Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Chicago.. passport to adventure??

Not to diss Chicago or anyone that lives there, if it wasn't for all the traffic, outrageous cost of parking & the parking ticket we recived, the tons of perdestrions, and the cattle call at the passport office, I liked the place.  But I don't think we will get Josh back there anytime soon.  As he put it, some one would have to pay him a whole heck alot of money for him to step foot there again.

I was having a good time, taking in stride and patients the snafus we experienced but by the time we left I was wondering what I was doing there, where was God's plan and reasoning.  Josh had an appointment to get his passport at 10:00 Friday.  We enjoyed a nice evening at the hotel together Thursday and then battled the morning traffic to get down town.  We were all stressed and worrying over finding parking and making it in to the Federal Building to make the appointment on time.  We get there.. and apparently an appointment means nothing to these people.. like 150 other people had the same appointment time.  We were shuffled around from line to line like cattle.  We were there till noon and then told to COME BACK at 2:30 to pick up the passport.  That threw off our whole time line we had planned and they wouldn't just mail the darn thing (would been faster sheeesh)  So we walked around downtown and took in the sights and braved the cold snowy streets.  Glad I brought my hoodie to wear under my jacket and a change of shoes.

I was having fun walking around downtown and snapping away with the camera.  That is something I have been wanting to do in down town Saint Louis for a long time but never seem to get the chance but there I was able to do the tourist thing in the big C.  Josh held me close and freaked anytime I would stop to take a pic.  He can be something of a worry wart.. he didn't want to loose me or see me get mugged because I can be nieve at times.  He didn't share my sadness when I saw the homeless people.  I didn't have much change on me to drop in their stireophone cups but I tried.  Josh scoffed and insisted they were not really homeless but con people.. panhandlers.  Maybe, maybe not. 

Millennium Park was cool.. I'll have to see it when its all green and in bloom but it did look very lovely all covered insnow.  Iwanted to go ice skating soooooo bad.. just watching it made me feel about 11 again.  But my practical hubby refused.. he isn't concerned about having fun or making special memories like I am I guess.  I tried not to let that get me down.  He did have me rolling with laughter at the Big Bahookie.  Something of an inside joke hehehehe.

We found ourselves a hot lunch at one of the Italian restaurants that had an old Chinese women as our waitress.  I had an unexpected Italian version of clam chowder and Josh had a polish sausage sandwich.. they didn't have Chicago Style Pizza on the menu.. go figure.  We made it back to the cattle drive at the passport office on time only to wait and wait and wait and wait.. I left Josh up there because I knew our time was expiring our on meter 2 blocks away, so we planned on me circling the block till he was done and meet in front of the building.  But of course when I got back to our car a nice big ticket was on the windshield.. I missed the meter maid by minuets..gurr.. $50! Plus the 16 we had spent on feeding the meter.  We should of just gone to the $20 lot we scoffed at coming into town but we didn't know we were going to be there ALL DAY.  I was circling and circling for what felt like forever and a day.. didn't help people were starting to get out of work and crowding the cross walks.  People don't seem to care about getting hit by freaked out of towners and will walk right in front of you as you are making a turn.  And the traffic cops don't have much patience either for lost motorist.. you better move when they wave you on, believe me.  Josh made it down to the street at about 4:22.  He refused to let me pull over somewhere to switch drivers so I was forced to drive on to the highway out of town.  I was very frazzled but it dissipated when the highway became a parking lot and it took us 2 hours to move 30 miles.

Lessons learned.. if you can't do your passport by mail (and really that is the way to do it folks) then plan on taking all day even if you have an appointment. DONT wait for the day of your trip to go and get one (omg some of the sob stories we heard down there! would break your heart but government workers seem to have hearts of stone)  Don't forget your photos in the car unless you have a very nice wife to go and fetch them for you.  Take the $20 lot.. it is worth it in the long run.  Dress in layers and don't forget your gloves.. its a lot colder in the north.  Boots with the chunky heals are not ideal for running.  Don't assume when eating out in a different city that what it says on the menu is what you should expect but try it anyway..  you may like it.  When you give your babysitter your cell phone don't expect her to keep it charged and be easy to get ahold of.  Sometimes you can spend just too much time with your husband and periods apart is very good for relationships. The children can and will survive a few days without you but the good friend watching them will be a bit miffed if you are not back when promised.  Always pack a swim suit. the hotel may have an inside pool and sauna.

As if I am going to be leaving for anywhere any time soon.  But I can see the appeal for a life of travel and on the road and why Josh likes it.  I guess I am going to have to wait till we are old and the kids are all out of the house to do all that with him.  I think it is going to be a long while before I am going to get some one that is able to watch all the kids at once for us.

Now is time to get ready for Josh to leave.. still not sure of the date but I'll write more on that later.



  1. Well one of these days I'm going to order some passports early then.  I've heard it always is hard to get one when needed.  Beautiful photos of the windy city.  Did you get to go up to see the Sear's Tower?  It is so high and very scary.  I enjoyed my trip there.  I too have a giving heart for the poor people and always try to reach out to them in any way I can.  The Lord asks us to do so.  Very good entry.  Hugs,

  2. Chicago has one of the worse airports in the world. The people are friendly enough, but I didn't think much of the city.

  3. Nice pictures. We used to live outside of Chicago when I was very young, I don't have any but 1 memory from living there. My parents loved taking us into the zoo there, but again no memories. The only other time I've been there is driving on the outskirts on I-55 going to Michigan and then when Jordyn was alive flying into OHare and running from one end of the airport to the other end of the airport, barely making our flight! (Our luggage didn't make it until the next flight an hour later!)...

    My best friend and I have talked about getting together there when we move back to the states and having a long weekend there just the two of us!

  4. I suppose that does fall in the catorgory of adventure.  ;o)  At least for the better and the worse it's behind ya'll.  -  Barbara

  5. Great pics! I love Chicago:)

  6. Hi Mary- I can feel the headache coming just reading about it!  Oh boy does that bring back memories of me going to Dallas to get my greencard situation fixed after the border agents messed up my finger prints- so i had to go through all the process again!  Me and ex were the only english speaking there, and yes- we had to be there by about 4 o'clock in the morning just to get a chance to get into the building by noon hour (They closed the doors then, and anyone who wasn't in the cattle lines inside were out of luck!)  Yes- i remember!!  I'm so glad you had a little fun though, and all worked out.  You do need to go for a trip to St. L though-it's a pretty city!  I was there once for a weekend convention, and loved it!  Have a great rest of the week Mary!  God Bless!  Carolyn :)