The crew made it 5 hours from Sandusky to Chicago to see their childhood neighbor Steffie. The first stop on the trip that was actually planned and the plan was executed!
Steffie’s stop came just in time for Smarty Pants, Brownie, and Bootsie. The three had a pretty easy drive listening to a Stephen King book on tape but the adrenaline was wearing out and smarty pants and Bootsie started picking on each other.. Smarty commenting on Bootsies driving and Bootsie mocking Smarty for talking too much.
Steffie grew up with them; she lived 3 houses down on church street. Steph would come on all the kramer’s vacations, they would walk to school together, and she was always the buffer for the kramer girls. As sisters do,they bicker but with Steffie around it kept the fights from escalating into a pinching and flicking battle.
The ladies enter Chicago, pull up and Steph comes out to greet us. She always looks stylish and put together, as the three queens no longer look like royalty ..more like a couple of gypsies who haven’t brushed their hair in weeks and crumbs on their pants from the snacks they were munching on in the car.
They freshen up and Steffie shows em around.
All aboard the El (elevated train) which is an adventure in itself, you know those doors that keep spinning and you go in one at a time? Well apparently brownie is not so familiar with how these spinning doors work and nearly gets caught in one and let’s out a yelp. We laugh, then brownie gets on the train, it starts and she jolts almost falling over. Smarty tells Brownie “wide stance, wide stance... like you’re surfing” Brownie follows suit and rides the El like a surfing champ.
Second stop lunch! Lunch and a drink has the girls feeling great, All it takes is one glass of Rosé, for Bootsie to fall up the stairs and come down with a bad case of the giggles.
Down town they go, checking out the Chicago theatre, taking a pee stop in the Chicago cultural museum (beautiful bathrooms is the word on the street), checking out their reflections in the Iconic bean, and walking by the water. Brownie says she always wanted to see Lake Superior....they do not correct her for fear of crushing her dreams...the lake she is really looking at is Lake Michigan.
They end their time in Chicago with a trip to Jeni’s, the most amazing ice cream, and head off on their way to Iowa. Smarty has got the wheel and is in charge of the stereo. She plays the ENTIRE soundtrack to Hamilton, singing every single word. Good thing Bootsie is tired, no energy to fight this one and she drifts off to sleep. Wakes up 3 hours later and Hamilton is still on the radio, Smarty is still singing. Grrrr!
The gals pull off to find a place to lay their heads, at The Best Western in Davenport, Iowa. Truck stop heaven, the clerk at this joint ain’t nothing like our friend Earl. Mary behind the desk has a raspy voice as if she’s been smoking ciggys for years. She sets the ladies up in room 170.
Smarty gets in first; she warns Boots it’s a little smoky but not bad. Bootsie walks in and starts coughing; she’s a bit of a drama queen some times and demands they cannot sleep in the smoky room.
Boots Calls the front desk.
Boots: ”Hey Mary, can we switch rooms it smells like cigarette smoke in here”
Mary: “Oh honey! It’s a non smoking room, I will come check it out.”
knock knock, it’s Mary to inspect the room.
Mary: “wowee it does smell like smoke! Normally I can’t smell it because I am a smoker myself! Oh honey we will switch your rooms right away!”
She sets them up in room 172, right next to 170, sharing the same smoky wall, they do not have the heart to have Mary come down and switch them out again.
Boots turns into a grumpy germaphobe that night and refuses to take her flip flops off, she sleeps on top of a towel on the bed and a towel covering her hair and swears she is getting bit by bed bugs. Smarty and Brownie roll their eyes , “When did you become so high maintenance?!”
The dynamic trio gets a good night sleep, a new day, a new life, a couple new states, off to Colorado!