i got up on Sunday after working 16.5 hours the day before. exhausted. i finished the packing that i did not finish the night before and loaded the car. one check suitcase. one carry-on holding my laptop and cold weather gear. and my purse. that is it. oh yeah...and Bunny Bear (BB). a small stuffed animal that Lil'K asked me to bring with me on my trip and photograph along the way. jump in the car and head to pick up ms. city. (one of my girls in my circle of friends) she was coming. thank you to mr. quiet. (her husband) we get in my car and head to Houston to the airport. we stopped for breakfast on the way and once i woke up, chatted a bit about what we hoped to do. once we got to the airport we circled around a few times before i realized they had gotten rid of all the long term parking on the property. so back off the airport area we go. and after a few blocks of circling, found a long term parking garage. yay.
expecting horrible lines and pissy security we were pleasantly surprised to really have a smooth transition up to the x-ray machine. and this is where the beginning of trouble started. i get to the walk through, no beep, but still get stopped. the guard informs me that because i am wearing a sweatshirt that i would have to be patted down. at this moment my mind started spinning. you see, i had a breast reduction less than six months ago and things are well...for lack of a better term...still sensitive. at this moment, fully aware that i may be detained or possibly 'tazed', i let run right out of my mouth "sir, with all due respect, i am afraid that if you go to (using my fingers to make the quote symbol) 'pat' me down, and 'accidentally' (again with the fingers) graze my boobs, i may 'accidentally' (what?!? i am very expressive) pop you in your eye. i just recently had surgery and i am not quite fully healed and i would sure hate to be detained for assault against a federal employee. i have training to get to for my job and it is important that i make it there." now rest assured. for all the idiots that seem to get hired by the government, know that this man, he was NOT stupid. he simply smiled and told me i was welcome to remove my sweatshirt and walk back through. thank you Big G. i disrobe, clearly wearing a shirt i had not intended on anyone else seeing, and continue back through the beeper and then onto the other side to claim my things. as i am stuffing my laptop into my bag i realize that ms. city is not here. she has been detained. her bag must be hand searched. i forgot to remind her to put all of the brand new shampoo and very expensive face wash she just bought into her check bag. and now they have taken it. and she is HOT. very hot. so needless to say until we found the right terminal and almost to the boarding part...she was mad. while we were waiting on the plane BB was getting antsy. he decided to look out the window at the planes landing and taking off.
after a short wait we boarded our plane. it was three seats on one side and two on the other. a little smaller than i had been on. so i was nervous of course. ms. city was fine. and almost hopping in her seat at take off. the flight was good. the landing ok too. after the mile hike to finally figure out we had to go downstairs to get our luggage (thank you o'hare). all i could think about was once we left that floor we were no longer in the secure area so of course in my mind there would be crazy northerners running around everywhere. using the restroom up here would probably be much safer.
ok good. off to the restroom we go. and believe it or not it was not very hard to find. i do have to say that o'hare is freaking huge. FREAKING HUGE. and i was very happy to find the restroom without much searching. and crying. and being lost and scared and starving to death in an airport. ya know. that is the phobia i have speaking. whatdoyado. ms. city and i headed into the restroom and like a symphony of door slams looked into not one, not two, but three stalls before realizing what we were seeing was not someone nasty had left something on the potty. this is what we saw....
really? WTF o'hare?? i mean is chicago rampant with crabs or something? after reading the directions and figuring out what to do i was able to pee. although all those directions did almost cause me to pee in my britches. stupid reading. stupid o'hare. thanks for keeping my bum safe and clean though. boo on the people that do not read the directions and sit down on my plastic wrapped seat. please keep in mind the whole time i was sitting there i was horribly terrified that my head would swipe in front of the sensor and cause the plastic wrap to move while i was in the middle of my business. panic attack no. 1 right here people. what could be worse than the saran wrap that is at this moment serving as the only barrier between me and the chicago seafood buffet sliding clockwise and dislodging my way too big behind from the way too small seat that all of the north seem to populate their bathrooms with? so now, as i am trying to slightly hover and keep my purse and carry-on from touching the floor while keeping my head ducked to the left without lifting so much off the seat that i shoot pee out exit stage left onto my jeans, i realize my breathing is speeding up along with my heart rate and if i do not get outta here in a quick and hurry i very well may die. on the saran wrap donut sized seat of an o'hare potty. great. my trip has just begun. and already i am ready to shed tears. after the potty debacle was all finished we went downstairs and retrieved our bags. BB helped us find our bags and the right place. we thought we would go ahead and step outside for a bit to wait on the car. holybajesus!! how have people in the north not frozen to death? it was like 4 degrees. FOUR-FREAKING-DEGREES-PEOPLE!!! i did not think the cold would be so noticeable. boy was i wrong.
the guy on the phone at the car company said that it would about ten minutes till the car got there. ten minutes in the freezing cold. but i do have to say at the point he told me my car, a lincoln white stretch limo, was on the way i did not seem to be so cold. a limo?? awesome. i mean really. woo hoo training company. BB was so very happy to be in a limo. it was his first time. he just pushed buttons, and opened bins, checking out every nook and cranny. i may or may not have done the same thing. i mean come on guys...a white stretch limo. you know you would have done the same! getoffme.
the ride to the hotel was nice. the driver was very sweet. pointing out good places to eat and explaining the area. and thank goodness because i had been pronouncing the city name wrong. mundelein. where i am from that is mund-uh-lynn. well apparently it is mund-uh-line. go figure. bad thing there was no alcohol in the limo. that would have rocked. but also may have stunk. who wants to show up for a work function drunk. not i. after calling all the family and talking to the kids in the limo we arrived at the hotel. the Double Tree in mundelein. i was so impressed. but anyone that gives me a warm chocolate chip cookie as soon as they meet me gets kuddos. the hotel lobby was beautiful, the rooms were clean and the front desk people were totally wonderful. after arriving and getting into the room we walked back to the front desk and ran into a girl that was going to be in my class. we all decided to go out to eat. we called a taxi and asked them to bring us to what we thought was a micro brewery right down the road. boy were we wrong. 10 minutes later we arrived at what looked like a scary dive. the taxi cab driver took us for a ride around the block about three times when we started saying we did not think it was the right restaurant. the worst part was after taking the long way to the dive, he turned down a scary back alley. at this point every scary movie i had ever seen came rushing back in a flood of fight or flight syndrome. yeah. three women in the back of a cab. the cab driver will not talk or say a word. and down the dark death alley we go. panic attack no. 2. awesome. we finally stopped in front of the dive and got out. we figured we would rather brave the cold and scary diner than continue in the death cab. so out we went. again. 4 degrees. i think illinois is trying to kill me. i get on my iPhone (which i could not live without) and call the nearest restaurant. i proceed to ask the guy on the phone what the restaurant we were in front of was, and was it dangerous. he laughed. and said to go in. they had great burgers. awesome.
twittered Guy Fieri and told him he needed to add Mickey Finn's in Libertyville, Il to his list of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. super food. and it was a microbrewery. their beer was good. but that burger...oh that burger. super. yay for the north. y'all got that right. after eating we headed outside and called the cab company. i let him know of our horrible taxi ride there. what the driver did and i felt like we got ripped off. "dude. there were three ladies in that cab. we were scared. and i do not get scared often. can you please send us someone different that will not rip us off. i mean...we ARE from texas. and i would hate to cut someone on my vacation." we got a different guy. and made it back to the comfy hotel. greeted with another warm cookie. yay to Double Tree!! really people...if you find yourself anywhere near mundelein, il, you have to stay here. so so so impressed. i have to say that the restaurant in the hotel was a bit overpriced. and did not have a good menu selection. so go eat somewhere else...like Mickey Finn's. IT was awesome. and get the burger with the cheese spread on it. with sweet potato fries. yeah i know, at first the cheese spread sounds gross. i know. but mmmmm the burger. just try it! you will love it.
welp, that is the end of day one. but not the end of the fun. and it seems in my absence i have won an award! i will get on to handing that off here after my training blogs. promise.