Chicago on a whim

Adrienne had mentioned being interested in visiting Chicago someday so, naturally, today as we were driving I approached a sign that said Chicago to the right, I-80 to the left.  I asked her quickly if she wanted to stop in Chicago for the day and she looked at me in that way you know someone looks at you when they want to say yes but are not sure if they should.  So, I stayed Right and we went to Chicago for the day.  What a good idea this was, we had a refreshingly wonderful time.

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Here we are in front of the RV with our new friend John.  After we took a long walk along the lake and came back and took a nap, we woke up hungry and ready for some Chicago fare.  We asked 3 or 4 people where and what to have to really experience Chicago cuisine.  But, to no avail, everyone seemed clueless.  When we were getting ready to get back in the RV and head out on our own, a man across the parking lot exclaimed, “What year is that?”  I turned toward him and replied, “It’s an 87.”  We began a long conversation about the RV and what we were doing and he explained that he was interested in getting an RV and that he was retired.  He had a place there in Chicago that he frequented but he had grown up in South Carolina and spent most of his life in western Tennessee.  We spent the next 20 minutes talking with John and sharing stories about family, places we had been, the work we did and the work we do.  He shared with us many fun, unique, and valuable words of wisdom.  He made us memorize this one: Don’t get too soon old, and too late wise.

When we finally got back to the question at hand–where to get some Chicago food–John struggled to guide us to a place that he thought we could park the RV and be close enough to get good food and have the RV be safe while we were gone.  After much deliberation, John said if you want, just follow me and I lead you to a restaurant…it’s not really anything Chicago, but you’ll get a good sandwich and we can keep talking.  John took us to a little chain sandwich shop and treated us to lunch.  Turns out everyone in the shop knew John and he referred to us all as his children.  When he introduced Adrienne and I as his children to the cashier she replied, “But they arn’t colored?”  John looked at her very confused and continued his conversation.  John was a very interesting guy and took very good care of us.  We hope to meet up on future travels.  Thanks John!

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