This will probably be a short post. Yesterday I left Champaign at 6 am to meet a high-school friend in Chicago. She now lives in New Zealand and we hadn't seen each other for 40 years. Neither of us really knew what to expect. Since I don't like driving, especially by myself, I was glad that the weather was good and that it was already light. I also figured that, since it was Sunday, the traffic would be relatively light.
She and her husband were staying at the Palmer House so I knew that by leaving when I did, I could be there at the agreed-upon time of 8:30 am without too much trouble and I could park in the Monroe Street lot, all of which worked out just fine. Of course, by taking Congress instead of Lake Shore Drive, I ended up having to get on Lake Shore Drive and then get off at Randolph (the next exit) to go south to Monroe in order to go in the right direction to get into the underground lot. I should have remembered that, but it has been a while since I have made this particular trip.
We had breakfast at the Palmer House, nothing memorable but their buffet was fine and I could avoid both wheat and chocolate and still have a good breakfast. Just as well that I filled up because we walked a long route down to Navy Pier and then walked down the lakefront back to the Art Institute, hoping to eat a very late lunch there. Since it was after 3 pm, that wasn't going to work, so we ended up at Miller's Pub, where we ate an early dinner. At five she went to meet her husband and I went to find the car, which turned out to be harder than I thought it would be, and finally drove home.
I think we both enjoyed the day and found that we enjoyed each other's company. It was nice rediscovering an old friend and finding that we still had things in common and that we got along so well. She is still much more radical and more of a free spirit than I am. I am still much more risk-adverse than she is. But that was ok.
In the meantime I managed to get sunburned, although just red and not painful, and walked 10 miles. I got home exhausted but, even though I am still tired today, it was worth it. In the future, if I wanted to do a trip to Chicago I would probably take the train, assuming it is running on time, and I would probably spend the night, rather than trying to do the trip in one day. Peter could go along and we could spend time together, even if he would have not been welcome at our little reunion yesterday.