Chicago Blog: One Grand Family and One Grand Trip

Steve Bergen

So I went to Chicago on Sunday 3/15/09 the day after PI Day to visit Matt Horvat and Susan Fine and their wonderful children Alex and Matteo. After landing at O'Hare, I took the train to Grand which set the tone for the next 33 hours. I was shocked to find out that there is a town and stop on the train line called Harlem. I then walked until I got to Michigan past Nordstrom. Yes, I got lost on the way but Chicago people were helpful in pointing me in the right way. Before taking the Metra from corner of Randolph and Michigan, I met a Mom and daughter pair of Celtics fans from South Windsor CT who were in the train station and saw my Paul Pierce #34 on my laptop. I took the train South to 55-56-57.

When I arrived, I was greeted by 3 year old Matteo and Susan. Matteo has to be one of the most adorable 3 year olds around and insists that his brother Alex is 4 instead of 8. The family had built an amazing Lego structure: The Taj Mahal in their wonderful 2,200 square foot condo. I was shocked to see how grown up Alex was when he came home later.

During the 33 hours, I saw Alexandra Briggs whom I had not seen in many years. Actually, I should say "Dr. Briggs" since she just graduated from UChicago medical school and got into Brigham's & Women in Boston. Alexandra -- like Alex -- is an avid Red Sox fan. I think the Larry Bird doll gave her good luck. Later, we SKYPED with Brady and Matteo pretended to feed him while Alex gave a cello performance. Alex had built a huge block structure in his room with little people sitting in rows. We did not watch TV even once when I was there, quite possibly because their TV had been installed behind the couch. Susan showed me the book by David M Schwartz called How much is a million which may be useful for the pennies project at Storefront. Going home was easier but less eventful. Matt took me to Grand station on the way back to O'Hare which marked the end of a grand 33 hours. Little did I know then that when I got to airport, my plane had been canceled and in rushing through the security area to get to another plane, I lost the laptop battery I had dealing with the agents who were questioning the lump of metal in my bag which turned out to be the 333 pennies that Matt and Susan had donated to our 1 billion penny project!

Alex chose the background color green for this Web page!