Day 1:
As seems to happen every night before I leave for a trip, I couldn't get to sleep and when the alarm went off in the morning, it seemed earlier than it really was. I actually drank a couple cups of coffee to get myself jumpstarted. Even with all that, I managed to get out the door on time and get to Omaha to meet Roger before we took off on the longer haul.

As one might suspect, the drive wasn't the most exciting part of the trip. From Omaha to Chicago straight-through, it's approximately 8+ hours, but we took our time on the way there. After about 4 hours of driving, we stopped off in Iowa City for gas and lunch and were lured in by the venerable "Record Collector" music store. Even though we both found things that were semi-interesting, we held off knowing there was still a lot of trip and music stores to be covered. Just before we left town, we stopped by a small news-stand for some sodas and I found an almost startling amount of humor in the cover of a Flex magazine. It was graced by perhaps the most short, muscular person I'd ever seen and in addition to being funny for the sheer pose, it was also a little bit creepy.

We were on the road again in the early afternoon and managed to roll into the suburbs of the city in the late afternoon. We hit a little bit of rush hour traffic, but exited the interstate and found a place to stay for the evening about 30 minutes out from downtown. I won't give away the name of the place we stayed, but let's just say that Martin Mull is their spokesman. You just don't get much better than Martin Mull.

After getting our stuff loaded in the room and reading a bit of the paper, we took off again to the Northern side of downtown Chicago. Although the traffic was kind of bad, we took Lakeshore Drive and came into the city via the semi-scenic route (in regards to seeing all the buildings, as well as the lake). It was cloudy and kind of foreboding out, but good for taking some pictures (including the one that comprises the header graphic).

We continued heading North and parked near Belmont Street, then got out and hoofed it by foot to literally 6 different music stores. Out of those 6 places, we stayed at one of them the longest (Reckless) and each of us bought several different things. At about 10pm, we both decided that we were hungry and went looking for some Italian food. We arrived at a small diner that served pizza and all kinds of other stuff and finally had a bite to eat (I had some great vegetarian chili) before walking back to the car and heading back to the hotel for the evening. I stuck my arm out the window just as we were leaving the city and snapped a picture of buildings overhead.

Day 2