I went to the monthly Chicago area furry events yesterday. Picked up the fox at 10, drove up to Lombard, realized I'd forgotten about stopping to grab food until we were almost there, so we pulled into a strip mall and found that it had a Chinese takeout place, so we got food there. Was OK. Found the park easily, guessed correctly on which of the 20-odd fields the softball would be at, and got out of the car to discover a few likely looking people. One of them had a malamute who looked a lot like Chase, a dog I played with at Jim and Robin's until he found a home. The dog was very friendly with me. Then his owner, whose name I picked up as Mirko, called him Chase, and I asked if the dog was from Champaign, and he said yes, he was from Jim. Who'd have thought I'd go to a fur meet in Chicago and meet a dog I knew from years before I got involved with furry? I ended up holding the dog for most of the afternoon while Mirko played in the softball game. The weather was fine, there were some people I knew and a couple I didn't that I may actually remember.
Softball ended at 5, and the fox and I went to Portillo's with some people who weren't going to bowling, because we were hungry then. I believe I hadn't been to Portillo's before, because they identify themselves as a hot dog place and I identify myself as a hot dog avoider, but I can report that they serve mighty fine Italian beef. When the non-bowling folks were ready to leave, we drove a mile or so to get across the street to Buona Beef (the suburbs... what can I say?), where the place was already pretty packed by a bit after 7. I hung out too much with the folks from Champaign, when the idea was to actually meet some new people, but it was a good enough time. Buona's dessert selection was kinda lame, but I got a decent brownie.
We made it to Tivoli without trouble at 8:30 or so. There were already a fair number of furries there, and more would arrive. Not quite as many suiters as in the past, but some; I got some photos, greeted and chatted with some people I already know, and got hugs from a couple of people I didn't. It was a little more low-key than it might have been, but I had a good time. Most of the folks I knew seemed to be leaving by 11:30, and a Champaign kitty who rode up with someone else wanted to come back with me because he was very tired and his ride was going to Steak and Shake. We had fun talking in the car, keeping the driver awake (always good), and I made it home at 3 AM -- an hour earlier than I'd expected.
I'm not going to commit to trying to go every month, but when I know there's a local contingent going and it works out for my schedule, I'll definitely go again.