Wednesday, February 28, 2007
My Chicago Weekend - the LONG version
Warning: Yes, this will be LONG and full of detail (well, most of it. Not everything to protect the innocent.) Sunday (the LONG day!!) Well, Sunday started off on a very bad start. I work until 11 pm the night before and eventually went to bed at 12:30 after I had to check ONE MORE time on my flight status, which said "On Schedule" (Josh can verify it because he checked as well.) My damn IT band woke me up at 4:45 am. and was forced to put ice on it. As I iced my IT band, I went to check my e-mail and print my itinerary from NWA.com. I was still quite tired right before I printed my itinerary, but what I saw woke me up VERY quickly......... ......in a form of a scream! My departing flight information had the following words: CANCELLED!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! And I really started to cry....and also woke up my ex out of a sound sleep. He asked what was wrong. I explained to what happened happened. He said, "Oh," and went back to sleep again. Damn him! I immediately after called Josh and was in a full sob by the time he answered. He asked what's wrong and then explained what happened. He then did his best to calm me down and started thinking of options. I told him that I was going to call the customer service number that they gave me on the website when I attempted to rebook my flight. In the meantime, we both agreed that we need find other options to get me to Chicago. All I think about is two things: my interview and the lunch date with his mom - both that I wanted desperately to go. While communicating through Yahoo IM and still sobbing, we talked about the options. He attempted to contact AirTran about getting me through - no luck! Then he came up with an option that I did not think of at the time: take an Amtrak train. I was not happy with at the time because I knew it would take longer to get there, but I had no more options. I needed to get to Chicago and time was ticking against us. Well, I did decide that I would travel via Amtrak and then got the ticket ready as I was STILL on hold with NWA customer service. Thank goodness that I had my earpiece on because I was able to get dressed very quickly and finished packing as I stayed on hold. In fact, I was walking out the door with ex, who drove me to corner store and then to the train station, and still on hold with NWA. I decide to finally give up with NWA right as I drove out of the underground garage.......after being on hold for almost 2 hours (1 hr 53 min to be exact) with NO human contact with NWA. Yes, I am a very patient at time when it's very vital to stay on hold. Sunday morning really proved it. As we were driving to the train station, my ex seemed really enjoy driving in the snow (he has F150 truck...with 4WD and BIG tires!). I, for one, did not at all enjoy it at all. Sorry....a plane cancellation and total chaos - no fun!! I went to the train station with plenty of time to spare and picked up my ticket. My ex made sure (under my personal orders) to stay until my train left the train station, which it obviously did. This was my first train ride so I felt so naive. I was not happy with the situation, but happy to be heading to Chicago. The ride on the train was pretty smooth 'cept for a few stop when there was congestion on the railway. The view was pretty boring at time - mostly snow, snow, and (you guessed it!) MORE snow. We went through the LaCrosse - home of the Spandex King and Queen. Then we made a stop in Tomah, Wisconsin Dells (I have a BAD vacation story about that town...at a later time), Columbus, Milwaukee, and then FINALLY Chicago. The trip took about 8 hours to complete with the last hour seemed like it took FOREVER to get there. Once I arrived in Chicago, the person who sat next to me helped me with my bags towards the area where I found Josh waiting for me. I was SO happy to see him. The long train ride was well worth it at the end. We grabbed a taxi to head back to his place. I attempted to sleep with my head against his shoulder, but I have a very bad problem with sleeping while in transit ANYWHERE - train, plane, and car. This Firefly was very tired and sleepy, but could not sleep at all. When I arrived at Josh's place, I was happily greeted by Sadie and Holly. Holly really took to me very quickly and did not want to leave my side most of the weekend. Since Josh had to work the next AM and I had the job interview too, we ended up making it very relaxing evening at home, which came with very good Chinese food and watching several movies. Plus I had very happy Holly, who insisted on being petted (personally I think Phog and her would click together - just an idea!). (I told you all that I found a new favorite pug!) But I do not recommend watching "The Last Kiss" when you start a new relationship - very depressing movie, plus I kept on psycho-analyzing the characters in the movie - bad idea! We ended up switching movies in the middle and watching "Art School Confidential"instead before retiring early. Right before I went to bed, I FINALLY (even though I was very tired) contacted NWA and got my airline ticket straightened out. It took a lot of frustration and pulling as much patience as I could (and as Josh could calm me down too!), but I was able to get half of my ticket refunded and bumped up my departure day to Wednesday AM since they took a 1/2 day away from me on the train after the cancellation. Monday (Interview Day!!) Monday started off on a MUCH better foot. First, I slept SO soundly entire 8 hours that I did not feel Josh give me a goodbye kiss before heading to work. Second, I woke up to my new favorite pug, Holly, cuddling me. It was an awesome moment. What a great way to wake up in the apartment alone for the first time.....but with the pugs, of course! I then got out of bed and got myself showered, dressed and ready for the interview. I left the apartment at 9:45 and walked to the corner to catch a taxi, which took about 5 minutes to do. Once in the taxi, I was at St. Joseph's Hospital within 15 minutes. Awesome timing! I was 20 minutes EARLY to my interview. I found where I needed to go and checked in. I sat in the waiting area until the first person came to get me. The first interview took about 25 minutes - mostly paperwork and a brief interview with the person from HR. After I went back to the waiting room and waited for the second interview. The second interview was with the security manager. The conversation was very light and I felt at ease. He had his set of questions, which I was able to answer very professionally. Then I had my chance to ask some questions and we ended up still chatting until he ended the interview. He took me down to the lobby area and then told me that I would hear back in a few days. Then I looked at my watch as I left and realized that I was in there with him for almost 2 hours. WOW! After the interview was finished, I sent a text message to Josh to notify him that I was finished. I walked along with Diversity in an attempt to find the local Starbucks. Well, I think I went the wrong direction, but kept walking until I realized that I knew where I was going. Everything started to look familiar from the walk that Josh and I took during my NYE trip to Chicago. Then I looked straight ahead and saw the Jamba Juice. I knew EXACTLY where I was. Since my hands were getting cold, I found a Walgreen's and purchased some cheap gloves along with some things that I forgot to pack. Josh called me while I was in the store and told him that I would meet him at the Jamba Juice on the corner of Diversity and Clark so I can get something yummy to drink. I then proceeded to Jamba Juice and ordered a 16 oz. Strawberry Nirvana and 1 oz Wheatgrass Shot (which ended up being almost 2). I stayed there until Josh surprised me when I met me there. Since both of us were hungry and did not have lunch yet, we walked to Aladdin's Eatery and had a very satisfying lunch. We split an appetizer of Hummos, which was very yummy. Then I ordered the Aladdin's Lamb Rolled pita sandwich, which was very good. After lunch, we headed back home where both of us took a short nap. After the short nap (well, mine was short at least!), we got ready and headed out to dinner to celebrate two milestones. Josh let this SINGLE redhead gal decided where she wanted for dinner. Personally, I was in the mood for some sushi even though I had it twice on Friday to get through Fish Friday, so we headed to Agami for dinner - the same place that we went to for NYE. The sushi was great and hit the spot. After dinner, we continued the celebrating and head to Signature Room....FINALLY. It was worth the wait. Hands down! The view was amazing! We each had a drink from the bar. I had the Signature Punch while Josh just had a glass of wine. We sat up for there until "last call" around 12 midnight before we headed back home. The alcohol from the drinks really does hit when you are on the 96th floor. Whoooooaa! We took a taxi back home and called it a night. Tuesday Since I was staying another day, Tuesday morning was very relaxing to wake up to. We took our time to get out of bed as we checked e-mail from Josh's laptop. (Did I mention that pugs were involved too?) But I knew that I had to get my butt out of bed soon because I had a paper to work on that I postponed until Tuesday due to my trip. As Josh went to the gym, I stayed home with the pugs as I worked on the paper. After about 2 hours, the paper was finshed and then had a salad with the leftover BQ duck we had on Sunday. SOOOOOO yummy! Since the day was ours and free to do what I wanted, we decided to head to Wicker Park to do some window shopping, which was all I wanted to do. No shopping for the Firefly much to the delight to Josh....and surprise. Then we went to Hot Chocolate where we had dessert before dinner and some very awesome hot chocolate after walking in the cold. YUMMMMY! Then we headed to Costco (Yes, you are reading this right!) for a few essentials that Josh needed before heading home. After dropping me off, Josh went to get some of awesome Vietnamese sandwiches again for dinner. Very yummy. After I ate, I packed all of my essentials 'cept for what I was going to wear the next day since we had to be up at 4:30 the next morning. Then it was off to bed, but not right away. I have noticed that the last two other times and this trip that we tend to do alot of very deep conversation on the night before I leave to go back home. They are very intimate and in depth in content. Even though I was feeling so sad for leaving the next morning, the conversation always seem to put my mind at ease. It's simply amazing. Wednesday 4:30 came TOO damn early for me, but we knew that we had to move so Josh could get me on the right line before heading to work. It only took me about 15 minutes to get ready and finally packed. I felt so sad to leave again. The separation part is so very hard. We ended up holding each other during the entire train ride to the connection train to Midway airport. When Josh showed me to where I needed to go, he had to get onto the train back to the Loop, which was almost there. We said our goodbyes and then we both went on each of our trains to our destination. I wish I had a box of tissue with me on that train because tears were flowing throughout most of the train ride to Midway. Then all of a sudden this train ride brought memories of the first train ride when I arrived in Chicago for NYE. Then I remembered when I met Josh for the first time after I crossed the security point with that hug and kiss. It was a very happy moment in my life. It started this huge journey to where I am at now. I am almost about cross another path to another part of this wonderful journey, but won't know about one part of it for awhile. It's so amazing where love takes you. More about it later....in another post.