Thursday, November 27, 2008

Chicago Tardis 2008 - Day One

What would be an excursion to a Who convention if I didn't give you all a little travelogue of my adventures?

After much hemming and hawing I decided to drive up to Chicago from Houston. Gas prices have dropped significantly and it gave me some flexibility since The Westin is kind of in the suburbs of Chicago. I hit the road Wednesday morning around 6:30am after finding kind souls to watch the cats and last minute stuff to the car. Now, the directions I printed said it should take me a little over 18 hours to do the drive. I've no clue how fast they think I planned on going, but I call shenanigans. I went a tad insane and just drove straight through. I stopped only for gas and the occasional bathroom/foot warming break and arrived at the hotel at 4:30am Thursday. The longest break was probably 30 minutes or so.

Speaking of calling shenanigans I also do so in regards to the weather. I grew up in South Jersey so I know cold, but haven't had much practice in the 14 years I've been down in Houston. The weather reports all say the lows in Chicago would be in the upper 20's. My car thermometer says it's 19 degrees and I had the frozen legs to prove it. I choose to travel without the heat running. I had no clue how bad my legs were initially until I stepped out of the car and immediately had trouble walking. Clearly I need to rebuild my cold weather tolerance.

Overall the drive was nice. I'm kind of glad I plowed right through because I hit a couple of spots where the traffic was funky due to construction. Those got hit during off hours in terms of traffic so it allowed me to have my freak out moment in regards to where I needed to be without screwing up other people or causing accidents. Speaking of which, I saw a bunch, all going westbound so it just gave me something to look at besides trees. Which I saw a lot of and while I like fall foliage it kind of turns into white noise after the fourth hour.

One of the places I stopped for gas was at some deal called Boomland!. Honestly, that's what it's called. The place to get all your fireworks, kitschy evil rooster knick knacks, and Jesus paraphanelia. Think of it as a tacky Buc-ee's.

As I noted, I got into the hotel around 4:30am. I'm currently chillin' in the lobby all by my lonesome. I must admit to being a tad surprised. While I didn't think a lot of people would be coming in Wednesday I just figured that surely some had and they'd make their way to the lobby. The guys I'm staying with got in on Wednesday but the original plan was for me to arrive in the afternoon. I figure it's a bit of a party foul to send a text in the early AM wondering what room I should go to just because I got all crazy and drove straight through.

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