. Not sick, not sick, not sick...

9:17pm- Flight attendant comes by with drink cart. I decline. Better not to risk it. Instead, I am flipping through the flight magazine.

9:19pm- Whoa turbulence! Not sick, not sick, not sick, not sick...

9:20pm- come across article of New Orleans cooking. Close-up photograph of beady eyed crawfish! Toss magazine aside. Not sick Not sick Not sick Not sick!

9:24pm- They say that when you have motion sickness, you should focus on the horizon. Since there's no horizon up here, I am focusing on guy with frizzy hair and bald spot sitting two seats in front.

9:25pm- Bald spot seems to be growing right before my very eyes! Amazing!

9:39pm- Turbulence again! Where's my bald guy!?!? Not sick, not sick, not sick....

10:05pm- Beginning final decent. I am very proud of myself for not puking all over everyone. Kudos to me.

10:07pm- Holy smokes! Baldy just got up to get his bag out of the overhead, and it's a woman! (I tried to be all sneaky and get a picture of Baldy for you, but it's too dark and I didn't want the flash to alert her that I was trying to get a picture of the back of her head).

10:18pm- Spot the Seester in baggage claim. She insists on taking a cab back. (She will also hate this picture when she sees it).

10:50pm- For some reason, cab ride is $11. Seester is ecstatic at this. Is apparently supposed to be somewhere around $40?

11:00pm The Seester and I talk until 1am. Ah, how I have missed her.

1:14am Seester retires. I am following shortly. Sure to be a big day tomorrow.