He came back a few minutes later to see if we wanted drinks and D.Q. said, “Yeah. I want an Oreo milkshake, bitch”.
It was a little more than a month ago that I dropped my mom and Drama Queen (D.Q.) off at Buffalo Niagara International Airport for a flight to California. My mom had never been to Buffalo and she flew out to take D.Q. back to California for a month of visiting old friends, a new cousin and generally having a good time. She also saw her mom for the first time in 19 months, but that’s a whole different blog post for another day. Maybe.
D.Q. had big plans with her friends and I had some big plans of my own. I knew I would miss her. A lot. But I also knew I needed the break.
My plans included hanging out with friends I haven’t spent time with in a while, going out, having fun and working on the book I started a couple years ago but am nowhere close to finishing.
The funny thing about plans is that they can change. Dramatically. By “change” I mean, “none of that shit ever happened”. Except for two visits from The Blogger Hottie and going out one night for an hour or so with another friend, I did jack shit.
The reality is, I worked my ass off and many nights I was so exhausted when I came home from my 12-14 hour days that I simply went to bed, woke up, and went to work again. Sigh.
Drama Queen’s trip was filled with four-hour swimming sessions with her friends, a trip to the mountains with her cousin, shopping with her friends, seeing her mom and trips to the beach. Her shit was WAY more fun than mine. There are definite advantages to being 12.
Fast forward to Thursday of this week when we were to meet up once again. Friday is my normal one day off a week and I had to do some wrangling to get a half-day off Thursday as well.
There are no non-stop flights between L.A. and Buffalo and I wasn’t going to spend the money to fly all the way out to California, only to get my ass right back on a plane and come home. I decided to meet her in Chicago.
Southwest flies non-stop into Midway from both L.A. and Buffalo and I could take a flight and arrive two hours before she did. My mom got D.Q. on her flight and I caught mine. D.Q.’s flight was early but I still had 90 minutes to kill and what better place for a Cubs fan to kill time than at Harry Carry’s at Midway?
I asked if they had Old Style and was told they didn’t. I was bummed that I couldn’t have my favorite Chicago beer right away, but that was cool. I ordered a Budweiser, because as every good Cubs fan knows, Harry was “a Bud man and a Cubs fan.” God bless you Harry. May you rest in peace and shit.
I was waiting at the gate when D.Q.’s flight arrived and when she exited the plane I went to give her a big hug and instead I was greeted with a “what’s up?” She will turn 13 in a week and apparently was too cool to give daddy a big hug in the airport. That was OK. We made our way down to baggage claim, collected her suitcases, grabbed a cab and headed towards Union Station to take the train to The Blogger Hottie.
The day before the trip I was Tweetin and I received one from my Tweep @thedaver. Dave is married to Aunt Becky who writes the completely rad blog, Mommy Wants Vodka. It turns out that The Daver works downtown, a few blocks from Union Station and he went out of his way to cruise over for a few minutes to say hi in person and meet us. That was way cool of him and it started the trip off on a very cool note.
We rapped with Dave for a few and hopped our train northbound to The Blogger Hottie and her 5-year-old, M. We exited the train and introductions were quickly made. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits, so it was a promising start.
The Hottie steered her VW towards our destination, one of the city’s landmark joints for some amazing Chicago style pizza. It was D.Q.’s first time in the Windy City and I would be a horrible father if I didn’t indulge her in the buttery, cheesy treat that is Gino’s East. Seriously.
We enjoyed our pizza then headed to Dominick’s market to get some ice cream for the girls along with muffins and juice for breakfast. For a few years I had been craving Old Style, a local beer brewed in Milwaukee that I thoroughly enjoyed even though it’s widely considered to be “shitty” beer. It’s kind of like when I go to a bar and see Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap. You can’t go somewhere with PBR and not have it, right?
I grabbed six tallboys from the cooler—one to drink that night and five to take home with me. It was my little stash of goodness to bring back from Chicago and I think I’m going to have to make it a tradition every time I fly to Chicago.
We cruised back to the Hottie’s crib and chilled for a bit before I did my podcast with Wes the Sports Guy. It was a good show and I honestly miss being in the studio with him but I’m confident we’ll get there again someday.
The next morning we all got up, dressed and loaded the car for a day in Chicago followed by a trip to O Hare to drop off D.Q. and I for our flight back to The B-lo. The Blogger Hottie suggested one of my favorite joints, The Cubby Bear at the corner of Addison and Clark, directly across the street from Cub Mecca—Wrigley Field.
We got about a mile from her place when suddenly I asked the dumbest (yet most basic) question. “Baby. Do the Cubs have a day game today?” Now pay attention because here’s where the story gets good…
She wasn’t sure, and since she was driving I decided to look on my CrackBerry. My phone, having the shittiest Internet connection on the planet, wasn’t allowing me to see, so I did the next best thing. I Tweeted to all my Tweeps and asked if the Cubs had a home game.
@JohnCaveOsborne tweeted back that they did, so we started coming up with Plan B. Parking in Wrigleyville is straight up crazy and no way in hell were we gonna pay the $30-40 to park near the Cubby Bear, so we decided on Ed Debevic’s on Wells.
What makes that story so funny? It’s funny when you realize that I had a copy of that day’s Chicago Sun Times sitting on the seat next to me. Even funnier when just now (9:04 PM EST Saturday night) is when I realized I had the damn paper with me. Un-freakin-believable!!!
On the way to Wrigleyville The Hottie made a comment about traffic being a pain in the ass and for the next few hours we were treated to her five year old daughter saying “pain in da ass” in the adorable way that only a five-year old can. We were all laughing our butts off in the car, which of course made it continue longer.
If you’ve never been to Ed Debevics you need to understand that it’s a diner where the staff is supposed to be rude to you. Our waiter slammed down a pitcher of water on the table, threw four straws in the middle of the table along with some paper cups and muttered something about being back later.
The Hottie (for whatever reason) looked at Drama Queen and told her that she would pay $5 if she called the waiter a bitch. He came back a few minutes later to see if we wanted drinks and D.Q. said, “Yeah. I want an Oreo milkshake, bitch”. Swear to God she did it. The waiter was floored and once Hottie pulled a $5 out of her purse and handed it across the table, I had to explain to the waiter what was happening. He looked at D.Q. and with a very sincere look on his face said, “Much respect.” D.Q. turns 13 in a week and we told the waiter we were celebrating her birthday and he brought out a complimentary “Worlds Smallest Sundae” for her. She didn’t want it, so gave it to me. Sweet.
We finished our meal without much else happening and headed to the Shedd Aquarium. It’s really an amazing place but we had the misfortune of buying tickets to their dolphin and beluga whale show, Fantasea. Suffice it to say that the fantasy is that it was a good show. It was seriously the lamest thing I’ve seen in quite a while and the highlight for me was at the very end when a trainer was holding a penguin and it took a huge white crap all over the place.
After the show we made our way back to the car and through the city to O Hare for our flight home. It was sad that we only had such a short stay and that we couldn’t see a lot of the other bloggers and Tweeps that I’ve come to consider friends. So to, @whyIsDaddyCryin, @NuckingFutsMama, @MommyWantsVodka, @MelisaLW, @WeaselMomma, @Momomatics, @TheDaver (@tessasdad who will be making the roadie from Lansing, Michigan) and anyone else I may have missed I give you my word that we will be back in the next month or two for a longer stay and we will absolutely all plan a time to get together.
Our plane touched down in Buffalo around midnight and I called my Kanye loving 64-year-old next door neighbor who was supposed to pick us up. She answered the phone and said she would be there in five minutes. When she and her friend Edwin arrived they asked me to drive. Apparently they had been at Garden Park Café for karaoke night and were a bit tipsy. You may remember Garden Park Cafe from a previous blog post. It’s the same place where Phone Sex Operator peed in the parking lot on a snowy New Years Eve.