Linda and I made it to Chicago to pick up the Toyota, but only one of us made it back. I'll get to that later.
The flight to Chicago was my first time flying since the events of 9/11 and I wasn't quite sure of what to expect, but it was pretty uneventful as we just cruised through all of the hoopla. I had brought cash to pay for the Toyota as we had agreed upon and was reluctant to let anyone know I had that much cash on me, but no one asked and no one cared. I was a little annoyed that the people in front of us had both a new born and a baby about a year old, but both slept through the entire flight after a screaming take off. The highlight of the flight was when Linda tapped me on the knee and asked if this flight flies "as the crow flies" or does it make turns? All I could do was look at her in disbelief at her question asking, "do you think we go to Denver and turn right?" Just then the flight attendant was passing by, a tall African-American gay man. I offered up Linda's question to him and he stopped and answered, all the while massaging my heterosexual shoulder, as he spoke. Just so you know, "we" don't like other men to massage our shoulders one little bit upon meeting them. This may have been my first homosexual experience! (and my last). Franco explained that it was the best question of the flight and the "asker" was to receive a free beer, as Linda boasted of her accomplishment.
After 3 hours and 25 minutes of feeling kind of light in my loafers, we landed. Feet safely on the ground, I learned why my Cricket phone is so cheap. It doesn't offer any service out of the Phoenix metropolitan area. I called my nephew Scott using Linda's phone, who was waiting outside the sliding doors. All we had to do was cross 6 lanes of moving traffic to get to him, when suddenly I remembered that people driving in Chicago would rather run you down than let you cross. I longed for a little "pedestrian has the right of way" action...
Scott, a rather large man, tossed our heavy suitcases into the backseat of Uncle Hanks car like they were feathers and we took off for a place called Northbrook and my dream car. Scott showed us the performance of the 2008 Chrysler 300 and it's Hemi engine while all we could do was hang on. It kind of reminded me of myself about 40 years ago.
It was cold and rainy in Chicago in preparation for our visit. Scott dropped us off at my friend's brother's house and gave us detailed instructions on how to find Aunt Pat's house, where we were to spend the night.
I almost forgot to include that my tooth had taken this very moment to abscess and was just killing me. As luck would have it, my car seller was a dentist and took me to his office for a quick evaluation. He took an x-ray and discovered it was fractured and needed to have a root canal or an extraction, neither of which he could perform on the spot. He prescribed an antibiotic and didn't even tease me as I looked for loose nuts to fill my other cheek. I looked like a squirrel preparing for a long winter. Whoa is me!
We arrived at Patty's house about 10 PM and sat up late and chatted. I'm glad I got a chance to see them. Patty is the lady that flew out to take care of me when I had my heart episode and I'll always be indebted to her for that, however I learned almost the hard way that a democrat should probably remain quiet when his host is a republican. We retired to bed where I was in so much tooth pain that I watched the sun come up while Linda gently snored. We were in a double bed, placed up against the wall and I took the inside position because Linda was complaining about a sore hip. I got stuck up against the wall, as Linda fell asleep right smack dab in the middle of that bed. I was literally stuck between a rock and a hard spot!
The following day we went out for breakfast after sitting in traffic for about 40 minutes to go 1/4 mile, while I inserted toothpick in my eyes to keep them open. We never did find out why the traffic was backed up. Then we went to a Walgreens to get my prescription filled, only to find out my health insurance is only good in AZ. Why should it be good in Chicago? You really don't need it when you're on vacation, right? So I had to pay full price for my Z-pack, whatever that was? I think that's when Linda reminded me that I promised that we could see downtown Chicago! But that's 50 miles in the opposite direction, right? She was pretty adamant about it so we headed to downtown Chicago on a Friday afternoon, when the direction we were supposed to be going was the opposite direction. Then she asked me if I could stop down there and she could jump out and buy some T-shirts for her kids that say "CHICAGO"?
She doesn't understand big cities and how you cannot park in downtown Chicago to run in and buy ANY-FUCKING-THING. You just keep on moving or get run over by buses or taxis or trucks. One thing you NEVER do is stop and run in. Naturally she got mad at me because I'm not understanding and all I wanted to to was get the hell out of Dodge (Chicago)..
I think that's when she rolled down the window and reached outside with her camera to photograph what used to be the Sears Tower and I pushed her out the window! She landed pretty square on her butt and I think she'll be okay. She's a resourceful girl and should be able to find her way home... The car got over 30 miles to the gallon on the peaceful ride home. It was nice...