Ines, our foreign exchange student from Portugal, came to live with us over Thanksgiving of 2007. The following spring, her parents wanted to come to America to visit her. They thought that the ideal meeting place would be Chicago, as it seems so close to Tomahawk, when you look on a map. And there is so much to do in Chicago for a week (not for me and my family, but for other people).
Once that plan was set in motion, I came up with an even more elaborate plan. That’s just how I operate.
My mom’s uncle who lives in Virginia had turned 100 that January, and she hoped to get out to see him one more time. Granted, downtown Chicago is a six hour drive from my house, and where the East Coast relatives live is another 16 hours, but that didn’t deter me. It made perfect sense to me.
We left our house at six am on Saturday, March 15, arriving at noon at the Sutton Place Hotel, where the Portugal parents and their two sons were staying with Ines for the week. They treated us to a fine dinner at Gibson’s Restaurant across the street. Way too much food for Val, Mom and me at noon on a Saturday, but we couldn’t really complain.
The worst thing that day was driving in the big city. Traffic, those narrow streets, uck. But on this particular Saturday in March, the river was dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day, so the vehicular and pedestrian traffic was even worse than usual. And do not get me started on those one-way streets. (Yes, I drove up one the wrong way.)