Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Day in Chicago

Today I went downtown for an interview with Susan from the MIX. Because I'm not so much a morning person, I turned off my alarm and promptly fell back asleep. Unfortunately, because of that, I missed the train and had to drive downtown. No problem. I just stopped by the bank, took out a second mortgage so I could pay for parking and headed into the city.

I hate driving in the city because I can't stand inching along in traffic, I don't understand all the one-way streets, and I have a habit of getting lost. A lot. I hadn't looked up directions ahead of time because I was planning on taking the train, so I turned on my GPS and it worked like a charm until I got in the Loop at which point it started going all bonkers.
"In 2.7 miles, turn left on Michigan Ave."

OK, looking for Michigan Ave

"In 4.6 miles, turn left on Michigan Ave."

How did Michigan Ave. suddenly get farther away???

"Find the nearest road."

I'm ON the nearest road!!!

"In .5 miles, turn left on Michigan Ave."

OK, there we go, Michigan Ave. must be coming up soon

"In 4.3 miles, turn left on Michigan Ave.

What??? Now it's 4.3 miles???

"Off course. Recalculating."

Recalculating? Yeah, you do that!

"in 800 yards, turn right."

Right? I'm supposed to turn right now???

"In 680 yards, turn left on Michigan Ave."

Now we're back to Michigan Ave???

I took the GPS and chucked it out the window.

Amazingly, I made it downtown, found a garage, and headed to the Prudential building where WTMX is located. You know that diamond shaped building featured in Adventures in Babysitting? Across from the library? The Prudential Building?

Adventures in Babysitting

Yeah, that building there. I walked in and told the gentleman at the front desk that I had an appointment with Susan at the MIX.

He said, "Who? Where?"

I repeated it for him. He looked at me like I'd just stepped off a bus from the middle of Kansas and had never seen a city before.

"Isn't this 130 E. Randolph?" I inquired.

"No, that's the Prudential building!" he said as if I was completely daft.

"You mean, this ISN'T the Prudential building?" I asked just to confirm his suspicions that I was indeed daft.

"That's across the street!" He pointed out the window. I followed his gaze and lo and behold right across the street was a building with a big sign that read "PRUDENTIAL". Yeah, note to self: read the signs on the buildings!

I signed in at the real Prudential building and was directed to the elevators. "The MIX is on the 27th floor," the gentleman directed me.

I walked over to a bank of elevators, got in, and noticed that they only went to the 15th floor. I pushed 15 and thought maybe there were elevators that went up higher from that point. Nope. I went back down and asked someone how to get to the 27th floor.

She gave me the same "You're An Idiot" look that the guy in the other building had given me and then she pointed out that there were 3 separate banks of elevators and each section was labeled with the floors they went to. Who knew?

So, I did my interview with Susan who was lovely and nice and I think it went fairly well. You can catch it on Mix Matters this Sunday at 7:00 AM on the Mix 101.9. I believe you can listen to it live Sunday morning by going HERE and clicking on the tab labeled "listen live".

When I was done with the interview, I walked across the river to the PR agency that's working with me where I met a nice, interesting guy named Frank who taught me a few things about handling media appearances. That was a fun and informative meeting. He even had coffee waiting for me which was really nice considering my legs had gone completely numb by the time I got there. Crazy weather. It was 60 degrees a couple days ago and only 20 today.

I was a couple days too early to see the river dyed green for St. Patrick's Day.

The Tribune Tower - a bad picture of one of the coolest looking buildings in the city.

The ginormous American Gothic statue

When I left the city, my GPS was still doing that funky thing so I ended up at Navy Pier. I guess only folks from Chicago would understand that only an idiot could leave Ontario and manage to get to Navy Pier before hitting 90. Then I took a fun-filled drive on Lower Wacker. This really shouldn't surprise anyone though. In fact, when I walked out of both the office at the MIX and the PR agency, I got turned around and started going down the wrong hallway. Yep, that's me.

Tomorrow I'm not doing anything but playing with the kids until I have to leave for the play I'm in. I've been too busy lately.


Amanda said...

Oh my gosh, I have had that same issue with my GPS numerous times. It is such a pain in my butt. It'll say 'Turn left in 0.5 miles' and I do. Then it says 'recalculating route'... what in the heck? You TOLD me to turn left! Don't you 'recalculate route' me. Tonight it brought me to a dead end and then asked me to turn left. How in the heck am I supposed to turn left at a dead end? Or when I was looking for a grocery store near my current location... it told me I "had arrived" while I was still driving in the middle of the road... no Dominick's in sight. I just turned around and started going my own way until it caught up. Argh! Maybe we should just go back to the days of Yahoo Maps and tape the piece of paper to our windshield.

melech said...

Wow Dawn! What an amazing girl you are!You WALKED across the river? I thought only Jesus could do things like that!
Sorry..I am awake at 3:30AM..and noticed that you were adding comments to your BLOG..I just couldn't resist. I'll depart now so that your other 3 MILLION followers get a chance too!

Bekah said...

So now I'm confused, the diamond shaped building is not really the Prudential building? I grew up in Chicago and that has ALWAYS been the Prudential building.

Chas said...

When in Chicago we always print our directions because it's a guarantee the GPS will go all hormonal on us. Except the last time, when I forgot them at home, and we tried to exit the city according to the GPS and wound up on Lake Shore Drive before realizing that if we went much further we'd be very very wet. Driving in Chicago is always an adventure at the very least.

Wow. The Mix. How exciting. I live just out of range, but I will try to listen live.

noexcuses said...

I have nightmares about your day! I think you handled everything very well! I'm sure you're glad it's over.

Enjoy the kids today, and break a leg!

GrammyJackie said...

I loved reading about your day! I would have pitched the GPS too. I hate when they say 'recalculating'.
Now... whoa down.... I am from the middle of Kansas and I HAVE seen the city! LOL

A Mom in Jacksonville, FL said...

Looks like you had a great trip.

I used to LOVE the Adventures in Babysitting movie. Your photo of the building brought back memories of poor Sara sliding down the roof as her brother and babysitter try to figure out how to rescue her... Too fun!

Anonymous said...

Haha, I have a job that sent me to downtown Houston. I was as lost as you and just like you, I get in the elevator, go up and feel like an idiot when I have to go back down and walk to another elevator...

I was glad to get back into my car in the parking lot.

mammacita said...

your kidding about the river being dyed green righ?

Dawn said...

Nope, not kidding at all. They dye the river green!

Byc said...

On a GPS, the satelite sgnals bounce off of the tall buildings in a city, which confuses the unit, and the driver. They work best away from the interferences, but unfortuntly are needed most in those settings.

Anonymous said...

I thought you threw the GPS out the window. HOw did it end up back in your car for the trip home? :)

Sounds exactly like something that would happen to me. Thanks for making me feel less alone in my directionally-challenged world!


Anonymous said...

I just received an email from Amazon, that your book I preordered, will arrive at my front door earlier than expected on March 19th! Can't wait!

Erin T. said...

LOL! I go downtown a LOT to pick up payment checks for work and I cannot tell you how many times I've gotten on this elevator only to find out (too late to get off, of course) that the elevator I got on won't go to the floor I need!

And my GPS doesn't work so well in the Loop either! I think it's all the buildings... You would think that all the times I go downtown I'd know my way around by now, right? Nope! LOL!!

Anonymous said...

Dawn, I think you need to just stay in the suburbs for a while!

Wow, that's a lot of dye! I've seen fountains dyed for St. Patty's, but never a whole river!

Tinagsmarykay said...

you had me giggling thru the entire post LOL Especially when you turned & saw the Prudential sign across the street LOL I enjoy you!

Michelle said...

You are a brave woman to drive downtown! That is something I have no intention of ever doing.

Anonymous said...

Guess who was just at my door? Mr. UPS man, that's who. And what did he have for me? MY BOOK!!!!!!!! MYbookmybookmybook...YAYYAYYAY!!!!

Can't WAIT to read it cover to cover. I'll make sure I have my Depends on first, though.

Congrats!!! And, to Becky, on the EBay auction, she's a doodoohead...You can do whatever you want with your auction winnings. You deserve it. You go, girl!!

-Beth in MI

Candi said...

We used to tell my mother to be careful when she went out to hang the clothes on the line. She had inherited her sense of direction from one of the lost family branches, we're just not sure which one (there were several). My best advice for her was, "Now Mom, be sure you only turn clockwise when you go out the back door, otherwise you might lose the garage, which will be on your right." Could that be why she called me her "darling little smart alec?" %)

Bella said...

My husband feels the same way about GPS lol Its GOOD for somethings but it is technology and a machine... ahhh much like a man they are bound to screw up.

Diane B said...

Wow, you referenced Adventures in Babysitting. I don't even know what to say. So that makes you, me and 4 other people who saw it. JK

Tammy said...

Hi Dawn, I always got turned around downtown Chicago, too. One time I lost the parking garage where I parked - I had left the stub in the car so I wouldn't lose IT. Duh.

It's so much easier to ride the train and take a cab. I was a nanny for an exec for the Chicago Tribune - inside of the building is super cool, too.

I miss living near the city. Now I live in the mountains. :0S

Karen said...

Too bad you went to the MIX and didn't get to meet Eric and Kathy. With your sense of humor (as well as theirs), that would have been a hilarious conversation! I think you should look into that :)

Anonymous said...

wow, you survived Lower Wacker. I think you get a medal from Cook county for that!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you and I were blessed with the same lack of directional abilities, Dawn! Thanks for this post so that I know I'm not alone! I HATE driving in the city -- ANY city!

Can't wait to hear your interview!

Donna in PA :)

Cheryl said...

We need you to go back downtown and get a picture of you or some of your kids standing next the the American Gothic statue so we can see just how ginormous it is! Please? :-)

RefreshMom said...

There should be a rule against buildings having "banks" of elevators and elevators that don't go all the way to the top of a building. I mean, who wants to sit there giving directions to people who don't know you take Elevator A to the 12th floor, go down the west hallway until you reach Elevator D, take it to the 20th floor, head east until you get to Elevator C and push the unmarked button that's the same color as the "Don't push this button or you'll blast through the roof" button. ; )

Kristy said...



Anonymous said...

What, no pictures of the "Willis" Tower?

WhisperingWriter said...

I hate driving downtown too. It petrifies me. One time I drove through Boston and I thought I'd burst into tears. People would just walk right in front of my car without even LOOKING.

My GPS scares me. It's so loud and I can't figure out how to lower the volume. So it's just booming woman's voice telling me to go RIGHT up ahead and then to LEFT. It's like she's screaming at me or something.

Magda said...

Adventures in Babysitting!!?? I used to LOVE LOVE LOVE that movie!!! Haven´t seen it in ages... aah, good memories...

mommeeof9 said...

I never get lost, people are always willing to tell me hwere to go. No really, we occasionally take the scenic route, but usually have a real map, directions from mapquest and the gps with us. We use it for finding the nearest restaurant, grocery store, etc, but don't rely on it to provide the only directions.

Arlene said...

LOL on you getting to Navy Pier before getting to 90! I'm always happier taking the train into the city. But I do know the elevator thing - I used to work across from the Sears (Willis!) tower and we'd have meetings over there on some high up floor.

Anonymous said...

Thank you to the commenter who let us all know your book is IN STOCK and SHIPPING from Amazon...I just clicked over there, and in addition to a delivery estimate of Friday (March 20), the book was ON SALE for about $10 and change! Way to keep us moms in mind! I hardly ever buy books because I read so fast (that's what libraries are for, right?), but when I heard Because I Said So was going to be available early, I just couldn't resist. I've been reading your words of wisdom from the Pokemon auction on, and even though you don't get much of the sales price, at least you get something back from us readers. Congratulations, and I can't wait to read it!


Michelle said...

Ahhhh, I'm feeling better and better about now having a GPS. I love justifications about why I *don't* want things instead of the other way around. So how did you feel about the interview in general?

Anonymous said...

It just occurred to me that it was you birthday on Tuesday, wasn't it? Did you intentionally not mention it? Or do you just intentionally ignore birthdays? Cause I'm getting to that point in life where I'd rather just skip birthdays and pretend I'm not a year older. And I'm really not stalker, I just remembered because my 4, oops, I mean my 5 yr old shares your bday. At least, I think, or maybe I've just lost my mind and am way off on when your bday is. Because that is entirely possible too.
Andi in WI

Anonymous said...

You had me at hello. I get lost in a parking lot all the time. Not anything I am proud of but I am still laughing at your adventure :) Glad you got there where you needed to be. Yeah! Hip Hip Hooray :) Isn't technology great?! Have a great week :)
Angeleyes Blue

Anonymous said...

DAWN! I miss you! you were my daily laugh. COME BACK!


Karla with a K said...

Thanks - this was hilarious!!!

"No problem. I just stopped by the bank, took out a second mortgage so I could pay for parking...."

And I love that word "daft."
As always, thanks for the laughs.

And looks like I'm going to have to start checking the book stores. Thanks for keeping us posted.

Happy Monday to you :)

momto3cubs said...

I love Chicago. I'm impressed that you traveled downtown by car all by yourself!

No stop at American Girl for the girls? ;)

Who's Visiting My Blog Right Now?

Home About Dawn Blog Books News & Events Press Kit Contact

Dawn Meehan 2008-. All Rights Reserved.
Site Design by Jones House Creative