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A Three State Day

May 22, 2021

We begin our day with a nice 1.6 mile walk to Sawada Coffee in the West Loop to meet Sean, Lisa’s son. Could not have been nicer — the walk, the weather, the views… but most of all meeting Sean and spending some time with him in his neighborhood hangout.

So enjoyed the conversation and learning how a kid from Ann Arbor navigates the world of hockey (high school, club, college and a bit of pro.. including some brutal injuries) to law school to city-hopping jobs to settling with a growing firm in Chicago. He’s young, smart, interesting, talented… and a very nice guy. Incredibly fun to talk to. He and Peter exchanged some math and physics podcasts. As you do.

Here are some parting shot photos of our walk back to the Acme.. where we’ll check out and begin the day’s road trip to Ann Arbor. Chicago: you are a beautiful city.

Taller of these two buildings, at the confluence of two forks of the Chicago River, is where Sean’s law firm’s offices are. He lives in a condo just to the west of here.

Under the L…

And a couple more river walk views… (always following these two…)

We walked all the way to Lake Michigan, then circled back to Michigan Ave and back to Ohio Street. I loved this guy’s job… (worth noting that wall was immense and he’s painting with a roller).

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Uneventful Acme check out and departure. Ann Arbor, here we come.

We headed south on I-90, more or less, past the former Comiskey Field, now Guaranteed Rate Field (such a nice ring to that), ultimately hooking up with I-94 east, which goes directly through Ann Arbor and on to Detroit.

However, we decide we wanted to detour into Indiana and have lunch in South Bend.. because: Pete Buttigiege. It was a 26-mile (or so) detour. Somewhere near Michigan City (which is in Indiana just prior to crossing the boarder into Michigan), we bore off 94 on to 20 (heading due-ish east), then bore off on that on to the 2 (which becomes Western Ave) directly into town. We turned left on Main and voila: downtown South Bend.

We had lunch at this place…. The Fiddler’s Hearth.

We learned from our waitress that there are something like nine colleges and universities within reach of South Bend. I did not know that. (Many of them Catholic… including Notre Dame.)

We intended to hit the 80-90 East (a toll road), and then probably I-69 North back to I-94… but our navigator, Jim, fell asleep in the backseat and we missed our turn, which meant we were left to make our way on country roads. Yahoo!!!

I’m not really sure what-all roads we ended up taking to get back up to Michigan (Jim can’t quite remember, but just directed us from the backseat.. could have been 127 or 52…), but we ended up rolling through a lot of northern Indiana AND Ohio. It was beautiful! Add to that we had windows wide open (Peter’s car’s air conditioning hasn’t worked since last summer, apparently) and music — a great selection of Peter’s music — on high volume. It was loud and there was singing.

There was also an alphabet game. It was the one where you search for words (written on signs, on vehicles, on buildings) beginning with letters of the alphabet (in alphabetical order). It’s a competition.. I was looking for my list, Peter for his. I was having a harder time of it (I was also driving so couldn’t look as hard as he could), but we both got stuck on X. After about 30 minutes of stuckness, we changed the rule: instead of finding a word beginning with X, I gave him a challenge and he gave me one. They had to be hard, just not as hard as finding an X.

This being rural Indiana and Ohio, it was also deep red. We saw lots of Maga Country flags and banners, and signs bearing the name of the twice-impeached, one-term, disgraced former president. So Peter’s challenge was to find a Biden sign. My challenge was to find a sign specific to the 2024 election. We found NEITHER. Peter eventually found the word “X-tra,” and we decided that was legit. He went on to win the contest. (Moms still like their babies to win, even if they’re 22.)

Peter was the photographer on this leg of the journey. This one gives a sense of our view.. note the large crack in the windshield.. that’s been growing for months, following a pebble strike, likely, last winter, Peter said.

Pretty, huh?

Once we got to A2, Peter dropped us at the Burnt Toast Inn and said goodbye for the night. He had work to do! Jim and I unpacked, then took a walk into downtown — just a block away! — and enjoyed quite a hopping Saturday night! The streets were packed with folks — tons of college-age kids — dozens of restaurants with outside seating. We found a pub, got drinks and an ap and just kind of enjoyed the energy of it all.

Around the corner, on Second St, we came upon these hilarious jumping rabbits. I couldn’t quite get one in mid-jump, but I got this weird shot:

And here are the streets of A2 on a summer Saturday night when school’s out:

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