CHICAGO-COLUMBUS

Jul 9, 2013 by

CHICAGO-COLUMBUS

One of the problems with making friends in LA is that so many people move there from different areas that inevitably some of them move back to where they are from.  As a guy who tries to turn negatives into positives, I decided that when 2 of my friends recently moved back to the Midwest, that I would kill 2 birds with 1 stone and visit them both in the same trip.   Thanks Nikol and Matt, you guys made the trip….

 

So how much fun can you really have in 12 days?  Consider:

 

-At one hotel alone, managed to almost get kicked out, then had the bell boy cracking up that we had a cooler full of booze and jello shots, had a different bell boy accuse me of having a huge party when no one else came back to the room, then at the next hotel  packed 4 of their finest robes into the cooler like sardines.  “Housekeeping” you have to learn to keep your door locked when you have 4 robes sitting out for all to see.  And yeah, I  put “Housekeeping” in quotes in honor of Chris Farley’s famous scene in Tommy Boy.  Anyway, that cooler ended out being quite useful….

 

-Went to a tailgate at a Kenny Chesney concert and in the line for the bathroom, I got confronted by some drunk guy who said I didn’t look like a country music fan.  He was perceptive, I’ll give him that.  He asked me for my favorite song by Chesney and I made one up (“My Truck, My Beer, and My Girl….in that order” is the name I came up with) and said it was from some bootleg album that I made up also.  He had to admit he had never heard of the album, and it made him look a little silly in front of his boys.  Sorry, country boy!  Tally one up for the city kid.

 

-Every Maitre ‘D, Host, Waitress, or Greeter sent me in the direction of the bar, poured me a Mimosa, or gave me the wine list.  And I don’t mean most……I mean every one.  It’s like I was wearing some shirt that suggested I liked to party.  Oh wait….

1111

 

 

 

 

 

 

-When I got to Chicago, the Blackhawks were down 2-1 in the Stanley Cup Finals and proceeded to win 3 straight with me in their city!  And yes, I do take credit.  Sports fan or not (and I’m a big one), bars and a city are much more alive when something like that is going on.  And it’s hard to make the Gold Coast section of Chicago more fun than it already is. It’s like the Gold Rush but instead of mining for Gold you are mining for the next great bar or restaurant to hit up.  I think I prefer that type of mining…..

 

-As with most trips, I met tons of great people, and every one was friendly as hell.  I can never argue when someone says the Midwest have the nicest people around.  And all the one liners that go with a great trip like this.  One of the better ones was when Nikol said this to a waitress of ours:  “I’m having beer for dinner.  Do you know what wine goes well with that?”.  I know you just laughed out loud at that one!  The waitress pretty much thought we were the coolest people in her restaurant after that.  I could go on for 10 minutes about all the great one liners, but my boss said I should proceed.  And yes, I am my own boss.

 

The trip by the numbers:

 

4:  Amount of flights that I took on the trip.  I spent more time with a bird’s eye view than Superman.

 

3:  Bodies of Water that I went out on or in.  Lake Geneva, Chain-O-Lakes (Thanks Angelika and Dave), and Lake Michigan (Thanks Sadiq).  Spent more time in and around the water than Aquaman.

 

3:  Rooftop bars I hung out on.  The Signature Room at the John Hancock building, and the rooftop bars at the Wit and the Raffaelo.  I spent more time hanging out on rooftops than Spiderman….I just heard all of your minds say “Enough SuperHero references already!”.  Meet IntuitionMan.

 

Having lived in LA for so long, a change is weather was going from an average of 82 in June to 83 in July.  The weather in the Midwest, however, changes all the time. I experienced 4 lightning storms while I was there and the sky can go from looking peaceful and quiet to being in a rage within 5 minutes.  Reminds me of some women I know.  I think I now know why it’s called “Mother” Nature.  That being said, like all women, even the rage (lightning storms) turned out to be beautiful and memorable.  Plus, having a cocktail during a thunderstorm is really kind of nice…..

 

I have partied all over the world, and with the exception of the Irish (I’m an O’Sullivan, I’m biased) Chicagoans are just as fun to party with as anyone.  It just seems like there is always something to do.  Random Wednesday, we find a pool party and house party.  Thursday, I’m drinking on a boat in Lake Geneva.  Friday, drinking at a bar on the Chain O Lakes and lighting off Firecrackers at 1 in the morning.  Saturday I’m on a boat, then barhopping the city, from random Sushi places to Rooftop Bars.  Sunday Funday……well, you get the idea!  There’s never a shortage of things to do in Chi-Town!

 

Finally, I have to mention the food.  Oftentimes when I travel I skimp on the food but not this time.  Ate at LuxBar (waitress loved us), Carmine’s (where Capone used to have people whacked), Le Colonial (beautiful French-Vietnamese fusion), and several other fine establishments.  The Chicago SuperFans from that SNL skit who only ate Bratwurst didn’t know what they were missing in their own city!  Great food, great drinks, and most of all great people……yeah you could say I really enjoyed Chicago!

 

It was then on to Columbus which was like going back to when I was in college.  Everyone is drinking Natty Light, Keystone, and Busch Light, and you can get a 48 ounce drink at the local bar for $5.  You are also surrounded by Ohio St. Co-Eds everywhere.  If I wasn’t in my 30’s I would say that it was just perfect, but instead I kind of felt like I was on the set of Old School 2.  Guys in their 30’s  surrounded by girls in their early 20’s.  The only thing we were missing was starting our own fraternity.  OK, let’s be honest, it is kind of perfect….In honor of Old School, the girl in the following picture decided to recreate the “We’re going streaking” portion of the film (and yeah, that’s me with her):

topless

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luckily, I’m not married so there was no saturday morning trips to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, although my partying ways in Columbus certainly did resemble Frank the Tank.

 

A few gems from Columbus:

 

-As I said, there were so many young girls in Columbus that a guy in his 30’s could feel old, but a friend of Matt’s found a solution to that.  He’s 36 years old, but carries a fake ID around saying that he’s 26, so when one of the Co-eds inevitably told him he looks old he would just bust out his fake ID and they see he’s really not that much older than them.  I’m not sure if it’s genius or kind of sleazy….Like a lot of things, it’s probably a combination of both.

 

-One of the more random excursions was when I decided to go for a 6 mile run in the middle of a rainstorm.  It was through the rural parts of Columbus and lots of overweight people were sitting on their covered decks looking at me with disdain, like they had never seen anyone go for a run before.  Apparently, the only thing that runs in their families is diabetes…..Hard to describe but listening to my iPod, rain drenching me, and people looking at me like I was in alien, made me feel totally alive!!

 

-Tailgating at the Kenny Chesney concert was truly a blast.  Despite the one jackass, all of the people at the concert were cool as hell and everyone would invite you to their tailgate, give you a beer, offer you food, etc. Just a great bunch of people.  And yes, I could get used to seeing beautiful girls in Boots and Cutoff Jeans.  Considering the only country song I know by heart is “Friends in Low Places”, I have to say that I fit in just fine.  Don’t know if I’ll ever be going in to the concert, but give me a country music tailgate and I’m there.

 

As for the return flights, they couldn’t have been more different.  Flying out from Columbus, I was seated next to a beautiful young girl from a tiny town in Ohio.  She was about to start training to be a flight attendant on American, and she just had a great personality and a quick smile. I told her about this blog, so I hope she’s reading this and doing well in her training.  The second flight was from Dallas and I know they say everything is bigger in Texas but I didn’t know that would include having two 300 pound guys on each side of me.   But even that couldn’t bring me down…..The trip had just been too much fun!

 

Despite my constant partying and traveling, I really am a sentimental guy at heart, and I found out on this trip that one of my best friends had died (R.I.P Noah), so it just makes you cherish the great moments even more.  Tomorrow is not promised to any of us, so live every day to the fullest.   Thanks again to everyone who made the trip so memorable……you know who you are!

 

Until next time……

 

Big B

 

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