I bet you’re wondering what I did after I de-boarded the California Zephyr…aren’t you? No? Well I’ll tell you anyway. After bidding a fond farewell to the Zephyr I met up with my friend Samantha who was kind enough to pick me up from Union Station. Chicago was freezing and I didn’t take my hands out of my pockets for anything except to drink hot, spiced wine. This means no pictures from this leg of the trip. After a brief stop at her parents downtown house, we bee lined to the Art Institute of Chicago for a few hours to enjoy the amazing collection. My favorite was seeing La Grande Jatte by Seurat accompanied by a few preparatory sketches he did for this masterpiece. We then hopped on a bus to the Park Zoo and enjoyed an awesome light show. Everything was covered in holiday lights and music was playing – this was also where I got the aforementioned hot, spiced wine. We probably spent more time that is normal in the kids playroom staring at turtles and frogs, but it was warm, and reptiles are cool. After the zoo we got back on the bus to get to her car and then went to an amazing Cuban restaurant called 90 miles. If you are ever in the Chicago area then you should go. I hope to get back to Chicago soon because this was a short visit. We went home and watched No Country For Old Men (I fell asleep before it was over) then I hopped on a bus the next morning at 6:30 to get me to the station for my 8:15 bus to Ohio.
It was a little over a six-hour bus ride to Ohio from Chicago and I’ve got to say it was starting to wear on me. It’s a big jump to go from being in a car by myself for three weeks to sharing a very small space with thirty sick people eating Roy Rogers. It’s a good thing I knew I would be greeted by two of my favorite people in the world who I haven’t seen in…five years? After getting off the bus at Tower City Andy soon rolled up in his vintage, bright green, VW bus. I’d never seen his car before but as it approached, I somehow knew it was him. Andy moved to Cleveland, Ohio with his lady (and my friend) Laura when she decided she’d like to get her Masters in Education. They have made quite a wonderful life in this city. Laura has begun her career as an art teacher/art historian and Andy is pursuing his career as a painter – and both are doing a damn fine job! Andy brought me by his studio where I was able to see his newest work and the work of some of the other artists he shares the space with. Next we drove a few blocks to Proximity, the co-op gallery he helped found, before heading to their home in Cleveland Heights and meeting up with Laura.
I had so much fun with them eating good food, playing with their cats and dog, playing cards, drinking White Russian, exploring Cleveland and going on a hike through the snow. I am so happy that I was able to see so many friends on this trip. It meant so much to me showing up at friend’s houses and seeing that they had an air mattress inflated for me, or a couch covered in blankets, or a comfy guest room with homemade quilts for me to use.
Thanks for listening friends, up Next: The Final Leg of the Trip