Chicago Chicago, That Toddlin' Town

Well.  I bought a non-refundable bus ticket home for $14 so that I could go to the book club.  And then I ended up not using it.  Perhaps this is foolish, or perhaps this is me exerting my free choice and an example of me following my heart.  In fact, this entire weekend was a lesson in spontaneity.

On Wednesday night, I got a fever from my ever so lovely kiddies at the preschool I work at.  So I decided that I would see how I felt and whether or not we should even pursue our weekend plans.  Friday night, I felt awful and pretty much resigned myself to a quiet weekend at home.  I went to bed by 11 pm that night, and woke up at 10 the next morning feeling ... almost 100%.  I still had a smaller appetite than I expected, but otherwise was in good shape.  So when my mom called about half an hour later, I said, "Sure, let's do it!"

My mom and brother came over at 11:30 yesterday and hung out while we finished getting ready to go.  By noon (er, noon:15) we were on the road, en route to IKEA*.  As we were driving, we began thinking about all the people we love in the Chicago region (most specifically in the suburb we used to live in which also has a Trader Joe's).  And then we called them.  "Hey A, wanna meet us at Ikea?  Oh, and then go to TJ's with us?  Oh, then we'll see your apartment?  OK!"  and then "Hey, P family, can we come by and say hello later?  You want us to stay the night?  Sure!"

... Suddenly, our little visit to Ikea was no longer just a visit to Ikea.  Though we had no extra clothes (since we were planning to come back home right away after the shopping expedition), no toothbrushes, hadn't planned for anyone to let out my mom's dogs, feed our cats, we plowed ahead and embraced each plan as it fell into our laps.  We kept looking at each other in amazement: is this really happening?

And it did happen.  We spent four hours in Ikea, drove to TJ's, saw A's apartment, and arrived at the P family house by 10 pm.  There, we ate quesadillas, drank amazing wine, and used extra toothbrushes.  We woke up, drank strong coffee, said our goodbyes, and piled back in the van.  Three hours and a new computer later (while in Chicago, we stopped at another friend's apartment, where I gave him money and he gave me a computer), we arrived home.

It was a whirlwind and nothing like I expected the weekend would involve, but I wouldn't have traded a minute of it for a lazy weekend at home.  I'm sad to have missed the book club, but I know there will be others, and I know I got to spend valuable time with my friends and family through it all.  It's so worth $14.

*from now on, I'll write IKEA as Ikea.  The repetition of all-in-caps IKEA over and over in this post started stressing me out, as if I were occasionally yelling.  So I took matters into my own hands and changed the store name, basically.