We have an Alex!!

Today was an adventure! We left later than we planned to get up to Union Station to get Alex. Ben was out of meds, so he required more supervision, and we had to stop to pick up his meds, which took more time. And nobody had thought to clean out the car so Alex had somewhere to sit that wasn’t a booster seat, so that had to be done.

Once we got on the road, traffic wasn’t too bad until we reached the 22nd Street exit, but we managed to avoid it because we got off on 22nd to get to Canal and ride that all the way down. Ben and I hustled to get to the station while Mar parked the car, but we really didn’t need to rush; Alex’s train was delayed.

I should have expected it, though. Passenger trains have to give way to freight trains, and the closer a train gets to Chicago, the more freight trains there are. So Alex’s train ended up being almost an hour late. Meanwhile, we met up with J and C and their little dude, N, and tried to figure out what we were doing. The initial plan was to have a picnic, but we hadn’t worked out the details, one of which was parking. Fortunately, I have an app called ParkWhiz, which I found because of The Color Run, and I found parking for 3 hours for $6. It was a little out of the way, but not too badly so, and for that price, I was really happy. (I had used the app earlier to get parking for the run, and I got 11 hours for $8. I was impressed.)

Alex arrived, I did the paperwork to get him released because he’s still an unaccompanied minor, and we met up with Mar before he took off. Alex put his luggage in the car, and we decided that Mar would go park, and Ben, Alex, J, C, N and I would take the bus to the Creepy Headless Guys in Grant Park (also referred to as The Legs, but the actual name is Agora). Grant Park is huge, by the way, and is where The Color Run will be on Saturday, although I’m not sure if the route takes us by the Creepy Headless Guys. I have to admit that they’re growing on me, though, and creeping me out less.

We stopped at a store along the way and got some fresh veggie and fruit trays, as well as sandwiches and salads and drinks. We were all starving, so we got a little more than anyone actually ate, but some of the food found its way home with us; I’m currently eating an Asian-type salad between typing.

We got to the CHG (ha, I didn’t notice that that could stand for Chicago as well as Creepy Headless Guys!) and found a nice spot to settle down. As soon as we did, I swear we tore into the food! For a while, there were a few seagulls and some smaller birds, sparrow-like, that were hanging around in hopes of a handout, but I guess they figured out that it wasn’t going to happen, because they eventually wandered off. After Alex and Ben were done eating, they ran around some, including a random “Hi!” as Alex rolled by through the grass, and Ben “forcibly” rolling Alex along.

Eventually, though, it was time to leave, and we had to hustle a bit; ParkWhiz gives people a little leeway as far as getting in or out, but we didn’t want to push it. We managed to grab a bus after a bit of walking. It was very crowded, and there was an older black man who made an amusing comment to Mar that implied that Mar looks like Jesus. At least, that’s how Mar explained it to me; he was speaking very symbolically, and I have trouble interpreting things like that.

We got to the car and drove home, which included the usual pre-Rush Hour traffic and some heart-stopping stupidity, including a semi truck cutting us off, but we ended up home, yay! The neighborhood kids were very excited to meet Alex, and they offered to go with us door to door to look for Scrumpy, who escaped two days ago, after they get back from the grocery store. I figure that when it started raining, Scrumpy ran for the nearest shelter, and someone let him in but now has no idea where he lives, because we stupidly didn’t put a tag on him. It’s obvious that he’s well-cared-for, because he’s not skinny or mangy-looking, and he has a harness and claw caps on. I don’t think he had a run-in with a vehicle, because he’s smart enough to run from them, and I know that if he was at liberty to roam around, he’d find his way back, because he’s done so before. I’ve also told all our nice neighbors that he’s missing so they can keep an eye out for him, and nobody’s seen him, which also points to Scrumpy being in someone’s house. My clever plan is for us to walk around the neighborhood and have the kids go up and ring doorbells and knock on doors with a picture of Scrumpy that I printed out. Nobody can resist a kid looking for their lost pet; if it was me doing it, I figure I’d get weird looks and less help. Scrump is a friendly, sweet cat, so I really hope that we don’t have someone who wants to keep him and gives us a problem because of that.

As of right now, though, the boys are upstairs playing quietly (shockingly!) and Mar’s talking swords and martial arts with one of his friends on Skype. Things are pretty cool here.

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