Last week I went to Chicago for a writing assignment, and when I was done, my friend Isabel flew in to meet me. Our plan was to do a little work for AlphaMom, and then have some fun.
We were both feeling stressed out from the non-stop political arguing that’s been happening lately, and we needed a break. Unfortunately, our hotel rooms didn’t comply with our wishes because this was our view for two nights:
Please forgive Isabel for her expression here. Being the New Yorker that she is, she’d just gotten into a (justified) fight with her cab driver and he screamed, “BITCH” as she walked into the hotel’s front door. Woman knows how to make an entrance. My entrance simply involved a skirt wedgie and saying, “Good day to you, fine sir!” to the bellman in some kind of whackass British/Jamaican accent, and then wishing I were dead. My signature move!
The first thing we did in Chicago, besides complaining about the humidity for two solid hours, was visit the famous Chicago Bean in Millennial Park. Oops. I mean “Millennium” Park, not Millennial Park. Millennial Park would just have a few statues of people drinking fair trade coffee and wondering why they’re not being paid $90K a year to manage a mall kiosk. Not an ideal park, that one.
Here’s us taking a selfie with the Bean:
After the Bean, we went to the Art Institute of Chicago where Isabel insisted on paying homage to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Like, a lot of homage. Like, way too much homage. Like OMFG stop with the homage already. Here she is in just one of the many movie scenarios she made me capture:
She also really, really wanted to re-enact the scene from the movie where there’s a chain of field trip children holding hands, walking through the museum. I humored her until I saw her looking very strategically at a group of daycare kids, making plans in her head, then I quickly moved her over to the American Gothic painting to give her the Farm Lady Side Eye.
She then she made me pose in front of “Sunday in the Park with George” just like in the movie. “Cameron did this! You’re like Cameron! Do it, Wendi! Stand there! Too bad you don’t have a hockey jersey!” When Wendi was in Egypt’s land, let my Wendi goooo.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Isabel was so into a movie location because when we went to Washington DC a couple of years ago, she kept trying to recreate Forrest Gump at the Lincoln Memorial. “Jen-nee! Jen-nee! Look! I’m pretending to wade in water! Hahaha! Jen-nee!” Thank the good Lord we never encountered a ping pong table during that trip.
After the museum, I found out that my friend has a raging case of THI (aka Toddler Hunger Issues). This is the sort of thing you only learn about a person when you’re traveling together or prison cellmates. Yep, I had no idea she had THI until we were headed to a restaurant for lunch, and got lost. Here is my dramatic interpretation about how that good time went down:
Walking on the street, Wendi notices the Architectural Tour of Chicago office.
Wendi: Hey, let’s pop in here and ask about the boat tour.
Isabel: BUT I’M HUNGRY.
Wendi: We’re not going on the tour now, I’m just asking questions. This is very serendipitous to pass by the office! That means “lucky accident.”
Isabel: STOP SHOWING OFF YOUR VOCABULARY, DUMMY, I’M HUNGRY.
Wendi and Isabel approach the tour desk and Wendi asks the man there a question. He points to the tour schedule posted on the counter top.
Wendi: Oh, look, there’s a tour at 2pm.
Wendi: Oh, look there’s a tour at 2:30pm.
Wendi: Oh, look there’s a tour at 3pm.
Wendi: Oh look there’s–
Isabel’s head suddenly falls forward and lands with a smack on the tour schedule posted on the counter top. The room goes silent.
Wendi: —a tour at 3:30pm.
Isabel (muffled): BUTI’MHUNGRYANDINEEDTOEAT
Wendi (to tour desk worker): We’ll come back later to buy tickets.
Tour desk worker: You know you can buy tickets at the dock or online or NOT HERE.
Next time we take a trip together, I’m going to pack some jelly beans to throw into her mouth every five minutes. I think it’s safest for everyone that way.
After lunch, Isabel was no longer hungry and homicidal, so we headed over to Willis Tower to the SkyDeck. It’s like, 3,000 stories high or something. I don’t know, I wasn’t paying attention during the elevator ride because I was too busy watching a woman try to lick her elbow. Here are our awesome SkyDeck selfies:
That’s either Chicago or Iowa in the background. I don’t know, I wasn’t paying attention during the elevator ride. Also, I later saw the elbow licker pass us on the street, so she was clearly tailing us. Those elbow lickers are usually CIA.
The rest of our Chicago adventures included a taxi driver who told us all of his friends are living on the street and crazy because of “the bad divorces,” a brilliant show at The Second City, and then a late night visit to the famous Wiener Circle so Isabel didn’t come down with THI again. Wiener Circle is known for their abusive employees, so it was no surprise when we ordered hot dogs with mustard only and the guy’s response was a pleasant, “Wha kinda shit is that?” then a question about our sex lives. Ah, Chicago. You’re my kind of town.