Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Days 38, 39, 40 - 7/15/16-7/17/16 Chicago, IL

These days have been a blur, just as I expected.  I left Park Ridge on my bike Friday morning, brought it to Neil and Rett's place outside of the city to park it at their house for the weekend and waited for my friends from home to pick me up.  I was waiting on a street corner scribbling in my sketchbook when I heard, "hey cutie!" in a familiar voice.  I hopped in the car with Rosie, Ryan and Justine and I felt like I had seen them yesterday, not last month.  It's strange how you can just pick up where you left off with some people, like nothing really changes.  

It's a strange and wonderful feeling.  Pitchfork Music Fest was our destination.  Our other friend, Sam was playing with his band, The Hotelier on Sunday which is why this whole wonderful weekend took place.  Even though this was a vacation for us all (except Sam, I suppose) we were very busy.  So much delicious food to eat, sites to see, and good music to hear.  

I didn't know most of the acts besides Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys performing Pet Sounds (an unfogettable experience) but I knew my friends would guide me in the right direction to hear the best of the best (which they did!).  Pitchfork was my first 3 day music festival which is as much of an endurance test as it is a big outdoor party.  Within the boundaries of the 3 stages, thousands of people were listening, dancing, walking, sitting, laying down, getting high, getting drunk, talking, sweating, and trying to stay hydrated.  

It's tough out there and I always found myself relieved when the sun went down even though it meant another day with friends is now gone.  Could I pick a favorite act that I saw this weekend?  No, that's like picking a favorite piece out of the Art Institute of Chicago – the whole experience was overwhelming, even exhausting but, so magical and unforgettable in a hazy sort of way.  A few days without a bike between my legs and I practically forgot that I'm in the process of riding across the country.  Happy times and familiar faces are the best kinds of distractions.  Aside from the friends that drove from Boston to be here, I also got to see Daga, another friend from home out visiting his sister in Chicago and even my buddy, Bob who's parents I stayed with in Park Ridge.  

Nothing like seeing so many good people in your life so far away from home to reaffirm you're always in the right place at the right time.  My time here is winding down and I will soon be back to my usual routine of sweating all day, eating an excessive amount of peanut butter, waking up and going to sleep alone until I befriend some more kind strangers that become part of this journey.  I'm loving every minute of it.  I'm excites to see what I find along the road in the next couple months.

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