Last night was the second reception for Kyle and Kelli. It was SO much fun to see all the relatives and friends of the family--some of whom still hadn't met Dan, much less Kelli! We had it at Maggiano's--home of YUM--and despite some audio/visual issues, we were able to show everyone pictures of the wedding and of their honeymoon to Bampff, Canada. Of course, something always has to go awry, and unfortunately it was Kelli's parents who had to endure it--their luggage didn't make it to Chicago until 4 hours after they did! Of course, 4 hours after they got there is when the reception started, so they ended up having to shop at Woodfield Mall (luckily right near Maggiano's and their hotel) to get outfits to wear. But they handled the stress swimmingly and looking at them you never would have known anything was the matter, so that was a relief.
Dan and I left the reception around 9:30, by which time all the fun stuff (i.e. bookstores) had already closed, so we went back to the hotel to pack to come home. After we finished we realized we were hungry, so we went to our second home-away-from-home: the IHOP next door.
Oh my, the characters that show up at IHOP in the wee hours (it was midnight by the time we went over there) provide enough fodder for ten volumes of short stories. There was the family of 6--three kids, two parents, and an infant--whose table was next to ours. The three kids were falling asleep at the table, and the baby was wide awake. I wanted to go over and ask why the heck they were out so late, since the kids were obviously not pleased to be there. Then there was the guy behind us who had four--yes, four--full dinners lined up on his table. He was in the process of finishing a bowl of soup when we got there, and then all of a sudden a whole tray of food gets delivered to him. Fifteen minutes later we hear the waitress tell him, "Your chicken will be out in just a minute." So now it's up to five dinners. And a bowl of soup. And he wasn't a big guy, so I don't know where he was putting it all, although the why of the situation fascinates me a whole lot more. On the other side of the partition from us was an older gentleman, all alone, who sat drinking coffee and reading a book the whole time, and behind him were three Middle Eastern women with their beautiful head scarves, talking and laughing about someone's wedding--"When I got married, everyone cried. Even the men. Even my father cried!"
After consuming the fourth short stack of chocolate chip pancakes that I've had since we arrived here, we made our way back to the hotel for our final night. Words cannot describe how much I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight, with my own pillows--especially my muscle-saving body pillow. Hotel beds always, always suck--at least when you're on a $70/night budget.