America 2016: Day Nine (3 June)

Born down in a dead man’s town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
End up like a dog that’s been beat too much
Till you spend half your life just covering up
Born in the U.S.A., I was born in the U.S.A.


– Bruce Springsteen
Friday 3 June
After the excitement of Six Flags Great America yesterday, I slept for nine hours (and then some!) and woke up feeling completely refreshed. I’ve been having massive sleeps here, and it’s great.
Got Paige to smile!
Miles and Brooke.
Of course, we had breakfast with the kids, and after that went down into Matt and Jaimie’s basement which, if I’ve never mentioned before, is stocked with some pretty awesome toys. Miles’ favourite is hockey, and he seems to love nothing more than scoring on me. He’s always the Blackhawks and I’m the St Louis Blues. Let me tell you, the Blues never win, and the ‘Hawks always win. So, I’m on my knees so that the small stick actually works, and it gets fairly uncomfortable after a while. A short while, if I’m honest.


Basketball is much better. At least I can stand up for that one. We played restaurant with Brooke (Jaimie and Ozzie were also drafted in for that) which involved sitting on a chair, and that was great after the hockey and basketball contests of earlier in the morning. Brooke has the waitress thing down to a tee. You’d swear she was already working for Denny’s or Applebee’s or somewhere.
We had lunch at Twin Peaks today with one of our good friends, Scott Weller, who came over from his office to meet up with us. The best way to describe that place is Hooters, but with an alpine theme to it. The food is good, the beer cold, the waitresses good looking, and there are plenty of televisions showing sport. Scott is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met, and hanging out with him his never, ever boring. Today was no exception, and it sucked when he had to go back to work.


A different take on ‘Male’ and ‘Female’ at Twin Peaks!
Tonight was busy. We headed over to Aurora, about thirty minutes’ drive from Wheaton, to the Two Brothers Summer Festival, featuring a line-up of bands (some of them from the area) including one whose guitarist is the husband of a friend we know here. The band was Kevin Andrew Prchal and The Wheeling Birds and they were absolutely fantastic. They were literally like a half of the way through their first song when I decided I really liked them. Good to know that they’re on iTunes back home.
After that set, we drove back to Wheaton and to the Rovik’s house. Allan and his wife Mackenzie are friends of the Alley’s going back a long way, to their high school days. We met Allan (who actually played rugby union in college – a rarity in America!) for the first time four years ago and Mackenzie at the Longhini wedding last year and they’re both really good people.


We had a drink in their backyard before heading into Glen Ellyn (where we’d gone with Brian and Debbie on Wednesday) to a really great Mexican restaurant called Santa Fe. We had to wait fifteen minutes or so for a table, and that’s when trouble arrived…in the form of very tasty house margaritas. When we did get seated, there was more margarita, delivered to the table in a giant jug. Too many refills
I can’t recommend Santa Fe enough. It’s some of the best Mexican I’ve ever eaten, the wait staff are outrageously funny, the alcohol was good, the food better (I had the chicken enchiladas and, unusually for me, couldn’t finish everything on my plate) and it must be said that the company was better again. The Rovik’s are so much fun! We’re all gonna hang out again on Sunday.


We ended up at a bar after dinner, drinking beer. So, we went from beers to margaritas and back to beer. That wasn’t ideal and by the time we got home – after midnight – my head was spinning like one of the roller-coasters we rode so many times on Thursday. A really great night! My stomach was sore at times from laughing so hard!
What a fun day and night!


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