*I'm pretty sure that my Bachelor's degree in music education covers any formal training I may have needed to be in a JCSS cover band. If not, I'm sure I can find some on-line university to endorse it for the right price. (*exaggerated wink*)
Natalia, Steve's girlfriend of many moons whom I've never met, got off work and met us at the restaurant. I'm sure it wasn't intimidating at all to meet her boyfriend's entire family in one fell swoop. (And while many might consider Cassie the threatening one, what with her gun and career in law enforcement, I find that I'm the one to look out for because
But alas, Natalia is really sweet, super pretty (not to sound too much like we are checking out horses, but her teeth are amazing), and she is 100 percent Polish and articulates her words much cooler than the average Midwesterner. I could listen to her talk for a while, which says a lot if you know me
When Steve asked what we wanted to do, my only criteria was that I wanted to ride something. Cassie threw out the idea of going to the Navy Pier, but Steve emphatically informed us that "the Navy Pier sucks." End of discussion. We settled on taking the train (YES!) downtown to see the Bean. Or, as it is formally known, "Cloud Gate."
|Cloud Gate, A.K.A. The Bean.|
One Chicago gem I would be remiss not to share?
Super Quiet Roommate Doug said out of the blue, "Does that vanity plate say MANGINA?"
(A brief pause while Cassie and I checked it out. Then an internal dilemma ensued. Because it totally didn't say Mangina. Was the proper response then to correct this person you barely know who has thrown out a word like "mangina", or do you go along with it and agree that it's crazy that someone would pay to have "mangina" on their license plate, or do you bite your lip so freaking hard so you don't explode with the giggles that are going to eventually leak out in spontaneous bursts that you will try to cover with coughing and/or accidental duck noises because you can't believe "mangina" just showed up unexpectedly?
The answer is: Doug realized it didn't say "Mangina" but instead said "Mangia". (Because probably the driver is Italian and likes to eat.)(I totally figured that out using my noodle.)(Noodle? Italian food?*giggle*) He said, "Oh, it's missing an 'n'," and went on with normal life because he is a mature grown up, but I spent the next few minutes reminding myself that I am also a mature grown up and repeating, "Don't laugh out loud," in my head, but it totally didn't matter, this was just like when someone farts in Ab Lab. It is hilarious.
Back at Steve's house we took a preventative pee break, shared heartfelt goodbyes, and headed back to Michigan. Our Super 8 motel was about two hours away. Most of this travel time may have been spent in quiet reflection of the day interspersed with gut busting laughter whenever Cassie or I said out of the blue, "Mangina."
And the Super 8? Totally had a continental breakfast. With waffles. So yeah, win. Plus it was on the second floor so it totally had a view:
|Behind those trees? The highway. You can't pay for convenience like that. (Actually you can.)|