Blue is the color

Yesterday was rather bittersweet for me. I had figured I wanted to visit with the Chicago Blues (a Chelsea In America chapter) one more time before the end of the season. The fact that we could clinch the league made yesterday much desirable. Chelsea had several Sunday matches in the last part of the season, but I have a family commitment in southeast Michigan on the final day which would obviously prevent me from going to Chicago (though it would’ve been cool to celebrate the trophy), and the Arsenal match was the weekend right after my Madison trip. But I had nothing else going on yesterday, so at the ungodly hour of 3:30 a.m., I set out for Chicago.

The drive out itself was rather uneventful, as it’s one I’ve made numerous times. I had overestimated the time it took to A.J. Hudson’s on the north side, so I strolled around the Horseshoe for a little bit before finally making my way to the pub. At least this time, I arrived with plenty of time before kickoff and could have a seat. The game itself could’ve gone better, but Chelsea got the three points they needed, so that meant celebration! A generous patron or two bought champagne for the entire group, and someone else bought Fireball shots (not my shooter of choice, but I’ll take if offered). There also were pictures taken in front of the pub, and of course many chants were said and songs sung. I don’t think the euphoria has worn off about actually winning the league, and it probably won’t until the start of next season. I also was glad I got to experience the euphoria with a great group of like-minded supporters.

Because I felt euphoric, I felt like celebrating by myself by attending that afternoon’s Cubs game. (There was an article about the need to do more things alone, but doing this was mere coincidence.) Anyone who knows the geography of the area (or just looks at a map for a few minutes) will quickly realize that Wrigley Field is within walking distance to A.J. Hudson’s, and I didn’t have to move my car from my prime spot on Ashland across from the pub. Many people along the way commented on Chelsea’s triumph, which only made the euphoria deepen. (It was interesting I didn’t really feel all that drunk despite the Fireball and champagne in addition to the beers I had at the start of the match. But as a precaution, I didn’t consume anything at Wrigley.) Attending my first Cubs game since I was a boy was quite fun. It got me an opportunity to see first-hand all the improvements being done. Unfortunately, we came up two runs short against the Brewers, but I was entertained with my last-minute decision.

After the game, I stopped at another bar for a drink and almost ordered dinner, but I saw a radar map on one of the screens and decided it would be prudent to get back to my car before the batch of rain got to town. I gradually made my way back home (going a little out of my way to finally clinch I-57), stopping for dinner at a Quaker Steak and Lube in Portage, IN. It was a trip well worth the time and hit to the credit card.

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