Sunday, April 24, 2016

Ferris wheel no more

In high school and slightly beyond I recorded every stupid little thing, by hand, that I did each day in my Chandler. If you don't know what a Chandler is (this was pre FRIENDS) we aren't of the same age group. A Chandler was a semi-hard cover, covered spiral bound date book. We clipped things from magazines to paste on the inner pages along with photos and other paper items we wanted to reserve. I even made pockets inside for notes. Not only was it pre FRIENDS it was pre-scrapbooking. They probably had scrapbooking but we didn't know about it. This was a teenagers living, breathing scrap book that documented how we felt, the friends and type of life we had. Our personality  and activities were recorded in that book with pencil, photos and clippings of expressive words from magazines.

I wish I still kept one because I know the morning I took these photos I was completely exhausted from what ever I did the day before in addition to running 12 miles.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Hungry Rocks

I can see Russia!
 On the Sunday after Christmas me, Emily and my fancy new hiking pants and shoes travelled on down to Starved Rock to do a little hiking.
 I don't think I had ever been to starved rock although I have a vague recollection of maybe going with my photography class in high school. Not sure.
 On the way in we stopped at a gas station for lunch, That's right a gas station. There was a Subway shop in the gas station complete with a few booths for the strangest dine-in experience ever. You're sitting there eating with people milling around shopping for batteries and fritos and buying their lottery tickets and paying for gas. I will say that I have never met a more enthusiastic sandwich artist in my life. Ah, small town America.

 It was different than I imagined. I didn't ever feel like we could get lost or end up in Iowa. There are a bunch of maps all over the place and it's really a very long park that runs along a river.

I carried this found walking stick for a very short while. 

I also didn't know there was going to be  a bunch of stairs. Oy. My thighs were sore the next day! It was a super workout.

 We went over 7 miles that day.We started out in the welcome center where we chose our route, got a map, a souvenir and a potty break.

We took our time and stayed on the fairly easy trail with a brief stint on a cement path. We snacked along the way and stopped back at the welcome center a few hours in for coffee and a cafe snack.

 We then headed the opposite way from the welcome center. No one was around and it was getting dark so after about an hour of that we headed back. This was the kind of hiking I was looking for.
The almost dangerous kind where we could get lost and have to rely on what we learned in Girl Scouts to get us out. Except that I never made it girl scouts and had no idea what to do. Good thing there was cell service and I had 2 back up chargers with me.
 Enough of this mediocre food all day. We needed some good stuff! A bacon bar/restaurant was recommended to me a few years ago. So we went.
 I had not been there yet because it was in Lombard and I don't have much reason to go to Lombard now that I live in the city.
 After hiking 7 miles in chilly winter weather this was exactly what we needed. We went bacon crazy! We split the bacon sampler appetizer platter, bacon and fish tacos and for dessert chocolate bacon gelato atop a bacon brownie.
 I tried two new beers that night too. One of which was something new by Rick Bayless.
 It was a good satisfying day. I know we were only walking but we walked 7 miles which isn't really enough to justify all the calories we ate but being active and not your average woman I fell no guilt about my pleasureful dining experience. I love food and fun dining experiences.

 Notice how we both have the same back packs? Those were out CARA volunteer appreciation gifts. We are both group leaders for half marathon training and CARA (Chicago Area Runners Assoc.) gives us a nice gift each year for our service. We took this photo using my camera's timer. Posted the picture on CARA's Facebook page.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Christkindle market

So what does one do on a rainy December day? Go to an open air market downtown of course!
We didnt think it would as crowded as it was due to the rain. Not so much.
This market has been around forever but I dont think I ever really took the time to look around.
Meh. That's how I felt about it. The majority of the stands sold wooden objects, many ornaments, that are of no practical use.
I bought some German dessert thing, a Chicago flag ornament and a giant turtle (candy).
I resisted getting alcohol and the commemorative ceramic boot stein. I dont need more stuff that collects dust. We headed over to Latinicity across the street afterwards, Target, Nordstrom rack and a late dinner at Lyfe Kitchen.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

the last of the 10 oldest bars in Chicago

waiting for Brian at Kasey's
This is part two of the Ten Oldest Bars in Chicago post. 
stopping at the taco join to pee

  I don't like to leave things unfinished so Beth, Brian and I decided to finish the walk of booze. We met at bar #8, Kasey's on South Dearborn, and got going.
It was kind of hot and I had a marathon training run that morning. I was already exhausted. Exhausted was the new norm so lets hit the road!
V for Victory Garden?
We walked about 4 miles to Shinnick's on South Union. We hadn't even arrived at the first bar and I was already fantasizing about going to bed.
We got going a bit and I was gaining energy. Brian suggested we go to a Sox game afterwards. We were already in the neighborhood. Why not? It sounded like a good idea.  The closer we got to Shinnick's the more I decided a Sox game was so not a good idea.
We bellied up to the bar. I ordered a refreshing Summer Shandy while Brian was swiftly overdoing up Sox tickets on his phone. Before I had the chance to make the announcement I was heading home after the next and last bar Brian had made the purchase. Crap!
Shinnicks was pretty coo. They had a bunch f memorabilia on the walls. The bar back was , if I remember correctly, from the 1893 World's Fair. The bartender gave us a brief history but I wasn't awake enough to remember. There was a change in families over the years but they kept the name...or they changed the name? I can't recall.
A few short blocks away was the final pub, Schaller's on Halsted. What a difference from Shinnicks! This was where every Sox was before the game eating dinner. The place was packed. We squeezed into a small space at the bar and had a drink. Cash only!
Finding Comiskey ( I think they call it something else these days...) was pretty easy. Just head east and look for the big stadium.
We made a pit stop so Brian could get a hot dog. I should have joined him. The food at Comiskey was ick.
The seats were in the nose bleed section which meant a steep hike up. I was in such a foggy state of mind it was a super challenge to get up and down the steps. It was cool being at the game but I was praying for a quick ending so I could see my precious bed.
After the game was over we walked over to the Red Line. The crowd on and around the platform was giant I wanted to lie down on the pavement right then and there and sleep. I was about to cry. Luckily the Green Line was a block away.  In addition to sleepy, I was also feeling dehydrated and nutrient deficient. I needed a banana and some electrolytes.
I saw my co-worker on the train and we chatted until the Clark/Lake stop. Brian got off with me so he could see me to the bus. I was having brain issues. I know the downtown area pretty well but I couldn't find the bus stop. This was getting bad.
While waiting for the bus some dude thought me and this woman in her twenties were related; in a mother/daughter kind of way. Guess who was thought to be the mother?Apparently it was some sort of a compliment. Brian gave her his bobble head. Oh yeah, we all got bobble heads at the game. My daughter kept me occupied with conversation all the way to Lakeview on the #22. Only a few more miles to go on my own but I made it. Home safe and fast asleep.