So we've finally started planning an actual night away from the house, something that doesn't involve family. Not that I can think of a time when we actually stayed with any part of our families over night, but that doesn't matter.
The Big Plan right now is two days in Chicago, with a little help from Google Earth. By the way, I had this whole entry all linked up with new windows opening for every place I'm telling you about. Unfortunately, I keep getting errors in my HTML. I have no idea why. I can pound out some HTML for a freaking link in my sleep. bracket a href equals http whatever end bracket backslash a bracket. You get the idea.
So, anyway, I downloaded the Google Earth program and was able to find the IKEA closest to Chicago, a coffeeshop, a good hotel with a pool and free wireless Internet, and the restaurant of Charlie's dreams: the Weber Grill. The name says it all, but we first heard about it while watching a program on the Food Network a few weeks ago. It has a few negatives in my mind: one, it's a chain restuarant and I'm really trying to support to local businesses as much as I can, as well as not driving whenever possible, walking to work, riding my bike, that kind of thing. Two, it's kind of a silly idea. Why pay someone to grill your food when you can do it a lot cheaper at home?
But as I watched Charlie drool and quietly sob in front of the television, I realized it was imperative that I take him to this place.
Of course, he just got his results from the physical he got a few weeks ago. He has about six months to get his cholesterol down and if he doesn't, he gets to take some sort of medication for it. It didn't even sound all that high to me. Then again, I have no idea what those numbers really mean.
We haven't decided exactly when we're going yet, but I know we're planning on packing a lot of crap into two days. I need to do some shopping, not only at IKEA, but also at some of the many fun little shops along Clark and Belmont Streets. He refuses to let a summer pass without at least one dip in a pool, anywhere, and we also have to find time to eat.
After this, Charlie thinks he wants his next Big Trip to be to Las Vegas. I've already been, just once, but I wasn't particularly thrilled. Part of that could be blamed on the fact that I was the youngest person in our hotel by about 26 years. I went out with an ex for his brother's birthday and pissed off the bride, whom I'd met once, by preferring to attend the bachelor party rather than the bachelorette party, which didn't even involve strippers. My intent wasn't to be rude, but I'm sure it came off that way. Although I couldn't imagine spending the evening with four high-maintenance thirty-something divorcees, boozing it up over their friend's next wedding. I was given an option and I took the road less traveled. I mean, for Christ's sakes: I was in Vegas and I wasn't going to go see strippers? That's ridiculous.