Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cross-Country Trip: Day 1, Part 2: The Drive to Chicago

First off, did anyone notice I spelled Chicago wrong in part 1? My bad, guys.

Anyway, where was I? Ah, yes, Chicago. One thing I left out in Part 1 was that there were hella hella stupid doo-doo dumb retarded tolls. Literally every 50 miles. It made for interesting developments on day 2, but we'll get to that later.

The first thing I remember about Chicago? The traffic. MY GOD! First off, I'm already dead tired from the overnight and lack of ability to get good sleep in the passenger's seat, it's my turn to drive, and this was my first time experiencing heavy traffic. Since I included the part about Johanna's ticket, it would probably be unfair if I did not include that this trafficky, tired part of the day made me very grumpy. It's not something I'm proud of, but there, I admit it.

We finally arrived to the hotel at about 3:30. We were seriously tempted to just stay in and sleep, but it's Chicago! I'd never been. She'd never been. So we sucked it up and went out to explore. The plan was the Willis Tower and then some good ole Chicago pizza. We decided it might be easier to drive. Big mistake. It's funny, because on the way to the hotel our side was bumper to bumper and the other direction was pretty free flowing. Same stuff when we went back the same way we came: the traffic flow had switched. It was like Chicago was f'ing with us.

We finally made it to the Willis Tower and commenced operation Look Like a Tourist. This consisted of pictures, pictures, and more pictures. We took the 'tour' which first consisted of a movie telling about the history of Sears Tower and how recently Sears has been going under, the tower was bought out, and the name was changed to the wimpiness it is now. Us and a few other people got to the movie part right after they closed the doors and it was 14 minutes til the next showing so the people in front of us took it upon themselves to force entry. We just went along with it and tried to take quick seats as we heard an attendant shouting that we couldn't do that. Nothing ever became of it.

The coolest part was the top view. We got there right around dusk so we were able to see the city in the dying daylight and in all its glory at night. They even had this glass ledge that you can go out on, look down, and feel like you're standing in thin air. It was kind of surreal, but it also didn't look as far up as I thought it would.

Next stop was random Chicago pizza joint. We ordered a classic Chicago-style pizza and what we got was a big chunk of melted cheese on a thin layer of bread. Oh, and I think there were some other things mixed in there as well. It was ok, at best, at the time, but it made for crappy left overs the next day.

The good news is that the traffic back was a breeze. No, that's a damn lie. It was still terrible. And for some reason I still opted to drive. Maybe it made me feel like I had a right to be cranky if I was at least doing the driving. I don't know, maybe you psycho-analysts out there in web-world can help me out. Either way, we were back to the hotel soon, ready to rest up, and that much closer to California.

-Justin C. Key

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