After about three years of missing this event, my wife and I were finally able to make it to Chicago Bluesfest 2012. And this time, we brought our Third Wheel. It would be her first time in Grant Park.
Getting down to Bluesfest was quite different this year than other years. Usually, we would pack our picnic blanket, some food to nibble on, and a bottle of wine. But this year, we had a diaper bag, baby stuff, more baby stuff, a stroller, and no food or booze. Just getting there was an adventure, as it meant taking all our stuff on a 151 bus in the summer – which in my opinion is definitive proof than mankind is dumb and oblivious.
Finally and mercifully, we were able to get off the bus and walk over to the event. My wife and I had never been to Bluesfest during the day, but such is our new life with the baby. We can still do a lot of the things we used to do; it just has to be around noon when we do it.
At Bluesfest, there were multiple stages. And at the time we arrived, they all seemed to have some really great stuff. We found ourselves a spot in the shade by the Mississippi Juke Stage. But we were pretty far away so that the music wouldn’t be too loud for the baby.
After the baby woke from her nap, we decided to check out another stage. We went over to the Bud Light stage next, as we were essentially just following whichever stage had a guy on the harmonica. En route, we decided to get some beer. But to buy anything at Bluesfest, you need tickets instead of dollars.
Once you get tickets, you can then get a beer. The line was long. And the beer was expensive. 9 tickets for a bud light. Which, I think, is $6 for 12oz.
To go with the beer, we got potato chips. It seems that you can always get fresh cut potato chips whenever you go to one of these events in Grant Park. At this event, we got them from BJ’s Market and Bakery.
The chips were tasty. Fresh out of a deep fryer. But way too salty. We also later returned for the catfish nuggets, and these were easily the best catfish that I have ever had. In other words, it covered the metalic-y-ness of the catfish pretty well. The batter had a pleasantly strong note of mustard and cornmeal.
We found a space near the bud light stage that was far enough away that we didn’t think it would hurt the baby’s ears. And we were really far away. But the shade was nice, as was the music.
During a lull in the action, we decided to get some mac and cheese from Reggie’s. It was a large portion that felt generous. But the macaroni just didn’t seem cheesy enough. And it needed more salt. It reminded me of the times that I try to make mac and cheese at home and my wife always says, ‘meh, I’d rather have the stuff out of the box.’
After that, the music was starting up on the main stage, but we were about to head home. Our daughter had spent just about as much time as she cared to spend at Bluesfest, so it was time to go. But I did manage to get some corn on the way out. Because it’s summertime in the midwest at a street fair, and that’s just what you do.