The AW Reunion Day 3 and 4


When I went to sleep that night, I had many things on my mind. Besides my physical difficulties, I was worried about Arche. From what I understood she had a long talk with Ima, her boyfriend. He was supposed to come to Chicago for the trip and it was looking like it wasn't going to happen. I felt bad for her and that Ima had gotten Arche's hopes up that he would be there, but that wasn't to be. At the time I didn't know the circumstances and I thought Ima was just being a jerk. Seeing Amanda that upset that night worried me a great deal. It's tough to watch your friend go through that much grief. I did fall asleep, and hoped things would work out in the morning.

The next morning was rather great. I was sore all over, but it was that good kind of sore. Plus the apnea machine worked perfectly that night so I had a great deal of energy stored up for the day. Goob and I enjoyed yet another delicious buffet, despite being a little late. We managed to gather up a group for the day's events, and I really wanted to get Stacee to come with us, because she spent most of her time with the Bluemaxe/Posiedon group. I also was hoping Arche would join us too, but I heard that she wasn't going to leave the hotel. I knew the night before had to have been rough so I sent her a text message letting her know how I felt when I knew she wasn't happy. I didn't receive a response, but I was hoping she would join us. Imagine my surprise when exited the elevator! However, she wasn't ready to talk to us yet and sneaked off to talk with Stacee. I was glad when she eventually came down to join us after a bit. She smiled half-heartedly at first but at least we were heading off to the train.

From the train station it was only a short walk down a couple blocks until we came to Millennium Park. This place is fantastic. Not only do you get a good view of the surrounding skyscrapers, but you also get to see some crazy artwork too. That giant structure called "Cloud Gate" looks like a huge drop of mercury. The idea is that you are supposed to see the city skyline from any angle. And underneath, there is kaleidoscopic view. After moving on from The Bean, we headed over to the Crown Fountain- two water fountain towers with giant faces on them. The water pours down the top of the towers, and the faces are actually video screens that smile and blink. The faces themselves are of people from Chicago. After a few minutes, they pucker up and water up top stops, and then a blast pours from the spot their mouths are puckered. It's really awesome to watch.

From that location we moved on to the Taste Of Chicago! It was here that I was in my forté. While I only did snap a picture of a tasty chicken wing, I tasted several other things as well. Including a rib sandwich and something called saganaki. The kind I had was Kasseri, and was quite tasty. I suppose I wasted the rest of my tickets on beverages, but I was thirsty.

By the way, I'd like to take a moment to explain that the Taste of Chicago is EXPENSIVE. You can buy 11 tickets for $7. That means each ticket is $0.64. The rib sandwich was 8 tickets. That's $5.12 for a sandwich! A "Taste" option is always 3 tickets. That's $1.92 for a taste of something! A 20oz bottle of Pepsi was 4 tickets...$2.56!! Crazy!

During the taste we as a group split up so we could all find out other tastes. It was just Goob and I after a while. And when I met up with Arche we watched as she got her palm read. I'm not a believer in that silly stuff but Amanda seemed to enjoy it. We decided to head to the Buckingham Fountain, which is a giant replica of the Latona Fountain in Versailles, France. I took a moment to catch my breath while Goob ran off to look for others. There I was sitting on a park bench in the middle of the sun, I took a few moments to ponder my current situation.

I had been walking a great deal so far. In fact I was surprised I lasted so long. I was actually quite proud of myself. Then I suddenly realized- this was the break I needed! The proverbial crack in the dam had sprung and the pressure would soon be unleashed. I finally had my momentum to keep exercising and keep active. I felt GREAT. I was sore as hell but I was lifted by this realization. Nothing could bring me down now.

Once we all met up again, I saw Arche smiling and laughing and that lifted me even more. We all decided that it was time for dinner. Again, more walking, but I didn't care. Nothing could stop me anymore. Oh yeah, I did snap this picture, an homage to the Indians of the Chicago area. This one was the Spearman and his twin, the Bowman, was across the street facing each other.

We finally made it to The Rainforest Cafe! While we waited outside, a young lad came up with a rather funny balloon hat. It turns out the kid was 14, and was a young entrepreneur, trying to save up money for college. He was quite intelligent and I wanted him to make a flower for Arche. I paid him the money and he put the balloon flower on Arche's hand. Arche was surprised and asked if he could make a bow and arrow, but she didn't realize he was asking for money for his work. I quickly paid for it, and even Elyk gave him some money too for the same work! Oops. Oh well, Arche got her flower and her bow and arrow. After that, we took advantage of a funny photo op. This was only was a taste of what was inside. This place is crazy. It's decorated like
a rainforest, with silly animatronics(that's a crocodile) all over the place. It's also dark and every now and then you get a flash of lighting(that's not a typo) and the sound of thunder rumbles through the cafe. We found our seats and we all sat down for a delicious meal. I admit, I did convince Anomaly to move to the padded seat at the end of the table, leaving an open seat for Stacee next to me. Ulterior motives? Maybe. I was just glad to have a chance to talk with Stacee and get to know her more. So yeah, I regret nothing! Occasionally, we'd hear the staff yell out, "Volcano!" whenever anyone ordered one. This became such a point of fascination for our crew that they decided to join in the screaming, even outdoing the staff. So yeah, you eat in a jungle and all the animals come out!

After the meal, I decided I was done. I wanted to join the group as they walked to the Hancock Observatory to watch the fireworks, but I was just too tired. Stacee agreed so we waited for Anomaly to bring his van around. While we waited, the gorilla at the front of the cafe got some more action. Once in the van, Stacee and I co-navigated for Anomaly, and we made it back safe and sound.

I was spent. I decided to relax and check my email, while things wound down in my head. I knew that while the adventures in Chicago were at an end, things could only get better. I was on a path for getting into shape, and I feel awesome.

The next morning with everything packed up, Goob and I once again enjoyed a tasty breakfast meal at the hotel's cafe. We needed to eat quickly because we were taking Captain Made Mike(the guy at the gorilla) to Midway Airport, which was of course on the other end of the city. We were leaving the city, and I wasn't really sad. I was excited that things were going my way. Nothing could get me down. Not even getting lost at the outskirts of Chicago got me down. Goob was acting like an insane goofball and was letting his rage get a hold of him, but that didn't bother me.

I'm on a path that can't be blocked. Life is good.

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