America 2017: Day Five (31 July)

Drivin’ down the street today I saw a sign for lemonade
They were the cutest kids I’d ever seen in this front yard
As they handed me my glass, smilin’ thinkin’ to myself
Man, what a picture-perfect postcard this would make of America

It’s a high school prom, it’s a Springsteen song, it’s a ride in a Chevrolet
It’s a man on the moon and fireflies in June and kids sellin’ lemonade
It’s cities and farms, it’s open arms, one nation under God
It’s America

                                                                                      – Rodney Atkins

Monday 31 July
Wheaton, Illinois

Today was our first full day in Chicago’s suburbs.

For the uninitiated, Wheaton is in DuPage County about thirty miles/forty-eight kilometres west of downtown and it’s a really nice part of the Midwest. Matt and Jaimie live in a quiet cul-de-sac, and it’s kind of like what the Midwest looks like in all the television shows we get.

I slept for about nine hours last night, and it was lovely to do so…without the fear of anyone waking me up. Had a very relaxing breakfast with Jaimie and the kids, caught myself up on the latest developments in Washington D.C. via cable news – there’s plenty going on! – and then headed downtown to eat lunch with Matt and Scott Weller.

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Shane’s Deli in the middle of Wheaton has fast become a favourite of mine. I think this is the third year running we’ve visited at least once. Imagine Subway but with more quality and cheaper prices. You can sit outside and it’s a great place for people-watching. Not for the first time that I’ve been hanging out with Scott, it seemed like everyone who walked past new him. Matt and Scott are some of the best story-tellers I know, and there were a couple that had me in stitches.

After lunch we went around to the Weller’s new house, which is being completely remodelled inside and is basically a construction site. Fun to see Scott’s vision for the place, and it will be interesting coming back here later in the year – already excited for that, by the way – to see how it all looks when it’s finished and they’re moved back in.

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Suburbia is so pretty here in the Midwest

What Chicago trip would be complete without a visit to Super Target? That’s where were headed after we left Scott, and I took the opportunity to buy some new shorts, and a couple of gifts for people back home. Later in the afternoon, I had a very enjoyable nap on Matt and Jaimie’s couch, which recharged me for the night ahead.

You know, I had a feeling that despite it being Monday, dinner with the Weller’s would be a total blast, and I wasn’t wrong. Funday Monday, right? Scott and Kristina picked us up at a little after 7pm and we went to Chuys, a new Mexican eatery that’s opened up across from Twin Peaks, another favourite Weller-inspired location. The food was amazing, the cocktails were great, and sitting outside on a warm summer night with good friends made it even better. Of course, we ended up visiting Twin Peaks for a night cap. I rarely laugh as hard as I do when hanging out with Scott, and tonight was absolutely no exception.

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Thank you, Weller’s!

I’ll need a good night’s sleep, with Six Flags on the horizon tomorrow! Cannot wait!


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