Sunday, June 29, 2008

the c-city tour

Hi. It's been a while. The last few days have been occupied primarily by running amok, and before that I was doing some traveling. The major stops on my journey, incidentally, all begin with the letter C.

I arrived in Chicago on Friday the 20th. Claire picked me up from the airport (where they have installed, on both sides of the escalator rails, new tv screens letting you know that Mayor Daley welcomes you to Chicago, as if there weren't enough signs already), and then we went to Costco. By coincidence, it has become something of a tradition to go directly from the airport to Costco whenever I fly somewhere to see Claire (April in Chicago, preceded by last December in Phoenix). Claire and I spent the weekend packing up her stuff and moving it into a storage closet downtown. We got to see lots of the more "savory" parts of town as we ran errands to drop off things at Goodwill and Comcast. Claire took me out to dinner for my birfday, and then we got to deep-clean her apartment. The last time we did that was at G-5, when we topped off the all-night cleaning marathon with a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts. Yum. In Chicago we took a break from cleaning with tacos from Pepe's. The guy who took my order asked me if I had Mexican relatives. Sure, isn't it obvious?

On Tuesday the 24th we left Chicago and drove to Cleveland. That meant several hours along the Indiana and Ohio toll roads through the flat and lovely midwest farmlands. The Indiana toll road runs east-west near the northern border with Michigan. At one point I mistakenly told Claire that we could stop for gas and food at the Middlebury exit (near Shipshewana, which is really fun to say, try it. I annoyed Claire by reading it aloud every time I saw it on a sign). We found a gas station, but other than that there was pretty much nothing there. We looked. We drove down the road into Michigan (near Mottville) for a few minutes looking for somewhere to eat, and we found no such place. However, on the corner where we turned around there was a hand-painted campaign sign staked in the ground. Unfortunately I wasn't ready with my camera, but I did take a good mental image so that I could draw up this representation:

Just imagine a sheriff with a name like that! I wouldn't mess with him.

Anyway we got back on the toll road and eventually made it to Cleveland. Claire's brother and sister-in-law and cute cute nephew live there. It was a quick visit, but a nice one. We ate lots of yummy pizza at Dewey's (not to be confused with this other Dewey's) and we saw a really great tv show on the kids' channel. No kidding. It's funny. Watch it.

The next day we flew to BWI, just a few minutes away from our final destination of Columbia, my tree-covered curved-street hometown. We came here for my sister's wedding, which my mother decided to plan and cater almost single-handedly. The days leading up to the big one (yesterday) were rather chaotic and stressful, but it all worked out and everything was beautiful and delicious, accordingly. But boy was it hot outside. Oh, the humidity! when it's summer on the east coast.

From our base in Columbia we'll spend the next week exploring the area, visiting my favorite museums on the mall, checking out the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and maybe catching some fireworks on Friday. Cheers for now, and may you be well wherever you are, from Cincinatti to Casa Grande, from Colorado Springs to Córdoba.

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