Friday, July 3, 2009

A Fish Out of Water

Today we are in Chicago to see the fireworks. I have to give a presentation on Monday, so we thought we would come to Chicago a few days early to see the fireworks, which are raved about. We booked ourselves into a relatively fancy hotel (thank goodness for membership cards and AAA!). The parking is valet only and is about $45/day. So, we abandoned the car in South Chicago and took the train. It was definitely an interesting experience. Not bad, but interesting.

When we got to the hotel, we got a room and then went out to watch the fireworks, since it was about 9:00 at night, which is what time the guy at the front desk said they would start. We got to the park as they were starting.

The "Taste of Chicago" is going on at the same time, so the park was full of booths and lights and stuff. We started to walk into the park, and I got bumped by a cop who was manhandling someone in handcuffs out of the park. Nice. About this time, I think we realized we were in a very different place than our normal firework viewing location. The people around us we not hillbillies. They were more of the inner city type of folk.

While we were standing there, with thousands of others watching the fireworks, some people started running out of the park. It was like a bomb had gone off and everyone was panic running. We stepped behind a barricade thing and just stood there watching the fireworks while people ran like crazy for about 10 seconds. And then, everyone calmed down and it was over. Very, very strange.

Next a little golf cart dealy with a stretcher came racing from the entrance, horn blaring. Everyone moved out of the way to let them through. Another little vehicle came through with more police on board. It was all just a little surreal.

We moved a little bit away from the rest of the people, down an isle of trees, so we could see a little better and get out of the main stream of things.

Then, the fireworks ended. Just like that. Well, there was a nice ending, but it was all of a sudden.

There was a little kid standing in front of Crab Boy with a little light saber. He was waving at him, basically saying "Look what I have!" Once the fireworks ended, his big brother took the light saber away from him, broke it in half and threw it on the ground. Then proceeded to smack him on the butt a few times because he was crying his head off. Nice. Once we got far away from them, Crab Boy asked us what we would do to punish him if he was in our family. I don't really know. It is so foreign, that I just can't really comprehend it. Crab Boy suggested that the older kid have to buy the younger kid a $100 Lego set.

Now we are in our hotel room. In the water.

Next year, we will probably stay at home and watch the fireworks from our normal place near the car wash on the lake, with all of the hillbillies. While we will feel like fish out of water there too, there will be less people and fewer police.

1 comment:

Space Prof said...

At least you did it once!

We watched fireworks with the hillbillies last night. Very pleasant, except for those smoking near us. No broken light sabers, but a small pack of kids came dangerously close to stepping on my fingers a few times.