America 2016: Day Ten (4 June)

Sun coming up over New York City
School bus driver in a traffic jam
Starin’ at the faces in her rear-view mirror
Looking at the promise of the Promised Land
One kid dreams of fame and fortune
One kid helps pay the rent
One could end up going to prison
One just might be president
Only in America
Dreaming in red, white and blue
Only in America
– Brooks & Dunn
Saturday 4 June
Oh man, my head this morning when I woke up – so far from ideal it isn’t even funny. Didn’t drink enough water last night. Too many margaritas, not enough water. Been a long time since I felt this sketchy. I blame the Rovik’s! No I don’t, not really.
The weather outside this morning pretty much matched my mood: it was grey, had already rained and was forecast to rain plenty more. That meant a trip to the pools at Medinah with Matt, Jaimie and the kids was out. Thankfully, Mike texted that he was going to the mall with Bri and asked if we wanted to join him? Of course!
Bri pushing her own stroller. Mike rocking his new Manly Sea Eagles polo.
Yorktown Mall is impressively large, maybe a touch bigger than Westfield locations back at home. Considering the weather was so bad, I was surprised that the place wasn’t jam-packed. The best thing about the mall at that point was how they sold coffee. An iced coffee made me feel much better. Debbie joined us for a while as we toured different shops, and after Mike took us to our fifteenth sports store, she had enough and bailed.
We weren’t exactly thrilling Bri with our company. In the beginning, she actually wanted nothing to do with us. All she wanted was her dad. Turns out that her being stuck in the stroller or allowed out to walk around makes a major difference to how much she likes adults and once Mike let her out, it was a different story. I should add in as a side note here that we got some interesting looks, three guys with a toddler. People just couldn’t figure out what the situation was – very amusing!
Fun morning at the mall with Mike and Bri!
Jane (Mike’s wife) came over from her chiropractic seminar and met us for lunch. Had Panda Express, which was far better Chinese than I expected. Bought a pair of new Nike’s, for a fraction of the price I would’ve paid for the same pair back home. Also picked up a new Chicago White Sox t-shirt and hoodie. A pretty good morning!
In the afternoon, we headed into Wheaton for Taste of Wheaton with Scott and Kristina Weller, a festival of music and food and beer that is one of the big money earners for the Wheaton Park District and the Chamber of Commerce. The weather got better as the afternoon went on, with the sun making a welcome appearance.
Pretty good cover band!
Now, look, I finally understand how it feels to hang out with someone like Bono. No word of a lie, the Weller’s are like rock stars in Wheaton. Scott, who the Alley’s reckon will be the mayor of Wheaton one day, and Kristina, a very successful personal trainer, seem to know absolutely everyone. I kid you not, in the three hours that we were there, they must’ve talked to thirty people. Incredible. Of course, Nathan and I, and Kristina’s very nice friend Molly – good to meet you, Molly! – basked in the reflected glory.
The Weller’s had to get home so the babysitter could go, so we followed them home and hung out with their two youngsters (Cam and Max) for a while. Cam has a very impressive dinosaur collection and he also seemed content to use me as a playground, climbing all over me like there was no tomorrow. Actually, fun.
What a motley crew!
The Weller’s are awesome!
As the kids went to bed, we ate sushi and pizza in the Weller’s backyard around their bonfire, talking about all sorts of ridiculousness. Scott’s parents, who we’d met at the Longhini wedding last year and who are really wonderful people, came around to drop something off and ended up hanging with us for a good three hours. Then, Cards Against Humanity ensued in the Basement. It’s just as disturbing a game in America as it is back at home.
Me and Cam!
We actually didn’t leave the Weller’s place until after 12:30am. By that point, my stomach was sore from laughing so hard. What a great night and day!
This was a fun night!

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