Monday, September 20, 2010

Hello Chicago……….

We finally made it out of Toronto around 3:15pm, we were due to depart at 2:10 and for some unknown reason it got pushed back an hour. The guys (and Maria) had been  making the best of the delay managing to have another couple of drinks before boarding the flight.

My good friend Gina had decided only at 2am in the morning that she was going to fly into Chicago for a couple of the shows from San Francisco. We arrived at O’Hare airport to find her standing there waiting for us to arrive off our flight! It was fantastic to see her, especially not knowing she was coming until i was actually on our flight into Chicago and then finding out she would be waiting for us!

Maria meeting Gina at Chicago Airport and mine and Jens  reaction on seeing Gina.

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Meeting Gina at the airport.

I’d arranged to meet up with Andrew (Groovybass from the message board) when my flight landed but due to the delay he had taken the train an hour ago into the city, Jens, Thomas, Gina, Maria and i got the train into Chicago from the airport, $2.50 each and 40 minutes later your in downtown! Philippe for some reason had booked a later flight and was arriving around 5pm however he was seeing some WWF wrestling straight after he arrived so wouldn't be meeting up with us till tomorrow morning and would miss the big meet up we had planned tonight.

We had a private room booked at one of Chicago's well know Pizza restaurants for tonight, Gino’s East. About 45 of us were all meeting up for dinner at 7pm and most of the people who were attending were meeting at 5pm in downtown Chicago as my good friend Ron who lives in the city was gonna give everyone a guided tour on the mile and a half walk up to the restaurant. Unfortunately there was no way we were gonna make the “tour” now due to our flight delay but we’d still be meeting everyone at Gino’s.

We checked in our hotel, Myself, Jens, Philippe and Thomas were all staying at the same place and Gina and Maria were at a hotel a couple of blocks away.  After unpacking and freshening up we headed over to meet Gina and Maria at their hotel. It was now 6:15pm and Kim's mum Beth had called me to ask where we were. They were 20 minutes away from Gino’s and would wait for us outside once they were there.. After the girls eventually deciding on what boots to wear, what eyeliner to put on etc etc we left the hotel and decided to get a cab up to Gino’s.

Waiting for the girls:

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Kim was real excited to see Gina got out of the cab with us and we did a good job of hiding her behind us so as Kim didn't see her till the last minute, no one at the meet up either had any idea she had decided to come so that would be a surprise for a lot of her friends who were there.

The private room we had was on the 3rd floor and as soon as we got up there we saw the masses of people who were all sat waiting for the last few to arrive.

This was a group shot taken before people started to leave (Jackie, i did the pose just for you!)

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It was fantastic to see so many friends there, some i hadn't seen since i was in Chicago for the last Roger shows a few years ago, some i hadn't seen since three days before who had flown out of Toronto earlier than us and a few that I'd heard and communicated with a lot but had never met! Almost everyone was pleased to see Gina had made the trip over from California, there were people from all over the world that had travelled in for these shows in Chicago (and other cities on the tour)! California, Montreal, Denmark, Sweden, New York, Florida, and lots more. It was great to see people face to face who i only knew as names on a PC screen or had seen picture of on their facebook pages.We had the room booked for 3 hours and that time just seem to fly by so quickly!! there never seems enough time to talk to everyone at these meet ups.

More pics here from Gino’s meet up:

People started drifting off around 10:30pm and Ron invited a few people back to his house to carry on the festivities. A group of about 12 of us decided to try find Buddy Guys blues bar, no one knew exactly where it was but after looking on iphones and cell phone maps it was evident it was a 45 minute walk and about .5 miles away. As we were trying to find said club, Maria had gone into a bar to ask if they knew where Buddy Guys was, she emerged shouting it was just round the corner and across the street. After walking round what seemed 25 corners and crossing several streets it was becoming clear that no one had a clue where they were going and we all just looked out for the nearest bar. Flashing lights were spotted behind some tree’s about quarter of a mile ahead, “a bar” someone shouted. When we got there it wasn't a bar but a wine shop that was all closed up with a flashing light in the window. However, we did see a bar across the street then and headed over to it. Sure enough it was the real thing! with jukebox and pool table as well. I thing the bar tender wondered what on earth had walked in when the door opened and 12 of us just rambled up to the bar and stated ordering drinks. Its probably the busiest Sunday night she’s had in years and she certainly made us feel welcome. There were only 4 or 5 people in there when we arrived and  the sound of Gilmour's guitars squealing away playing Echoes on the jukebox soon got rid of a couple of those people and we pretty much had the place to ourselves!

OY, Where's the fucking bar john ?:

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After hearing pretty much a “best of” Floyd track listing on the jukebox myself and Kim's sister Kami left around 1:00am to go back to the hotel. I'm sharing a room with Kim and i remember her coming in around 4:30am

Speaking to everyone this morning I've heard they “lost” Jake as everyone went down to Gina and Maria’s hotel room around 2:30am! From all accounts they then took a taxi to the 7/11 to get beer and partied into the early hours until being thrown out of the hotel politely by the hotel security around 4:15am!!  After seeing Thomas, Kim and Maria this morning and hearing of the hangovers I'm so pleased i called it a night when i did!!


  1. Jackie, that would have been even more exciting.

    Thanks for the kind words, Si!