Before we left for vacation, Dah and I had a discussion about why he would have had two charges at the same gas station about a month ago, surveying the multitude of social media and blog posts and personal calendars we have to try to piece it together. We finally realized he had bought an item that qualified him for a fuel discount, then pumped the gas after. Mystery solved.
This serves as a reminder that we haven’t kept a very routine account of our expeditions. So I’ll try.
Yesterday we drove from his house through Antioch, IL into Elk Grove, WI where we stayed in a “lovely” Airbnb room hosted by Clarisse and Gonzalbes, who we never did see. We had the place to ourselves, even though it sounded like they were going to be there. According to the listing page, we were not to use the kitchen, except that we could store things in the fridge. We had the bathroom to ourselves that was across the hall. I dreamed about sneaking around to make scrambled eggs on the sly. But I didn’t dare do so. Why our hosts weren’t around, we aren’t sure. Or why it sounded like there was a fireworks show that ended around 9pm. That mystery will remain unsolved.
We had stopped at thrift stores and rummage sales along the way, and stumbled upon a Harry Potter fest in Antioch that we had no interest in although it looked clever. Dinner was at a Japanese market called Tensuke in Elk Grove that turned out to be less than 10 minutes from where we were staying, which is also not far from Mitsuwa Marketplace, a much larger Japanese market we had been to before. The big surprise in that is that there’s a $3 Daiso section within Tensuke. I’d been to a Daiso in San Diego so I was really thrilled to find that. We bought fountain pens that turned out to be really good, and I also got a kitchen knife and a Rilakkuma mechanical pencil for my daughter.
Dinner was a cold soba plate salad for Dah and the best Udon s\noup I’ve ever had, with a side of gyoza for me. Oishii, ne! As usual, we both sampled some off each other’s plates. It was all pretty good, but cold tofu not a winner.
Once we checked into our room, which turned out to be a condominium, Dah went to sleep pretty quickly while I stayed up reading and trying out the pen, also writing yesterday’s blog.
Dah got up after I fell asleep and took a shower around 1:30am. I slept through until around 4am after falling asleep before 10pm. Forced myself to sleep a little longer, and that’s when I dreamed about the scrambled eggs.
In the morning, we started off toward a bagel place but realized we weren’t hungry enough to go out for breakfast after sharing a chocolate chip muffin we’d gotten from a yard sale for 25 cents the day before. The GPS pulled a wild one and sent us off in the wrong direction when we thought we were heading to the hamfest at the DuPage county fair grounds. I can’t understand what it had set as its destination when we realized we were off course. I’d never seen it before, and certainly hadn’t meant to select it from the suggested places.
So we looped around the tollway frustratedly. I was crying while Dah was driving angry. We made it to the hamfest around 7:30am, a half hour after they opened, and all was forgiven between us.
The sun was less forgiving, bringing intensely hot weather as morning progressed. There weren’t nearly as many sellers as in years prior though, so it didn’t take us too long to walk through and see everything, wind through the indoor stuff, and loop back around to see anything Dah had been interested in. We also went back to the indoor area once they’d started grilling and had a breakfast then on hot dogs, mine with giardinera since they had it, both with slices of tomato. Good stuff.
After that we hit a couple of thrift stores – Savers and Goodwill – then decided to head toward home. Dah was tired. I thought we were planning to go to H Mart but knew that was out of the way. Instead, we stopped at Mitsuwa and then Dah impulsively swung us into an unpretentious Italian Beef place for a quick bite before hitting the road. One of the fastest and most satisfying meals ever, and the prices were great! We both got Italian ices too, his watermelon and mine lemonade, because it was still feeling like 100 degrees so that felt in order.
On the way home, we stopped at a Thorton’s where the gas was close to 20 cents cheaper than anywhere else. As we were leaving, Dah asked me to call Sherwin Williams to see if there big sale was on. It was, and he wanted to stop at their store nearest his house to pick out a paint color for his upcoming bathroom remodel. After much deliberation, the choice was Honeydew.
They had a weird coffee/tea machine that had a dozen or so drawers of squeeze packets still labeled Alterra, though Alterra (a local coffee roaster with a number of coffee shops) had changed its name to Colectivo a while ago.
We arrived back at his house and tried the Honeydew paint card against the walls in his bathroom. He had instructed them to mix his paint for him to pick up tomorrow, so knowing it was a good pick after seeing it in the room was a big relief.
I went home from there, with stuff I had unpacked from his car into mine to then sort out once I got home. I reconnected with my family, including the cat. I’m sure he took a nice long nap.