As I posted last weekend, my husband, daughter, and I spent the long weekend visiting family and friends throughout Northern Indiana and Illinois. It was a non-stop-cram-it-all-in kind of weekend, but I regret nothing. Almost nothing. The one regret I will get to in a later paragraph.
Our first stop was at Dewart Lake (well, actually it was at the outlet mall, but I know no one wants to read about our shopping excursion, no matter how great the bargains were). Our wonderful friends, the Rectors, live at the lake. We had a fantastic visit, and were able to see the whole family. We talked about old times; I learned more about my father; and we caught up on what is presently going on in our lives. Peggy, Addison, and I enjoyed sitting out on the deck watching fireworks that were being set off all around the lake. It was a beautiful evening free from the heat and humidity of Southern Indiana.
The next morning, after a walk with my friend Missy and a little more visiting, it was time to head west. We stopped in Hammond, my birthplace, to eat at my favorite restaurant, Miner Dunn. The restaurant, known for their burgers, literally hasn’t changed since I moved away in 1978. The food was excellent; the lack of cleanliness was a bit disappointing. Regardless, I had my cheeseburger, fries, and orange sherbet. I always dip my fries in my sherbet, which my family finds odd, but I love. Our next stop was a huge Cabella’s in Hammond. Although I am never thrilled to go to a hunting store, I have to admit that this store was pretty cool. There were displays of animals everywhere, and Addison and I explored the tents and took goofy pictures. We also found a shooting game, that surprisingly, I was rather good at.
Hammond is about 30 minutes from Chicago – if there were no traffic. That is never the case. It took us about three hours to arrive at Erin’s apartment. The traffic was maddening. I get really nervous when we are not exactly sure where we are going, and when you add people yelling and flipping us off if we hesitate one second, the tension level increases at unheard of speeds. When we did get to Erin’s place, we had to drive around almost an hour to find parking. UGH!!! We finally found a lot about three blocks away; by that point we were ready to pay just to be able to stop. We got settled, and then headed to the train to meet my cousins for dinner.
Erin has only been in Chicago for about two months, but she has the transit system down. She was able to guide us small-town tourists around with no problem. We didn’t get to go to the pizza joint Erin had chosen, but we did get into a quaint neighborhood place. It was wonderful to have time with my cousins. Our time was short, only a couple hours, but I am glad we took the time to meet up.
Saturday, Gary, Erin, and I wanted to go for a run along the lake. I couldn’t run much because of my knee, but Erin and I managed about 1 1/2 miles running, and walked the rest. It was a picture-perfect morning along the lake. There were literally hundreds of people out running and biking. I would think that would be excellent incentive to stay fit! Next on our list was Navy Pier. We had planned to go to the Field Museum of History, but my cousin told us we would be much too rushed since we were also going to the Cubs game. Navy Pier was a great alternative. We browsed a little, and then Gary, Addison, and I took a boat tour of the skyline. It was gorgeous! The morning was perfect, and the skyline shone in the sun. Lake Michigan was clear and oh, so blue. If you’ve never been to the lake, you need to visit. It is a sight to behold.
After Navy Pier, we hit the trolley, and then the train, and headed to Wrigleyville. We wanted to have time to eat before the game. Erin chose an awesome diner. Wrigleyville was wall-to-wall Cub fans – some started celebrating the victory before the game even began. After lunch, it was time to head to Wrigley Field.
And then tragedy struck. Okay, my stupidity struck. Seriously. We had our tickets that I had purchased online in early June. I noticed that when they scanned Addison’s ticket, there seemed to be a problem. Uh Oh. Then there was a problem with mine. It scanned as the wrong date. But how was that possible? It was possible because I BOUGHT TICKETS FOR THE JUNE PIRATES GAME AND IT WAS JULY!!! My heart fell. I began to sweat. What the hell were we going to do? I had promised the three of them this game. Heck, it was Gary’s 10th anniversary gift. I went to the ticket booth to see what we could do, and the only option was to purchase new tickets….another $200. What to do? Well, we were all dressed in our Cub gear, excited about the game, and we were going to that stupid game! We bought new tickets, and proceeded to the gates…again. My daughter and niece found this to be quite funny. I had screwed up, and they enjoyed every minute of it. We did get free Cub t-shirts as we went in (I had to point that out to everyone). Once we found our seats, I just sat there so pissed at myself. The only thing I could think of is that the first time I got online to look at tickets, I saw they were playing the Pirates the first weekend in July. Little did I know that the Pirates were also in Chicago the first weekend in June. When I got back online to order the tickets, I must have just looked up the Pirates game, and paid no attention to the date. How I didn’t eventually notice is beyond me. I looked at those tickets so many times. I do tend to get in a hurry (as is evident in some of my posts), but you can bet that I will be paying extra attention from now on – if Gary ever lets me order tickets again!
So, despite my massive mistake, we had a great time at the game. The weather was excellent; the crowd excited; and the Cubs won. Yes, you read that correctly! We saw two Cubs homeruns, and witnessed a Cub victory. I can’t wait to go back (Gary will take care of ordering tickets). The downfall (besides blowing $184 on tickets for a June game) is that I will never hear the end of this. I probably deserve it for making fun of my family for silly things they have done. Erin said that we just added another family story to share, and Lord knows they’ll share it! I hate feeling stupid.
Fast forward….we left Chicago after the game and ventured on to Fort Wayne, Indiana. Sunday we attended a retirement party for a friend of Gary’s. It was a great afternoon, and it was really nice to meet Gary’s friends. Addison was a trooper; she was at a party where she knew no one, and never once complained or even looked like she was bored out of her mind. What an awesome kid!
After our whirlwind weekend, we arrived back in Tell City last night. Now we are back to reality. My reality will now include knee surgery on August 2. My MRI showed arthritis behind my knee cap (the nurse said they call it ‘a more young person’s arthritis’ – I swear, she said that!), and IT band tendonitis. Because I have done over a month of physical therapy, rested, and have had two injections, the next step is an arthroscope. Dr. Love will clean out the arthritis and repair the IT band. There is no convenient time to have surgery, particularly when one teaches fitness classes, but I scheduled it between a fitness conference and the start of school. I will not be able to teach Zumba for four weeks, but that’s a small sacrifice to be able to run again. I have babied this knee for six months, and it is time to get it fixed. There will be no races in the near future, and certainly no half marathons this fall, but hopefully next spring I will be back in 13.1 shape. I know it will take some serious time to build up my endurance and speed, but I am willing to put in the work. I have such wonderful running friends, and I know they will be a great support system as I recover.
Laundry and cleaning await. Please remember: When ordering tickets online, don’t be an idiot. Check the dates, time, location, and price very, very carefully. Don’t give your family and friend any material to use against you at all future gatherings. Be smart, folks!