Week of August 10, 2003
Our next stop - Rochester, Minnesota to visit another cherished childhood friend. Michelle, Kirk, Nathaniel, Autumn and Bumpo graciously welcomed us into their home. Besides coming up with challenges for Nathaniel, a very intelligent eight-year-old (Michelle will have her hands full :-)), and watching the fearless Autumn, we got a chance to take a breather and just enjoy our visit.
We did have a chance to venture around town and got to see some Rochester landmarks.
Only because of an appointment in Chicago, we left Michelle and family after only a few days. On the way south, we were able to enjoy a wonderful lunch with the person that hired me into State Farm, Ross, and his wife Betts. Not only did we get to trade stories, we fell into our old habit of trading books. I think I got the better of the deal - I gave Ross the latest copy of Harry Potter and I received about 15 books in return. It sure was great to see them after so many years. Without Ross's keen insight to hire me, I don't think we would be living this dream journey. Thanks Ross...
We reached the Chicago area in time to visit the area I used to live, Streamwood, and to find a place to park overnight. Unfortunately, the Chicago area is woefully inept in providing for the self-contained traveler and we had to ask permission of a recreation center to park overnight in their parking lot. Fortunately, knowing how uptight the local police department is, we posted a sign stating that we received permission and listed the manager's name. Nonetheless, at 11:30 p.m., we were bellowed at by the police to wake up and after they finished their alarm, they decided to read the notice on the window. End result, "sorry to bother you" and "you can go back to sleep now." Gee, thanks...and four spotlights and three police cars left the "dangerous" scene.
We did have a chance to make a quick trip into Chicago and visit the Navy Pier.