Sorry for my silence the last couple of days, but I wasn’t anywhere near a computer to blog. Wednesday I took the day off of work, and Travalon and I drove to Chicago. Lots of bad traffic and road construction, but we finally got there, and Travalon suggested the Shedd Aquarium but the weather was beautiful so I suggested a lakeshore walk. We stopped for lunch at a little food stand run by a couple of Eastern European women, but suddenly a terrible storm blew up. The women were so nice, they let us take shelter in their stand until the lightning stopped striking around us, then Travalon and I ran through the rain to the Shedd Aquarium. We enjoyed that immensely, and when we left, it was drizzling but not storming out, so we took the water taxi over to Navy Pier, explored the Crystal Gardens, and had dinner at a Mexican restaurant in the gardens. We had a private water taxi ride back, then we went to the outdoor concert venue on Northerly Island to hear Paul Simon. I was wondering if he would do my favorite song, “Boy in the Bubble,” and he opened with it! In fact, he did a lot of stuff from Graceland. Thirty years later, it is still one of the greatest albums of all time. Travalon was happy because he did four encores and included lots of older stuff in them. His band was amazing too. Then we drove home and got there around three in the morning. Yawn!
Yesterday we had taken the day off of work to sleep in, which we did, and then we went to visit Travalon’s mom. (He goes to see her every week.) The day before, the otamatone Travalon had bought for me had arrived, but the instructions were all in Japanese. We could ascertain that I needed three batteries and a flathead screwdriver, and Travalon’s mom needed batteries too, so we stopped by a hardware store and got all that stuff. When we got back home, the inflatable Sinclair dinosaur I had bought for Travalon had arrived. However, I thought my otamatone wasn’t working because the mouth didn’t open, and Travalon’s toy seemed to be defective as well, because there was no plug for the spout to inflate it. We looked at our instructions, mine in Japanese with some pictures, and his very vintage-looking, and we ascertained that I had to open the mouth of the otamatone myself, and that Travalon had to push the spout in to plug it. So there were no problems with our toys! In the evening we went to the rooftop of the Monona Terrace and sat beneath the blooming Japanese lilac trees, listening to a very good Chicago tribute band. The weather was absolutely perfect, and there was a beautiful sunset. I will try to post pictures and videos of our adventures soon. Don’t expect a video of me playing the otamatone anytime soon – I need a lot of practice on that thing! Here is a video of someone else playing one: