Golden Domes & Chi-Town

With very little planning and not much luggage Chad, my Dad and I set off for South Bend, Indiana.
Our mission: collect Mamaw and meet the newest member of the Berry family

Secondary mission: go to Irish Fest and see The Tossers rock out. (Kris, Rick & Vince had the same plan!)

From my vantage point the trip was not too bad. Hey when you are short you can stretch ALL the way out in the back seat. I think Chad disagreed since he drove the entire way.

Our first order of business after making it into Chicago was to go and see the “Bean” since it wasn’t finished the last time we were in town. Wow, what a difference 3 years makes!

All the seams had been smoothed out and the scaffolding removed. It was awesome, even with the million of small children that clogged the area. Oh sure, we really could have stayed there all day, taking pictures and just watching the world go by as it was reflected in the wondrous, shiny legume, but we felt the call to move along and take advantage of the great weather. So we headed off in the general direction of Navy Pier.

The Lake just amazes me. I have a hard time comprehending that it is a Lake. Looking out onto the horizon and there seems to be no end. And the water is amazingly clear.

Ping has been to Chicago many times before but never had the chance to get his pic taken so we of course had to stop and do the tourist thing. Which left lots of people shaking their heads as we made our way through the city!

After a stop for a snack and refreshments at the Pier itself, we hailed a cab and waiting in rush hour traffic. Yep, we are smart. Kudos to our driver though, he worked hard to get us over to the Irish Fest and we arrived just as the gates were opening. And then there was booze.

And delicious booze it was indeed. Although sadly we missed opportunities for free booze and food since we weren’t single and couldn’t participate in the Hooley. Drat! It was hot outside but nice and cool inside. Eventually after a harrowing hotel ordeal <Boo! Hiss! to the Millennium Knickerbocker>, Kris, Rick & Vince appeared. Nothing like driving from Morrisvale, WV to Chicago, IL in one fell swoop. But they made it with time to NOM and shop before The Tossers took over the place. The show was, of course, awesome. To say it rocked would be so cliche, but I can’t think of a better way to describe it! Best $8 event I’ve ever been to (yep, $8 in advance, how great is that? Oh sure, we had to stay over, but that’s part of vacation and Dad picked up the petroleum bill, so we are in good shape)

Day 2: Chicagoland

So when I didn’t think our trip to Chicago could get any better, it did. We’d been out and about geocaching and enjoying the gorgeous day, having some yummy Thai food and just being on vacation. As we neared our hotel I heard drums. Odd, but whatever. Then I noticed a crowd on the sidewalk very near our hotel. The crowd was clapping and dancing to the drum….even more odd. But wait! It gets totally better because in the middle of that crowd was a man on a white horse…I kid you not!

  Those of you who know me, know that I love a) horses and b) shiny things. OMG, both together and in front of our hotel nearly caused me to self-combust on the spot! I took pictures, lots and lots and lots of pictures and was in the enviable position of being beside the door when the groom (it was a wedding from what I gathered) dismounted and was greeted by the bride’s family. And then I took more pictures of the horse!

After Chad talked me down from that experience we headed out to the Land of Geeks – aka Fry’s Electronics. This was dangerous territory for both of us, since I own lots and lots of gadgets which “require” lots and lots of accessories. And for Chad it was dangerous because…well it was a shop that sold bits and pieces of computers. I present, Chad in the land of Motherboards….

There was lots and lots of looking and examining and walking in circles, but in the end Chad left without purchasing a single thing. I, on the other hand…I got new toys! Who in the world would ever have thought I would have a phone that has 2 GB of storage or that so much stuff could fit on such a tiny piece of plastic. Chances of me losing that SD card? Extremely High.

Finally back in the land of Golden Domes and so forth, we took a trip to see the newest member of the Berry Clan. After all this time (just over 34 years) Mamaw is now a Great-Grandmother courtesy of my cousin Shelly. And truth be told, while The Tossers were awesome and it’s always fun to visit Chicagoland, we really came up to see Jackson and Shelly.

He was doing the obligatory baby thing of sleeping when we arrived and woke up long enough to demonstrate how strong he is. Man, who would expect a month-old to nearly be able to fling himself off my lap? Uh, not me. But no worries, I wrestled him into submission.

Without any fanfare, I present the link to the rest of THIS set of pictures. More posted shortly.

chris on July 16th 2008 in Family, Links, Travel

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