Roadtrippers Collide

Roadtrippers Collide

Day 26

Walmart Parking Lot, MN >>> Chicago, IL

Drive Time: ?

Miles: ?

I woke up sweating profusely. It’s like we crossed the Mississippi and the east coast immediately wanted to remind us we were home by showing us that humidity still exists.

Awake before Michael, like always, I grabbed my clothes for the day and headed into Walmart to change. I received a few glances but I assume for many this is a normal sighting and thus no one went out of their way to question me. Not wanting to wake sleeping beauty, I spent the next hour and a half walking up and down the aisles of Walmart, calling friends back home and pacing the parking lot.

Just when I was starting to become all too jealous that I was not blessed with the talent of sleeping in, I heard “kah-ka, kah-ka” accompanied by the sound of aggressive wing flapping. I turned around to find a crow aggressively chasing me. I kid you not, I started sprinting away. Even though it was early morning, it was not early morning enough as there were about five cars with people watching me get chased by a bird. How embarrassing. Yet, I would expect nothing less of a free night of sleeping in your car at Walmart.

Finally outrunning the bird’s territory, I ducked into a near by target to check out some new aisles for a while. In the meantime, Michael woke up and had an even more exciting more than me. Here’s how he told the story…

“Whadup bloggers? Walmart is a great place to shop, not a great place to sleep. I’m going to rate my sleep last night with a little story. So, I woke up this morning and had to go to the bathroom, of course, so I went into Walmart. And, my shirt was inside out. Not only that but I went into the women’s bathroom without knowing it until a women looked at me, and I looked at her, and I was like, ‘oh shit, I’m in the wrong bathroom.” She proceeded to tell me, “you never know in the day of trans,” and then laughed as I looked homeless with my inside shirt in the women’s bathroom. So Walmart is a great place to shop but not ideal for sleeping.”

After both of our uniquely wild mornings, we met back up just in time for Michael to ditch me again for an hour to run #thegrindneverstops. We stopped at a lake only to find hundreds of people running on the greenway with bibs on. Naturally, Michael just joined the festivities by picking up a fallen bib. He got cups of water and a bunch of cheers along the way as he whizzed past dad joggers and moms pushing strollers. He came happily running back to be with donuts and bananas in hand that he had snagged at the finish line to make me happy too and then we began our journey to the windy city. 

It was a rather short drive, as we had gotten ahead the day before so we got into Chicago around 3 p.m., parked and head for the only must see, the BEAN. We stopped and stared in awe, walked through it a couple of times, took our picture and headed on our way, towards the Navy Pier, all the while enjoying live music courtesy of the Blues Festival…a nice snap-n-go type of city tour, typical of our road trip. 

My loyal followers…I am so sorry but I forgot to mention a very important fact that has accompanied us throughout our road trip. Four college girls from Winston are ALSO ON A CROSS COUNTRY ROAD TRIP. Of course it’s not a competition, but we are in fact winning…they completely skipped Southern Utah, practically a sin. Throughout our trip, we were keeping tabs on their whereabouts through their instagrams and Michael’s senior assassin skills via snapmaps. I would be lying to you if I said we didn’t know they were in Chicago at the same time we were and I would be lying yet again if we hadn’t checked their location once or twice to see if we would bump into them and brag a little bit about our trip. But, I promise that we did not intentionally cross paths with them. Again, we did not intentionally cross paths with them. Yet, there we were in the middle of Chicago, staring our Winston homies straight in the face. What are the chances??!? After some hugs and a selfie, they enlightened us that they got a speeding ticket at 2 a.m. in the middle of Wyoming…need I more proof that our trip was better haha. 

We quickly said goodbye to them, wanting the awkward encounter to end and made our way in the opposite direction of them towards the Navy Pier. After enjoying the sights of the exuberantly expensive ferris wheel and fair swings, neither of which were in our activities budget, and the jungle on the second floor of the pier, we headed to meet our couchsurfing host with high hopes for another memorable evening. 

While Rob was super nice and smart, our nights stay at Andrew’s was far superior in terms of storytelling. With Rob we grabbed some deep dish pizza at a local chain, listened to his life story and admired his amazing forest tattoo, all the while keeping up the facade that we were siblings. We returned to his apartment at the 9 o’clock hour to blow up the air mattress and settle in for the night. 

Stay tuned…tomorrow we return HOME 🙂