Pick Date: 7/16/08    Wednesday morning. Hot and sunny. I'm on vacation and it had been pretty uneventful, other than helping somebody else with a house move. I had been watching an ebay auction all week, and it was ending that morning. So far, there were no bids. I had been wanting a Simpsons game for awhile, but the prices on them had been quite high as they were still earning money on location. So far this one was at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, this one was in Chicago. Surely someone else would bid on this but I go ahead and throw in my high bid. Next thing I know, it was the only bid. I got the game for the starting price.
Now I'm a little excited. ROAD TRIP TIME!

I call the seller, get directions and arrange to meet him at his storage unit in Chicago at 7PM. The time was 11:30AM. By my calcuations it was going to take 5 1/2 hours to get there, so I needed to leave by 12:30PM to make sure I have an hour to spare. I tell my wife "Pack the bags, we are going on a mini-vacation". She asked when we had to leave and I tell her in 1 hour. Yeah.....that went over well. So anyways we leave the house at 12:33PM for Chicago.

We arrive in Chicago in middle of stopped rush hour traffic. Good one. Everywhere in Chicago, everywhere is a toll road. For those who don't know what that is...you have to PAY to drive on the highway. This is a foreign concept in Missouri, maybe we are just spoiled. Anyways we arrive in Chicago and find a hotel within minutes of the storage unit where the game is. I check in to my hotel, unpack, then go meet the seller to pick up the game. It turns out he is a fellow collector from the KLOV board. He has a lot of interesting games in his storage unit, I snapped a few shots below. I fire up the game. Everything checks out, I'm happy, I pay the gentleman and load up the game. The Simpsons arcade game is huge, so the control panel is removed and the game just barely squeezed into the back of the van, right next to the baby's car seat. Yes, the little guy is getting broken in early.

So now that I have the game, the vacation begins. Its a little late so I take the wife out to a nice seafood restaurant. Afterwards we are driving around and pass a 7-11. These stores are remarkably similar to the Quik-E-Mart from The Simpsons. 7-11's are owned and operated by people from India, just like Apu runs the Quik-E-Mart. So anyways we retire for the night.

The next morning we check out and take the Simpsons on a little trip to Medieval Times. For those who don't know, Medieval Times was featured in the movie "The Cable Guy" with Jim Carrey. It features real jousting and swordfighting and was probably the most awesome live action show I have ever seen. It is highly recommended. The arcade game patiently waited for us in the van while I was inside for a few hours, drinking the frosty brew and cheering on my favorite knight. Totally amazing. Next I take the misses, the arcade machine and the baby to the beach. The beach at Lake Michigan that is. Again, it was sunny and beautiful. Lake Michigan is almost like being at the ocean, it was gorgeous.

By this time I am needing to get back home. It has been 2 days, and we wanted to get back late that evening. We begin the long trek back, hauling a precious cargo of one arcade, one wife and one baby. Oddly enough we pass Springfield, IL. Hmmm.....I wonder if that was the Simpsons home town of Springfield. So we get back at 10PM. The odometer read 772.4 miles round trip. I unload the van, then unload the game and fire it up. Everything is working and in good measure.

This has been a wonderful vacation. Lake Michigan, Medieval Times, and a Simpsons video game.
Ahhhh.......memories. At 350 pounds, the bigger the souvenir, the better.

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