Friday, January 31, 2014

Chicago - Friends and meatloaf and a little bit of snow

Yay, I got to Chicago without delay!  No 12-hour waits in New York, no overnight diversion to St. Louis, nothing that normally happens when I normally fly to Chicago happened.  Aside from fifty minute wait on the runway on the first leg out to Philadelphia (which was itself only a 20 minute flight), everything went perfectly smoothly.  Phew!

And another quasi-miracle:   I emerged from the airport braced for temperatures nearing absolute zero but was instead welcomed with a balmy, windless 25-degree night.  Tiny ice crystals sparkled down from the sky, auguring more snow to come, but for now, the weather was relatively warm and calm -- all of which made for a quick and painless drive into the city.

Amanda and her parents arrived at the hotel a few minutes before I did, so by the time I arrived they'd already checked in.  Susan had most conveniently arranged for adjoining rooms -- perfect for chatting while settling in.

The view from our room
Chatting, of course, leads to travel planning, which leads to discussions of itineraries for getting around Morocco, which is not something to be done on an empty stomach.  So we paused at Fez and pulled up our various restaurant-finding apps and picked the Weber Grill Restaurant.  Only a few blocks away, full of tasty barbecue and without a long wait time, it met all our requirements for the night.

Angus meatloaf and pulled pork with broccoli and cole slaw
Fresh berries with cream
We finished our travel talk and moved on to other topics -- everything from Amanda's plays to my work to all of our various adventures in church callings.  It was great to catch up and tell stories and enjoy not being in the places we're from.

Finally our waitress came to tell us that it was time for her to go home, so we took that as our cue to wander back out into the night.  The tiny ice crystals from earlier had turned into real snowflakes by then, which made the glitzy shopping district on Michigan Avenue seem all the glitzier as we walked back to the hotel.


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