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Day Five: Theaters & Auditoriums

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On day five, we chose to stick around downtown Chicago because we had to be at the Chase Auditorium at 6:30PM for the taping of this week’s Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me!

Swedish Pancakes

So, after a quick breakfast at the Original Pancake House (again), we set out for a long walk along Lakeshore Drive. At first, Kay’s plan was to walk up and around Lincoln Park until it got close to noon, and then catch a Red Line train downtown, but we wound up walking down the shore to Navy Pier, around Navy Pier, then over to the Chicago Theater, where we arrived 40 minutes early for our noon tour.

The tour was amazing!  All I can say is take a look at the pictures we took (Kay will, undoubtedly, have lots to say about the tour).

Then we headed out the Brown Line to hit a restaurant we went to two years ago when we were out here last: Glenn’s Diner. Back then, Kay had chosen it because it was just a few stops out from the Belmont Ave stop, where we needed to be to get to the performance of Dennis DeYoung’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame we were seeing that evening. Since then, it was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. I had a killer Cajun Laughing Bird Shrimp Caesar Salad with a bowl of Spinach & Feta chowder, and Kay had a Lobster Roll.  Mmmmmmm…

cansWe then went back to the hotel, rested, and headed out for Wait Wait.  The show was AMAZING.  I can’t reveal anything from the show (if I do, Carl Kasell will hunt me down and kill me). I will say, however, that Kay and I both nailed the “Bluff the Listener” segment.  Usually, we have a hard time picking which story is the real one, and we often wind up each picking a different story to cover our bases.  But tonight, we both looked at each other and picked the same story, and we were RIGHT!

We also got a preview of an upcoming show: in mid-August, Peter Sagal is taking a week off, and we got to see the guest host do a practice run of “Who’s Carl This Time?” using last week’s questions and this week’s panelists.

Unfortunately, this kept us at the Chase Auditorium even later, and it was 10:00PM by the time Kay and I got out.  We didn’t think anything else was open, so we wound up hitting a 24-hour Subway for dinner, a Walgreens for some drinks, and then we came back to the room to eat our sandwiches and watch footie on the tele.

Tomorrow? We go to Wrigley Field to watch a game. 🙂

Day Four: Food, Chaos, Ogres & Rock

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Well, Kay’s already posted extensively about yesterday’s activities, so I’m just going to add my photos…

apple pancakes sausage

Apple pancakes with whole apples!

Transformers 3 set

Chaotic movie set downtown!

Shrek bag

Bag, bag, bag!

todd sucherman's drum kit

Todd Sucherman’s drum kit! (which I was looking at while Kay was eyeing swag in the gift shop)

Day Three: Something tells me it’s all happening at the zoo…

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I do believe it.  I do believe it’s true.

At this very moment, Kay is ushering me out the  door for Day Four, so I don’t have any time to write up my thoughts on our day at the Brookfield Zoo (other than to say how grateful I am that Kay spent a day at a zoo with me).  So, much like Kay did, I’m just posting a photo blog:

Buutterfly!

I’d have taken lots more photos, but my phone’s battery died.

Ok, now off for Day Four!

mini-update: hotel wireless hosed

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It’s a good thing I rooted my HTC Incredible just before we left: this allowed me to set up wireless tethering for our computers. Last night and this morning it’s important because even though the hotel’s wireless signal is as strong as can be, it doesn’t have a connection to the internet…

Day Two: The Search for Bygone Theaters

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We started off the day by heading out for breakfast at The Original Pancake House on Bellevue Place. Kay got an egg-white omelette that was made with egg whites whipped to the consistency of meringue (I tried a bite, and even though I don’t like eggs, I liked this omelette). I, on the other hand, got the apple pancake:

The apple pancake at The Original Pancake HouseThis thing was AMAZING.  It wasn’t like the buttermilk pancakes I’m used to everyplace else–it had a custardy texture, and it was covered with a piping hot mass of thinly sliced green apples with a cinnamon sauce.

After we finished breakfast, we got ourselves our 7-day CTA passes and hopped on the Red Line to take a walk down memory lane.  We got off at 35th/Sox and walked over to the new Comiskey Park U.S Cellular Field, where we looked at their World Series monument… of course, it’s a little sad that there are teams for whom World Series championships are so unique they build monuments to the ones they have–perhaps the Yankees shouldn’t hog a quarter of them…  nah, where’s the fun in that?

Where was I?  Oh, right, White Sox stadium. After that, Kay and I wandered over to IIT, where we stayed the first time we came to Chicago as a couple.  We walked by the dorm we stayed in, found a water fountain to refill the Nalgene bottle, and then hopped on the Green Line to head up to the north side.

Once we got off the El, we went in search of an address.  The street had changed names from Crawford to Pulaski, but we think we found the site.  Even though we know the theater we were looking for had been torn down in the 50s, it was a little sad to see that whatever had been constructed in its stead had been recently torn down. (If I’m being a little confusing, it’s because Kay’s not talking publicly about the project she’s working on, so I can’t just come out and say what theater this is she’s researching.)

A little disheartened, we came back to downtown Chicago, grabbed some subs and had a late lunch. I also grabbed a half-hour nap, because I’d been falling asleep on the El.

Once Kay was able to rouse me and get me out the door, we went looking for a beach. We found one at Navy Pier, but we couldn’t find anyplace to change clothes (and then it started to sprinkle rain), so we walked back and went to the firsts spot we had on our wedding registry: Giordano’s.

We weren’t able to settle on a pizza quickly enough to put in a pre-order, so we ordered our spinach deep-dish as soon as we got to the table (for those of you not familiar with how Giordano’s does things, they hand you a menu as you wait for your table and you can put in your dinner order before you even get seated). After a really long wait, we finally got our pie:

the spinach deep-dish pizza at Giordano'sIt was delicious.  I wanted to eat my three pieces in one sitting at the restaurant, but Kay made me save room for dessert (we wound up taking the two remaining pieces back to the room and then heading out to a Mrs. Fields that we’d visited on our last day in Chicago when we were here back in 2008).  I wound up eating that third piece while I was writing this post. 🙂

While we were waiting for the pizza, though, Kay made a discovery.  Chicago has two zoos.  We were planning on going to the Brookfield Zoo tomorrow, but Kay found a review of a cupcake bakery that made reference to the Lincoln Park Zoo, which is right in Chicago, only 15 minutes away by bus, and free.

This placed me in an extreme conundrum. Naturally, if left to my own devices, I’d go to the Brookfield Zoo one day, the Lincoln Park Zoo the next, and hit the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum for good measure. However, honeymoons are supposed to be fun for BOTH members of the couple, and I would feel bad dragging Kay off to zoos and aquariums every day of our honeymoon (though, she does confess that she likes aquariums, so we might go to the Shedd rather than go to the Field). So, I spent the rest of the evening trying to pick between the Brookfield and the Lincoln Park zoos.  I think I’m going to stick with the Brookfield Zoo for a few reasons: it’s open a half-hour earlier and closes an hour later, so we’ll have more zoo time; it’s much larger, so there aren’t any animals in cages (Kay’s depressed by animals in captivity in general, but cages are worse than open enclosures surrounded by moats), and they have a pair of golden lion tamarins running around loose in the trees! I feel really guilty, though, because Kay did score a real find in locating the Lincoln Park Zoo.

And that’s it for the day. Kay and I are getting up early to hit the zoo right when it opens, so it’s time to get to sleep.  Until tomorrow!

Day One: The Drive

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Well, we left the house at 8AM this morning, and we drove and drove and drove, and finally, 14 hours later, we’re here in Chicago and checked into our hotel.

The highlight of the day was the stop we made in Elkhart, IN. Kay had been on the phone recording her radio show, Exposed!, from 6:00PM until 7:30PM, so I wasn’t able to stop for gas, and by the time we got to Elkhart we were running on fumes.  We hit the first gas station we saw after exiting the highway and filled up.  Once our car’s hunger pangs were assuaged, our own tummies started rumbling, so we headed out down the road to find someplace to eat.

We saw a couple restaurants, but then we spied something special: The Simonton Lake Drive-In.  It was an old-fashioned drive-in with homemade ROOT BEER!!!  Kay and I ordered two burgers, some fries and onion rings, and two frosted mugs of root beer.  It was all quite delicious, and it took me back to my childhood in the 1970s when my parents used to take me to an A&W Drive-In in Whitehall, NY.

So now it’s time for Kay and I to get to bed and get some sleep, because tomorrow’s our first full day in CHICAGO!

Rest Stop

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Stopped in the Pennsylvania Wilds to stretch our legs and take in the local wildlife…

And we’re off!

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Well, the day has finally come! Kay and I are heading out shortly on the 13 hour drive to Chicago, but before we left I wanted to share with you all something we just got yesterday: our chibi wedding portrait!

image

Before our wedding, I commissioned my sister Alice to do a portrait of Kay and I in the same style as Chibi Jesus, and when she arrived yesterday to start kitty-sitting for us, she had our portrait ready!

Many thanks to Alice for taking care of our cats this week, and thanks to all of you who are checking in on us while we blog about our honeymoon!

Mini-Honeymoon

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Just so folks now, Kay and I are taking a mini-honeymoon, or as Kay wants to call it, a “minihoneymoonlightdesires“. We’re heading up to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls to see the Canadian musician Lawrence Gowan perform solo for the first time in a decade.

Larry!Mr. Gowan hasn’t been out of the limelight during the past decade, however.  He’s been out and about with Styx as their keyboard player since the band parted ways with Dennis DeYoung; the gig allows Gowan to exercise his bombastic and showy tendencies, but he doesn’t have much chance to showcase his catalogue of songs from his earlier solo career.  The most that usually happens is when Styx plays a show in Canada, Larry is required to trot out his 1985 #5 hit, “A Criminal MInd” (this is the real reason Kay and I were freezing our to tuques off this past New Year’s Eve in Niagara Falls, Ontario–Styx was appearing live as part of the celebrations).

This time, however, Styx has a little downtime and Gowan decided to, in celebration of the 25th Anniversary re-release of his “Strange Animal” album, perform a few concerts in his home country.  This time, Kay and I will be indoors and we’ll be able to sit down in comfort.  We’ll also be staying in the hotel adjacent to the concert venue, so there won’t be long walks in the snow/rain and border crossings in the wee hours following the concerts this time, either.

We’ll blog about it, of course, because it’s our mini-honeymoon!

It’s got fancy pants!

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OK, now Kay and I will start blogging about the really cool wedding gifts we got.  The folks who got us things on the honeymoon registry will have to wait until July when we actually TAKE the honeymoon for their blog posts, but my brother was one of the people who broke free from the registry and got us a really cool gift.

In their card, it said they’d gotten us a picnic basket (and yes, the first thing that went through my head was “Hey, Boo-Boo! It’s a pic-i-nic basket!”) but I had no idea how spiffy it was until I got to work and found it sitting on my desk (I also misread the card and thought that it had been ordered, but I’d have to pick it up at BB&B).

I think the thing that impressed Kay and I the most was not the plates, mugs and cutlery that this comes with, nor was it the large insulated interior to keep food and drinks at the perfect temperature and safely stored.  We both agree that the most impressive thing was the fancy pants.  And the whalebone skirt and parasol.  And the butler who comes with it to hold the parasol.  The butler is stored in a little compartment behind the plates, and he grows when you place him in water.

We’re going to put this present to good use this summer, once I’ve trimmed off a few pounds and can fit in the fancy pants that came with it.  Of course, I can imagine that hauling this to the top of one of the mountains surrounding Ramapo Lake might burn off a bunch of calories on it’s own, so maybe we’ll use it without the fancy pants…

Thanks, Kevin, Terry, Heather, Jennifer and Sammy!

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