I made poor Ian get up and drive me to Des Moines at quarter until 7, poor lad. He was good about it though.
I got on the bus, had a decent seat, alone even for the first part of the trip. The outlets didn't work, so my aging IPod ran out of battery by Davenport, but I did get the spend the last part of the trip sitting next to a fabulous German babe (and sitting in back of us was her fabulous German babe Mom) so that was pleasant.
We pulled into Chicago right on time and I walked across the loop to the train. One moment of sadness. As many of you know, I used to run a comic and game store on Jackson, right around the corner from the Sears Tower (go on, try to call it that other name, I will abuse you verbally and perhaps physically next time I see you). It's now a Subway … makes me sad. I wonder what the other location is now, I didn't have the energy to walk up there to see.
There was only one street musician out, a pretty nifty sax player, so I didn't have too much distraction on the way. It was a cold day.
The funniest moment was when a guy stopped me and asked me for help, it sounded like he wanted directions. No, he went into a very good homeless pitch. Either he was on the level, in which case I feel fine giving him a fiver, or he was very good at this, in which case he certainly deserved the fiver. Either way … yeah, there are things I miss about Chicago. Ames only real street character is an old guy who wanders around in bad dresses.
I got on the train and headed north. I hadn't been on the El much in years, so I really enjoyed it. I do miss the conductors doing all the announcements. Now it's all recordings. Kinda sad.
I got to Lizzie's about 3:30 and crashed out. I had spent the week sick and under a lot of stress.
Lizzie got there after work, we sat and cuddled and talked for a bit and decided that we both needed a really good meal, so we headed off to an Ethiopian place a couple blocks away. MAN it was the right choice. TERRIBLE music though.
We got home and both collapsed. Curled up in bed and chattered till we couldn't anymore.
Saturday was lunch at Lulus with two friends of hers. It was a blast. They were both funny and fun. I think I was a little out of it and a bit quiet, but not terribly.
Saturday evening was Flogging Molly at the Congress. AMAZING show.
The first band up was The Drowning Men. Really interesting post punk with occasional twin keyboards. Cool rhythms and a great singer. They leaned very hard toward a dream pop sound, but not really. On listening to them once we were home the albums sounded much like I thought they would, so we bought both of them.
The second band … sigh. Moneygrubber? Moneymonger? Moneyassholes? Ahhhh … Moneybrother. Not Broooce but an incredible simulation. They were embarrassing. Even more so since the audience ate it up. Really, it was like a Broooce tribute band tried to write their own songs. I heard so many direct steals. I think that the folks around me wondered why I kept laughing. It was sad.
Flogging Molly … brilliance … fury … skill. The new songs are awesome, the old songs even faster than they were last time I saw them.
Oh, the Congress Theater. It's an old theater that is, well, a little ratty. Gloriously so.
We started the long trip home, tried to get a cab, failed miserably, so we ended up on the El, which went better than I would have thought. Considering daylight savings time, we rolled into bed at 2 am, and got up at 8 for the move.
Let me say first, before anything else … gundo, Jason, thank you thank you thank you. You two handled the stuff the rest of us could have, but would have probably hurt ourselves trying. You made this so much easier than it would have been. We owe you big time.
I want to thank Kat, Kerry, Richard, Xap, Ron and Raven for coming and hauling stuff and keeping us (especially Lizzie) sane. (Oh, and a special thank you Richard for the Rice Krispie treats, AND coming to help out on your birthday!)
We hit the road right at 2, just when we wanted to get out of there. We stopped at a Jewel and got a couple of snackie things and we started driving.
No, Lizzie started driving, which was a little odd, I am used to being the one driving, but it was nice, I got to actually look at stuff for the first time in years. She liked doing the driving, so she drove the whole way.
We stopped in Sterling at Fung Ming and had some ferocious Kung Pow Chicken. He's still dealing with new peppers, so it's a lot stronger than it was. Perfect for the two of us with colds.
We stopped once more, for gas and got in about 10. So 8 hours in a big truck, not too bad for that trip. We both crashed hard and woke up moderately late.
Off to work … well … off to drop stuff off at work. A lot of Lizzie's stuff is in storage in the warehouse. We backed the truck up, Lizzie, John and I loaded things directly onto skids, wrapped them up and Dave took them off to be flown. It took an hour, a little less even.
Back to Ames, we got out my cart and the hand truck that Penske gave us and got everything else into the house in about half an hour or so, dropped off the truck, did a quick Target and HyVee run and then we were home. Home. it's still a little unreal. Even when I roll over and she's there in the middle of the night, it doesn't quite feel completely real. But she's here and we're starting our new life. It's going to be marvelous, it already is.
Tuesday morning was tough, I did NOT want to go back to work. I've already posted about today, she and Reilly have been having a good day.
Friday she heads back to Chicago to clean the apartment and get a few last things. I take Jared to a meet Saturday. She's back Sunday afternoon, has her first interview Monday morning. We don't travel again really till April 15 (not including kid stuff, of which there is a lot), when we go to Indianapolis so I can meet her family, then a few weeks of craziness, and then settle in for the month of May. She'll go dress shopping for the wedding with some friends one of those weekends, then summer craziness.
It's going to be great.
Life could not better be.