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Chicago wrapup

It doesn't seem like it was that many days ago that I got back from Chicago because this week has been pretty full with work and home stuff. Deb and I are currently going through a series of little arguments and generally getting on each other's nerves. In other words, we need to get away from the routine for a few days. She threw a fork at me the other night. It's funny now, but she was really pissed when she threw it. We are going on a tour of the Missouri wine country this weekend. Yes Missouri does have a wine country. We ain't talking Napa here but we plan on hitting about 12 wineries in 2 days and 2 microbreweries as well. Just to continue with the wine and food theme started in Chicago.

Have I mentioned that my coworker is annoying as hell? The last day of the conference she basically became a whore for an instructional book on Photorealistic Illustration. That was embarrasing. She packed for a 3 day trip like she was going overseas for a month and then went shopping on top of that at Nordstroms and such and could not fit all her new shit into her bag so she tied it all on the outside of her pullman suitcase. This made it too heavy to lug through Union Station and I had to carry it for her. Then when we found seats to wait for the train, she asked me to watch her bags as she went to the bathroom. Then she just disappeared for 40 minutes. Seems after the bathroom she found a little jewelry store in the station and she JUST HAD TO HAVE some more shit that wouldn't fit in her bag. She got back just as it was time to board the train. Thanks, don't worry if I have to use the bathroom before we go or anything. She called Deb to tell her how safe she felt with me there to take care of her and to make sure Deb knew NOTHING happened between us while we were there...AS IF.

When we were at Blue Chicago on Friday night, the singer was singing about her mojo and Laura asks really loud, (Loud enough for many of the other people in the bar to hear) "What's a mojo?" It was comical. We met some really cool folks from the National Restaurant Convention. Some wine folks from Napa and the owner of a bread distributor from Sacramento and we were going back and forth buying rounds of drinks. One of the guys who was buying the most beers told me that if he had my pony tail, he could pick up more women. I smiled at him. His friend said maybe he should cut mine off and paste it on his friend's head. I didn't smile at him. Then he said he didn't really want to fight me for it and I told him that was a good call. Then we all had a good laugh about it. In a bar situation, with live music and it's hot from all the bodies, I just love ice cold Budweisers. I can drink them all night. Unfortunately, I did drink them all night and ended up with a slight hangover the next day. There was this gorgeous bartender there name Meredith and I asked her if I could photograph her sometime. On that kind of thing, I'm terrible at asking someone if they would like to be photogrpahed and I must have come off sounding like some kind of stalker or something because I got an email from her declining the offer and asking me not to ask her about it again. I appologized if I'd made her feel uncomfortable and left it at that. Though at the time I recall trying to assure her that I was above board and not looking to do nudes or anything. Oh well.

Saturday we had a couple sessions after checking out of the Embassy Suites and then hit the Grand Lux Cafe for lunch. A VIP card from the Concierge at the Holiday Inn City Center got us the best seat in the house, overlooking the corner of Michigan and Ontario. I've got several photos here from that place. It was a marvelous dining experience. Beware, the pics will make you hungry.

We got back late on Saturday and I enjoyed some snuggly time with Deb. Then Sunday I went down to the farm and mowed all day and watered the new trees at night. Since then it's been work work work at work and work work work at home followed by too little sleep. The weekend can't come too soon. If we don't get tornadoes today, I'll be changing the front door lock after work to keep out you know who, who has kept up trying to piss me off. Then T-Bones and fresh asparagus on the grill with a nice cold bottle of raspberry meade. Yummy.


This was a cute little dude at the Amtrak station in Bloomington when we were waiting 4 hours for our train.

Laura at the Athena restaurant in Greektown our first night there.

View of Navy Pier from my suite.

View of the opposite direction by day.

And by night.

Michaelangelo mural across from our convention.

Looking up Columbus Ave toward the Sears tower.

The Volare Italian restaurant on Grand where we walked for lunch on Friday. Best lasagna I've ever had and the Chardonnay was great too.

Interior of the round room at the Grand Lux Cafe where we had lunch on Saturday.

Mural and central chandelier at the Grand Lux.

Decorative wall sconce at the Grand Lux.

One of the amazing views from our window seat.

Looking up Michigan Avenue from our window seat. The spire is the top part of the Sears tower.

Your basic cross section of Chicago people at the intersection of Michigan and Ontario.

The temp was hovering in the mid 60's and I loved seeing how people dressed.

Portrait of Laura.

A pretty decent portrait of me. I'd say self-portrait but I didn't actually push the button.

Raspberry lemonade mmmmmmmm.

Laura's Polynesian salad had wings.

My Southwest Salad just had yummy avocado slices.

Laura's chocolate fudge brownie dessert which had five different kinds of chocolate syrup inside.

Rustic apple pie was my choice. These were baked for each customer and had to be ordeed when you ordered your meal.

View from my seat on the southbound train at Union Station.

Other trains pulling through.




( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 25th, 2006 10:43 pm (UTC)
She threw a fork at me the other night.
You know, I've thrown many things in my time, but I've never thrown a fork. I'll have to try that sometime.

"What's a mojo?"
If you gotta ask, you ain't got one.

Did you see anyone racing cars down the suspiciously deserted Chicago streets at night? (Remember that movie?)
May. 25th, 2006 10:55 pm (UTC)
Yeah I remember but the streets in Chicago are never deserted. Deb has also thrown remote controls at me.

May. 25th, 2006 11:47 pm (UTC)
I really should've posted our pics from our train trip there in April, huh?

What a great post! Thanks for sharing! :)
May. 26th, 2006 12:11 am (UTC)
Yeah and you should have told me you were going there and I'd have driven up to meet you. Thanks.

May. 26th, 2006 12:25 am (UTC)
we were there all of 2 nights... and all of one day and one night were taken up by my beloved friend mschaos and her SO sushispook... But then, I hadn't seen her in nearly 10 years!!

Next time I get there tho? You and I are *so* going to hang!! :)
May. 26th, 2006 03:41 am (UTC)
for some inexplicable reason i've always wanted to take a train to chicago (never travelled that way or been to chicago). living vicariously through your eloquent descriptions of your travels has been a blast! thanks for sharing!
May. 26th, 2006 09:05 pm (UTC)
No problem. I don't always wander far but I try to wander to interesting places.

May. 26th, 2006 06:55 am (UTC)
Hi poppabear.

Those desserts looked really scrumptious. I'd like to try some. Which now translates to, I've gotta go buy the fixins to make me some. Thanks for sharing the pictures and....


May. 26th, 2006 09:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks Kiddo!

May. 26th, 2006 02:52 pm (UTC)
wine country
By "Missouri wine country" I assume you probably mean the southeastern part of the state, around Augusta and that area. If so, you might miss two of the best wineries in the state: Les Bourgeois in Rocheport (near Columbia) and Pirtle in Weston (near St. Joseph). Les Bourg's premium line of wines, the "Collector's Series," are unquestionably far and away the best wines in the state, and they've a lovely wine garden with seating on the bluff overlooking the Missouri River.

Pirtle's tasting room is in an amazing old country church at the edge of downtown Weston, the jumping-off point for the Pony Express. (No, it didn't start in St Joseph!) Their "standard" wines are merely acceptable, but they make a really lovely series of honey meads. The blackberry mead and the sparkling mead are both fantabulous. Actually, the sparkling mead is amongst my all-time favourite summer wines.

If you do head out at least to Les Bourg, I'd also recommend Flat Branch Pub and Brewing in Columbia. I've been to about 30 true microbreweries across the U.S., and I'd rate the Flat Branch brews in the top 5. The ESB is especially good. And there's a retail wine shop near the university in Columbia, called Top Ten Wines. Paul knows his stuff, and stocks some of the best wine deals in the country.
May. 26th, 2006 07:03 pm (UTC)
Re: wine country
We are crossing over at Louisianna, MO and hitting Eagle nest Winery and then heading for the Jefferson City/Rocheport area. We want to hit the Microbrewery at Bias winery in Berger but that's about it for that direction. So yes, we probably would have hit the two you mentioned anyway. Thanks for the tip though!

May. 27th, 2006 06:20 am (UTC)
Re: wine country
You're hitting Eagle Nest winery just because you're a Philmont junkie with a love for those towns. Right? Admit it!

May. 27th, 2006 01:03 pm (UTC)
Re: wine country
I didn't even know there was a winery in Louisianna. I've been to the town several times buing trees at Stark Brothers. I was pleasantly surprised to see the winery on the wine map. But yes, the name did have something to do with my decision to go.


May. 26th, 2006 10:48 pm (UTC)
Great pictures, sounds like you had a great time.

I think Laura wants to do you....scary.

Have a great weekend.
May. 27th, 2006 01:01 pm (UTC)
Everyone agrees with you on that thought. People have been poking fun at me all week because she's been going around the office telling everyone what a great guy I am. She's also close to a fundamentalist Christian and talks a great deal about non-Christians beings heathens. I guess she didn't get the part wher i mentioned I was a Shamanist. What is it about chicks named Laura? They always fall for me. heheheheh Kidding.

May. 27th, 2006 08:26 pm (UTC)
I mean, over my career I've traveled several times with several men (not as exciting as it sounds) and I would NEVER consider calling their woman to tell them nothing happened. That is odd. But yeah, it's easy to see why ANY chick would fall for you, not just the Lauras.

May. 30th, 2006 03:00 pm (UTC)
Awwww, you are so sweet.

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )