Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Vrooom... Driving Skills for Life

Our family was invited by the Ford Motor Company to come to Chicago to take part in their Driving Skills for Life program this weekend. We flew to Chicago, taken to the Embassy Suites Hotel downtown, feted at an incredible Mother's Day feast at Maggiano's Little Italy restaurant (their motto, if you aren't wheeled out by a forklift, you haven't eaten enough), and then taken to the Driving Skills for Life program at US Cellular Field, where the Chicago White Sox play.

The kids were fascinated by how straight and linear the streets of suburban Chicago were laid out. Boston doesn't look like this at all!

We arrive at our hotel, change our clothing, and then go out to eat at Maggiono's. Our camera batteries died just before we get to restaurant. Figures!

That bed looks really comfy, doesn't it? Looks can be deceiving. Pillows were way to 'puffy' and I didn't sleep a wink the entire night. Both kids slept like logs. I hate them sometimes!

Up at the asscrack of dawn the next morning, we got outside to wait for our limo to take us to US Cellular Field, where the Driving Skills for Life was to take place.

We waited...

and took photos down the street...

and up the street...

and across the street...

Even the world's nicest doorman got tired of waiting. He greets every arriving customer with "Welcome Home". What a sweetheart!

We even strolled down to the corner to photograph the world's biggest Weber Kettle. I fantasized about the most gigantic brisket cooking on this grill. YUM.

Finally the Town Cars arrived and we were on our way. We only waited 1.5 hours for the damn cars. Booking problem. Oh, and pasty white me got sunburned from sitting out and waiting. Can you even imagine how white I am to get sunburned at 9 in the morning?

On our way we passed many of Chicago's famous restaurant landmarks.

Dave! It's the Hard Rock Cafe!

And the world's largest McDonalds, brand new, built for some anniversary. It was like the original golden arches on steroids. A two story McDonalds. With modern furniture. Wow!

The Original Pizzeria Unos!

Oh, and one of these on every freaking corner.

We passed Chicago's version of Oracle.

And a bit of a Chinatown neighborhood.

We got nice views of the city skyline.

And the Sears Tower. The Girl wanted to know how we knew it was the Sears Tower. Um, because it's a really big building.

The Boy took this picture out of the back window of the limo. He says it's the best picture ever.

Finally a glimpse of the stadium. And then we got lost. Our driver, who introduced himself by name and by country, had no idea of where to go. So we drove around the stadium.

It's so new and clean. And BIG. Very nice stadium. Not a fan of the White Sox tho. GO CUBS!

Finally we spotted the event in the parking lot across from the field. Those souped-up Mustangs were a good hint.

We were invited to a press conference where the Ford executives introduced the program.

The audience was largely composed of police officers from various community police forces around Illinois. I haven't seen that many flattops and crewcuts in my life. They even had motorcycles up at the podium!

Then it was time to drive the cars. I didn't drive. I drive in Boston. I have enough excitement and crazy driving in my life as it is. I didn't see the need for more. But the kids all went and got in the various Mustangs and learned about skidding and steering and driving safely.

The Girl no longer ever wants to drive. I hope she can afford a driver and a limo.

I spend most of my time here. Really bad timing on the Lasix made me use a porta-potty more times on Sunday than I had in my entire life. At least they were clean.

The best part of the day was getting to fondle this lovely vehicle. The Ford Motor Company actually had the nerve to refuse to give me this car.

OMG, this car was so soft and smooth.

The Girl fondled it.

The Boy fondled it.

We peeked inside it. See the seats with the speakers? Those seats around about 3 inches off the ground.

Check out the back seat. Doncha think that it must be a tad bit loud to drive? Hmmm?

These are the bloggers and their respective kids. It was time to leave and go back home. Without that GT. Sob. The inhumanity. Tempting us with this delicious vehicles and then forcing us to go home without it. Oh well, I'll find a way to survive.

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Blogger Rhiannon said...

GO CUBS is right! Chicago is my favorite city in the US (even MORE SO than my own) And, Weber Grill? SO YUMMY. They give you a little packet of seasoning when you pay your bill. Everything - even dessert - is made o n huge grills!

Glad you guys had fun! What a nice treat!!

13/5/08 8:04 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

I got sunburned too. I didn't even realize it until I got back home. I didn't even think about it since we were freezing our butts off the whole day. But it was a lot of fun.

13/5/08 10:30 PM  
Blogger Peggasus said...

Glad you enjoyed my (old) fair city! It really is very accessible. It is laid out in a very reasonable manner: blocks are eight to the mile, so you always know how far you have to go, say, from 31st Street to 95th. Even numbered addresses are on the west side of the street, odd on the east. The east/west streets are laid out in a similar manner, deciphered by address as well. When I was in 8th grade, my parents had no problem with me and my girlfriends taking the train in from the suburbs, then catching the ' El' up to Wrigley to see our Cubs, where we sat in the bleachers for only a buck! That was before it was 'cool' to sit in the bleachers. We were trendsetters. Heh.

16/5/08 12:02 PM  

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