Where's the beef?

I went to Chicago last weekend! I am very slow at writing these travel-weekend writeups, and even moreso when I spend the week trying to catch up on sleep. Fortunately, the weekend is almost here, so I can clean, claim I'm going to clean and then not clean, and - most importantly - sleep.

I drove up to Chicago for Lewis's birthday celebrations Saturday afternoon/evening. It takes about 5 hours to get to Chicago, although it took me a little longer because - no matter how good my directions are - I always second-guess them and get lost when I am in big cities. Big-city traffic makes me nervous and I am always convinced that I have missed my turn and I should turn around and go back. Fortunately, I had the padding of an extra hour I forgot about, due to the Eastern/Central Time Zone change. I always forget that Chicago is in a different time zone, and usually hilarity ensues. I still managed to be late, but not as very very late as I would have been without that free hour.

We headed off to Wildfire, which was very nice and fancy and delicious. I had the filet medallion trio, where you could choose three of six crusts for the top of three small pieces of filet mignon. I got mushroom, blue cheese and horseradish and kept alternating bites of each one, because I couldn't decide which was best and I didn't want to run out of one before the others. As a result, I ate my dinner faster than is humanly srahly possible, all the while smacking my lips and extolling the virtues of delicious, delicious beef to everyone at the table.

Andy S was surprised by this because he'd always thought I was a vegetarian. This actually makes a lot of sense because in the dining hall at Albion, I was a chicken-strips-and-vegetarian. I was grossed out by all meat in the dining halls except the occasional chicken strip, so I mainly survived on non-meat products during the week, then when I went home on a weekend I would loudly demand that my family take me out for steak, to make up in quality for the quantity of meat that I was not eating at school. So based on my history of eating on campus (and the fact that I ate a lot of veggie burgers and grilled cheese at the Eat Shop) I could see how one would think I was a vegetarian. Then the girl across the table, who I had only met that evening, said that it surprised her, too, because she also thought I was a vegetarian. This has happened on a few of my site visits - people who had just met me were surprised when I started tearing into some beef. Do I look like a vegetarian? Do I smell like a vegetarian? Something about me is sending out vegetarian vibes.

Anyway, dinner was delicious and lovely and then we went dancing. I had a huge mojito, which I expected would get me drunk right away, but it just made me even sleepier than I was (I am an Old Lady and I was also a time zone off). Near the end of the evening I almost fell asleep at our table, but before that I did manage to fend off the invitations of several random strangers and get a few dances in with the birthday boy. The merengue is the dance for me, because it's mostly just weight-shifting. No back-and-forth motions that are further complicated when you run into people on the crowded dance floor and have to compensate for whatever steps you missed while you were trying not to fall over.

The next morning Lewis and Andy made breakfast for me and Lewis's friend Leah, and Leah and I got to bond over shopping and dog-walking. It is fun making connections with people from other parts of your friends' lives.

I got started back for Ohio a little later than I'd planned, but I figured it wouldn't be too bad. First I got lost (as per usual), then I got caught up in Chicago Marathon traffic (they had shut down most of the streets that lead to I-90 entrances), which added about half an hour to my trip. Then I realized I was going to lose an hour crossing time zones again. It didn't occur to me on the way there, and for some reason it didn't occur to me on the way back, either.

Then I got caught in traffic on I-65 for about two and a half hours after they shut down the road in both directions following a fatal crash. By the time I got up to the crash site, things seemed to have been cleaned up and it appeared they were just doing investigations, but we were still reduced to one lane and forced onto the shoulder. Fortunately I was listening to the audiobook of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, so I had something to keep me from going insane during the 2.5 hours of stopped and/or stop-and-go traffic.

By the time I got home it was after midnight and I hadn't done any of my Arabic homework! Fortunately I had already called in to work while I was on the road and said, "I don't think I'm going to be coming in Monday morning." I managed to catch up on homework, but I've been scrambling for sleep all week!

A great (if short) trip to Chicago, though. It was worth it, if only for the beef!

srah - Friday, 12 October 2007 - 12:06 PM
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Comments (4)

gravatar Noor - October 12, 2007 - 7:05 PM -

Even though I'm sure I've seen you eat meat, I would have guessed you for a vegetarian as well. I think it is because you're so petite. Petite women just don't look like they've been eating meat that's all.

gravatar srah - October 12, 2007 - 10:09 PM -

I wonder how many delicious steak dinners I've missed out on by looking like a vegetarian! I bet people have Steak Parties all the time and don't invite me.

gravatar srah - October 12, 2007 - 10:14 PM -

I think it's time to buy a t-shirt.

gravatar jday - October 15, 2007 - 4:33 PM -

I don't think you look like a vegetarian. You are obviously a carnivore with blood-thirsty tendencies! Happy birthday, Lewis!!!!

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