The AW Reunion Day 1 and 2

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There are so many other blogs that have explained what exactly happened. SW Chris's and Archergirl's have detailed info about what they did. I saw the places they did for the most part, so if you want detailed listing of all that we saw, you can read about them there. I, on the other hand, am going to discuss the important events that occurred as they pertain to me.

First, this is the first vacation I've taken in almost two years. I was looking forward to it, and I'm so glad it worked out. I was rather surprised to see Goob sleeping on my couch. He woke half-dazed so I snapped a picture before he could complain. Soon after, I was packed up and ready to go. So I went to sleep.

The trip was more-or-less without exception. Goob got all wirey about running out of gas, but since I've had plenty of experience in running out of gas, I knew we had plenty to get us to a gas station when we were running out. Goob also got worried that I'd weird out and make corny jokes regarding AW and real life(" Oh look, texture opaque15!" or "Where's the toilet.rwx?"). I reassured him that wasn't an idiot, and it wasn't going to happen. At least not with me. Goob has an strange fear of his geekiness. We got to Chicago and then the hotel without much of a hitch. I did get some introductions from folks I've never met before. Goob and I found our room, and we chatted around a bit before heading over for the original, the great, Pizzeria Uno! Goob, SW Comit, Cactus Jack, Archergirl, SW Chris, and Captain Mad Mike posed for this picture outside the restaurant. These are pretty much the people I would hang out with for the rest of my stay in Chicago. The pizza was fantastic, and after only one and a half pieces I was stuffed. Not a bad beginning for what would be an awesome vacation.

And it was the walk back from the train station that I knew something was going to get in the way of my enjoyment of this trip. Now I am a heavy guy. I last weighed in at 515lbs, and I've been very inactive for a good 2-3 years. Walking distances is frustrating, aching, and sweaty. I'm slow, and I asked Goob to accomodate me and my sauntering pace. Well, needless to say Goob wasn't being very accomodating at all and I was getting frustrated with him. It was the long walk from the train station to the hotel(a good 2 blocks) that I knew I wasn't going to keep up. It was then that Archergirl slowed up for me and walked with me the whole way. We talked too, about many things, but what we talked about didn't matter, really. She was there to support me and walk with me. I even held her hand on the walk. It was so comforting that the walk wasn't as difficult. I was very grateful for Arche's patience and support, it warmed my heart. I confess, I did have certain feelings for her when I first met her, but I always held them back because she was 1. already taken, 2. she told me she wasn't interested. I have no doubt she knew this so I have no problem confessing. But that night, on the long stretch of pavement, she wasn't there with me and encouraging me because she was interested in me, but because I needed a friend.

We finally reached the hotel and met up with SW Chris, Cactus Jack and SW Comit, who was playing video game music on the piano. I decided to head to bed, with warm and fuzzy feelings that I did indeed have a good friend with me on the trip.

The next day was pretty awesome. I enjoyed a fantastic breakfast and even got to snap a shot of the lovely Stacee! At first I attempted to take other pics of Stacee, trying to find her good side, but then I realized that every angle covers her good side! We had some confusion about who/what/where things were going, and it turns out that most everyone was already downtown. Once we managed to gather at a pretty water fountain, we then headed down another block for the double-decker bus ride and tour. So much walking, but I kept going. Unfortunately it was here that my camera decided to die so I don't have any photos of this trip. However, there are others who do and I'll link to them when they get posted. The tour was pretty awesome, we went to every major spot in downtown Chicago, including the Sears Tower and the Naval Pier. The first tour guide was awesome and at least attempted to be funny. "And there are only two rock bands you're allowed to hate in Chicago. The first one being Chicago, and the second being Dave Matthews Band." The second tour guide didn't really sound like she wanted to be there, and often said some innaccurate things. I honestly don't think she deserved the tips she got, but oh well. Once the tour ended we stopped at the Hancock tower, and I followed my new friends to a artsy-fartsy fruit juicery place called "Jamba Juice." While pondering some of the safer concoctions, I got accosted by a survey girl. She asked me two questions that would have been pertinent to ask someone who visits Jamba Juice at least occasionally. Unfortunately they picked me, who would normally avoid this Fruity Starbucks if at all possible. But I was thirsty. So to answer the first question, "How are your experiences with Jamba Juice?" I politely replied, "I don't know yet. I've never been here." And to answer the second question, "If there was anything you could change about Jamba Juice, what would it be?" I wanted to answer "Cheaper prices and more normal fruits like cherry or grape," but instead I told her I couldn't answer because I haven't had the experience yet. She she moved on, and accosted Bluemaxe next. I did settle on a drink called "Grape Escape" which had grape, strawberry and banana. Not a fan of the Strawberry/Banana marriage, but I wanted something that tasted normal so that's what I got. And it didn't taste too bad. At least it was refreshing.

I did get to know John1018 better. The guy is goofy, and kept making nerdy AW jokes, but I welcomed them. It's good to know not all of us want to restrain our inner nerd. At that point we all headed over to a dining placed called the Market. It was designed like your everyday food court, except the food was a million times better. And instead of paying for your food normally, you got a card and it was scanned with the meal you chose and at the end you paid. I chose the salmon alfredo, and it was awesome! After the meal, I was pretty tired. I had done quite a bit of walking already, and the night before inspired me. So I kept going until we got home, and kept going even though I was aching like hell.

That night we got the Goober Zone going. It was rather hodge-podge, and somewhat boring at first, but once Goob got Silly-stringed, it picked up. After a while, Arche gave me a hug and allowed me to snap this picture. This proved to me that the night before wasn't some random act of kindness(or even pity). Arche continued to inspire in me something I never felt before. It was such a comfort to have her around.

The Goober Zone wound down and most of us in the room(SW Chris, Comit, Cactus Jack, Captain Mad Mike) Started to get sleepy. I knew it was bed time and I wanted the next day to be just as awesome.

Next stop: Day 3 and 4!

PS. I wanted to do the entire show in one blog but I've already written a great deal so I'll get this up now since it's done.

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