Blowing off a little steam, Chicago style..

We were in Chicago for the Columbia College of Chicago’s Graduate Open House.  The trip to and the actual open house can be found at http://limeguy50.com  This blog is about DS2 and I being tourists for a few hours before crashing at the hotel and flying home on Sunday.

The first stop after we left the school was the Navy Pier on Lake Michigan. They have restaurants, bars, boats and in the warm weather, they have an amusement park with rides. Saturday was not a warm day. It was windy (Windy City) and chilly. I think we saw some snow flakes even. We parked the car, called my DW and gave her the lowdown on the open house. Then DS2 and I walked the pier and took pictures. I wanted to stop for a beer but it was cold and that beer would have gone in and right back out.  And, we had an early dinner, late lunch stop planned and I wanted to save my appetite for the next stop.

We walked and played tourist. Then we paid 25 dollars for parking at the pier. One price fits all. Park for an hour or a day, all the same price. When you see the pictures from the pier, enjoy them, they were expensive.  I never got to stick my foot in Lake Michigan. That was one of the goals, but the pier was way to high above the water to reach down and stick something into the water. And, I did mention that it was cold.

After the pier we drove through a GPS blind spot in the city. The GPS had us going in circles. Just as we would come to the next turn, the GPS would grey out like we were in a tunnel then the picture would start to spin in random directions. DS2 loaded the address into his phone and between them, we found our way. How silly.

Our destination was Shaw’s Crab House. One side of the business is a very upscale steak and seafood restaurant. The other side is the Oyster Bar. That was our destination. We sat down and enjoyed oysters, sushi and fried calamari. We did appetizers for dinner.  The table next to us ordered the two most expensive appetizers on the menu. She had the Florida Stone Crab claws (64 dollars a pound) and he had the fresh Red King Crab served chilled with a mustard sauce (65 dollars a pound). Add the a martini for each and tip and you are in the 175 dollar neighborhood and you have not yet eaten dinner. Yikes!  Our oysters and sushi were outstanding.  One of the sushi we had was called a Godzilla roll. At Shaw’s that sushi comes with BBQ Smoked Eel.  Just a little slice like an archive. You could pick it off the top but then you miss a unique and delicious flavor.

I had couple of local brewed beers, DS2 drank water. I think he was pretty beat at that point in the day.  When you ask where the bathroom was, the standard answer was make a right, walk past “death row” and you will see the doors on the right. “Death row” was the four tanks of live lobsters that were waiting for the chance to grace some bodies plate.  The bathrooms were upscale, everything was upscale.  Dinner, eat here is you can afford it. If not, try the Oyster Bar. Not cheap by any means, but less expensive than the main restaurant.

After we ate we followed that same GPS back to our hotel.  At that point we were both beat. DS2 had some reading to do for school, so I went down to the bar for a drink and to watch some college football. 

Here is a link to all the picture from our trip. I will include a few below. Thanks for reading!

Namaste

 

Good thing I don’t gamble on football..

The NFL wild card weekend is over. The games are in the book.  I picked all four losing teams this weekend.  Dam!  Does it really matter? Does life go on?  No and of course.  I watched most of the Bengals game. I watched a little of the Packers game. I watched no football today.  I was not boycotting after my two Saturday teams lost, I was just busy and it was nice and sunny out. 50 degrees on a Sunday in January is to be cherished. 

Walking, we (DW and I) continue to walk our mile a day.  Today is January 6, 2013. This means we have walked no less than 6 miles this year! Yesterday we walked in the park near our home. Today she did her mile doing  her walking tapes and I played lacrosse with DS1, DS3 and one of DS3’s friends for 90 minutes. That has to be better than 20 minutes of walking. Or at least equivalent.  I was playing catch with DS1 (ex-college lacrosse player) and we were throwing the ball pretty hard at each other and I was slow bringing my stick up and the ball hit the top of my stick head and broke the plastic. Heads cost between 60 and 100 dollars each. It still surprises me how sturdy and fragile they are at the same time.

Tonight we (the whole family) went out to eat to celebrate the last family dinner before DS2 goes back to college for his spring semester. We went to Makoto Japanese Restaurant here in Manahawkin.  The restaurant is known for its sushi and hibachi meals.  We have eaten here many times, usually to celebrate someone’s birthday. The food is good, the chef’s entertain and if it is your birthday, the entire restaurant will sing Happy Birthday to you! There are pictures below from tonight’s festivities. The entire folder of pictures from tonight can be found here.

Here are a few of tonight’s pictures.  Enjoy!

Namaste

PS At dinner a challenge was given to write a fictional first person account of the killing of the last Velociraptor that existed in North America. The challenge will be met and exceeded. Stay tuned..