Facing Challenges, Uncategorized

Go It Alone (or with your dog)

I’m on an extended road trip, my second of the summer. Currently I’m in Chicago for the very first time. Tonight I’m taking the Chicago Architectural Foundation boat tour. This was on my list of things I really wanted to do while in this city. Now, it just so happened that with the weather and other things, I was unable to do this tour until the 7:30pm “twilight” tour this evening.

What do you think of when you think of “twilight” boat tour?? Yep–lots of couples, drinks, old standards playing; you get the picture. When I realized that the 7:30 tour was the only time that really fit my schedule, I almost didn’t buy a ticket. I mean who really wants to go on a cruise alone?? BUT, on the other hand, if I DIDN’T buy a ticket, I wouldn’t get to go at all. That’s kind of my dilemma a lot these days.

My husband had been to Chicago, and it was on our extensive “list” of places to visit together. I’ve thought of him so much while here. I’ve most often thought about him while watching the runners along the Riverwalk where I take Max to walk. Bobby loved to run like no one I’ve ever known. I’ve never really liked to exercise though I recognize the many benefits, but somehow B not only got me doing it, when we went together, I actually enjoyed it! Anyway, he always loved to get out and run (or walk if that’s all he could manage) everywhere we went. And running along a body of water was his favorite whether lake, river, or ocean!

He would have enjoyed the Art Institute, but most likely would have spent about 2 hours checking things out instead of the 4 hours that flew by as I wandered among the galleries. He would have found a bench and patiently waited for me for an extra hour….beyond that I’m not so sure!! Just like me, B would have loved having a glass of wine or a beer by the river and listening to the music there. He would have loved Chicago’s diverse food choices and being able to easily walk to hundreds of great restaurants.

He would have gotten a kick out of the hotel where Max so easily adapted and all of Max’s admirers. He would NOT have cared for the crowds and traffic, but as long as I kept him from getting lost (smartest person I’ve ever known with zero sense of direction), he would have walked anywhere and most likely farther and longer than I could.

Traveling alone is interesting to be sure. I notice things that I might otherwise miss if occupied with a companion. I learned so much tonight on the river tour. Once the boat set sail, the old standards were turned off which made things a little less melancholy for me. Then the information the docent gave us was so fascinating and the lights of the city so beautiful that I was pretty much enthralled for the full 90 minute tour. Despite my earlier reservations, I was really glad that I went. If I had not gone, I might not have been sad for a moment, but that’s doubtful because I am often sad. If I had not gone, I positively would have missed an extraordinary learning experience, a beautiful night on the river, and a chance I may never have again to see Chicago’s skyline at night. I’ve felt that a lot on this trip. I could have skipped the Art Institute because while I was walking there it started pouring rain, and I got pretty wet. It would have been easy to return to my hotel. I could have skipped the city entirely because it’s kind of weird (or at least not the norm) to travel alone with your large dog.

Which brings me to a point that I am living almost every day and really want to emphasize. Buy the ticket, go on the tour, take the trip, see the world, do what scares you, seize THIS day. If you have the chance to do life with someone you love, DO IT!! BUT don’t NOT do it even if you have to go alone! Take your dog or fish or pet rock!! Drag along your best friend or mother’s third cousin but for goodness sakes, do it! Life is short, and even if it isn’t the dream you imagined for yourself, it’s still a beautiful place to be and see and learn! ❤️