Manic Ramblings, Delirous Ranting, and Full Color Photographs
re: OTFCC 2003

Chicago was a great little adventure. I've hardly ever taken the El there, so I didn't quite know what to expect, but I managed to get my bearings fairly quickly and steer us towards my favorite part of the city -- the point where Michigan Avenue crosses Wacker Drive and the Chicago River. It's so beautiful! I've photographed it many times, so I didn't bother this time, but I love directing people through there.

We made our way up Michigan Avenue for a bit, then turned east in search of Navy Pier:

It was a bit of a hike, but worth it. The Pier had it goin' on. We sat for a bit at the MCDONALD'S OF THE FUTURRRRRRRE!, which is much like the McDonald's of the Present but more expensive:

(I have a hypothesis that this is actually the McDonald's of the Future of 20 years ago.)

We saw hordes of evangelistic Baptists, who gave us plenty of reassurance that Jesus Loves You, even Spy the Jew! (That's a name and description, not some kind of strange party game.)

We passed big pirate ships at dock, including one that is apparently Cecilia's alternate form:

We saw the Bright Lights Tonight:

We sat by Lake Michigan and felt the delightful evening breezes:

(There was also a bigass anchor from the dismantled USS Chicago. Word.)

We ate dinner at the famous Billy Goat's, or at least a spin-off franchise location thereof:

We played mini-golf beneath a brilliantly lit Ferris Wheel:

I forget what was so funny here, but it made Windy fall over laughing. Windy ended up kicking all our butts at mini-golf. I was putting in a nearly-consistent three shots per hole, but I had these three or four where I just suddenly lost all coordination or something and just kept hitting and hitting the damn ball all around the hole. Once the damn thing even went in the hole and leapt right back out. I was robbed, I tells ya! We were also unfortunately pursued by a band of obnoxious, impatient little kids who weren't really playing coherent golf but nevertheless couldn't think to just skip a hole or two ahead of us. Grr.

We marvelled at the beauty of the skyline, we absorbed the energy of the crowds, we passed two or three live bands, we laughed at the old dude wearing a Big Daddy t-shirt... we had a blast.

Getting home was a pain in the tail, unfortunately, and the only low point of the night. We stood in line for a free shuttle to our train line, but just missed getting on board the crowded trolley. The next one wasn't supposed to arrive for 20 minutes, so we opted to take the bus instead. But THAT sat around for ten minutes, while another trolley came within 2 or 3 minutes of the last one. Oops. We finally made it back to the hotel around 12:30am or so... exhausted but happy. We mingled a bit with the dinner attendees, who seemed largely let down by the whole dinner. We learned, much to my dismay, that the hotel exclusive was none other than Sunstreaker. We heard the oft-repeated tale of how Susp came to have bodily contact with Particle_Man's underwear. We told our own little story and made everybody jealous.

Kilby and I headed back up to the room... unfortunately I was still too wired to sack out quickly, and Kilby's snoring ended up keeping me awake another hour or so. Eek. Finally passed out some time around 3am.

Onwards to Saturday