One of the great things of living here in Farm Country is the ability to enjoy living in a small town while having a major city within driving distance. I grew up in a small town in Northern WV that was 45 minutes away from Pittsburgh. I've been to the symphony, ballet, zoo, concerts, baseball games, etc. in Pittsburgh, but it was always wonderful to go back home to our small town. (and when I say small....I mean small!)
When we moved here, we knew we wanted to find a house in a small town. Many people who worked for the same company questioned our reasoning for wanting to live in a town with a prison. Doesn't faze us one bit. In fact, we have a state police headquarters, sheriff's police headquarters and the local police all in one area. Pretty safe small town.
About 6 months after we moved here, our friends who live in the suburbs asked us if we wanted to go to Chicago to see a Broadway play. I was all over that idea! The Man? Not so much. He's not really interested in musicals. However, after Jim begged him, I mean... talked him into it, and after the promise of dinner at The Butcher Shop (now closed, sadly)....mmmmm MEAT....he finally agreed.
So, The Man and I drove to the suburbs and the four of us took the Metra into the city. We got to Union Station early, so we decided to sit and have coffee (Jim and Me), hot cocoa (Melisa), and espresso (The Man). So, we're sitting and talking and people watching, while some Asian woman working in a kiosk is yelling at The Man, "HEY Yummy Yummy!"..... when out of the blue......The Man spills his espresso all over his shirt and pants. He was wearing a dark blue button-down shirt, a tie that had browns and blues (like watercolor), and khaki Dockers. OH NO! We all look at each other......Jim is thinking, "Our day is ruined!" Melisa is checking to make sure he didn't get burned. I yell, "I know! Let's go shopping!" I am such a thoughtful and caring wife! Seriously, I do know that he would never be comfortable walking around with espresso stains on his clothing, so I am thoughtful! ;)
We quickly hail a cab and it was so fun to say, "To Michigan Avenue!" We ended up at Eddie Bauer. The Man grabbed a blue shirt, a pair of khaki pants (thankfully his tie was watercolorish, so you couldn't tell it had espresso on it) and he told the clerk, I'm going to go put these on, take off the tags, and bring the tags to you to ring up. She was a-okay with that. He came out of the fitting room wearing his new duds, asked for a bag for his ruined clothes (that I was able to later get the stains out) and handed the tags to the clerk so that he could pay. She said, "What about the tags for that leather coat?" We looked around....."well, since you don't sell leather coats and this one belongs to me, I don't have a tag!" She wasn't the sharpest crayon in the box and it took her awhile to 'get it.' He finally had to show her the tag inside the coat that said 'Wilson's Leather' on it. Yeah....she finally 'got it.'
After the coffee fiasco and the impromptu shopping trip, we had to hurry to our dinner reservation. We decided to walk (bad idea), so by the time we got to the restaurant, Melisa and I had blisters on our feet and we were miserable. However, dinner was wonderful and we had a good time in spite of the blisters. After dinner, we decided to take a cab to the theater since our feet were killing us. No. More. Walking.
We got to the theater and I was so impressed! The play, Ragtime, was playing at the Ford Oriental Theater. What a gorgeous venue! We settled into our seats and we were transformed to NYC at the turn of the 20th century. I don't remember much about the show, I just remember crying when it was over. I. loved. it. so. much!
After taking another cab to Union Station, and then the Metra back to the 'burbs, we were exhausted. We still had another 1.5 hours to drive back home, but it was so worth it! That was the first of many trips we've made to 'the city' for dinner, shows, touring, etc. We love visiting Chicago, but our favorite part is always coming back home!