It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark… and we’re wearing sunglasses.
I hope you all know that quote.
If not, it’s from the Blues Brothers, which is one of my top comedies of all-time. The reason I’m quoting the movie?
Because I’m heading to Chicago.
As long as nothing falls through or comes up over the next three weeks, I’ll be heading out to the Chicago area to see Brendan finish his basic training at the Naval Training Academy in Great Lakes, Ill. I received a letter from him today letting me know I’m on the short invite list and I wouldn’t miss this unless I absolutely had to.
And, being I have some time, I’m going to do my best to afford this and get out there and see it. Well, unless some employment comes up, which I’ve warned him would stop me from coming and that’s understandable.
Anyhoo, so I’ve been checking out Chicago. My plan is to stay for three days and I think I have some pretty decent ideas. Now, Mother Nature, help me out with this one, will ya? I want to see the boy graduate in good weather!
I’m hopefully going to get an early flight and fly in before most people are even at work. From there, the goal is to rent a car and head to Beverly, which is one of the oldest active geocaches in the world. It was placed May 13, 2000 — so it’s more than 11 years old. The loop that it’s on has something like 10 geocaches and should take about 2 hours total, from information I got from a cacher who recently did the loop. I’ve made contact with a few local cachers, too, who are looking to do the loop so it looks as though I hopefully won’t have to do it solo.
After that, maybe a few other caches before heading to my hotel and checking in and probably taking a shower and finding some food. That night is up in the air. I could go do some more caching. I could relax. Or I could check out a baseball game. A lot of that depends on the weather and my plan for Saturday.
See, the two independent baseball teams in that area that have home games are anywhere from 35-65 miles from my hotel. The ceremony the next day is early, so I have to take that into consideration.
That day is all about the ceremony and being able to hang out with Brendan afterword when he is on his leave. I might sneak off that night for a caching event, pending when I get free and all. That event is about 45 miles away, so I’d have to plan accordingly. We’ll see there.
Saturday is the day of decisions.
The first one is that I could play in a disc golf tournament. It would be an all-day affair, but it is PDGA sanctioned and it would be playing in a tournament in a new area with new players and such. The interest is there to do that. But at the same time, I could always just find myself a disc golf course Thursday or Friday and play a casual round or something. One of those days, I’d also like to make the quick 15- or 20-mile drive up to Wisconsin to find a geocache up there and add that state to my total.
In a perfect world, I wouldn’t mind making the drive into Indiana to get that state, too, but we’ll have to see how the week unfolds.
Anyway, option No. 2 for Saturday is a day of geocaching. I’d be able to hit two or three events (all in the Joliet area), which include a Blues Brother-themed Flash Mob event. Kind of really intrigued by that.
If that happens, maybe I’ll catch a ball game that night.
I originally was going to fly out Wednesday, but want to do this as economically as possible, so I’ll be leaving Thursday.
I’ll be making some decisions soon. But, either way, I’m looking for a fun trip and am really excited to see Brendan take his next step in the Navy. He’s been like a little brother to me for many, many years, so this will be one exciting ceremony.
Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com.