Monday, August 27, 2007

And This is How it Begins

Last night we took Kelly to Midway Airport in Chicago. She was flying out to Utah to spend some time with Janel. We said our goodbyes and off we drove only to get a phone call from Kelly, just minutes after we left the parking lot, telling me that Southwest had oversold the plane and she was fourth on the wait list for a seat. It was then that we decided that we needed to find something to do in Chicago to make sure we were around in case she didn't get a flight out.

We headed for downtown to find some place to eat. Megan had really wanted to go to Rainforest Cafe, so I decided to make that hope a reality. After finally securing a parking spot for the van, not too far from the restaurant, we started on our adventure. The wait for dinner was about thirty minutes so we wandered around the shopping area and looked at some of the fake animals that are displayed around the place.

Dinner took a little while to be served but that was only the beginning of our waiting. We left downtown a little before 10:00 pm and started our way back home. Kade was asleep in a matter of minutes. After encountering much traffic and seeing a sign that said something about 80/90 closed in Indiana I decided that we should head back west and then take 294 home.

It looked like smooth sailing as we headed towards 294 and even as we started down that road but then things came to a complete stop. For the next 2+ hours we sat for 2-3 minutes then we moved up about ten to fifteen feet. Finally a police car came by on the other side and said that 294 was completely shutdown and that all six lanes of traffic were getting off on the next exit. Oh my! We started working our way over to the right side of the traffic, which was an adventure in and of itself. Finally making it over to the last "real" lane, since the 6th lane was actually the shoulder that people had decided to use as a lane, we slowly crept our way towards the exit.

Megan got quite the kick out of the guy in the lane next to us who kept falling asleep. You would see his head tilt down then all of a sudden he would realize that the cars in front of him had moved and he would catch up and then nod off again. We never tried to take the spot in front of him because I was fearful that he might hit the gas while nodding off. It was actually a little scary to watch.

Finally off of 294 we, and the rest of the traffic jam, headed through Hammond Indiana. It was a long stretch of road filled with traffic lights every other street. When I saw the big green sign showing the way to the Toll Road I got too excited and made my way through the traffic and thought we were home free. I should have realized why everyone else was not taking the same route. I looked and we were on the ramp heading West to Chicago. Unbelievable! Oh well I knew at some point I would be able to turn us around and head for home but what I didn't know was that opportunity would not present itself like I thought it would. Megan will tell you that I made a u-turn on the Toll Road right next to a sign that said not too. I figured after all that we had been through I would start crying and gladly explain to the officer why I had done this. Luckily there was no need for this drama.

Now we were finally headed in the right direction and there was really not that much traffic after that. I put the pedal to the medal (again figuring I could work up some good tears for anyone pulling me over) and cruised the rest of the way home. We pulled into the driveway at exactly 2:30 am.

What an adventure! I really hope the rest of the days without Kelly don't turn out to be this adventurous.

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