Weekend Near Chicago
So my weekend was a long one, a whole 4 days 😀
It started on Thursday where I drove up towards the great state of Illinois. The drive wasn’t too bad, I had loud music, energy drinks, and the anticipation of getting to hang out with Michelle. The roads were another story though. The areas which were under construction were everywhere. At one point we were down to one lane, and then a bus had driven off the road, which just made traffic worse! I was sitting there thinking to myself, “Great, we’re down to one lane and someone decides to total their car in the only lane left..” Needless to say I was astonished to see a passanger bus in the ditch as traffic crawled passed. I get to Chicago and learn that traffic there is always an adventure. It wasn’t even rush hour and we were bumper to bumper all the way through. I make it to Great Lakes around 3pm local time (they’re Central Time.. i didn’t know that :P). I set up in my room and then went and got some Chinese food.
Friday I was up at 6am, got showered and made my way to the RTC (Recruit Training Center) Gate. There was a line going out the gate, but it was moving slowly. They came through, asked for Drivers Licenses and told us some simple rules of the training area (like no smoking, 15MPH speed limit, etc etc). I find a parking spot and head over to where you check in. After they stamped my hand I headed over to the main drill hall where I found my seat and proceeded to wait. I checked the Itinerary brochure they’d handed out just to see that it didn’t start until 0900. I checked my phone and saw that it wasn’t even 0700 yet. So i waited and waited.
Finally the ceremony began. They showed a little video and had all the recruits march in. Then things got really extravegant! They had a rifle team and band perform and there were some pretty high ranking officers that spoke. This was all much more of a production than when I graduated AIT. After they recognised some of the best recruits in certain areas (including Academics, which blew my mind.. the military rewarding smart people?! ..maybe the Army is the only one that doesn’t do that?), they released the recruits on Liberty. It took me a while to find Michelle, and then we went on a hunt to find her dad.
Once we’d all met up, we went off to find a place to eat, it was lunch time afterall 😛 We went to Olive Garden and had some good food. After that we headed to one of the local malls and killed some time while also looking at nice and shiny things. They put a curfew on the recruits so Michelle had to be back fairly early in the evening, around 1900. After we dropped her off and made plans for the next day I got dropped off at my hotel (Mike, Michelle’s dad, had been driving us around) and I surfed the internet and watched a movie, War Games: The Dead Code. The movie was actually pretty terrible, don’t watch it. Ever.
On Saturday we went out for breakfast at Denny’s and then went and got ourselves lost for a bit. Mike had to check out of his hotel by 11, so we got dropped off at my hotel and said our goodbye’s. The plan after that had been to take the train into Chicago and spend the day there, but we came to the realization that we had no idea how to get around Chicago once we got there, and we only would have had about 3 hours to do whatever we wanted to do down there before we’d have to head back.
So instead we went and saw the new Harry Potter, which wasn’t as bad as i was expecting. The last few had disappointed me a bit, and I wasn’t really expecting anything from this one. After the movie we got something to eat. We’d seen a Japanese place the day before and had taken an interest in trying it out. The sushi was delicious, but what really surprised me was the fried rice! It was so good!! After we’d finished our food we headed back to my hotel and watched The Hangover. Neither of us had seen it and we’d both enjoyed the movie very much!
Sunday I picked Michelle up and we hung out for a few hours. After we’d said our goodbyes (I hate goodbyes..) I hit the road. The drive back seemed much longer than the drive up. I think it was because I was a bit meloncholy and tired. What made things worse, I’d discovered that I had hit something, like a pothole, or crap in the highway, and put a nice gouge in my rear drivers-side rim. I’m not too happy about that I must say.
Anyway, I made it home around 6pm. 6 hours on the road can really take it out of you. I talked to Sean, offered to help him mow the lawn, and then went into the garden to pick some fresh goodies. We’d picked our first Jalapenos and man were they HOT! There’s more on the way, so I’m sure i’ll be talking more about those later.
I then cracked open my new book and went to bed.
Now it’s monday, and I don’t want to be here 😛