“That’s respectable. Totally legit.”
Ryan and I planned to arrive in Wheaton sometime Saturday night. Without the pressure of a schedule, we decided to make some stops. I drove to Upland where I was thorougly introduced to Mr. and Mrs. Maloney. Needing to make an ATM run, Ryan proceeded to leave me alone with his parents for a good 20 minutes. I made sure to thank him when we walked out the door.
Our first stop was Kokomo. Having been to the Thompson’s before, I was able to navigate through town with the help of the trusty Atlas. Kokomo has an extremely nice Dairy Queen. I made sure that Ryan knew that little detail because I must of repeated it ten times. Standing at the front door, we were greeted by Ron, Amy, and Em. I was so pumped to have brunch with them. They set two more place settings for their guests. I sat in my usual spot, and we enjoyed our time eating. There is something about eating a meal at the Thompson’s that I’ve grown to love. Laughter. Good Conversation. Phrases are born. I instigated the phrase ‘that’s respectable’, and Ron proceeded to use the phrase seven more times before we departed. If it hadn’t been ‘Family Day’, we would of stayed at that table for two more hours. We were thankful we stopped by.
Our next destination was West Lafayette. This could of been one of my favorite parts of our trip; I’m not quite sure why. Ryan had worked it out that we’d stop by and see Sean. Turns out, he lives five minutes from Purdue. After crossing the same bridge three times and missing his street time and time again, we found ourselves standing outside of the Henderson household.
SEAN! It was so good to see him. We were introduced to his sisters, who were decorating Christmas cookies in the kitchen. He took us on a tour of his house, where we saw old photos of him when he was a little boy. I particularly enjoyed his old tarantula cage and his large stash of cigars. Ryan and I autographed his basement wall, and we decided to take him to Starbucks by campus. Turns out, I cannot hop a fence. In order to reach our destination, we had to hop a certain fence. Sean jumped over fine, Ryan jumped over without trouble.. it took me two times, while being laughed at by two boys. NOT one of my many talents.
I ordered a Gingersnap Latte, and as we stood waiting for our orders, the man working warned me that I’d experience chunks of gingersnap when I reached the bottom of my drink. Sure enough, rather large pieces of gingersnap made for an unpleasant facial expression. West Lafayette has many one ways, causing some stress while driving. Needless to say, I managed to spill what was left of my drink down the crevice of my car. Sure enough, chunks of gingersnap can be seen. I think with a little bit of sunlight, I’ll be able to grow ginger.
We drove around for a while and had a few good laughs. I managed to accidentally fling a lighter clear across a store counter, and I almost injured the three of us in a rather traumatic situation. Plenty of remorse on my end. After receiving thorough directions to Wheaton, we set out again on our journey
It was a good drive. We arrived at Caroline’s famished. We met most of her family, and then made the half hour trek to Ben’s for dinner. Such a humorous experience. We had met so many parents during those 24 hours, and it was very interesting observing the different dynamics of each.
Caroline’s brothers were hilarious. The Helmke’s and I saw the Nutcracker downtown Chicago, while surviving the -30 degree weather. The following day, Care, Ben, Ryan, Jack, and I went to Ikea (IKEA!!) where we shopped for a few hours. Ryan and I were in heaven. I love Ikea. Under severe pressure, I picked out a few lamps in which I will suspend from the ceiling of my dorm room. Awesome. We celebrated Ben’s birthday that evening. Twenty five of Ben’s closest friends (us included) spent the evening down town Chicago, where we ate pizza, shopped, and ate dessert at the Grand Lux Cafe. Afraid of being lost, I asked that Ryan and Jack keep an eye on me. I’m terrible in groups. The three of us had a great time. A night on the town with great friends presents many memories.
Another fun drive home, with plans going awry. The unfortunate ice storm left Ryan stranded, and he was forced to play Up and Down the River with the May family. Who doesn’t love our family?
I kind of really like my friends, and I’m grateful this holiday season. I’m looking forward to seeing some old friends during the last week of break. In the meantime, its good food, TOMS shoes, and movies.