Tuesday, April 27, 2010

There's No Place Like...

I can now understand why people get those handy little GPS units. Talinda had one, I'm happy to say. She and her husband have named their little electronic helper Richard. He was invaluable on this trip.

There Talinda and I were, in the bowels of downtown Chicago. If you're not a person who jogs around downtown very often, it's easy to get turned around. Not that Talinda couldn't handle driving part. She did. (I was there for moral support, cheering from the passenger seat.) Generally you do okay if you just keep moving. But if you don't know your way around and you have to find a specific address and get your car parked nearby, it can be a little dicey when you don't do it every day. Throw in a baby in the back seat who really doesn't want to sit in her car seat any longer and a better-be-there-on-time appointment, and little beads of perspiration begin to break out on your brow as the clock ticks on.

Richard helped us numerous times as we wove through the streets. The only glitch was that Richard doesn't have eyeballs. He didn't notice that he was trying to route us to turn right onto a street that was clearly blocked off with large orange signs that said "DO NOT ENTER." But, polite as ever, he pleasantly rerouted us when we ignored his instructions, and we arrived safely at the desired destination after more turns.

We finally discovered a parking place where they charged something like a mere $15 an hour to wedge Talinda's SUV into a space on a lot never designed to hold that many cars, but it was right across the street from the building for her baby's audition, so hey, no complaints from us. An hour later, we were on the way back to the burbs, mission accomplished.

Tonight as I listened to the birds in my back yard competing with the roar from I-90 a mile or so away, I found myself quite happy to reflect that I live nowhere near the loop. Love the museums. Lots to see. Endless restaurants. Probably a shopper's paradise for people who like to shop (not me). But when the day is over, there's no place like home.

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