Spoiler Alert: It involves acquainting oneself with many of the rest stops en route from St. Louis to Chicago.
I work with kids.
Each day I spend hours on end in close quarters with four and five-year olds who have not yet mastered the art of covering their mouths when sneezing and consider holding their hand under running water while making goofy faces in the mirror sufficient means of cleaning off germs. Daily, I have to deal with some child who forgets that our plastic play food is not meant to actually be licked and although it looks delicious and yes, its main ingredient is flour, play dough is not to be put in one’s mouth.
So it’s no surprise that despite my efforts to teach healthy hand washing practices and an endless routine of spraying down our class’s toys with a bleach solution, illnesses spread around my room like wildfires. Most recently, a nasty stomach bug has made its way into my classroom. Class, can you spell YUCK?
Now, this is my sixth year working in schools. Over those years I’ve developed somewhat of a strong defense against colds and the like. So much so, in fact, that I can usually make it through the school year with a sniffle here or a minor sore throat there but nothing major. This stomach bug, however, pushed its way past my defenses. I can only imagine that he’s part Irish and heard I was heading to Chicago for St. Patty’s Day because he packed his bags and came along for the ride.
Too much information? Well I tell you this only because, after five hours in the car and what I estimate was another hour in several of Illinois’s finest rest stops, I made it to Chicago drained, tired, and wondering how I was going to accomplish my goal of eating the city’s famous deep dish pizza when I couldn’t bear the thought of putting a single thing in my stomach. After a quick rest in the hotel, however, we ventured out to try Chicago style pizza at Giordano’s.
When researching the best pizza in the windy city, I found recommendations for several restaurants. This one, however, stood out because my Nana’s maiden name is Giordano and that is reason enough to choose it.
I had no preconceived notions about stuffed pizza besides knowing, for sure, that it would be better than the slop St. Louisans call pizza. (My apologies to anyone who enjoys it but provel should be outlawed!)
We ordered a veggie pizza with pepperoni on the side for my carnivorous love. And then we waited.
And drooled at our neighbor’s pizza.
And waited some more.
Apparently, it takes a freaking long time to bake such a monstrous creation.
As soon as it arrived, I knew I was going to be a fan. It was a melty mozzarella cheese lover’s heaven.
Back in New York I can down two slices without a problem. However, midway through my first piece I was pretty well stuffed. Naturally, I pushed through and polished off a full slice because, well, when in
Rome Chicago, right?
While I wasn’t crazy about the crust, (to me it tasted like a Ritz cracker), I really did like it.
Here I am before devouring my dinner. If ever there was a time to “say cheese”!
The next day I was still feeling rather ill and couldn’t eat a thing. We walked around the city for hours and I finally collapsed in bed at 5 pm with what was either heat exhaustion or a fever.
The next day wasn’t much better. I still couldn’t manage to eat more than a small bowl of cereal.
On Monday morning, I stepped on the scale and found myself nearly five pounds lighter than before my trip.
So kids, if you’re looking to lose weight on vacation, I recommend you catch yourself a stomach virus. If you need help, give me a call, I might know a few kids who would be more than happy to share theirs.