Tuesday, August 09, 2011
Sunday, August 07, 2011
Directly across from the Sutton Place Hotel is "the Original Pancack House" It sounded more appealing than over-priced hotel breakfasts so we headed over. Of course there was a line but we were assured by the friendly people waiting with us that the food 'was worth the wait'. Hmmm???
The Pancake House features an Apply Pancake that, according to them menu, is oven baked with fresh-sliced apples and pur cinnamon sugar glaze. Well, let me tell you - we saw one coming out of the kitchen and I have NEVER seen a pancake so big. It's actually a souffle so it does drop a little but it was at least 12 inches in diameter and 3 inches tall. GEEZ! It would seriouly take 3 people to eat that thing. Dear Husband and VacationGirl opted for the Dutch Baby ~ an oven baked German pancake with strawberries. This thing was huge too. (VacationGirl didn't even make it half-way) and it is very rich. Loaded with eggs, you can taste them with every bite. Almost 22 year old opted for plain old buttermilk pancakes but he said they were incredible.
We made a break for it to run back across the street to the hotel, but we were all drenched by the time we got there. Of course, two people ran. One hobbled back with her cane. Oh What Fun!
We hung around and dried out a little and waited until the Puma store that is just around the corner opened. And magically, the rain stopped as quickly as it started and it was back to sunshine and fluffy clouds. Hmmm, guess who wanted to go to the Puma? VacationGirl??? NOPE! Dear Husband??? Nada! Almost 22 year old??? Ding ding ding - you won first prize! A mere $300 dollars later, we left and the guys ran back to the hotel to drop off stuff while I waited for them.
VacationGirl decided that, no problem, she can walk down to the Hancock building. It's just 5 -6 blocks. Never mind that she can't walk around the block normally, but hey, it's vacation right? Well, we decided to not stop at the Hancock just yet - we decided to go all the way to the Seadog speed boat. It's only another 14 blocks - WE THOUGHT! Just had to walk down to Grand Ave.
Maps and directions are not our strong point sometimes. We managed to miss Grand and went to the river at Wacker drive. The boat would be on the river, right? Isn't that were most boats are? Uh, not this one. I called and they are actually at Navy Pier. Well, by now, VacationGirl's ankles look like Chicago-sized soft balls and her knees and thighs are really swelling so I suggested a taxi. Damn good thing. It was a LONG way! At least too long to walk.
VacationGirl really wanted to go on the nice, relaxing architectural tour - at 75 minute tour. She figured she could get some great pictures. She sent the guys ahead to get tickets since the next tour left at 1:15 and it was already 1:05 and speed walking is not an option in VacationGirl's life right now. More like very slow trudging!
Well, they got tickets - for the 1:15 tour - just like VacationGirl asked. But....it was the wrong tour. This was a 30 minute speed boat run. ARGH! It was a blast though. The captain did all kinds of turns and managed to get everyone on the boat soaked. A great way to cool off in the hot Chicago summer. She's still really bummed that we didn't do the archtitectural tour but hey, that's life! I still got some good picture - most with people's head in them that were on the boat, but maybe photoshop can help me do magic!
After the boat ride, we decided that another taxi would be the best way to get us to Gino's East on Superior. VacationGirl and Dear Husband's first official date was at the Gino's East out in the Northwest suburbs. We LOVE this pizza. Love it, love it, love it! And it was wonderful! Almost 22 year old really liked it. During our late lunch, he made the announcement that in 2 years, he would be moving to Chicago. hahaha. I knew he'd love it!
After lunch, it was a short walk - oops, trudge, hobble, crawl - to the Hancock building. There was NO way VacationGirl was gonna be able to walk down all the stairs to get to the observatory ticket sales booth - so we asked and were told where to go to find an escalator. Oops, not exactly. We ended up on the 96th - twice - before we got out and trudged back to ask again. This time we got the RIGHT directions and made it to the ticket booth and ultimately up to the observation deck. VacationGirl had high hopes for the outside observatory - it didn't exist when she lived here many years ago. But, truth be told, she was really disappointed. It wasn't at all what she expected. Nice, but didn't live up to expectations.
Although it was only 5 - 6 blocks back to the hotel, those softball sized ankles would never make it back to the hotel. Shoot, VacationGirl shed tears at the top of the observatory when she didn't make the elevator and had to wait for yet another one. Talk about feeling silly - but when it hurts, it hurts. However, we had a sweet taxi driver that let me set up front and we made it back to the hotel where VacationGirl immediately started icing those knees. Who knows what else the evening will hold. (ok, my guess is nothing since everyone else is a sleep at least the ankles are no longer throbbing!)
We got back to the hotel just in time. When we walked in, it was still sunny and beautiful. But about 15 minutes later, the sky turned black and the skies opened up. We couldn't even see the street from our hotel room. It was crazy. We had thought about going to Second City for a show there but since it was so ugly and we were exhausted, we opted to have room service. Expensive but good! We watched a movie and then all proceeded to crash for the night.
See you tomorrow.
MY KIND OF TOWN! Yep, Chicago! It IS my kind of town. The decision was made at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday morning and we were on the road by 9:30-ish. No room reservation, no plans ~ just drive. Well, since Chicago had been on the radar for a few days, I knew there were VERY few rooms available around North Michigan Avenue area. Who woulda thought that SO many people would want to go to Chicago! But VacationGirl knew her trusty cell phone would help her find a place to lay our tired heads. Uh, duh - not without power. No problem, right? Well, VacationGirl brought a car charger, but not the right one. She realized it around Lebanon, Indiana. Who would think that VerizonWireless stores would be so few and far between in Indiana? But they are! Trust me on this one. Finally found one in Lafayette and she was back in business!
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
But where to go? One of her much anticipated "vacation list" spots? Maybe Alaska? Maybe Nova Scotia? Hey, maybe even Utah?
UH - NO!
For all of the places that VacationGirl, Dear Husband, and the 21-year old have been, Vegas was never on the list. So we never went. But instead of one two-week vacation this year, we decided to break them up. One in August with the 21-year old (can you believe he still wants to go with us?) and one in September. Vegas seemed the only "doable" place to go in a short timeframe. That or Chi-town but.....Vegas won.
Vegas in August? Who does the desert in August? No one else but VacationGirl! Insanity must run in the family. Either that, or I've started the tradition. But Vegas, it is. The only thing standing in our way are VacationGirl's knees. Walking is somewhat of a requirement when you visit Vegas and that's something that doesn't come easily these days. At least not without tons of tape and ibuprofhen.
But where to stay? Spend money on a nice hotel or spend money at the tables? Hmmmm - tough decision. But since VacationGirl tends to be a little bit of a hotel snob when she travels, I think nice may win. Right now, Bellagio and Aria are really high up on the list. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Bellagio has a great casino (so I'm told) with lots of opportunities for me to either win at cards ~ or not!
VacationGirl is also planning on dragging Dear Husband and 21-year old to an even hotter part of the world while we're out there - Death Valley National Park. At least that was the plan - until she found out that Zion NP is the same distance, in the other direction. UGH! Now she has to research that. But Death Valley may win - even though Death Valley in August is even crazier than Vegas in August!
So stay tuned.....more to come!
P.S. - We got a new puppy (another Ridgeback) - she's just over a year old (in February). She's not Sha-Sha ~ no one could replace her. But she's a sweetie. But wow - I forgot how crazy puppies are! We got her at 8 weeks and wow, it was a rough year. But she's calming down now and I'm loving her! She's a major pain in the butt ~ but I can't imagine her not being here!
See ya soon!
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Thursday, July 30, 2009
VacationGirl and dear husband haven't really done much but it's restaurant week so we've been trying out some new places. One was a keeper, one was a bust! On Monday, we tried a little restaurant called 'The Melting Pot'. It's a fondue restaurant and something very different. Now, VacationGirl was never a big fondue fan back when it was popular. But, it sounded different and since each 3-course meal was only $20.09, we decided to try it.
Our first surprise came when we walked in and found that we needed reservations - on a Monday! Wow - restaurant week definately has an impact! But, there was room at the bar and they have the fondue pots there so we opted to give it a try. We started out with the first course - a typical cheese fondue. There were six choices so we chose the fiesta cheese - laced with jalepeno's. You get to dip bread, chips, apples, and veggies. It was GREAT - we were scrapping the bottom of the pot.
Then came the 2nd course - a salad of your choice. Of course, VacationGirl chose good old Ceasar - and it was wonderful. The dressing was classic Ceasar but with a sweetness that you usually don't get - Yummy!
On to the main couse - shrimp, chicken, and beef. You cook it yourself in a pot with your choice of cooking method. We chose hot oil and then we dipped our food into 2 different coatings and cooked it.
Overall, we really enjoyed it and will come back - but it was also too much work! :)
On Tuesday, we tried another new restaurant - Barbie's Bistro. Hmmm, food was ok, atmosphere/service - awful. Our first clue should have been the fact that we sat for at least 5 minutes staring at the place trying to decide if we should chance it or not. Should have gone with our first instincts!
Wednesday was a fun day for me - went up to Laura's house and BS'd with her for a few hours and then met Sheli for dinner. It was do nice to see them again - I really miss talking to them. We can all talk about anything - and we do!
Today (Thursday) was a stay at home day. It was rainy so staying home was appropriate! Picked up my car after getting it detailed and buffed and it looks wonderful - almost new again. Fixed Fettucine Alfredo with shrimp! Yummy.
Don't know what all tomorrow will bring - I think we're going to go watch my friend, Raj, play soccer. But not sure yet!
Of course, I've forgotten to take my camera everywhere so maybe tomorrow will be driving around to all of the places we've gone and taking pictures. HA!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Definitely missing the fun of planning the yearly vacation and seeing new things but probably a good choice this year. The Silverado decided that it didn't like its current transmission so a new one was purchased last week and last night, the dishwasher decided to die a painful death. So Monday's vacation plans will include the purchase of a new dishwasher. What could be more fun than that - certainly not seeing the sights across the country?
But fun will be had - somehow, someway. This is restaurant week in Dayton so we'll try a bunch of new restaurants - something we enjoy doing!
Friday night we enjoyed an old favorite - Carrabba's! They have the BEST fried zuchinni ever.
Saturday night we ventured down to West Chester to try Jag's - highly recommended by a friend. They have Kobe beef and since VacationGirl is on a quest to find the best steak ever, she and Dear Husband decided to drive down and give it a try. Well.....
Although VacationGirl doesn't mind paying top dollar for a great steak, she just couldn't justify the $67.99 price tag on the 8-oz Kobe filet. Just too much ~ so Kobe beef will have to wait awhile longer. She did, however, have a good New York strip. But not good enough to pass Carver's or Paragon as the top so far. So the quest goes on.
Sunday vacation day was fun - it was an incredible weather day with the most beautiful clouds - the kind that you can stare at for hours and find different things in them. We rolled down the windows and opened the sunroof and headed down to see a good friend play cricket.
VacationGirl thinks she may bring bad cricket karma with her - they lost!
After cricket we tried a mexican restaurant - Abuelo's. It was good. But the best fun was yet to come - NOT! Home to pull weeds. VacationGirl absolutely HATES to pull weeds - more than almost anything. But weeds got pulled and mulch will go down on Monday after almost-20-year old signs up to be a personal trainer. (Don't ask!) We finished the day with a quick meal at Roosters - nothing like getting the cholesterol levels up just before blood work, huh?
Monday needs to be a day of cleaning but probably won't be - lots of things to do - all boring but all needed.
Looks like VacationGirl and family will need a vacation from the vacation...
till tomorrow ~
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
When I last left you, we were in the lovely, price-gouging town of Cooke City, Montana. It was a cute little (very little) town. We headed out on the 3-hour drive down Beartooth. It was a very pretty drive but I don't know what I'd agree with Mr. Kuralt in saying that it is the most scenic road in America. It is beautiful, but I've seen other that are just as nice, or nicer. But I'm glad we drove it!
Friday's drive took us to Dickinson, North Dakota - just past the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We just there just before sunset so we did have the chance to see some buffalo, elk, and of course, prairie dogs. The little critters were everywhere.
Up early on Saturday - we need to make it to Madison, Wisconsin tonight. Not sure why - since we're 2 days ahead of schedule - but we wanted to get there. The 19 year old wanted to get home to see his buddy Mason, before he headed off to college. VacationGirl tried to entice him with the prospect of seeing the Mall of America but his response (as well as Dear Husband's) was "it's just a mall, Mom". MEN! They just don't get it.
So the only item on the agenda for Saturday (besides getting to Madison) was to see the largest Holstein cow. It 'lives' in New Salem, North Dakota - up on a hill. The cow is easily spotted from the highway but we needed pictures. Sue, the cow, is 38 feet tall and 50 feet long. I thought for sure we'd be the only goofballs to be out there taking pictures, but darned if there wasn't someone else driving up as we left.
We did make it to Madison - I'm sure that the state of Wisconsin is beautiful around the Dells but VacationGirl couldn't tell. We got to a hotel around 10:30 p.m. and immediately crashed.
Sunday found us up early, heading for the Buckeye state, and we pulled into the driveway at 5:00 p.m.
Glad to be home!!!!