After the initial delay, SP and AN made it to Chicago, and got through customs etc by about 10pm (SP had to be specially searched because he'd brought me tea- a trouper for Twinings!) We headed to their hotel, where the boys freshened up and SP, in addition to giving me presents of sublime Moulton Brown shower gel and my very own velvet painting of Neuschwanstein Castle, dumped enough Cadbury and other chocolate treats for me to cover the entire bed.
Then to The Melrose, where we had a very a late dinner. SP recounted for AN all of his Melrose highlights, and I tried to wipe off glitter from the velvet painting, which was all over me. I dropped them back off at their hotel for some much-needed rest, and drove home. By the time I got to my neighborhood it was about 1am, and there were literally no parking spaces to be found in a three-block radius. After 1/2 hour of driving, I finally opted for parking my car in front of my building overlapping a tow zone, taping a Please Have Mercy letter to the Chicago Police to my rear windshield, promising to move the car at 6am.
The next day I came out, and all was well; the car was still there, and no tickets. Half-awake, I moved the car, walked back, and headed to work.
SP and AN met me for lunch, so we took AN to a Mexican restaurant in the Sears Tower so that we could sit on the terrace and AN could look up at the building.
That evening they came to pay the condo a visit, and were decently impressed by my little sanctuary by the lake. We hung out a bit, then off to Berwyn to see Wanda Jackson at Ftizgerald's. It was a great time, of course. AN got some great photos and video of Wanda on his digital camera.
Saturday was breakfast at Svea in Andersonville, then a walk around while SP and AN enjoyed non-London weather (translation: sun). Then to Wacker and Michigan to catch the Architectural Boat Cruise, which was great. After 3 years here, I'm losing my sense of wonder, and taking many things for granted. While the skyline, especially along the river, is always spectacular, it's easy to overlook the details, and the tour re-opened my eyes.
Dinner was the cheap and easy Penny's Noodles near Diversey, then I hopped the El home while SP and AN walked back to their place for a nap.
We met at 10:15 at Second City, where we had tickets to the latest Mainstage show, "No Country for Old White Men." At first we were seated in the front floor section, what I call the "suburban corral." These are long tables perpendicular to the stage. You sit across from others, and turn to see the stage. We sat, and SP and I looked at the empty seats on the raised rear section, and brainstormed how to change our lot.
"Well you know, AN has that neck thing, and if we sit here he has to turn his head to see the stage," SP offered.
"Oh, RIGHT," I said. "Hold on."
I went up to the woman who'd seated us, and explained that my friend had had neck surgery a couple of months ago, and would it be possible to be seated where he could face straight ahead?
"Oh sure, " she said. She came over and surveyed the back. "I have that high-top back there. That would work, but it's in the back."
I assured her it would be no problem. It was, in fact, where I prefer to sit, because it's the highest point, so I have an unobstructed view (when I was taking classes, it's where we liked to sit when we caught the free improv late show after class.). We moved from the Suburban Corral to our seats against the wall, where we had a fantastic view.
"And that, my friends," I said, "is what we call Improv."
The show was very good, and we enjoyed ourselves quite a bit. I had a root beer float (AN decided he doesn't like root beer; SP doesn't like it, either. All I can feel for them is pity). We had the easy cheese nachos, which AN also was not keen on. I think it takes a particular palate to appreciate the nuances of crap.
Today SP and AN went to the Pride parade, while I stayed home to meet the petsitter and give her the new keys, and to pick up a special treat for SP's birthday dinner tonight. SP and AN are now shoe shopping and will be coming north soon where we will meet before heading to Andersonville for a happy birthday dinner!!!