Saying Goodbye..

Trip Start Feb 14, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Monday, February 6, 2006

Our friends threw Kelly and I a going away bash last Saturday. They reserved the backroom of this neighborhood bar called Alive One and had an "All you can drink" for a few hours. Let it be known, that we definitely got our money's worth. Even in my drunken state I couldn't help but be reminded of my wedding day, the obvious difference being that I didn't have to pay to feed anyone. It's a bit surreal to look out at an audience and see nothing but people who you like and love. Not just know, mind you, but actually count as friends. Everyone should be so lucky. I tried to get on stage and say something to this affect, but instead I was just ridiculed and told to "take off my shirt". So, shirtless, I tried to say something nice, but instead, just stuck out my belly like I had just swallowed a human head. I guess I should have expected that response from the crowd, as nobody is more mean to you than your good friends.

So, to those of you who came to our party, and to those of you who couldn't make it because they were out having a man-date in Big Sur (Cutlip), please allow me to tell you now how much you mean to us. It's funny how when you are hours away from family, how your friends can become a kind of surrogate family. While we are excited about our impending adventure, we are a little bit sad at the same time knowing that we will be missing out on your lives, and that the Chicago that we come back to, will be different than the one we left. Thanks again for a great night and thanks for being our friends.

Now that I've got that emotional shit out of my system... back to the count down.

The party was a huge success and as it was winding down, I felt that it would be a good idea to have an "after hours" at our house. We had put most of our stuff into moving pods earlier that afternoon, and so we had an empty apartment. In theory, the damage should have been limited, so this seemed like a great idea. So after jotting down our address on a bunch of napkins, I went to the White Hen and bought a ton of beer. I got to our place and began partying with our dog Margo. Meanwhile, back at the Hall of Justice, Kelly rounded up people to come back to our house. Getting our drunk friends to leave a bar is about as easy as getting a parolee out of a strip club. But Kel is nothing if not persistent.. As people start trickling in things quickly degenerated into a time warp. Suddenly, it was if we had all been thrown back in time by ten years, and we were back in the old FIJI house where nothing is sacred. I found myself being drowned in beer that was being poured on me by the bucket load. A non-working fan was destroyed Reginald Denny style and our broken vacuum cleaner wasn't up to the beat down that it got either. All in all, it was a complete shit show. Fun times.... Until the next day when Kelly and I realized that our apartment looked like Gulf Shores Mississippi and that FEMA wasn't going to help us clean this mess up. But thanks to Murphy and his oil soap, the apartment was bank to normal in short order.

Next stop Ecuador... We'll behave ourselves.
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