Friday, November 12, 2010

Chicago Tomfoolery...The Trilogy, Part 1

by: Justin T. Tison

This past week I was had the privilege of sharing one of the most awesome experiences of my life, a super fun trip to Chicago, with Lindsey, the proprietor of this blog. Well as I was looking over the site last night it occurred to me that those people who get their daily news from might think that all we did while we were in Chicago was eat. Truthfully, we did eat quite a bit, and the food was amazing for the most part, but rest assured that we did not travel all the way to Chicago to gain 15 pounds. Why would we when we can do that in the comfort of our own homes?

So for those faithful FocusedLinz followers who might want to know more about what we did while we were in the Second City rather than, but probably including, what we ate this is for you.

Wednesday November 3 we pulled out of Shreveport approximately at 6:30 am excited as hell and a bit cautious as to what a 14.5 hour drive was going to make us feel like. Well a couple of gas stops, two 5-hour powers, and two Red Bulls later we felt fantastic, hell, we felt like we could take on Chicago Bears great Walter Payton in his prime. Honestly, all that manufactured energy will just put you right over the moon AND allow you to stay up till two in the morning bar hopping with your friends in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. It was nice to get to the intersection of good ideas and being up for 21 hours with no sleep in our first four hours in town.
Thursday November 4 in Chicago was a bit of a slow rolling day at first. We didn’t sleep in, because our excitement from being in town was still coursing through our veins; however, it was a bit hampered by some minor levels of exhaustion and a slight hangover from us trying to close down every bar in town on our first night. We ate breakfast at the charming Julius Meinl where everything is served to you on a silver platter and all the babies had silver spoons in their mouths. (I had often wondered where that cliché originated from and now I know that Chicago has given us so much more than we are aware.)

It was not until late in the afternoon of Nov. 4 that we were afforded a chance to meet up with our dear friends Ann and Elizabeth, who, as luck would have it, had just moved to Chicago and were in desperate need to reconnect with their cherished Southern roots and get all the latest Shreveport gossip. (I am kidding, as they both seemed too excited for words to be living in Chicago and probably felt we were gross reminders of a life they had thought they had left far, far behind them.)
Lindsey and I showed up at their beautiful Lake View apartment with nothing but our unspecific demands to be entertained by them; the girls decided to take us get some official Chicago deep dish pizza at Gino’s East Downtown. This worked out perfectly for Ann who was pleased as punch to be able to educate a couple of out-of-towners on the inner workings of Chicago’s famous “L” trains. As a staunch opponent of driving I was all too pleased to be able to make use of said trains and with Ann as our guide there was no stopping us.
But on an icy, cold Chicago night, navigating their mass transportation system was the easiest part. Once we emerged from the station, it was anyone’s guess as how to actually get there. We got turned around and taken backwards; all the while fighting off one of the strongest, bitterest winds I have ever encountered and getting pelted by ice and the throngs of people usually making their way around downtown Chicago on a Thursday evening.

By the time I had broken Ann’s umbrella in the wind, gotten us turned around because the GPS system on the iPhone does not like downtown Chicago’s heavy dousing of stuff, gotten everyone drenched in ice from the sky and finally accidentally stumbled upon the restaurant, I had said multiple prayers to all the gods of humanity that this pizza would be worth all this mess. Well, the best things in life are worth fighting for, and the pizza was no exception. The company was pretty good too.
The trip back to Ann and Elizabeth’s place was much less eventful. Since Ann had to be at work early we didn’t stay out too late. We did get a chance to dash into Justin’s, which is a bar in that part of town that has the greatest name ever bestowed upon man. The place, on the other hand, was quiet, dimly lit and filled with Chicago Blackhawks’ fans so needless to say, we were not necessarily in our comfort zone.
{Check back tomorrow for part 2 of Chicago Tomfoolery: The Trilogy}

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