First, let me say, that I had worried for two days prior to our excursion downtown about what I would wear, particularly on my feet, to the Taste of Chicago. I mean, my current pair of tennis shoes has holes in the pinky toes, and that just would not do. But then, flip flops and my legs do not get along very well after a while, so that wouldn’t do either. I went round and round for days.
I didn’t need to worry.
Nobody looked at my feet.
At least I don’t think so, and once I got there I really didn’t care.
So random thought number 1: In a fashion sense, anything goes. I saw a lot of skin (as I had anticipated), but I also saw men in business suits and women in dresses (really!). Anyone who would venture into a crowd of about 500,000 people dressed in business attire only to have BBQ sauce dribbled down the front of his shirt or sweat pouring down her back is not only crazy but needs to report to H.R. immediately. You’re fired!
Random thought number 2: What’s with the body art? I am now officially in the old-fuddy-duddy-minority because I do not sport a tat. Seems like everyone else in the world has one. Now, I’m not one to make judgments—if you want to scratch your skin until it bleeds just to display an image that will undoubtedly sag and fall and become misshapen in not too many years is up to you. Who am I? But I did see the coolest tattoo ever.
Random thought number 3: Get the tasting portion and share it with a friend. Now, every booth has a “regular” portion of several different foods that would be equivalent to a meal. A full rack of ribs. An entire plate of fish and chips. A roasted pig on a spit. But, being the petite and cautious eaters that we are, we wanted to save room for other things, so we went for the “Taste” portion—just a small bit that makes you feel like you’re really not consuming as many calories, even though, over the course of the day, you really are. Here are just a couple of things we tried. The entire list will be given to you if you make a comment below, but only then. Suffice it to say, we “tasted” about 10 different things.
Random thought number 4: Be careful not to eat too much or you might end up like the guy sitting near me, doubled over, staring at the grass. You can imagine what came next.
Random thought number 5: If, after you get bored at the Taste, you decide to walk the entire length of Michigan Avenue, better wear the tennis shoes! I’m glad I did.
Random thought number 6: Macy’s on State Street has a really fine bathroom on the lower level, just through the restaurant area. We used it twice. Thank you, Macy’s!
Random thought number 7: If you really want to feel like a tourist (as if going to the Taste wasn’t enough) head to the ABC 7 Studio on State Street. You can stand there, gawking at the people doing the news like they’re monkeys in a cage, then pull out your cell phone and call your friends to say, “Hey, turn on the T.V.! I’m on the news!” That is, of course, if you actually remember to take your cell phone with you.
Which leads me to random thought number 8: Remember thy cell phone. Unless you want to know how much you mean to your husband who calls you 10 times throughout the day leaving various messages like, “Where are you?” “Why aren’t you answering?” “O.K., now I’m really worried.” “Should I call the cops?” Bless his heart.
Random thought number 9: Teenage boys are as fashion-conscious as the girls. At least the group that sat near us on the train sure was. They had actually bought a GQ Magazine and were reading it—out loud—on the way home. I learned that snakeskin is out, aviator glasses are in, and it’s never cool (unless you’re a drug dealer or want to look like one) to wear sunglasses inside. Who knew?
Random thought number 10: If you ever have the chance to make a day of it with just one child, do it. Abby and I had so much fun, and I know I will never forget our day together. Thanks for the adventure, Abby!