We spent a beautiful summer day downtown yesterday. First we visited the Adler Planetarium to see the new sky show. We walked from the Adler to Millennium Park, where we met friends to hear a concert.
We try to meet friends at Millennium Park at least once a summer. It's a great central meeting place for everyone and there's nothing better than sitting under the stars with Chicago's skyline to the west while you listen to fabulous music.
We always arrive early so the kids can play in the Crown Fountain. We were settling in for a lovely summer evening when the clouds started rolling in. Since we're in the technology age, Daddy and a friend pulled out their mobile devices and checks various weather sites.
When it became clear the lightening was getting closer and closer, we started talking about gathering our stuff and heading indoors. Millennium Park has underground bathrooms so we could take shelter in the hallway until the storm passed. Yes, I know it sounds strange to take shelter in a hall leading to a bathroom, but this corridor is blocks long, wide, well-lit and air conditioned.
We gathered up our stuff and started taking it down. Just as the last items was heading underground, we saw the fountain group coming back. We all made it underground.
For a bit we were underground with just a few others. Several people set-up their chairs, opened their picnic baskets and had dinner. We just stood with our stuff. Ten people have too much stuff to set-up over and over again. Besides, it was a fast moving storm according to all reports. If it was going to rain, it was going to start and end quickly.
We were just starting to wonder if we made the right choice when the rain started. We heard a crack of thunder that sounded like the end of the world. From our viewpoint, looking up the stairs, we saw darkness and rain -- lots of rain.
People started running into the shelter with all their stuff. Suddenly the several blocks long, wide, air conditioned corridor was crowded, warm and wet. Everyone stood around laughing at the situation. Really, what else was there to do?
After some time passed, we were all getting hot and tired. The kids were sitting on the ground, behaving well, but clearly ready to get back outside. The blond twin and I looked at each other. She gave me that half-smile that says "I know we're all in this together, but it isn't fun." I gave her the same half-smile and said, "Baby, at least it's a good story to tell your friends."
Luckily it wasn't the end of the story. We did get back outside. We set-up camp again using a plastic table cloth to protect the blankets from the wet ground. Everyone ate too much food. The kids took off to the back where they could play. Other kids joined them. We heard good music, chatted with friends and left with a good story. It was a good night.