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Posted by Rob Sherwood   •   Saturday, 2011-February-19 • 17:41
It turns out I didn't have to spend the night in the roach motel after all. Memo to myself: Read Itinerary. I actually had plenty of time between trains. Even time to have a meal with a friend in Chicago. Breakfast at the hotel was the plan since he works and hearing the moaning and groaning about driving downtown was something I could deal with in the morning but not in the evening. Turns out the breakfast was without the slightest mewl.

There is something I really like about breakfast in a hotel restaurant. Often, the pricey (and not very good) night-time restaurant becomes the pricey (and often quite nice) breakfast restaurant. I, however, am boycotting the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco for breakfast. When orange juice is that expensive I expect it to be personally squeezed between the legs of Faith Hill. (knee level--don't be dirty)

Not that this hotel restaurant was cheap. What was I thinking that made me order "Green Eggs & Ham?" It sounded fun but turned out to be eggs scrambled with spinach and a piece of ham thin enough to read the Sun-Times through. And it was just $15 and no cents and I had no sense when I ordered it. (Toast was extra!!!!) My friend had a bagel and a schmear. I could have gotten him one of those at Dunkin' Donuts. We had a nice conversation though and I now wish we had eaten dinner. Maybe next time because by 9:30am he was off to work and I was back to killing time. My train didn't leave until 6:40pm.

In 1979 I took the train from Duluth to St. Paul...St. Paul to Chicago....and Chicago to NYC. I wrote about it in my story because the fondly remembered Mesa Kincaid tried to poison me on the Twin City/Windy City portion of the trip. That time I had time to kill and some of it was spent in various public facilities as her toxins worked their wonders on my bowels. By noon I had almost recovered. I fluffed and douched (metaphorically) in the Union Depot bathroom and after checking my bags wandered in search of a time-killing diversion. The only movie playing within walking distance of the station was something with Don Knotts. On a previous trip to Chicago I saw an Elvis movie at the same theater...and this time I was seeing RITE. I weep for the poor Catholic Church and Anthony Hopkins' career. Memo to myself:Avoid downtown Chicago Movies.

The movie didn't kill enough time. I arrived at the train station almost 3 hours early and entertained myself with my Kindle and mp3 player.

Etta James is singing...."Chestnuts roasting on an open fire....." and they are calling my train.

Memo to myself: Update music.
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