Saturday, June 13, 2009

Road Trip 2009: Day Two - Part 2

And now, for the exciting conclusion to Thursday, otherwise known as Day 2! Last time you were with us, we had just finished visiting the amazing fountain seen in the opening credits of "Married with Children."

From there, we continued our walk around lovely Grant Park in Chicago, and came across an incredible set of statues created by Magdalena Abakanowicz. The name of this particular piece of art? Agora. 106 cast iron figures created in Poland at the Srem Foundry between 2003 and 2006. These statues seem to represent how we walk around everyday, from one side to another, and then back again, hollow, not seeing or feeling because all anyone ever sees in us is our exterior.

Or maybe they're just awesome statues. Cause they were.

From there, we went to dinner at an incredible Italian restaurant called Giordano's. I had been there once before, and just had to go again to see if the last time I went was a fluke or if it was really THAT good. And I'm happy to say that it was just as good this time, if not better.

Kat, Arp, and I ordered a 12" stuffed crust pizza with green peppers, fresh tomatoes, and sausage. So satisfying. And filling. I had three slices and it was so incredibly rich that I had to roll out of the restaurant.

We weren't really sure where to go next, so we took some advice from a guy Arp had started a conversation with at the Giordano's bar. He had come up from Indianapolis for work and had been told to go to two places specifically: Giordano's for dinner, and Blue Chicago for live music. Since it was only a few blocks away, we walked over to a small building with just a bit of neon.

We entered, and immediately I felt a kinship with this place. We grabbed a table for the three of us and waited for the band to start playing. Tonight we were treated to the Shirley Johnson Blues Band. And it was everything you could ever want out of live Chicago blues. Five piece band plus the incredible vocalist, Shirley Johnson. They played three sets (though we could only stay for the first.) I remember leaning up against the wall, and could feel the pounding of the drums and bass guitar. The sax sounded magnificent, and the two guitars worked together, creating an aural experience that I simply loved. They played some classics, some new stuff, and all of it about hard lovin' women and cheatin' men. You just gotta love the blues!

So I had to buy Shirley's newest CD, "Blues Attack," and she even signed it herself. SO cool.

Once back out on the street, we went to get the car from the garage, and proceeded to our next Best Western for the night in Naperville, IL, about 20 miles west of Chicago. It was a nice distance away, and gave us a wonderfully restful feeling, which we all needed before we all passed out from another long and satisfying day.

Tomorrow, we proceed to the Chicago Cubs game, and then, into IOWA. What awaits us there? Stay tuned for more.

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