Rollin’ Down The Tollway

Though my Monday was indeed better than my Saturday, it didn’t come without some intensely stressful moments. (I should just accept it: that’s how I roll.) I had, as you know, a few things going on. There was the issue with my car. There was the issue with getting a rental car. There was the issue of the Tina Turner concert, which is a wrong way to put it because on the worst of days, a Tina Turner concert is not an issue. If you need to read the background on how it came about that I was going to see Tina, you can read that here.

I drove Jim’s truck to work and had let the dealership know that I would be stopping by for the rental car around 3:00, so if they could set that up for me it’d be great. I figured that I would have plenty of time to grab the rental, pick up Deb and Dave at the healthclub (where they would leave their cars) and head on over to O’Hare to pick up Julesie, who was arriving from Key West a little less than 3 hours before the concert began. When she left, she made the comment that she knew she was cutting it pretty close as far as the concert was concerned, but she didn’t have any choice in the matter; it was going to be the earliest she could return. During the week, I thought, “Well, Allstate Arena is right near O’Hare…I don’t know what she’s talking about, ‘cutting it close’.”

At work around 12:00, I decided to check the Airtran website to ensure that her flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Atlanta was running on time. No problem: it was. Shew! She would make her connection!

Then I decided, a while later, to check on her flight from Atlanta to Chicago, to make sure that departed on time.

That’s where the stress began.

“Departure city,” I happily said, clicking Atlanta.


“Arrival city: Chicago!”, I said, clicking on the dropdown list…



Here is the list of the cities Airtran flies to:

Akron/Canton, OH
Atlanta, GA
Baltimore, MD/Washington
Bloomington/Normal, IL
Boston, MA
Buffalo, NY
Burlington, VT
Cancun, MX
Charleston, SC
Charlotte, NC
Chicago, IL – Midway
Cleveland AREA
Columbus, OH
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
Dayton, OH
Denver, CO
Detroit, MI
Flint, MI
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Fort Myers, FL
Gulfport/Biloxi, MS
Harrisburg, PA
Hilton Head AREA
Houston, TX – Hobby
Indianapolis, IN
Jacksonville, FL
Kansas City, MO
Las Vegas, NV
Los Angeles, CA
Memphis, TN
Miami, FL
Milwaukee, WI
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
Moline/Quad Cities, IL
New Orleans, LA
New York, NY – LaGuardia
Newark, NJ
Newport News, VA
Norfolk AREA
Orlando, FL
Pensacola/Gulf Coast, FL
Philadelphia, PA
Phoenix, AZ
Pittsburgh, PA
Portland, ME
Raleigh/Durham, NC
Richmond, VA
Rochester, NY
San Antonio, TX
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Juan, PR
Sarasota/Bradenton, FL
Savannah, GA
Seattle/Tacoma, WA
St. Louis, MO
Tampa, FL
Washington, DC – Dulles
Washington, DC – Reagan
West Palm Beach, FL
White Plains, NY
Wichita, KS
Williamsburg AREA

Do you see what I saw? Let me help you out a bit:
Chicago, IL – Midway

A-ha. It suddenly occurred to me why Julesie made those comments about cutting it close.

For those of you who don’t live in the Chicago area and don’t know much about our transportation system, I can tell you a few things.

O’Hare airport and Midway airport, though both in Chicago, might as well be 100 miles apart in rush hour. I came thisclose to happily picking up Deb and Dave and heading up to O’Hare to grab Julesie, which would have led to all four of us missing the first half of the concert. I called Deb and told her the situation, and continued to panic inside myself.

In order to explain my potentially fatal, concert-missing error, I sent out this Twitter tweet, which might give you a better idea.

I left work shortly thereafter to get home, call the car rental place to make sure they had approval from the dealer to set me up with the car, and waited for the sixteen-year-old to come home from school so he could drop me off to get my ride on his way to a meeting about his Eagle Scout project.

Sidenote: I ended up with a brand-new (less than 2000 miles on it) Chevy HHR for my rental. It is indeed–as I hoped via Twitter tweet–waaaaay better than the crapmobile I had two weeks ago. It reminds me of England; it reminds me of the adorable cap that Bert the Chimneysweep wears in “Mary Poppins”.

It makes me want to use a British accent. But I won’t.



Anyway, the rental car place wanted to vacuum out the car for me and they ended up washing it too, so although I was annoyed at the extra time it took, I had a clean, sweet ride. I headed off to Midway.

At 4:00 p.m.

From the Western Suburbs.

In traffic.


Happy middle to the story: I made it in about an hour. Yippee! Julesie got into the car and we headed off to the Allstate Arena, near O’Hare.

Through the city on I-90/94.

Did I mention it was rush hour?

*Got a great view of my city though. Loved it.*

Happy ending to the driving story: We made it over there in a little less than an hour. We stopped at the McD’s to grab some food and “tee tee at the McD’s”, and then went to park at the arena at about 6:45.

Got out of the car, called Deb to see where they were so we could meet up for a drink before the 7:30 show.

“I’m still at home. Dave is on his way.”


While I reassured her that if he was on his way, they would be fine, I was thinking “Eeeeek!”. But they were coming from only 19 miles or so and 30 minutes away. And they did make it, just before 7:30. We were already in our seats so I figured we’d meet up later.

Tina put 7:30 on the tickets but didn’t start til 8:00. Smart lady.

Did I mention we had row 17 on the floor?

Stay tuned for the scoop on the concert!



  • Melissa

    Holy cow! When I read you were driving to Midway instead of O’Hare I was thinking “better her then me.”

    I can’t believe you made it in an hour…impressive!

    Glad y’all had a fun time at the concert. I can’t wait to read about it.

  • Weaselmomma

    Oh man. We have all made the airport mistake. We should really know better by now. Glad you got there in plenty of time and had fun.

  • Kat

    Holy Moly. I was practically reading this with my mouth open wondering if you guys made it in time for the concert.

    Glad it worked out for you. Seriously that read was more like a thriller than a blog post.

  • Mags

    Ooooo! I was nervous there for a few seconds while reading this!! I’m glad you made it in time. I can’t wait for the tales!

  • Michelle

    Wow. I’m exhausted just reading about that! Glad it turned out well in the end … definitely some close calls. Midway really? Wow.

    And I’m impressed. I still always call it the Horizon. Some things will never change, I suppose!