So still reporting from the U.S. in northern Illinois.
Started the morning with a quick interview with a Northwest Herald intern at Conscious Cup in Crystal Lake about service so far in the Peace Corps. Should be appearing tomorrow in the paper! Afterwards dad and I still had a lot of coffee left, so we sat around and talked for an hour. It was healing and at the end of our conversation, I felt a bit more optimistic. I asked randomly if he'd like to go to Evanston (a lengthy drive) just to check out one tiny store because it probably had the greatest likelihood of having Tibetan prayer flags - which I'm using to decorate my Ecuadorian room, despite the fact they should actually be hung outside. He jumped at it and said "Let's go!"
And our afternoon adventure began. We went home, hugged mom and went back out the door. First stop: His workplace, though it was mostly shutdown due to the holidays and lunchtime. Said a few hellos and continued on our way to Subway, getting a treat thanks to my family in Ohio!
Along the way we picked up just a few geocaches - those that were right along the road and quick to find - with a combined effort of his iPhone and my GPSr. 3 attempts; 3 finds.
Time was slipping so we skipped a bunch of other close caches and went right to the shop in Evanston. Despite its teeny size, it contained more books on Tibet, Buddhism and yoga than I ever thought existed. And what luck - they had strings of prayer flags.
Rush hour was fast approaching (present even during the holidays I guess) so we went almost straight home with a quick stop at REI to look at the clothes on sale and stare at climbing things to jog my mind and think if I needed anything. Nope. Pretty much set! Did find a small pair of my favorite pants of all time. It'll be nice to have pants that actually fit...
Right when we got home we rallied my mom and got ourselves over to Algonquin for some Indian food. Ohhh was I craving this stuff! The place was small, a bit crowded, and only had one guy cooking and one guy taking orders. Our order was... confusing. And didn't come quite as we'd planned. But it was tasty and I have a ton of leftovers. Though the price shocked me - for a small Indian place with ok food, I wouldn't have expected to pay almost half of what I get from Peace Corps each month to buy food and other necessities. I'm sure most Ecuadorians in my site would fall over backwards at such a price for just ONE meal.
Tomorrow: I fight the urge to run away from shopping. maybe.