America 2016: Day Six (31 May)

Well, one and one is two
Six and two is eight
Come on baby don’t ya make me late
Hidehey
Baby don’t you wanna go
Back to that same old place
Sweet home Chicago
– The Blues Brothers
Tuesday 31 May
After a big day yesterday, I slept like a log last night and woke up to a very nice summer morning. We had breakfast with Brooke, Miles and Paige (and Jaimie, who has been ridiculously nice to us) and afterward down in the basement, Miles and I played a medley of sport, including hockey and basketball after which my back had seen better days. It’s hard to play these sports on your knees. I have newfound respect for parents everywhere!
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Paige wanted in on the hockey game.
Pretty cruisy morning, and we headed to downtown Wheaton to have lunch with Matt. He always makes time for us when we’re here (like everyone else, pretty much) and we had a great meal and conversation at Shane’s Deli. It’s a pretty popular place, and we preceded a massive rush of people just after we arrived. They were queuing just about out the door a few minutes later. We managed to snag an outdoor table, too, which was perfect on such a nice day. The ‘Clegger’ sandwich with jalapenos is sensational, and definitely my go-to at Shane’s. Been there twice now, and it delivers big-time.

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Downtown Wheaton is a very charming place, and one of the best things is the Little Popcorn Store. The store, a bit of an icon here, is barely wider than a person, and there is all sorts of different candy you can buy from shelves. You get a white paper bag and fill it with whatever you want…for ridiculously cheap prices. Also, the popcorn they make on the premises is absolutely to die for. Literally, it’s perfect and – relatively – healthy! Unlike the stuff you buy in cinemas, it’s white rather than yellow and there isn’t a heap of butter used. I don’t know how I found room after my sandwich at Shane’s but I managed to eat a medium-sized bag. Sensational effort by myself!
Continuing our tour of Wheaton/Naperville hotspots…Super Target. I understand that this seems mundane, but, really, it’s one of those places you need to visit just because it’s a mammoth store and unlike anything we have in Australia. I guess you could call it a combination of Target, Woolworths, Dan Murphy’s and 7-Eleven all rolled into one absolutely enormous facility. It’s great when you can buy clothes, CDs and beer all in the same place. How convenient!

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Super Target – big enough to make your head spin!
We walked out of Super Target into all sorts of crazy weather. The sky was black as sin, and that’s no exaggeration. I knew things were going to get dicey when my Weather Channel app gave me a warning of torrential rain, flash flooding and nearby lightning strikes. That was enough to convince Nathan and I to head back to Matt and Jaimie’s – and we arrived there literally just a few seconds ahead of a mammoth downpour. I mean, this was a BIG one.
Unfortunately, that rain put an end to Brooke’s softball game and our debut as Matt’s equipment managers (he’s the coach) but there’s another game Thursday. The sad thing is that by the time the game was meant to start, it was a pretty nice evening, pleasantly cooler and there was actually blue sky. Pity about the insanely waterlogged fields, though. So, we hung out in the cul-de-sac watching the kids on their bikes. It’s a really nice neighbourhood here, where cars slow down and people are completely friendly. And Jaimie made amazing pork for dinner. Just so good!

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