Thursday, July 05, 2007

Two Fun Days

Well that last few days have been fun days. The 3rd of July of course is just a great fun, city day and the 4th...well the 4th is the 4th and was a bit different this year.

On the 3rd after our most awesome Lactate Threshold run we got some stuff together and headed on downtown. We had our chairs, two backpacks and a cooler. We did have a cooler with wheels but opted (I think to Jason's disappointment) for the non-rolling one because it was a bit smaller. We took the Chicago Bus downtown and got off right before Navy Pier to get some ice and sunscreen at a Walgreen's that we saw. Then we were off walking over to Grant Park to settle in for a day of reading, Taste of Chicagoing and relaxing. This was when Jason wished we had a rolling cooler...but I guess that he was thinking about those Strongest Man compititions and how he with his 20lbs of cooler could now totally compete.

We staked out a spot in the grass near a light pole that had a number '2' on it and figured that when people came they would be able to find us easily. We set up camp and then headed into the Taste. Soooo much good food. A taste of something here, a BBQ sandwhich there...and ending with my favorite booth.....Rainbow Cone.

We headed back to our spot in the grass and had a beer and were enjoying the sun and our Harry Potter books (we are both reading the whole series before the next book comes out) when all of a sudden the volume gets pumped. They have a TV in the middle of Grant park to show what is happening on stage.....but all they were showing in the day time was ...commercials..on a 10 minute a volume level that I could probably hear it at my apartment 5 miles away. What has happened in our society that this is even ok? Why is a giant TV blaring the same stupid shit every 10 minutes : a Pepsi Commercial, a Bud light commercial, a cell phone commercial and then our favorite....a commercial for the city of Chicago, the "idea" for the advertising for the couldn't get more clever than that....really?

It was so annoying and one of those things where if you just "don't listen to it and let it become background noise" it gets even louder and more annoying. So we went for a walk to refill our water bottle. We noticed tons of people out by the lakefront with blankets set up and it was so pleasant with just the sounds of the city. There wasn't media streaming into our eyes and ears. So we thought maybe we should move over to here.....and then we got back to Grant Park and to our surprise and delight the orchestra had started practicing and the commercials were gone. It was like a weight lifted. We got back to our spot and told the people next to us that apparently we just had to leave for the madness to stop. They mentioned that they also didn't get the commercial for Chicago .... as most of us probably get we probably live here.

The rest of the day was pretty laid back. Mike, Barb, Mouse and Dice all joined us eventually and we had a spectacular time with them. The fireworks were even better than I remember. It ended up being worth dealing with the commercials because we could hear the symphony and the fireworks are coordinated to go with the music and so that was fun. They even played the....this is from the nerd Jason not me...the Imperial Death March from Star Wars for one set of fireworks.

Then...then the real adventure of the day started. It had started raining a bit and so we couldn't sit around and wait for some of the crowds to die out as we had originally planned to. Our plan was to head back to Navy Pier where the Chicago Bus line starts....then we could actually get on the bus. So we said goodbye to the other running kids and headed that way.

Then we got there and I realized why this was going to be a bad idea. Obviously as loads of people are waiting to get on the stupid buses (we are not the only ones with this idea)......and nothing is moving traffic wise. I mean stopped still not going anywhere. Which makes me (because I'm so smart) I go...we could probably walk home faster from here since we are only 4.5 miles away from home. So we decide that's what we are going to do...and head on it.

Then we get to LaSalleish...and I'm thinking...maybe there are a few neighborhoods along Chicago Ave that I don't want to be walking down at 11pm. So we decide to try and find a cab. cabs. Finally finally we see one with the light one, run across the street flag it down with looks of pride on our face and the driver rolls down the passenger window and asks where we need to go before we get in. I say our intersection and he says, "No I'm not going out there" and drives away. I couldn't believe it. I'm pretty sure that's against the rules....and it wasn't like I was asking to go into some horrible neighborhood. So we head back to the bus.....and here comes the bus....Jammed and not stopping.....sucky sucky. Oh wait here comes another....jammed and not stopping. Then there are no more buses in sight, there are still no cabs. So we call the jayhawks since we are about 2 blocks from their place at this point. They tell us to come on over so that's what we do.

We hang out there for about an hour I'm guessing chatting it up and having just one more beer. As Jason was falling asleep in his chair we decide it's time to brave the outside again and start looking for cabs. What do you know....there are no fucking cabs. None! So...we stand under the glass entrance to their building hoping that maybe someone is dropping someone off here.....and what do you know ... here comes a cab dropping someone off right in front of me.....mind you it's now about 1am..and fucking pouring. So we get in the cab, close the door and the lady cab driver asks where we want to go. We tell her and she says...oh sorry....I'm closing up now I can't take you there. I say, are you serious? We are already in the Cab, you can't deny a fair at this point. She says, sorry I'm closing up. So we get out, and as we are getting out someone trys to get in the cab. I try and shut the door saying that she's all closed up and isn't taking any more fairs. HE GETS IN ANYWAYS....AND THEN WE SEE THEM DRIVE AWAY. I couldn't believe it....fucking 1am...pouring rain and that bitch denies the fair. I wish I would have had something to write on or a pen as she would have been reported.

So we continue to walk around downtown like lost souls....when we see another cab.....we open the door let the girl paying finish and get in......."Chicago and Western" I say...and the driver problem. And a big sigh of relief passes. Lucky driver dad was a Chicago cab driver for a summer...I usually tip well anyways...but after the night we had the driver got a good tip from us. So thanks to that driver :-)

We slept in on the 4th and then.....did nothing. When I was little I remember going to houses for picnics and parties..I don't know what happened that it went away. Maybe it doesn't and it just happens more when you are older....but a little strange. But either way it was an enjoyable day. We did a 5 mile recovery run at about 2pm and then watched some movies, napped...watched movies. Very relaxing day.

Today however, getting up at 10:30 on the 4th (we had been up for almost 22 hours when our heads hit the pillow the night before) and then napping..did not lead well to falling asleep at night. I got the worst night sleep that I have gotten in years and woke up feeling like complete ass. We decided to work at home again today and headed back to bed. Which is where we stand now.

So it's off to my dining room to get some work done. 10 miles with folks on the lake front tonight.

1 comment:

Scott said...

Nice report Leah. Sounds like a great day in the big city. Yeah, I never denied a fare. . . but there were a couple I wish I had!