America 2016: Day Thirteen (7 June)

We got blue collar people
Little pink houses
White church steeples
Wishes in a fountain
If you know every name on your street
And you know them then you know me
That’s my hometown
America’s my hometown

– Uncle Kracker
Tuesday 7 June
The weather got cold overnight. It was only about 14 degrees Celsius when I woke up, and it wasn’t supposed to get much more than 20, so it kinda feels like this time of the year does back in Australia. No matter, because the sun was out!
Before lunch, we had breakfast and got a haircut, which thankfully cancels out the ferocious hat (or helmet) hair that I had going on for a while. I also caught up on a weekend’s worth of blogging as well, which was good because I was lagging behind thanks to being so incredibly busy.
We met Scott Weller for lunch again. Every time we come into town, he’s always keen for a lunch or two, and more. Our Saturday night at Taste of Wheaton and then back at the Weller’s house is a definite highlight of this trip. Not that there’ve exactly been any lowlights, but what I’m trying to say here is that Scott is a great guy and it’s always a fun hang with him.
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Based on a recommendation from Brian, we went to Hugo’s Frog Bar – and the food was amazing. We started with an appetizer of firecracker shrimp (prawn) and a bowl of clam chowder. Both were amazing. Then, the main course. Honestly, the hamburger I ordered would’ve fed three people. I couldn’t get through the bun or the truckload of fries that covered half the plate. All of that for, like, $12. Amazing value.
I was discussing with Nathan how unhealthy being on holidays/vacation can be. I mean, we’ve been drinking at lunch and dinner pretty much every day since we got here, and then there are the meals! They’re huge, no matter where you go. As much fun as it all is, I’m going to need to do some serious exercise when I get home.
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Hugo’s Frog Bar – amazing!
Jaimie’s parents are in town from St Louis so we hung out with them a little in the early evening before they all went to Brooke’s softball game. It was fantastic to get a photo with everyone in it, including Jaimie. Thanks, Mr Timmerman!
We went around to Brian and Debbie’s place to have dinner with Mike. Unfortunately, Jane wasn’t feeling well and so didn’t join us, but her mother, Ivana – the very last person on our list of people who wanted to see us this trip who we hadn’t yet caught up with – came around for dinner, so that worked out well. We’ve now seen everyone who wanted to see us, so that’s good. A successful effort.
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I love this photo!
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Paige loves the echidna we brought her!
It goes without saying that it was another great night, and now we’re so close to the end of our time in Chicago that we’re starting to say goodbye to people who are more than friends, more like family, and it hasn’t been easy. Of course, we’ll be back – I’m relatively certain of that – but this whole leaving business flat-out sucks. The nicer the people, the harder it is to leave, and people here are amazing.
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Blokes.
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Mike barely made it in!
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Mike rocking his Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles shirt brilliantly.
One more day tomorrow – including what I think is going to be a very memorable cruise on Lake Michigan to get a close-up view of the Chicago fireworks. Looking forward to it!

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