Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Windy City drive leads to a Friday Five

I’m practically a Windy City resident after two trips to Chicago this week.

You already know about the streak-extending trip to Wrigley on Monday. I returned Wednesday for a two-day education writers conference, where we learned all sorts of neat things about covering teachers unions.

I also learned all sorts of things about the three-hour, three-state trek between Grand Rapids and the Second City. So here is a special, my-kind-of-town Deezo Friday Five.

1) Any good Long Islander has a special place in his heart for White Castle. While there are some in Michigan, my part of the state is shamefully lacking.

Luckily, there is one in Michigan City, Indiana, where I needed to stop for gas. Normally, my family prevents me from making a nostalgic visit. But traveling solo, I figured I could swing through the drive-thru for a little snack.

I used to eat 10 “belly bombs” as a teen-ager. I thought three would be a nice snack. That was about 2.5 more than I should have eaten. Luckily, I discovered the next item.

2) The Illinois toll roads have dramatically renovated their “Oasis” rest stops. Not only are they bright and clean with a decent rest rooms, but they have some pretty sweet penny-squishing machines, too!

3) When I got to Chicago, Will took me to get a burger that might have actual beef in it. Moody’s Pub is one of his favorite places, and was as good as he described – and so big of a feast that I had only a Wrigley pretzel for the remainder of the day. In fact, I passed on the onions and only made a dent in the fries. That was one big burger.

4) Walking to the game we saw the Church of Wrigleyville, which boasts that it is the “unofficial” church of the Chicago Cubs. Considering the team has been cursed by a goat, I’m not sure this is a place I want to be.

5) If my TomTom played music, it might edge out the iPod as the most essential appliance of my lifetime.

The device cleared the “obscure rural road” test long ago. This time Mandy effortlessly guided me through the zillion lanes of the Dan Ryan, and does everything but say, “Stop looking at the Sears Tower and keep your eyes on the road.”

Seriously, driving to new places is so much less stressful. Heck, you can even program it to find White Castles! Or so I’ve heard.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

White Castle Hamburgers!!! Man, does that bring back memories. After a night on the town, enjoying many pints of diet soda :), we would always stop by White Castle. Number one, you could buy one back then for a few pennies, which was all we had left after spending money on beverages, plus you could devour about 15 for about a buck! Good times, good times!!