Since I realize that I probably went into way more detail than you needed/wanted in yesterday’s post, I’ll try to be more concise.
On Saturday, we met my old college buddy Ryan and his friend Geoffrey for breakfast. I haven’t seen Ryan in five and a half years, so it was really great to catch up with him and see how well he’s doing, etc. He took us to this neat-o restaurant called Wishbone in the Lakeview district and regaled us with stories about old mutual friends and such. Thanks for the great time, Ryan!
They were also nice enough to drop us off at the train station back downtown so we could catch a train out to Arlington for the races. This is something you should know about Tim and I: we both are totally in love with mass transportation. Trains, subways, water taxis — love ’em! Busses… Eh.
Anyway, so even though we’d paid for a parking pass for the Breeders Cup, we decided to take Metra out there instead. The train stop is right behind the track, unlike the remote parking we’d been assigned back in Schaumburg (a stone’s throw from IKEA, as we learned the next day). Plus, it’s much more fun to be able to relax and enjoy the trip, instead of worrying about traffic and did we miss the exit and park right there, no, not there, there!
Once we were on track, we quickly realized that this was not going to be the funnest time at the races. First off, the weather was lousy. Cloudy, windy and cold. The forecast had been calling for mid-50’s, but it was more like mid-40’s. Then, Tim went to place a bet about 20 minutes before the next race. He showed up back at the seats just in time to see the race, but had gotten shut out at the windows. The lines were just unbelievably long.
I had a pretty good time, though, just hanging out at the seats, talking to JT’s dad and people-watching. I didn’t feel at all compelled to bet, as the Breeders Cup is just an amazing day of racing where all of the horses are the best, so picking a few to put money on just seems like an exercise in futility to me. Plus, historically I tend to lose my shirt on Breeders Cup day. Not this year!
During the next race, a horse took a bad step on the turf course and broke his leg just down the track from us, dumping his jockey in the process. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a horse break down in person before, and I have to tell you, it was one of the most heart-wrenching things I’ve ever witnessed. It’s an image that will be burned in my memory forever, I’m afraid.
The poor horse, Landseer, had to be euthanized on the track as his injuries were too severe. His jockey, Edgar Prado, was OK.
Sometimes it’s really hard to be a fan of horse racing.
So, after sticking around long enough to see the Sprint, Tim and I decided that there was too much fun to be had in Chicago to sit around freezing to death and not having fun, so we left. We were just in time to catch a train back to the city, and we spent the rest of the afternoon being tourists on Michigan Avenue. We even ate cheeseborgers at Billy Goat’s.
We met up with another college friend, Gary, and his girlfriend Elena that night for dinner at a restaurant called The Outpost in Wrigleyville. The service was great, the wine was delish, the food was good and we just generally had a really good time talking. Afterwards, we adjourned to a bar called Delilah’s. Its major claims to fame seem to be $2 bourbon specials and a refurbished Addam’s Family pinball machine. Oooooh kay.
But it was fun! We all had too much to drink, we sometimes shouted over the britpop DJ and when Tim and Elena started debating the pros and cons of socialism, I knew it was time to go. Plus, we had the big trip to IKEA to be ready for!
Alas, we still woke up tired and hungover, even with the extra hour of sleep from the switch to standard time. For the three hundredth time, I swore that I would never drink again.
Speaking of which, here I’ve rambled on and on about Saturday, when I promised I’d tell you about Sunday. And now it’s already midnight. Blast! I heartily apologize. Please come back tomorrow and I promise that I will tell you all about our five-hour ordeal at IKEA.