Browsing: Food & Travel

Chicago-Day Three

November21

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Our last day in Chicago was pretty special. The day had finally come for us to see “Hamilton”-the much celebrated story of a American Founding Father. D had gotten our tickets eons ago.

We all got packed up at the Air BnB for an early departure the next morning. Thank goodness we did because we awoke to a blizzard. D who is a skilled driver got us all the way to Minneapolis with the snow keeping up until the Wisconsin Dels. The storm added an hour to our already long road trip.

We ate bagels and emptied the fridge of the weekend’s leftovers for breakfast. Boo and the Frenchman dropped us off at the theatre and they continued on their way to the Navy Pier and then a gangster bus tour.

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D had splurged on amazing balcony seats and we were so impressed by the beauty of the theatre and the set. That was until a wall of 3 people sat in the first row of the balcony and blocked almost everyone’s sight-lines. We had come such a long way and had spent so much money; at least we had a better view than some.

When the performance was over, we just sat still in our seats. We had been so overwhelmed by the story, the performances and the music. We didn’t want the afternoon to end. We hopped a “Lift” (an alternate to Uber) and was at the former John Hancock Center in no time after D and the driver had a great NFL chat.

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There was a line up for the elevators and another line up outside the door of The Signature Room on the 95th. But luckily, Boo and the Frenchman met us just before we were seated at a table.

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We saluted another great trip together and our good fortune in loving to be together so much and being able to afford to travel.

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You are looking at some very expensive cocktails here. But, no matter. There was no cover charge and even though the view from our table wasn’t great

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this was the view from the ladies’ washroom!

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The last item on our must see checklist was Wrigleyville to drive by the ball park

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and feast on Chicago style hotdogs!

We thought we packed a lot into our time in Chicago and would love to go again (but perhaps not in winter storm season).

Kath’s quote: A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz.” –Humphrey Bogart

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Love never fails.

 

Chicago-Day Two

November20

We woke bright and early, at least D and the Frenchman did. They ventured out to find us coffee as Boo and I moved a wee bit more slowly. We were surprised that the downtown place we had chosen for brunch had an hour and a half wait. We decided it must be worth waiting for if so many people were willing to do so. Luckily we were across the street from Millennium Park so we wandered around there.

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Right after I took this photo, there was a round of cheering and applause. I just missed capturing an marriage proposal!

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The bean was a perfect place to enjoy the fall sun and people watch.

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My guy joined me for a while our lovely companions stood in line to get me a ticket for the afternoon at the Chicago Art Institute. By the time we returned to the restaurant we were very hungry indeed.

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The skillets were chuck full of savoury treats. Portions in Chicago are very large. Once again I couldn’t finish what I ordered.

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A special treat were these cinnamon and brown sugar pancakes. The Frenchman had chocolate chips in his.

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While the rest of my gang walked the entire Riverwalk, I was appreciative that I was able to walk right past the line up to one of my favourite galleries. I had visited the Chicago Art Institute a couple of years ago and knew exactly what galleries I wanted to revisit.

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I am a lover of Degas and especially appreciate his ballerina studies. I would have liked to be a ballerina but God had other things in mind. When I tested the water one year, the ballet teacher would say “pull that butt in” and I would reply “I am, I am”!

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I admired other Impressionist works

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and then accidentally happened upon these masterpieces. This first one by Vincent van Goh of course

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and this second one by an artist I had to look up.-Sebastino del Piombo of the High Renaissance.

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We reconvened again and headed home for a little rest before we went to check out the brew pub of Revolution beer (the beer being well known by my craft beer-loving family). D was wise enough to order this delicious wedge salad.

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I opted for these decadent hand-cut fries and a delicious burger that tasted like homemade.

Once again we ventured home at a reasonable time to be refreshed for the piece de resistance the next day.

Kath’s quote: “Non cooks think it’s silly to invest two hours’ work in two minutes’ enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, well, so is the ballet.” – Julia Child

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

Remembrance Day 2019 Road Trip-Chicago

November19

Here I am apologizing again for my tardiness in posting. The good news is that I have been so busy traveling (and working to offset those traveling bills) that I have not found enough hours in the day. But here it is a cozy Monday afternoon, my clients are all taken care of and I feel like writing!

We took our annual November weekend away with Boo and the Frenchman. They were aware of all the plans that D had made but until our anniversary on the September long weekend, I didn’t know a thing. D got it into his head that we should go see the renowned “Hamilton” in Chicago before their run was done. I had thought that we might wait until it was in Toronto but I understand that tickets there are already going very fast. So D made all the plans and I just had to sit back and enjoy.

I got picked up at work on the Thursday evening of our trip. Since we were almost at Bishop Grandin, we were out of the city in no time. We stopped for a quick supper at a new chicken place in Grand Forks and other than that it was full speed ahead.

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D made all the Air BnB arrangements for us and of course we arrived in St. Cloud in the dark. We were surprised as we looked through our kitchen window the next morning to see our neighbours-the cows! The only other real thing of note that was while trying to find a Panera for lunch we discovered Wisconsin Dells! We have heard all about it, but never been. Of course it was completely deserted in November.

As we got closer to Chicago the traffic got worse and worse. We stood completely still on a number of occasions. The good news was that our Chicago Air BnB was just off the freeway. We did have a tricky time finding it as the neighbourhood was a mashup of one ways and it looked like they were replacing sewers in the area. But we did eventually find our co-ordinates, lugged our bags in and then almost immediately headed out to find Chicago deep dish pizza.

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D and I had tasted the sensation at Giordano’s Deep Dish a number of years prior. When we had a stopover in Chicago en route from Paris to Winnipeg, we checked our luggage and hopped into a cab to enjoy the one closest to O’Hare. Our Air BnB host recommended Lou Manalti’s as her top choice so we were happy to compare notes. As I searched on line for their menu, I had a chance to read their colourful history including the fact that a car had crashed into their dining room on their opening night in the 1970’s!

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I liked everything about the family restaurant right from their colourful menus, to their wall of living plants to their family sized cesar salad with a refreshing addition of diced tomatoes and huge shards of Parmesan.

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As our server sliced up the pizza pie, ooey goeey strings of cheese stretched from the pizza to our plates. There are very few varieties of deep dish on their menu and that is because the ingredients must provide natural layers that can be stacked one on top of each other (more like lasagna). Ours was assembled with the bottom layer being pizza crust (you could eliminate this layer if you wished), cheese, an entire disc of sausage meat and then a delectable sauce. I ate one delicious, decadent piece and was done for the evening. We kept the rest in our fridge at the Air BnB and I think the guys enjoyed it on other occasions.

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We took this selfie as we departed and headed out for beer from a local brewery, groceries and wine. All were conveniently located across the street  from each other.

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I took this turquoise woodcut shot at one of our stops. By that time, we were tired out from the early start that morning and ventured home to ensure an early start the next day.

Kath’s quote: “Life is mostly pain and struggle; the rest is love and deep dish pizza”.  Authour unknown

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

 

Argentinean Barbeque

September16

If you live on the Canadian prairies, you will know that August didn’t exactly feel like summer. Friends, neighbours and family have been consoling themselves by saying “maybe we will get another little burst of summer in September”. Well, we are in the middle of that burst.

Yesterday might have been a beach day to make up for the ones that we never enjoyed while on holidays. But we had a commitment in the city, so we drove in from the lake early Sunday morning. In the afternoon Doug enjoyed the weather while cutting the lawn (and a neighbour’s too). Typically his reward for yard work is  to plunk down in a awn chair with an icy cold beer. Since a neighbour across the street was cutting his lawn simultaneously, D asked him over for that beer. Our neighbour did one better, he said:” It is such a gorgeous day, why don’t you come over for a barbeque?” D was quick to say yes as our neighbour happens to be from Argentina, a country widely known for their barbeque meat.

I threw some veggies in the oven to roast an D packed up some beer.

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When we arrived we found Adolfo hard at work. He had pork, chicken and sausage all on the barbecue. The latter being a type that we had not seen before. The coals were live and when the lid was closed, there were two chimneys coming out of the top. Soon after there was a knock on the back gate and neighbours John and Jodi were joining us at the lovely table set out in the garden. They had just returned from Italy and since we leave in a month’s time, we were glad to chat.

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First up was a taste of pork. It was perfectly prepared to a succulent doneness and the salt and spice combination (a secret) were just to our liking. The bites of chicken, sausage and beef were equally delicious.

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By this time all the meats had been placed on the table and I added our vegetable dish. I had roasted sweet potato and beets in some truffle salt that had been gifted to me.

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The meal was lightened up with a crisp salad of apple and walnuts contributed by the back lane neighburs.

By this time the strings of patio lights had come one and we lingered over wine and beer with stories of travel and neighbourhood living. It was the perfect night.

Kath’s quotes: “Grilling, broiling, barbecuing – whatever you want to call it – is an art, not just a matter of building a pyre and throwing on a piece of meat as a sacrifice to the gods of the stomach.” James Beard

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Lover never fails.

 

Girl’s Craft Weekend at Lake Killarney, AirBnB

May8

I enjoyed an unexpected treat recently and that was checking out a new BnB in Killarney Manitoba.

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We packed up some meals, snacks, wine and crafts and we were off!

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The house right across from Killarney Beach has 4 bedrooms but sleeps 10.

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This is a view of the house from the beach.

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The first floor rooms sleep 3 each.

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The two 3rd floor rooms slept 2 each. The pillows, comforters, sheets and mattresses were chosen with cozy sleeps in mind.

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The bedrooms all had live plants in each; a novel touch for an Air BnB.

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One full bathroom was found on each floor with more fluffy white towels than you could possibly use. Beach towels were also available.

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The great room included throws to snuggle up under as we gazed at the pelicans on the lake or watched Netflix which was provided by the hosts.

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Although too chilly for our use, there was a barbeque and covered deck for el fresco dining.

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The well equipped kitchen overlooked the dining room with vantages of the lake just beyond.

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I am quite sure that this was not their regular practice but the host also had fresh cut flowers waiting for us along with a basket of wine, nuts and chocolate!

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The thing about crafting is that you can relax and chat while learning a new skill. One of my crafts was embellishing a wine glass in blues and mauves.

We spent most of our time busy creating at that dining room table, but we did find time to eat marvellous food too.

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I brought a charcuterie lunch and got off super easy in the food prep department.

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This amazing seared scallop dinner was lovingly prepared for us.

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The next morning we were treated to Gran Marnier French Toast.

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Pork tenderloin with sautéed apples and onions was served at dinner time accompanied by roasted potatoes, tomatoes and asparagus.

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Of course I had to stand on a chair to get the perfect shot of dinner.

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Dessert that evening were meringues filled with custard and topped with strawberries!

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Killarney has some great shopping (because no girls weekend would be complete without it). These images are from Sweet Pea & Willow Florist and Gifts.

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The views of both the sunrise and sunset were stunning.

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What made the house a wonderful retreat were the views of the fowl on the lake. We especially loved watching pairs of the 17 pelicans that reside there. In fact we were thinking that a unique name for the home could be “Pelican View, Killarney Lakehouse”.

Of course any adventure is only as good as the people that you share it with. In this case I would say it was a 10 out of 10!

Kath’s quote: “Being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasures.”-Bob Marley

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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