S: Bang on!
BC: They both lived happily ever after... The End!
FC: Chicago - The Unforgettable, 72-hr Journey of July, 2012
1: Once upon a time (7/10/12, actually), two adventurous ladies decided to embark on a spontaneous, 72-hour journey, to the magical land of Chicago. After completing an 8-hour shift at the hospital, they jumped in the car to begin the 6 hour, 14 minute (according to Google) drive.
2: Singing along with Justin Beiber, Carly Rae Jepsen, Kip Moore, and Katy Perry, they were pumped up and ready for anything. When they reached WI Dells, they were no longer "Wide Awake." It was time for a 5-hour Energy shot (well, half of a shot, since they're each about the size of a 12-yr old)!
3: 37.9 miles down the road, the best song ever, "Get Outta My Dreams," started playing on Sirius XM. Because it was unsafe to do Ocean Shots while driving, they consumed the remainder of their 5-hour Energy shots. Cheers!
4: At approximately 5:45 am, Lindsy & Kasey arrived at their destination: The United Center in the Windy City! They proceeded to take care of some "unofficial business."
5: Yes, Kasey decided to complete a bucket list item, and audition for American Idol. Lindsy, her future manager and super-supporter, had to witness this event, but actually secretly hoped to meet Randy.
6: At 6:15 am, they were seriously sleep-deprived and starving. They used technology known as an iPhone, to search for the nearest Denny's. Google maps directed them to a Denny's in Toronto, approximately 9 hours away. Feeling like they were being Punked, they searched again, and found one only 6 miles away, in Oak Park. On the road again...
7: The time was 7:35 am. With bellies full of Loaded Chorizo Breakfast Burritos, and hotel check-in not until 3 pm, the only thing they could think of doing was getting some sleep. But where...? | ...and with signs like the one above, how?!
8: Eventually, they found a parking spot, and wandered over to Scoville Park. Nestled behind a large bush, between a family with small, ADHD children and a sketchy park maintenance guy with a shovel, on the edge of the sprinkler system, Lindsy & Kasey napped on bright red blankets. That's correct, they SLEPT in a PARK in Chicago. | Scoville Park, a Historic Property of the Park District of Oak Park
9: The time was 10:40 am. A 2-hour nap was all they could tolerate in the heat, humidity, & sprinkler mist. The hotel had rooms available for early check-in, so they took advantage and drove downtown. | They stayed at the Hyatt Regency, which was beautiful, fancy, & much more classy than a city park. Here are a couple views of the city from their room window. | Nothing says pampered like "valet parking"...
11: After much-needed showers, they decided to explore The Loop. The first stop? A coffee shop! They purchased super-sugary, highly-caffeinated, extremely delicious beverages, and walked in the direction of Millenium Park.
15: After exploring Crown Fountain, Wrigley Square, and The Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Lindsy & Kasey went in search of Cloud Gate, the giant, magical structure commonly known as "The Bean."
16: As it turns out, they were completely captivated by The Bean... | "Look at all of those hand prints! I'd like to culture a swab from The Bean!" -Kasey
17: "I think the gravitational pull of The Bean is much greater than 9.8m/s^2!" - Lindsy
19: After being released from the pull of The Bean, their journey continued to other parts of The Loop. A lot of walking in the hot sun resulted in the decision to find a place for a cold beverage and appetizers. They casually walked into "Dick's Last Resort," and were seated on the patio (where no paper hats were allowed).
20: Neither of them had heard of such a place, nor did they know what to expect. | Their waiter, pictured here, sat down at the table and casually asked, "What do you skanks want?" Kasey & Lindsy looked at each other in shock, then started laughing. This made their waiter angry. "Come on, I don't have all day. There are other customers waiting," he shouted! | Jeez... You guys are older than ME!
21: They ordered Hurricanes, and asked for more time to look over the menu. He was once again angered. He said, "Ugh! When you finally do decide what you want, I'm going to rub my ball sack all over it for taking so long!" Then he stormed off.
22: Mmm...hurricanes and crabby balls. The perfect afternoon treat! | I wish I had a paper hat... | We'll take the crabby balls...minus your ball sack.
23: Upon leaving Dick's, they found this fella, and couldn't pass up the opportunity for a photo. There's really no other explanation for this moment, so don't over-think it.
25: They had gourmet pizza, delicious wine, and (FREE for some reason) cookies, at the Italian Bistro. Then, they took another walk along the river.
29: Brace yourselves. The following scenes from their adventure occurred because of sleep deprivation and wine. Red wine. In glass tubs. Just remember, you were warned...
30: Kasey had a traumatic childhood stair experience...and too many people asked to touch her hair today. | Mirror mirror on the elevator walls...who's the fairest of them all?
31: Kasey heard there was a fire in the stairwell...Lindsy got the ice, but opted for her shirt instead of the nice lady's bucket.
32: Lindsy proceeded to give her final goodbyes to her secret admirer on floor 31. | Kasey picked up the phone when it started ringing. All she heard was "He looks cool in whatever he wears..."
33: The Fire Ho grabbed her handy dandy equipment and prepared to set fire to the rain. | The flames crept higher and higher, but were no match for Lindsy's extinguishing abilities.
34: Fire? Shmire! Kasey took a class in plunger self-defense...she was ready. | Still raging on 5-hour energy fumes, Lindsy demonstrated her superhero strength. The wall threw the first punch. At least that's how we remember it.
35: Who needs a door knob when Lindsy has a plunger? Stand back! | A PINK fire hose bag-thingy? Of course Kasey would find it...and try to fit inside it!
36: Kasey was past the point of delirium, and exhausted from fighting the fire. All she wanted to do was spider crawl up the stairs...
37: The time was 9:30 pm. Bedtime. They had a very big & busy day ahead of them. The 3 am alarm was a shocker...
38: The time here was 5 am, and the "Dynamic Duo," (a nickname given to them on a previous adventure) were bright-eyed and...just kidding...barely awake, in the parking lot of the United Center. Although auditions didn't officially start until 8 am, it was mandatory to be a part of the pre-show filming. Bring on the crazies! Stated in the official instructions: "It's important that you participate. Our cameras are on you all the time, even when you many not realize it.
39: Small groups formed around acoustic guitar players. They all broke out in song, hoping to get the attention of the camera crews & producers. | Kasey & Lindsy, feeling slightly more sane and about 10 years older than the average auditioner, kindly declined the offer to "sing Lady Gaga really loudly for the cameras," when asked.
40: Ryan Seacrest & Haley Reinhart opened the show & gave the audience a pep talk. Sorry Haley, the skinny jeans are not working for you!
41: Another hour of filming took place before the auditions started. Each segment was repeated about 3 times, or until they got the "perfect shot." Rather interesting to witness all of the behind-the-scenes action.
42: They received the unfortunate news that their section was 3rd-to-last to audition. For 10 HOURS, they waited in the absolutely frigid (Kasey's fingernails were blue) United Center, poisoning their bodies with nachos and peanut M&Ms (no outside food allowed), trying to stop their ears from bleeding, due to terrible "singers" practicing in the halls...& bathrooms...and crawl spaces... | 11 tables were set up across the arena, with 2 judges (Idol producers) at each table. 4 pieces of tape were placed in a line on the floor, in front of each table. A section was called to the floor, and contestants were arranged in groups of 4. Each group walked over to a table. One-by-one, they had 30 seconds to sing their hearts out.
43: At approximately 3:30 pm, Kasey was FINALLY called down to the floor. She chatted with the 3 in her group and they wished each other good luck. They were originally lined up in front of the judges of table 4. Watching the reactions of the judges to the groups ahead of her, Kasey thought they seemed cool and fair. The male judge even winked at her. Cripes. It felt like smooth sailing, until, at the last minute, Kasey's group was moved to table # 8...
44: The judges of table 8 did not look happy to be there. The look on their faces was a combination of "I want to run away" and "please shoot me now!" There were two groups ahead of Kasey's, all very decent singers, and they didn't let anybody through.
45: The girl in blue stepped up first: great job! Next, the girl in pink: also very good. Kasey was 3rd: she did a soulful rendition of Eva Cassidy's "Wayfaring Stranger." The last chick did a show tune: great voice. And the results?! Drum roll, please... Each of the 4 received a no. Sorry, folks, you will not see Kasey singing on season 12 of Idol.
46: After an extremely long day at the United Center, Lindsy & Kasey just wanted to relax and eat something healthy. There was a lack of taxis in the first 10 minutes of waiting outside, so Kasey called a random company. They waited, and waited, and waited. A half hour later, Kasey called back. Again, they waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, after over an hour, they were able to flag down a taxi. During the 15 min ride back to the hotel, they came extremely close to death at least 5 times. Chicago drivers...
47: They changed into comfortable walking stilettos, and ventured into The Loop for dinner. They found a fabulous Irish/British Pub called, "Elephant & Castle." Their food was served in record time, and it was absolutely delicious! They even learned a new British term: Bang on! It means, "exactly correct or appropriate." | Seated by a window, they did some people watching while eating. Suddenly a group of Ghostbusters walked by. Hmmm...Bang on!
48: Next stop after dinner? A walk down Navy Pier! | They saw a pirate ship! Arrrrrr!
49: The view of the city was spectacular! Lindsy almost her cookies; good thing it was only a 7 min ride! | They couldn't pass up the chance to ride the giant ferris wheel!
50: Whenever Kasey is at extreme heights, it puts her in a state of peaceful serenity. Here, she demonstrates mindful meditation. | View of the various activities on the pier below.
52: Is Kasey wearing clothes?
53: Mmm...men with English accents!
54: "Flipping your fins you don't get too far. Legs are required for jumping, dancing... strolling along down a... Sh*t! What's that word again? STREET! They covered every inch of Navy Pier and decided it was time for cheesecake!
55: Wagner's Bakery, in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago (a.k.a. the ghetto), was rated the #1 place in the city for cheesecake....by 4 people. Yeah...they almost lost their lives, yet again. | After barely escaping the ghetto, they found themselves on the 1st floor of the John Hancock Building, in a restaurant called, "The Cheesecake Factory." Lindsy had the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake, & Kasey had the Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake. YUM!
56: They managed to obtain 7 hours of sleep Thurs night, which was more than both of the previous nights, combined. Ahhh... | Everything was going smoothly, until they hit the Kennedy Expressway. Yes, only 9 miles into the drive, they encountered a major accident. So major, the entire expressway was shut down until NOON! So much for leaving early. | Kasey called for her precious, baby car from valet. She was fearful it was stolen and trashed somewhere in Mexico. Kasey really loves her car, and it was unharmed. Don't judge. They hit the road early, knowing they had a long drive back to reality.
57: Crazy things happened on the road, once the traffic started flowing. A man driving a large SUV, pulling an even larger trailer, decided to cut them off. Kasey, wanting the educationally deficient individual to be fully aware of his mistake, laid on the horn for about 12 seconds. This angered the moron. He hung half way out of his window and shook his fist at them. They smiled and waved. | They were so thrilled to pay more tolls. However, with the next toll quickly approaching, and all 3 car lanes completely full, they had no choice but to drive through the I-Pass lane. Oooops!
58: Question: What happens when an individual drives through an I-Pass lane without an I-Pass? Answer: He/She receives a beautiful pink ticket in the mail!
59: Several traffic accidents tacked an additional 2.5 hours onto their drive (8.5 hrs total). However, they made it safely back to rah, rah, Rochester, without a scratch!
60: Top 10 Things They Learned in Chicago: 1. 5-hour Energy actually works...not for the full 5 hours, but at least 3! 2. American Idol is NOT a singing competition. It's a drama competition. 3. Ryan Seacrest is a very small man with too much makeup. 4. When there's something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Definitely not a Chicago taxi! 5. Dick's Last Resort is NOT a family-friendly restaurant.
61: 6. Fire escapes are wildly entertaining on 2 hours of sleep! 7. The Loop is SO cool! Pilsen is not. Do NOT visit the Pilsen Neighborhood. Also, do NOT believe what you read about Wagner's Bakery. 8. Navy Pier is a "must-see!" 9. The best form of transportation in Chicago: walking. The best form of transportation to and from Chicago: airplane! 10. Plans for a return visit are in the making...