Back from the first trip. It was good.
We got nailed by traffic around Chicago. Generally, it takes about 45 minutes to traverse the Windy City. On Friday it took at least four hours. We did the righteous thing and went around the outer loop, and proceeded to sit in nearly stopped traffic (listening to simianpower‘s favorite: the South American polka on the radio). By the time we broke free of the jam, I was just absolutely done with driving for the day. There was no more in me. We’re trying to conserve wear and tear on Jen’s heel (suffered a stress fracture at some point, she’s crutching around in a walking cast) so she’s not much for driving.
Instead of heading all the way to Battle Creek that evening, we called my aunt in St. Joe and asked if we could stay at her place. This turned out to be a good idea. We stumbled into the pre-party for my cousin’s bridal shower. The four friends (and my aunt) set out two extra plates and cut the salmon into slightly smaller chunks. It was great. In the morning, Jen went to the bridal shower, and I walked down to lake michigan and tried to find clarity WRT the job situation. I failed in that, but I did manage to park in someone’s garden. Oopsie. I pick a patch of sand at random, and it just happens to be the patch of sand where they’re trying to grow flowers. Sheesh. Ended up getting to see both aunts and a grandmother.
Then it was on to Kalamazoo for the wedding. There, I was witness to the first novel wedding joke I’ve seen in a very long time. The best man asked that all of the groom’s former girlfriends turn in their house keys to the bride, and he had seeded the crowd with about 20 keys (all but one in the hands of the pretty young things in the audience, and the other held by a guy who looked like a linebacker). It was downright funny.
Stayed that night in Battle Creek with Grandma Ballard, who remains just about the sharpest 85 year old on record. I hope to be half as with-it when I’m a decade or two younger. Take that back. I hope to be that sharp tomorrow morning.
And then we drove home.
For those following along at home, here’s the updated, to-the-minute crackheaded plan:
* Tomorrow – Jen pre-signs for the closing in St. Paul
* Wed – Friends from work are threatening some sort of social event.
* Friday – The movers arrive and take all our crap.
* Sunday – Jen drives to Chicago for her “licensing exam.” I think we all know that this is just some sort of insane doctor-kegger
* Monday – I show up at work, run some totally crude practical joke and leave. Then I pick up the cats, stuff them into the kitty carriers, and head for the Saint Paul closing. Assuming all goes well, I walk out of the closing and into a bank, wire the funds needed for the Providence house to the Providence bank, and hit the road. Sometime around midnight I arrive in Chicago and start scouring the hotel bar for my spouse.
Tuesday – Hitch Jen’s car to the trailer hitch on mine, and haul it to upstate new york. Yes, we’ve found a pet friendly hotel.
Wed – Drive to Providence.
Thu – Show up for the closing on our shiny new home.
Fri and the weekend – Scrape, paint, sand, and fix until our stuff arrives.
What could be simpler?
Fun additional fact 1: We’re training our cats to not hate the kitty carrier, using catnip
Fun additional fact 2: The cats are wearing their leash harnesses full time this week, to get them used to the fact that it’ll be happening next week too.