Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Lunchtime adventures

“Water taxi today?” I ask via instant messenger to three co-workers.

“YES,” comes the simultaneous response.

Water taxis run up and down the Chicago River in the summer time. I’m ashamed to admit that after working downtown for nearly three years, yesterday was my first time.

“Where’s lunch?” asks Jim the IT guy, who is like me and always, always concerned with lunch.

“Who knows? Let’s wing it,” I say, throwing caution to the wind.

Adventures, whenever possible, should involve a boat and an undetermined destination.
We walk less than a block to the Madison Street dock across from Union Station and we’re part of a mixed crowd of tourists and city workers by the time the 11:15 boat arrives.

Water taxis look exactly as you might imagine: They’re yellow and black, just like regular taxis. Only bigger. And they’re in water. Thus the name.

“Watch your step, miss,” says the young but portly water taxi driver, taking my hand but not my money since the water taxi is free the first two weeks in June.

We sit on black cushioned seats (“OW!” says me, leaping up again, the only one wearing a skirt) in the prow of the boat.

It’s sunglasses and smiles all around. And we’re off. Cruising up the green sparkly river with the Chicago Sun-Times building dead ahead.

Adventures, whenever possible, should involve warm sun and cool breezes.
We reach the first stop too soon.

“This looks good,” says one.

“Let’s eat here,” says another.

It’s Fulton’s Fish House on the water between the Clark and LaSalle Street bridges. Window boxes filled with fuchsia geraniums everywhere. Blinding bright white tablecloths. Tan umbrellas.

We’re seated Right Away at the perfect outdoor table.

Adventures, whenever possible, should involve fresh calamari.
Over lunch we toast with our passion fruit lemonades to this, the First of Many Water Taxi Adventures. We deal with unexpected side orders of broccoli. And we hear a boat story involving naked, drunken imitations of Leo “I’m the king of the world!” DiCaprio.

It feels like Saturday but it’s Tuesday.

Adventures, whenever possible, should happen on weekdays.
Sleepy and full-bellied, we walk downstairs to the taxi stop to catch our boat back to the office.

That’s when I hear: “HEATHER! What are YOU doing HERE?”

It’s my good friend and train buddy, Ms. Moo. We hug hello and make co-worker introductions all around.

Adventures, whenever possible, should involve unexpected meetings with dear friends.
I am listening to: The Killers – Read My Mind
I am reading: Neil at the Sun-Times
And I am: Looking forward to the next adventure


phatdoggy said...

There's nothing quite like a MsMoo sighting to brighten the day!

-Mr. Uk

msmoo1 said...

How fun was that?!