Sunday, October 25, 2015

Revolution Brewery Tour

Don't worry, I'm running out of things I did in Chicago to tell you about... 

We went on the brewery tour of Revolution.  I've had the occasional bottle and liked it so north on the train we went.  I found out that while they are moving to a larger facility, currently of the million something gallons they make a year, the huge (somewhere near 90, but I don't remember exactly... I was sampling) percentage is sold within the city limits of Chicago.  It was the best brewery tour I've been on since Sam Adams a few years ago. 

great tour guide
jealous of this machine
lots of cans!



Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Pennant Will Rise

It has been a very, very long time.  But we have another one of those magical teams.  I'm still somewhat afraid to be happy, but I am happy!

Let's Go Met's!!!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Post 2- Silver Linings by Debbie Macomber

Another Rose Harbor book.  A good book, I didn't find it as compelling a read as the previous 3.  Mark leaves, Jo Marie realizes she is in love with him, Bob tells her the truth about his past and why he had to leave.  Two women come back for their high school reunion, one  Katie to try to reconnect with her first love she still loves, and the other, Coco to confront a boy who humiliated and broke her heart.  When he apologizes, it throws Coco for a loop and she realizes she has only hurt herself with the 10 years of anger bottled up inside.  She also unexpectedly notices the nerd SHE callously turned down for Homecoming all those years ago.

Jo Marie is even more depressed when they leave because the Inn doesn't seem to be working it's healing magic for her or for her guests.

Two Debbie Macomber Books! Post one.

Dashing through the snow - Christmas novel time of year!  Ashley is trying to fly home to surprise her recently widowed mom in Seattle for Christmas (I think her last Christmas book - Mr Miracle had a recently widowed mom...)  Dash is trying to catch a flight to Seattle for a last minute job interview.  There are no seats on the plane, they won't put Ashley on standby and Dash can't take a chance.  They end up at the car rental counter and ... you guessed it, there is one rental car left.  They decide to share, bicker a lot, Ashley gets a homeless puppy at a rest stop for her mom, The FBI has a maniac who believes Ashley is a Homeland Security top ten most wanted criminal mastermind....

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The only thing about the end of summer that makes me sad

The last few nights we have had "killing frost" temps dropping into the 20's.  So I went out and harvested what I could (I'm considering fried green tomatoes as they don't seem to be ripening in the bowl) Chopped and froze or set out to dry all my peppers.  Cut down and cooked the last of the rainbow chard (seriously I harvested each plant at least 4 times this summer - magic)

What makes me sad is I had eggplants that were on the plants and the eggplant, pepper and tomatoes still had more flowers (each flower a potential yummy goodness) It's like they were trying to make more and they didn't know they were going to die.  I wish I had a greenhouse I could have moved them to ( potential bugs mean I can't move them in to the house) I'm thinking of trying to make "cages" out of thin pvc piping that I can cover with heavy clear plastic drop cloths  as "mini greenhouses"  for both next spring and next fall.  This will probably end up being my winter project - so you may see more about those later.  

Fortunately my favorite flowers - Montauk  Daisies can make it through until the  hard freeze comes (or freezing rain) light snow they can handle, freezing rain not so much.

More Chicago pictures! (meant for Sunday- oops)

Here are some more of the general sightseeing pictures from Chicago.  Enjoy!

I think Rock Bottom Brewery is an awesome name for a bar!!
The beach at night!  Was waiting for the kraken!
The Orange Cone's cousin from Chernobyl??
(NASCAR fans on Twitter will understand the reference)
The answer is no.
As much as I love grits, MacDonald's is not where I'm getting mine.
Of course MacDonald's is never the answer to Ria's hungry.

Subway mural

Sights of Chicago (should have posted Saturday - screwed up the schedule button)

I have some pictures I want to share, but none of them are really full post material, so just some quick captions.

On our first day, while wandering around waiting to check in, we found the Millennium Fountain for Curt (sigh I married someone who likes the show Married With Children.. sigh)

 Skyline from the fountain

Grew up hearing about Route 66
The Public Library near the Loop.
We stayed in the white building just to the right.
Our window looked out at the library just where the brick turns to copper and glass
There were several of these heads across from one of the Starbucks I kept walking in...and walking out with coffee...
If you look very carefully at the fountain tower on the left you can see that faces get projected on the tiles, some move, some don't and then there is a new face. It looked really cool at night, but we were driving past in an Uber at the time so no pictures of the night view. (Yup the Angie)
Another head (and the Angie) did the Easter Islanders all move to Chicago?
The Bean
Shot from under The Bean
The Burberry building is faced to match it's new bags!
Water Station
View from Museum Campus across the Harbour.  Museum campus sticks out a bit into the lake.
Wow!  This is a long post!  More later!

Weber's Grill Restaurant- should have posted Fri..screwed up the schedule thing

I've been dying to go to a Weber's restaurant ever since I saw them on a show (probably Food Network- don't remember) there was one relatively close to where we were wandering that Friday night, so we went for dinner.  There is an open kitchen when you walk through ( I wish I was sitting at one of the booths opposite where the waitstaff pick up orders so I could watch, but it may have gotten hectic ( I will tell you this - they have some kind of amazing exhaust ventilation system - you can smell the food grilling, but there isn't an smoke floating around)  I didn't take a picture but I glommed one off the net - there is a whole long line of grills that were maybe 4' in diameter!

I was surprised, because as much as I love grilled and bbq'd flesh, there is a certain expectation of a restaurant that specializes in this style of cooking.  Weber's was not that style.  They had really professional waitstaff, and it was really like eating at a very nice restaurant, that happened to specialize in feeding it's patrons grilled flesh.

The food and portions however were exactly what you expect!  The food was really, really, really good.  Couldn't finish half of what was on my plate though, and even though we were staying at a place with a full kitchen, I didn't take my leftovers because A. I would have to carry them around the rest of the night and B. I  knew we wouldn't be there to ever eat the leftovers and we'd toss them when we left anyway.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Adler Planetarium - also on the GoCard

If you ever get the chance to visit Chicago - make sure you check out the Adler Planetarium. They had an eclipse viewing party the night of the lunar eclipse.  They have a lakefront scaled Solar System- the sun is outside the planetarium, the inner solar system is along the lakefront  on Museum campus (where the planetarium, aquarium and natural history museum are located) then north or south along the lake shore the our planets have markers.

Outside there is a statue of Copernicus , facing him are a series of heads on pikes (amused me) of the constellations of the Chinese zodiac.  I got my picture with the horse - clearly the coolest!

Around the dome of the building (which part is inside part outside) are the Western zodiac constellations... clearly I had to take scorpius

They had a great collection of antique telescopes, how cute is the Mars Rover??

The Angie and I on an infrared viewer

They have something called an Atwood sphere.  Very cool - it shows the night sky in 1913, via 692 holes drilled in the surface that the light from the top shines through.  Brighter stars have bigger holes so appear brighter (sadly you can no longer see most of the stars for real in actual Chicago at night because of light pollution )  The sphere spins, so  you see an entire year of the night sky.  The guides have a light projector that superimposes the constellations etc onto the sphere.  There is a sled, that held maybe 10? people plus the guide that rides up into the sphere!!  Seriously cool!

 We got to the planetarium late in the afternoon, and missed the Destination Solar System Show, but we did manage to catch the Skywatch Live show.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

More go Card Fun!!

We went to the Art Institute of Chicago, and discovered that my friends that run demolition derby cars should be painting the wreckage not scrapping it  - they could be artists!!

The Art Institute did have some cool things - like ancient weapons and armor.

There is a tradition/running joke in our family that every vacation we go on we manage somehow to find a cannon and take the Angie's picture in front of it (when she went on a cruise last summer she saw a cannon on one of the islands they stopped at and had her picture taken in front of that one too!)

We found painted "photo bombs" from the 17th century - the artist would paint his benefactor into the corner of the painting - and non too subtle - truly a photo bomb!

I did my own series of pictures of painters.... here are a couple... it amused me, I didn't want to dampen the Angie's fun.

The Natural History Museum was also on the GoCard

What really fascinated me though, was this giant rock in a tiny tree:

We also hit the Shedd Aquarium,  I guess I'm spoiled having been to some amazing aquariums in other cities, and while this one can't even come close to Baltimore - it was a fun place - and I learned from a biologist's standpoint - frogs and toads are the same animal...

Yes, there is still more stuff we did off of the GoCard - so another post tomorrow!