This one might lose some of you. It's hella dorky, but it's us.
We checked out of our swanky downtown Chicago hotel on Sunday morning and took a cab to the airport to pick up a rental car for the day. However, we learned that since the company we rented the car through is off the airport grounds and technically in the suburbs, we would be required the pay the cab driver time and a half for having to go to the suburbs. I thought/assumed/hoped he meant we'd pay time and a half for the portion of the trip that included the suburbs. Did I ask him clarifying questions to confirm my thought/assumption/hope? Nope. That caused a problem.
When we got outside the city limits, he fiddled with his meter and the $$ creeped upward a little faster, but wasn't too much of an increase to worry me. I knew we had saved plenty of cash for this ride because it was 20 miles-ish, and we weren't getting close to our budget. Until we pulled into the parking lot of the rental car company. The meter said $65.xx and the cab driver kindly asked me to give him $95. Uh, I thought you said time and a half in the suburbs. No, silly Virginia country girl, I get time and a half for the entire trip. Balls.
I didn't ask, he didn't tell. I sucked it up and gave him $95 plus a modest tip. I didn't want to tip at all, but we did.
Once we picked up our car, a Kia Soul, and noticed that our hotel for the night was directly across the street (couldn't have planned that any better if I tried), we talked about our plan for the day. But first, there's this:
For about 20 minutes it was all I could do to formulate a thought, with that song playing so loud in my head! UGH!
We drove back towards the city for brunch - it sounds counter-intuitive to pay time and a half to drive out of the city, rent a car, and then drive back into the city, right? Well all the rental branches in the city are closed on Sundays, so the airport location was our only choice. Plus we never made it back into downtown - just the suburbs.
Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba was recommended to us, but since it's a trek from downtown we kept moving it down the restaurant list earlier in the week. But once we realized it was so close to this day's real destination, we moved it straight to the top of the list! It's in Lincoln Park, which I was expecting to be sort of barren and ghetto because that's where (I thought) the bed intruder was from.
I soon realized Lincoln Park [the Illinois one ;)], IL, is a fabulous walkable neighborhood with a perfect blend of living, dining, and shopping - like downtown Fredericksburg but 200 years newer. I also realized (Google helped) that the bed intruder is from Lincoln Park projects in Huntsville, AL. Duh, Kristen.
Also, why didn't I have the same thought process when we went to the Lincoln Park Zoo on Day 1? Sometimes I wonder how I can dress myself in the morning with all the dumb shit I do. Jeez.
Anyway, back to Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba:
This is by far my favorite dining experience from the week. Sure, I had the "best" steak at Ditka's, and the "best" burger at M Burger, but this was overall fabulous! The service, the food, the prices, the location, the neighborhood!
Dave ordered eggs Benedict, and I ordered the city market vegetable omelet and the vanilla yogurt, fresh fruit and granola. I was starving, but didn't realize the portions would be so big because the prices were tapas bar-like. Boy, was I surprised! Look at the bowl of vanilla in the background: That's the size of an omelet - the berries were so fresh and juicy, and the granola was full of nuts and oats and goodness! The omelet tasted better than any other I've tasted.
After brunch I drove through Wrigleyville so Dave could see 1060 West Addison. It was game day, so it took us a while to get through the area.
Then we got on the highway to head further into the suburbs on a John Hughes pilgrimage! If you know me you know I love movies. If you know me better, you know I am particularly obsessed with 80's movies. And if you're really lucky, you know John Hughes is my hero. He did for the awkward, outcast, underdog, what the Big Bang Theory is doing for nerdy scientists right now.
If you share my respect for John Hughes you know that:
- Andie should have chosen Duckie. Every time. No exceptions. Don't even try to argue it with me.
- Blaine is not a name, it's a major appliance.
- a princess, an athlete, a brain, a basket case, and a criminal can find things in common - but only when locked in a room together for 6 hours
- sometimes the nice, sweet girl does get the guy - Jake Ryan, I'm talking about you!
- whenever anyone asks you a question confirming a number (x), you respond with "x, x+1, whatever it takes"
- Kevin McAllister is a bad-ass
- Uncle Buck is a badder-ass
Many of his movies were set in the fictional town of Shermer, IL, which, turns out, is a conglomeration of many little communities north of Chicago - Highland Park, Glencoe, Northbrook, Evanston, and Winnetka. The internets helped me locate a bunch of locations where his movies were shot, and since they were within about a 20 mile radius, we spent the day driving around to some of them, and ended the trip at John Hughes' grave site. Morbid? I didn't think so. Just paying our respects to the man who made me believe I could have fun and have friends even if I wasn't the cool girl or rich girl.
Here we go, in no particular order:
Home Alone house
Uncle Buck house
school from Curly Sue - I think this was also in Home Alone, but I can't remember which scene
Shermer High School from Breakfast Club - now police headquarters
where Principal Rooney awkwardly hit on Sloane - ew, then he got arrested in real life for child porn. FORESHADOWING!
Breakfast Club final scene - fist pump a la Judd Nelson!
Save Ferris water tower
Jake Ryan's house - well, mostly garage. Damned trees.
Glencoe Beach overlook - where Sloane comforts Cameron and Ferris tells her Cameron will marry the first girl he lays.
Trust me, it's back there - the garage where Ferris and Cameron try to lower the Ferrari's odometer, and ultimately crash it instead
Last stop: Lake Forest Cemetery. This is about as cool as it gets, as far as cemeteries go. It is small, intimate, quiet, overlooks Lake Michigan, and I can totally understand why such a private person as John Hughes would want this to be his final resting place.
I said a little prayer, some thank yous, and we were on our way. Goodbye Mr. Hughes - thanks for looking out for the little guy.