Wild & Wanderful

The town that Billy Sunday couldn’t shut down.

Katy McKinleyComment

Which city would that be?  Chicago of course!  We returned home today from our five day visit to the Windy City and besides our complete exhaustion, life is good.  Bennett and I arrived on Wednesday afternoon, Sierra drove in later that night, Jessie Willard flew in on Thursday morning and Mom rounded up the group by flying in on Thursday night.

Is it so wrong to say that I hate the O’Hare Airport?  Because I do.  And I’m pretty sure that Bennett will back me on that statement.

Driving there was interesting enough because we were coming from the downtown area and it appears that every hour is rush hour in Chicago.  For Jessie’s pickup it probably took us 1 1/2 hours to drive the 14 miles from our hotel to the airport.  For Mom…it took about 30 minutes, which would have been fine but her airplane didn’t land and was circling for an hour before it decided to finally touch ground.  We were so grumpy by the time Mom landed, I felt bad that we didn’t give her quite the warm welcoming that she deserved.  (Sorry Mom…we really were happy to see you!!)

It rained A LOT while we were there and of course none of us had umbrellas so we had to go shopping for some the first day that Bennett, Sierra, Jessie and I decided to venture out into the big city.  Good thing we found a Walgreens that weren’t priced at “Chicago prices” and we were set to journey out into the world.  We basically wandered all day on Thursday, Friday we visited the Lincoln Park Zoo and Conservatory and Saturday we experienced St. Patrick’s Day weekend by watching the river being dyed green and checking out the parade.




I’m pretty sure that my favorite things about zoos are officially the polar bears, meerkats and the monkey displays.  I seriously cannot get enough of those animals!!  I haven’t convinced Bennett about the others, but I think I’ve got him convinced that we need to adopt about 10,000 meerkats for ourselves.  They are so cute and super attentive – they watch the people that are watching them without as much excitement and curiosity.  It’s great.  While we were there, one of the monkeys put on a show and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  Unfortunately Bennett didn’t capture the ending but it was quite AMAZING.  The monkey was really showing off for all of the people by swinging around and then ended the ‘grand show’ by baring its teeth and thrusting its body against the glass (right next to me).  I wasn’t sure if the dude was trying to hit on me or he was threatening me – either way I spent a few minutes dying of laughter.

Check out the video below here:

We were unaware of the St. Patrick’s Day weekend celebrations until we were already there but it was pretty cool to see, I guess.  They dye the Chicago River green to kick off the celebrations, have a parade and the entire town seems to get involved.  Everywhere we went, people were dressed in green and had on some crazy hats/glasses/necklaces/etc.  It stunk because it was MISERABLE, cold, wet and windy outside but it certainly was something that I’ve never experienced before.  Now I can say I’ve been in Chicago for St. Patrick’s Day.  (And by the way….Thank you, thank you, thank you: Aunt Vicki and Uncle Bob for leading us around and putting up with my incredible crabbiness.  You guys are saints!)IMG_1460


Okay…and now for the update about Billy.  It’s like he was the whole reason we were there in the first place or something….

The first day we were there, he looked like he felt.  His face was swollen, eyes sunken in, his neck was SUPER red (like a bad sunburn) and he was drifting out of consciousness.  They said that his white blood count was at a .1 or a .2 that day.  The second day I saw him, he looked a little better and they said his WBC had almost doubled.  Each day seemed to be a little better than the next – and I slowly saw Billy looking like my big brother again.  I believe today that his WBC is up to a 2.7 and he looked quite amazing while we were saying goodbye.  The doctor even said that he can probably be discharged on Tuesday and he’s started eating and drinking foods instead of getting all of his nutrients through an IV bag.

All of this is GREAT news.  Because my Mom is now there staying with Billy, she promises to keep his blog updated about his progress.  So far she’s done well, let’s hope that she can keep up with it.  Here’s the site if anybody needs it again: www.mylifeline.org/billboltze  Check it out, leave him a message or post a picture….everything gets read and we really appreciate all of the support he’s been getting from everyone.