Again in Chicago, I was greeted by a memory from my childhood, specifically, the enormous tree frog sitting atop the Rainforest Café. Perhaps, crawling around this place was where my step brother, sister and I’s imaginative adventures began.

During this visit, my best friend Alyssa and I would wonder why it’s so imperative that our imagination is quieted with adulthood. On a trip of such length, I couldn’t bear to not stop and see her in Chicago. I was thrilled to stop into the flower shop at the hospital that she and her beautiful friends work at. Lovely to think of your days filled with flowers and I couldn’t think of some one that I’d be more delighted to have step into my hospital room and bring them to me than her. We’d stop by her boyfriend and his rap group’s music video shoot, which included the hilarious application of zombie make-up onto the faces of their white friends. More often than not our adventures in the city were indulgences of either our stomachs or livers. We happened upon the clandestine speakeasy of the Violet Hour for $13 drinks. Thankfully, mine was a delectable concoction of Beefeater Gin, macerated pineapple, lemon, Campari and interestingly, egg whites. Later that night her boyfriend wonderfully carried me up to their very sweet little apartment, which was unfortunately accompanied by their sick goldfish, Dustin. I slept with one eye open with his past of leaping out of his tank onto the couch that I was sleeping on. His splashing me throughout the night totally confused my dreams.

We’d fill the next day with crazy sweet zucchini pancakes, stopping at a gallery with a splendid Roald Dahl exhibit and writing and drawing in a café. Our night held sushi, playing X-men at a barcade, a Steigl-Radler grapefruit and Campari, but we’d tire of drinking and decided to seek out something more our style.

Since impromptu Sunny fishing at Lake Nockamixon and cruising deep into the woods in our golf cart back home in Bucks county wasn’t an option we decided to venture to Lake Michigan. Beyond the city limits, just as the night began, the lake revealed to us its wide horizon. We’d sit in the blue night with our laughter and conversation competing only with the wake noisily lapping at the land. An eerily illuminated sail boat encroached as if a moth drawn to the light of the city, or possibly, the love and light of such friendship. We have at times grown apart, now in terms of distance, but more so we’ve grown together and such beautiful friendship is immensely appreciated. Such reassurance that not all relationships take such work puts my mind at ease and causes a nice bright smile to stretch across my face.