Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Day 36 - 7/13/16 Chicago to Park Ridge, IL

I only learned about Bob a year ago.  My friend, Mike met him while they were both teaching English in Taiwan.  I never would've met Bob in person if my knees didn't fail me on my attempt to walk across the country.  Being home for another 2 months worked out perfectly to meet this friend of a friend.  When I finally met him face to face, he had a box of donuts in his hand.  If you ever want to make a good first impression, bring a box of donuts.  Bob is the reason I'm in Park Ridge, Illinois.  

I guess you can say he lives here but, he's out on a road trip to potenially find a new city or town to make his home – part of the reason I met him in Boston on the first place.  So I'm just here with his parents, Jim and Ellen and their dogs, Mia and Mickey.  They're just very kind people, have a great collection of music, books, and artwork, and are also open-minded considering they're letting me spend a couple days here only having met their son once.  I can see why Bob is such a great dude, his parents have been guiding him in the right direction all along.  Over pizza and beers I talked about my life and my trip thus far and they filled me in on all the great family backpacking adventures they've had over the years.  We discussed some similarities between Boston and Chicago; we're both about a 20 minute drive from our homes to our cities which is kind of funny.  Illinois is feeling like some sort of parallel universe in relation to my home.  Especially since I've spent so much time here compared to anywhere else on my trip.  

Do places just start to feel like home once our mental maps develope a bit further after we've spent a few days in one spot?  I assume it's because I really like this place as well.  Maybe it's just all the donuts... All I know is I can say I love Chicago now.

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