Chicago Recap

So I’m here in Chicago at Starbucks and it’s out last day here.  Actually, it’s our last half day here.  How sad.

We have had a wonderful time here taking in the sites, hanging out with friends and bumping into friends we didn’t even know lived here!

Our first day here, we met outside of Orange.  It is this really neat breakfast/brunch type cafe off Harrison near the library.  I had not seen Ryan in a few weeks so that was a pretty special moment for us both.

We both enjoyed a delicious breakfast, Ryan had these waffle and fruit shish-kabobs and I had a simple small order of silver dollar pancakes and eggs.  With the main course we had a tasty treat called Frushi.  It’s fruit sushi and it’s really quite tasty.  A little but on the sweet side but good none-the-less.

My early flight had me up around 5:00 am and Ryan was on the bus from like 11:00pm the day before.   That being said, we were quite tired.  We picked up our suitcases and proceeded to make the venture down State to our hotel stopping at a few sites along the way.

They fella who checked us into our hotel room was a nice enough guy but got on our nerves a little bit when he was moving our bed from a king to two double beds.  He said a few times, “are you sure you want just one bed”, “are you sure, it’s a smaller room and just one bed”.  I took this a little better than Ryan I think haha.

We got into our room and took a little nap before exploring the city.  When we woke up Ryan showed me the surprise he had gotten us.  A Canon SD870-IS.  I was way excited.  For a few weeks I had been looking at getting a new point and shoot digital camera focusing my efforts on the Canon SD1100-IS.  It is a more expensive, supposedly higher-end camera.

After Ryan’s careful research, and famous frugalness, he decided on the 870-IS.  And as it turns out, it is a better camera.  You do sacrifice the viewfinder in favor of the large LCD, but you gain in the zoom but 0.8x and the image stabilization is in the lens not the CCD which is really a better way at doing it.

Oh, and despite not having a viewfinder and relying on the screen as the only way to view your shot before you take it, it gets something like 30 extra shots per battery charge.

Ryan and I took the new camera with us when we went out that night to Pizzaria Uno, Starbucks, and wherever else we wandered.  I really cannot even remember haha.

Sadly, when I was trying to quickly switch from the computer to shoot some video of this guy collecting milk jug caps, I corrupted the secure digital card, or at least the data on the card.  So all those pics and videos were lost.  Sad.  Here is a video I made with the new camera, Jason Mraz’s new song playing in the background.  It’s 20 minutes of Starbucks activity squished into 4 minutes.

[flv:Starbucks_Condensed.flv 500 333]

After some consoling from Ryan and me pouting a good while, we headed out for dinner. As we waited for the Red Line to show up we noticed this gaggle of straight guys trying to figure out the CTA system.  There were with a girl and all acting the stereotypical way that hot straight jocks act.

Well, all but one.  He was acting the way a stereotypical in-the-closet gay jock acts.  It was pretty hilarious.  he would brush up against the other guys for no reason, start wrestling fights out of no where… It was so obvious I could not believe that the other guys weren’t catching on.

We were so enraptured by the scene before us that we almost missed two fellow Columbians-come-Chicagoans walking onto the terminal.  Tom and his girlfriend!

I have never talked about this couple on my blog.  Tom was to pledge Acacia back in the day and I might have suggested that he rethink that.  At that time Acacia wasn’t for him and while I could see that, most of the other guys could not.  He would have been a guy that was burned by Acacia and I didn’t want to see that.

We have been friends or sorts ever since then and I used to bump into him and his girlfriend all the time in Columbia.  It would seem that everyday I would see at least one of them in the most bizarre places.

And what do you know, here I am in a random city in America on one of only two nights in the city on a subway station that they have never been to since they never go to downtown and there they are.  They just happened to be visiting his girlfriend’s mother downtown.

We didn’t hang out but we did chat for a bit, it was so fun to see them.  Of course Ryan took this as a chance to make fun of me.  He seems to think I know too many people because everywhere we go together I know someone.  When we first started dating we couldn’t walk ten feet without someone saying hi to me.

We finally made it to Boys Town where our dinner was scheduled to be.  Unfortunately Chicago Diner, a vegetarian restaurant, was closing.  Nevermind that their hours sated they had one more hour before closing… grrr

They were nice though and sent us to The Pick Me Up.  It was a really neat inde-punk rock-emo-hipster half vegetarian restaurant.  We had these AWESOME empanadas, wow.

On the way home from The Pick Me Up we bumped into our sexually confused friend from the subway just a few hours earlier.  He and his buddies had gotten off a few stops before us but here he was with two of his friends in Boys Town.  They were both saying something along the lines of, “Dude, I just don’t feel comfortable around you right now” and “I feel a little weird about you”… I guess he got a few drink in him and finally made his move haha, something Ryan and I had joked about earlier.

Went home, slept, I woke up early to do some work, we met up with Brett and his really great boyfriend for brunch at The Bongo Room.  Awesome brunch followed by some shopping down Michigan Avenue and tea at Argo.  We need an Argo in Columbia.

Ryan and I broke off from the fun couple and went back to the hotel for a quick nap.  Woke up, got all cleaned up and headed to the Chicago Diner again.  On the train with us was this guy that looked quite a bit like Chadd, to me at least.

Well worth the second chance.  The food was delicious and the service great.  Did I mention how good the food was?  Before we had even finished dinner I had ordered a copy of their cookbook off haha.  You should get a copy too.  It is worth it.

We went to a couple of local shops, met a guy named Paris who said I’d be screaming his name in bed that night, he was fun.  Apparently Rhianna was there just a couple of days ago.  Damn us for not being there at the same time.  I would have loved to have met Jay-Z’s alleged ex gay on the side.

Off to Whole Foods and then the Center which is one of the coolest gay advocate sites I had ever been to.  We walked around Boys Town for a bit more before going into a bar called Side Track.

Great bar.  If you go to Chicago you must go to Side Track.  Great drinks, friendly bartenders and fantastic music videos all around.  We befriended a bartender named John who works the fourth floor bar there, outside.  He is a paramedic just like Ryan and is going to school for journalism.  He was such a nice guy, bought us each a Jagerbomb.  Tasty.

We went through all of the bar within Side Track.  I think there were five… Really quite the classy place.

Then off to Berlin where we almost met this potentially really cool, accidentally hipster-emo fellow who was actually probably just really dorky but we both thought was probably nice and incredibly shy.  Unfortunately we are just as shy and we didn’t break the ice though I did make several attempts.

Back to the hotel room, back to sleep, whew.  I woke up early to get online and blog this with some pictures and a video I did at Starbucks but AT&T’s internet is down.  Boo.

Oh yeah, and I got a free hug!

Well I’m going to wake up Ryan.  We don’t have much time left in Chicago so we gotta make the best of it!