My friend Susie and I drove to Chicago for Thanksgiving. This was not a short drive, let me tell you. To her praise, Susie did the majority of the driving.

We left Wednesday evening and drove through the night… took a slightly “scenic” route and got even more scenic somewhere in Iowa when we missed an exit. We survived and the trip there, though several hours longer than it should have been, was pretty miraculous and full of laughter. We drove through the suburbs and picked up my friend Dave and from there headed into the city…

There we came to Brielle’s place in some fabulously shabby downtown neighborhood. I don’t think I insult her with this description. In every setting, Brielle is a queen. With her roommate, Charlie there were five of us to eat Thanksgiving dinner together. Mexican food and wine. Dave also made some sweet potato fries and we all sat and ate and laughed. It was really interesting to have Susie, Brielle and Dave together since I know them each from different eras and cities. I do have great friends.

Friday we four took the train to check out downtown. We met up at Moody, which was… fun and weird. In fact, I haven’t been to Chicago in 7 or more years, let alone that part of the city, so it was strange and beautiful. It made me feel really young and happy. You know how smells can take you back to another place and make you feel something old and wonderful? That is, oddly enough, how the smell of the underground (sewer?) is for me.

I discovered anew that day how much I love talking to strangers. ¬†We had a semi-argument with some street evangelists and I got a group of Asian tourists to all say “UNDERWEAR” because they asked me to take their picture in front of a piece of art. I love everything about Chicago.

Saturday Susie and I drove back to the suburbs where Dave lives in his very own house and he made us tacos. We managed to get to a bookshop so I could do some homework, only to be treated terribly by the woman who worked there.We sat down at a table and she interrogated us about who we were and what we were doing. Guess you can’t trust a few thirty-somethings with books and laptops.
Dave’s friends had us over for dinner that night and we did a lot of good laughing because our hostess Kim was HI-larious.

Then back on the road home. This was not as upbeat, but again Susie was the hero of driving.

The conversations, connecting friends with each other, seeing Chicago again… all of it… was so good and so what we were supposed to do. Plus I turned 35, which doesn’t happen every day, right?

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