Musing: Chop Chop! Downtown Chicago with Jolie

August 29, 2011: Chop Suey Day 
Food of the Day for a One-Year Goal
Day: #54

Chop, chop! Cole and I were very busy on Monday. We were up, at it, and on the road very early. Ok, by 8:30, but I was traveling with a teen and two Bouvier de Flandres that were headed downtown with us to be buffed and coiffured.

Rascal would like to introduce you to Rosie and Lulu.

This is my Bouvier de Flandres-Lulu

This is my other Bouvier de Flandres-Rosie

Our first stop was (can you guess? . . . come on . . . 8:30 in the morning traveling with a teen?) Here is a hint.

If you guessed Starbucks, you would be correct. Two Frapachino’s put us both in fine spirits and raring to take downtown Chicago by storm.

The Jolie was ready for her tour of the Windy City.

We dropped off our four-legged passengers and went in search of downtown parking. PARKING! Don’t even get me started! For the life of me, I cannot figure out why the people living in Chicago are robbed when it comes to parking. Public transportation is not always an option — I said don’t get me started. Rather than deal with the meters that never work and thwart my very existence, I just pulled into a lot and tried to figure out the rates. It was $37 for three hours, unless I had a $10 purchase from the Nordstrom mall, and then it dropped down to $13. But if I went over a certain time limit, my purchase would not be credited towards my parking. Give me strength! Who cares? It’s only money, right.

Cole and I agreed our mission was to show the Jolie as much of downtown Chicago as we could in about three hours. Our first stop was McDonalds because I needed to use the bathroom. When I came out of the bathroom, Cole was gone.


Gone. Searched McDonalds, looked outside . . . gone.

My phone rang; Cole was next door at The Pie Place. It doesn’t work to get bent out shape with your kid during an outing where you will be asking him to pose with an action figure while you take pictures. So I walked in and said, “LET’S GO!” But we couldn’t go because we needed to wait on his large meatball sandwich.

Cole thought the place had pie because it was called The Pie Place (I can follow this reasoning), but it had pizza pie and not apple pie. He was then too embarrassed to walk out without ordering anything, so he did the only thing he could do — order a large meatball sandwich, fries, and a large Coke.

I was nice, but I glared at him.

Cole’s order arrived and he wondered if I could hold his Coke while he walked along eating his meatball with sauce sandwich.

Keep in mind, I have a camera, camera bag, and the Jolie. I kindly and patiently suggested we sit at the outdoor cafe while he enjoyed his sandwich.

Cole finally finished his sandwich and we headed towards a 26-foot-tall statue of the iconic sex symbol Marilyn Monroe, lace panties on full display under her billowy-skirt from The Seven Year Itch, that sits smack in the middle of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile

There was really no polite way to pose with this statue. The tourist that amused me most stood under her dress looked straight up and made an OH, MY GOD face. I had to wonder what Chicago was thinking. Cole posed with her, but not happily.

My best shot of Cole and Marilyn

Jolie’s tour of Chicago with pictures will be featured on Blurt, so you will have to wait a while for that part of the story — but I can assure you we did not miss many of the attractions that make downtown Chicago great, from Billy Goats to the Art Institute.

Before we headed back to the car, I wanted to stop at the world’s best popcorn store, Garretts.

While we were standing there, I reached into my bag for the Jolie because I thought it would be a cute picture to pose her by a popcorn tin. Jolie was not there. Frantically, I paid for the popcorn and raced outside to dump my camera bag on the ground and search for Jolie. She wasn’t there. Cole stood there watching me. I looked up, and he grinned and pulled Jolie from his pocket. The rest of this paragraph will be left to your imagination . . .

Heading back to our car, I realized I was starving, and as luck would have it, P.F. Chang’s was right by the parking lot. I went right in and ordered Lettuce Wraps with Chicken Chop Suey . . . sort of. Close enough. The waitress said if I wanted to call it Chop Suey, she would swear to it. Lunch for one was very good and unbelievably reasonable. Ok, so I fed Cole, but not happily.

When we reached the parking garage, I warily approached the parking payment kiosk. Inserted parking ticket, inserted credit card, ding ding . . . parking will be $17. I rubbed my eyes . . . $17 was less than half of what I expected to pay. I was jubilant!! . The person next in line to pay explained that I must have arrived before 10 a.m. and received the early bird parking special. I did a happy dance all the way to the car.

Driving out of the garage, Cole asked me if $17 was a good price for 4 hours parking, and once again we talked about life being a matter of perspective.

Emily made real Homemade Chop Suey! And she said it was, “dang tasty! Best use of leftover steak ever.”

It does look dang tasty! Ya know I think it looks a little like PF Changs Chop Suey, don’t you?

I will leave you with this: Remember, man who eats with chop sticks . . . goes hungry.

This was a long muse filled with fascinating insights and photos! I know you will be equally as fascinating when you muse with me by leaving a comment…Odd Loves Company!!


13 thoughts on “Musing: Chop Chop! Downtown Chicago with Jolie

  1. The Marilyn Monroe statue is, well big. It looks very out of place.
    Chicago parking is expensive! I thought $8.00 for a whole day was high.
    Sounds like you and Cole had fun in an Odd sort of way.

  2. That was delightful KB — laughed out loud several times! YOU are many wonderful things and one of them is YOU are a wonderful Mother. I’m assuming the next installment of Odd will include pics f Jolie at various downtown locales? 🙂

  3. Did you take Jolie to the bean? or Navy pier? hehehe … Reading to your story makes me want to go back to Chicago. I love Chicago, it’s really my favorite city in America. my husband have to bribe me with a trip to Chicago each time we (have) to go to see the in-law in WI. 🙂

  4. My daughter is either the silliest Mother alive or a saint, and I can’t for the life of me figure out which!

  5. Pingback: Musing: Acorn Squash & Transitions

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