You’ve seen the pictures, it’s time to hear the story.
At 5am Saturday (the 26th of September) Natalie and I got our sleepy butts into her car to drive from Upstate New York to Chicago, Illinois. It was a predicated ride of 12 hours, and it was grueling. Poor Natalie, she drove the whole thing (there and back). I’m a lazy good – for – nothing bum who doesn’t know how to drive, so it isn’t like I conned her into driving the entire way, but still. It was awful.
I was antsy the entire way. I mean, I got to nap a couple times during our big stretches, but when it got down to the line, I was the navigator. And I’m terrible at that. We made it to Chicago just in time for rush hour; everyone was getting out of work and driving like city people do, and we were just confused. We used google maps, and it ended up not being detailed enough, so we messed up a little bit. I messed up. The exits were confusing, and directions are hard. Anyway, we got to our hotel exhausted.
This is the point where you can see the crazy in our eyes. But we were safe. Being normal humans, we were hungry for some real food once we settled in. So we went out in search of some Chicago deep dish pizza. Being from New York, we’re used to thin pizza. In Chicago, it’s huge. So we found a place where we would be able to sit and eat, walked to it, and it was bumping. So packed that the people waiting were forced to wait outside. I’m extremely impatient, so I told Natalie that we should just go to the restaurant attached to our hotel. We did, and the service was complete shit. When we told them we wanted to carry out, so we could eat in the room, the server rolled her eyes at us and walked away. Eventually, we did get our pizza.
Look at this monster! It was pretty tasty, but there were a lot of parts where the sauce didn’t cover the cheese and it was too dry. Lesson here: don’t eat at the place attached to your hotel (in our case Pizzeria Ora). Go find good pizza elsewhere, it’s probably worth the wait.
So we ate, I showered and got ready, we napped, and then it was time to go to the show. Jim and the Povolos were doing a small acoustic set in the lobby of a place called Stage 773. But first we had to get there. When we got down to the car, it was blocked in. There were a bunch of cars double parked so they could all fit. But we couldn’t get out. We had to ask the attendant to move the cars for us. We finally got out, and headed to the show. We parked at a bank across the street because we’re cool doods, and headed inside. At this point, it was probably right near midnight. Long day. But it was great fun, there weren’t too many people, and it was free.
The show was great. Meredith Stepien, Mark Swiderski, Nick Gage, and Jeff Blim were all performing, along with Meredith’s best friend from forever. It was really great to listen to their music live again. As exciting as it was to be seeing Jim and the Povolos live, it was more exciting to see a couple familiar faces in the audience. Corey Lubowich, the set designer for Team Starkid was there, along with Nick Lang, the creator of Quicksand Jack and writer of most Team Starkid musicals (and he’s Robin in Holy Musical B@man!). Just seeing them there was amazing. I got to speak with Nick Lang briefly, and he told me that Quicksand Jack is just going to get better and better (you can download it for $3 here).
We went back to the hotel, conked out, and had amazing sleeps. We woke up, I realized I had a cold, and we headed out to do some touristy things (mainly go to Millennium Park).
We did a lot of walking Sunday; to the park, through the park, to coffee shops, to the comic store (it’s called Graham Crackers and it’s awesome!), then back to the hotel. Paired with the dancey-dancing I did the night before, my legs were pooped! When we got back to the hotel, we got ready, and headed over to the Up Comedy Club for 1 Night 2 Last 3 Ever.
It’s so funny I can’t even handle it. Seriously. Go watch it on the livestream of the performance we went to (here) or go see it in Chicago (tickets here). We got super lucky because Meredith and Nick did a short set right after the show (with a special appearance from Joe Walker, Lauren Lopez, Jeff Blim, and Tony). We stayed after that to give Jeff Blim his brownies, and meet the few people we hadn’t the night before. I was bummed when I heard that Joe Walker had run out early, but we did get to meet Lauren Lopez, which was what Natalie wanted to do most.
We slept, and left the next morning. Driving 12 hours is way worse when you aren’t headed toward something super fun, so keep that in mind if you plan a roadtrip ever. Altogether, it was a fantastic trip, even though we got grumpy at the end. Now we’ve had more sleep, and we’re ready to take it easy.
All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners.