120 Minutes at Rivers

SOL #22

Check out more slices at Two Writing Teachers
Check out more slices at Two Writing Teachers

We decided to try a new restaurant tonight. We are people who know what we like and can be quite set in our ways.  But, we ventured off the beaten path and went for it.  We chose it because of the 1,000 points we received on “Open Table” for making our reservation.  We couldn’t pass that up!

The restaurant is called, Rivers….located along the Chicago River. Pretty clever, eh?   We pulled into the garage and were told that if we returned in exactly 2 hours, or less, parking would be free. That NEVER happens in Chicago!  We’re hoping to love this place – within our 2 hour timeframe, of course.

We walk into the restaurant and with exactly 112 minutes left of our free parking.  We are definitely the youngest people in the place…..by at least 25 years.  These aged patrons are going to the big, beautiful building next door.  The Civic Opera House.  We choose to wait for their prime tables by the window.  Twelve minutes.  100 minutes left for dinner.

We make our way to our cute little table by the river.  We look out the window and see we are smack dab in the middle of Chicago’s financial district; surrounded by a concrete jungle – but beautiful.  High rise buildings illuminate the cool March sky.  Another 4 minutes tick by while enjoying the view.  96 minutes left – we’d better order!

We had a 5 minutes worth of questions for our waiter. If we ever go back there it is vital that we ensure that these nice people can meet all of our requirements….and we have a lot of them!

“How thick is the steak?  Because I like them on the thinner side.”

“Is there pepper on it?”  “Is there lemon on it?”  “Is it spicy?”  “Because, I don’t like any of those things.”

“Can I substitute the spinach for something else?”  “Because I’d rather have beans.”

91 minutes left.  We drink wine.  We eat bread.  We look at the buildings and the river through our window.

The food arrives….with 68 minutes to spare.  We ask our waiter more questions.  “Is there seating outside, along the river, in the summer?”  “Is that the Amtrak train we see over there across the river?”  “What exactly goes on here in the financial district?”  Questions.  Checking with other waiters on answers.  More questions.  More answers.  We eat.

With our bellies full and our senses satisfied we get our check and pay.  We stroll to the garage, not worried – we still have a whopping 23 minutes left on our parking.  No problem!  Then….

Kathy asks, “Does anyone remember what floor we parked on?”

I say, “P1?”  Or, was it “P2?”  18 minutes left.

We land on P1 and we’re relieved.  But, we do not see the attendant.  “Where is he???”  17, 16, 15, 14 minutes left……”There he is!”   A bit of a stressful end to our relaxing dinner – in the beautiful concrete jungle of Rivers.


5 thoughts on “120 Minutes at Rivers

  1. I love how you focused your story around the time left on the parking meter. It made the story simply delightful. While the dinner might have been great – your story told through the moments of time – is held together by the strong thread of your parked car waiting for you!

  2. Carrie, this literally made me laugh out loud. I feel that this is your best slice yet; retelling this story, I felt like I was there with you, sitting at the table, looking at the awesome skyline, asking those questions—and then carefree as we all strolled back to the garage to get the car. I felt like I was there— great job at retelling this awesome slice!

  3. Thanks for this tip…our daughter lives in Chi town and we love going down for dinner…you are so right, parking is always our biggest problem. xo

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