So around 3 in the morning, while still hyped up on the Hawks winning the Cup, I sent a random twitter response to a friend saying that if someone else drove, I'd go to O'Hare to welcome the Hawks back.
10 seconds later, my phone rings and my friend tells me to be outside in 20 minutes.
4 hours later, I return home with a dead camera battery, copies of the day's newspaper, and the realization that what happened last night had to be real, because I had touched the Cup.
So my friend and I got to O'Hare around 4am and began our search for the Executive airport, where the Hawks were to land. A friendly O'Hare maintenance worker told us where the executive terminal was, and then told us that the Hawks were going to go to Harry Caray's once they landed. My friend & I decided to go to the airport first, to see if we'd be able to cheer the Hawks returning before heading to Harry Caray's. When we finally found it (it's near the International terminal, btw) there were cops blocking the entrance in, so after waiting a bit, we decided to head to Harry Carey's.
It's a good thing we did, because it turns out the bus had snuck out another exit so we parked and got to the front of the place just as the Hawks were getting off the bus. There was already a large group of people there, so there was plenty of screaming going on. Then...Seabs and Burish walked out with the Cup. They proceeded to carry it around the bus, and it was during this tour that I got to touch the Cup.
(picture I took afterwards, as the Cup continued on its journey around the bus)
After that, I found a spot by the window look into Harry Caray's and attempted to take some pictures. Some of these are horrible; they were really dark so I used the auto-enhance with iPhoto, and as a result they are pixel-y. This was about the time I realized that rabid fans are scary - they were pounding on the glass screaming. I must've been entertaining to the people inside; everytime someone screamed or pounded the glass, I would flinch. (I flinched a lot.)
Here are some of the pictures I took (I'll link the album at the end of the fanpost so people can look at all the pics I took):
so it's around 5am and guess who comes out, spends around an hour just going around the crowd, signing autographs, taking pictures, and shaking hands while everyone else continues to party inside? Our captain.
After I got my pic with Toews, I went and hid by the patio - faaaar away from the main entrance and Harry Caray's window, where people were still screaming for players to come outside and pounding on windows. Fraser actually came out the patio entrance instead of the main one, and I got tell him "congratulations". He also spent a couple minutes talking to the cops hanging out there; apparently there had been some sort of problem with the doors at the airport, and Q came out to yell about the delay or something.
Anyway, by this time my friend had decided she had gotten enough pictures (she got a picture with Versteeg, although it had taken 3 tries because he was wasted) and we headed home, with a stop at the 7-11 to pick up a couple newspapers. What a night - it was crazy and I ended up sleeping for only a few hours, but really, it was worth it.
I hope you enjoyed living vicariously through these pictures, for those of you not crazy enough to go chasing the Hawks at 4am. Also, here's a link to my Picasa site - it has pictures of past SCH meet-ups, the parade, the rest of my 5am pictures, and the meetup at Wild Goose when the Hawks won the Cup. Enjoy!
*sidenote: I made a google account/picasa account for people interested in sharing their pictures. let me know if you want the username/password :)