Over the years I worked in downtown Chicago we had many different vacations in Chicago. It was not that we had a one-track mind, it was just that we could very quickly get there, the kids had a lot of fun things to do, and I could stay in the city, and my wife could drive up. It was a break for me overall. Plus, the kids got to hang out in Chicago. When the twins were little, they had two teddy bears. One was called Honey Bear, and the other was called Ma Bear. My wife and the kids left Chicago early Sunday and spent the day at the Dunes of Indiana. When they were done, they wandered back towards home. I stayed as I had an initial Monday meeting in Chicago.
I got a panicked call Monday afternoon when they got home. Those calls are never right. In this case, one of the bears (I want to say Honey Bear) had been left in the Chuckie Cheese restaurant they stopped at in Northern Indiana on their way home. My wife called the Chukie Cheese, and they said that they did have the bear. I was driving home on Thursday end of the day, so I was tasked with reconnecting the twin and their bears. This was the second time the bears had been forgotten on vacation. The first time was traumatic and resulted in a Chicago trip to FAO Schwartz when they were still in business to get new (better) stuffed animals.
FAO Schwartz is the toy store featured in the Tom Hanks movie Big. In this case, I left Chicago around 5 pm. I started heading south and then cut off the highway at Merriville, Indiana. The Chuckie cheese was a good 2 or 3 miles from the road in delightful Friday traffic, so those three miles took me 20 minutes. I ended up getting back on the highway around 7. Merrillville to Indianapolis is a solid 2-hour drive. I ended up home around 9 pm. The only thing that was said to me was, do you have the bear. I got hugs from my daughter and wife; the twins were asleep by 9 pm back then. That was a stressful week for the twins. They loved Ma and Honey Bear!
This work is Copyright DocAndersen. Any resemblance to people real or fictional in this piece is accidental (unless explicitly mentioned by name.)