So many memories were made at this park. About 13 years worth.

First off: our “JDM” Suburban rental. Very powerful and big. Problem is it was kinda uncomfortable and bumpy on Illinois’ shitty roads.

Advertisement

We haven’t seen half the people we did since 3 years ago, all my friends (once little 7th grade kids like I was then) now have jobs, cars, lives, etc. It was a pretty huge shock. It’s still pretty cool though, we also met up with my cousin who used to be antisocial and is now a die-hard car person who dailys a G35X and has a project manual Accord. I also met up with my uncle, I didn’t get to see his other cars sadly due to us meeting at a restaurant, but I did get to see his new 300S:

Before we met up with him, we went hiking at Starved Rock and went off the trail, as always. We discovered a strange beach thing and didn’t get any poison ivy rashes thankfully. Here’s some pics from that too:

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

No pics for this part (which is the depressing part). The day we landed I met up with a small group of old friends. I saw one a couple times not long ago, but the rest I haven’t seen for 3 years. One of those friends was a girl I’ve been good friends with for 10 years, and at one point we were a “thing”, as the kids call it. Our other friends wouldn’t let us forget those days and kept teasing us, which was fine and we’d just go along with it, until they left us two alone. We talked about the past, the present, the future and everything we missed and we were just thinking about life and it was good until I looked her in the eyes and we both realized how much we missed each other. We got closer and then the group busted out of the window and said “AYYYYEEEEEE LOOK AT EM” and then we just laughed it off and went along with their games. Afterwards at 11pm, it was time to go. Her friend left and my other two friends were in the backyard, and we were alone in the cul de sac and she was closer to her house and we said bye but as we walked away, we both looked back. We froze, walked slowly up to each other, met in the middle of the circle and kissed (cue kindergarten-age child noise of “EWWWWW”) and held each other for a minute and before we parted she whispered, “please come back soon, Antonio”. I wish I never left, but as far as career and opportunities go I’m better off in Florida. I just wish I didn’t have to compromise this time. Oh well. Nothing I can do about it, I’m done hurting myself over people I can’t have no matter what the reason. Le sigh.

Anyways, where was I? Oh yeah, we also went to Lollapalooza on its first day to see The Strokes live after listening to their music our whole lives. It was really cool to see then in the flesh and know the words to all their songs. My phone and arms were dying so I only got video of the first two songs (Heart In a Cage and You Only Live Once), but the way they opened by walking out with background music, dimming the lights, going silent besides a lone guitar note and then epicly throwing the silence into the beginning of Heart In a Cage was just really cool to watch. Here’s the video from that again, taken by yours truly:

I will definitely save money to go again sometime. The experience was great. After all this, on Sunday we went to my cousin’s house. This cousin was usually all quiet and emo and didn’t like us much, but now he’s super into cars and was all happy and talking a lot. I’ve literally talked to him once before that day and in that day alone I’ve talked to him more than we’ve talked in our whole lives. It was really cool though, he knows a lot and I’m seeing he’s become a lot friendlier and it’s good. No pics because my phone was dying.

Advertisement

Finally, yesterday: we woke up and went to see my sister and her car-loving friend one last time for lunch, and then hit up the Planetarium to get pictures of the water and skyline and the building itself. Here they are:

Not the Skyline you were probably thinking of

Advertisement

The SEAT Leon Cupra I posted yesterday, seent on our way to the city
The Planetarium, looking a bit dustier than I remember

Advertisement

This was pretty alarming. When we last visited, the water was 3 feet below the end of the concrete. Now it’s flooding over it....yikes

Afterwards, it was time to go. We drove back to Midway to drop off the Suburban and board our flight back to hell—I mean, Florida. My phone died on the plane, but as we were landing I looked out onto the land of Florida, only to see two fires miles apart. Yep, we were definitely back in Florida. This concluded another great trip to the state and city I love. I can’t wait to go back next year.

Advertisement

Pardon me what the fuck

Advertisement

Also, I wanted to meet up with Oppos in the area but my schedule was way too busy and we didn’t even get to see some of our long time old friends either. Sorry about that, hopefully I have more time next trip to spend with y’all.