Hey TransGriot readers,
As you know I hit the road Saturday morning with Dawn to watch her fence in this year's edition of the Remenyik Open along with our other roomie Karen.
We bounced out of Da Ville a little after 6 AM EDT local time even though Dawn's check in for this event wasn't until 3 PM CDT. We decided we were going to partake in some of Chicago's cultural attractions and kill a few hours in the Field Museum.
As usual Dawn and I made excellent time while Karen slept in the backseat. As we approached Greenwood, IN (the southern 'burbs of Indianapolis) we discovered the gas price was only $2.30 a gallon. Since we had 3/4 of a tank we pressed onward under the assumption it would be at the same price or cheaper on the other side of Indy.
We painfully discovered that the closer we got to Chicagoland the higher the gas price got. In fact we ended up refueling in Merrillville where we paid $2.60 and I picked up my bag of Jay's Potato Chips. It wasn't $2.30 a gallon but it was cheaper than what we were paying in Da Ville, and I correctly guessed they were still paying over $3.00 a gallon in Chicago.
A few minutes later we crossed the Illinois-Indiana line and saw the first evidence of the extent of the search for Jennifer Hudson's young nephew Julian King. We passed an electronic highway sign with the description of the white SUV and plate number as we sped toward the Dan Ryan exit off I-80/94
We pulled into the parking garage underneath Soldier Field a little after 12 noon CDT and sauntered toward the world famous Field Museum. We were planning to kill about two hours there before heading off to Northwestern University.
After spending an enjoyable two hours checking out the various exhibits we headed back toward the car and shoved off up Lake Shore Drive in the direction of Evanston.
For those of you who haven't guessed by now, I'm blessed with a formidable memory. When it comes to road trips, some of my family members and friends have remarked that I'm better than a GPS unit. All it takes me is one time to travel somewhere and I never forget how to get there or need a map from that point.
I have relatives and friends in the Chicagoland area and have been there numerous times, so I know my way around the city. Dawn does as well since she was born there.
Since I was along for the ride last year, I knew where the SPAC was and called off the necessary turns from Lake Shore Drive onto N. Sheridan Rd and the NU campus. A few minutes later we were gliding into the parking lot in front of the SPAC in plenty of time for Dawn to check in for the tournament.
From what Dawn told me earlier in the week and on the trip up I-65 the competition in the women's saber division was going to be formidable. She's a C ranked fencer, and this tournament had two A ranked fencers, several B's and several C's.
This tournament also had in it a sistah competitor she has a friendly rivalry with from the Detroit area by the name of Ashlee McLemore. We last saw her in Columbus at the Great Lakes Regional Tournament with her sistah training partner Roberta Sims.
Dawn went 3-3 in her pool matches, but got bounced out of her DE 15-9. She wasn't too upset about it since this was her first serious fencing action since she finished third at the summer nationals in San Jose.
We had to get Karen back to Louisville since she had to work Sunday afternoon, but we weren't going to leave Chicago without hitting Giordano's and chowing down on one of their world famous deep dish pizzas. There was one in Rogers Park on N. Sheridan, so after we found a parking space two blocks from the restaurant we eagerly headed in to partake of it before hitting the road.
We caught up on the latest Chicagoland news and ended up taking four slices with us since we were stuffed. We usually order a partially baked one to take home, but forgot to do that when we arrived (we won't make that mistake again).
We discovered on the return trip that the gas station we passed that morning in Greenwood had dropped its price to $2.29 but didn't bother doing anything except switching off drivers. I'd taken us from Merrillville to that point and the lack of sleep was kicking my behind. We eventually ended up in Da Ville at 1 AM after a long but interesting day.
We'll be back next year for the Remenyik since it's one of Dawn's fave tournaments. I also hope that I'll FINALLY get to do a Chicago trip and spend some quality time with Jackie and Monica as well.