July 20, 2010

[TRAVEL/ADVENTURES] 070. Take the train up to Milwaukee for a day trip or weekend

Posted in Travel & Adventures at 9:10 am by Heather

While I worked in Wisconsin for five summers, went to camp there since I was seven, and have a sister who went to Marquette, I’ve never actually BEEN to Milwaukee, except for Summerfest if I was lucky enough to have a night out from camp on a good day.

So, I decided since friends of mine do day trips to Milwaukee all the time, that I should take the train up and enjoy a day trip.   As luck would have it, my good friend Steve lives up there and was in town that weekend AND the Brewers were playing.  So I asked him if he wanted to go to the game with me, and I lucked out in that Steve, in all his Awesomeness, decided to be my host for the weekend.

Other than the Brewer’s game, the only thing I wanted to do was go to the Safe House, which left most of the weekend wide open.  My train arrived at 11:50, and Steve picked me up, I checked into my hotel (in order to get my Hilton points back, grr), and we were off to try out AJ Bombers.  For the record, Steve did not let me drive his car there.

AJ Bombers is going to be on Food Wars, and Steve hadn’t tried their burger yet, so that was the destination of choice for lunch.  The place caters to the technophile – there is a screen up right when you come in with all the @AJBombers mentions, and when I checked into foursquare it notified me we get a free Peanut Bomb when we check in (and was kind enough to mention that everyone got one, but hey, it’s the thought). 

We then made our way to the Safe House – and tried to go in the exit.  That’s not as much fun as the entrance, if you’ve never been there before.  While inside, we made friends with the bartender and Steve got the Electric Chair (right), and was a good sport about it.

That took us up to 3 pm, and the game didn’t start until 6, so what’s there to do in Milwaukee?  Drink.  We took the drinking tour of Milwaukee, including a trip up to “THE” Milwaukee bar, Wolskis, where I vaguely remember introducing myself to a half dozen people and asking what there was to do in Milwaukee, but unlike later in the night, there is no audio or visual proof of this, so I claim plausible deniability.

Then it was off to the game – or rather, to Long Wong’s – Milwaukee’s ONLY Chinese-American Sportsbar.  That’s right kids, a sports bar that serves chinese food, and since this is Milwaukee, Brats.  The bartender made me a drink that “tasted like purple” (it did, although there was disagreement from the peanut gallery) and then the AWESOME thing about Milwaukee?  You can get a drink TO GO and take it on the wee shuttlebus to the game!  So, of course, we did.

Props to Steve on the choice of seats.  The Dome was up due to the possibility of a thunderstorm (it did) and the place was miserably hot.  But thanks to our lovely club seating, we had air conditioning back by the bar, meaning we didn’t take advantage of our waitstaff as it was too hot.   But turns out I am a lucky charm for Corey Hart, as not only did he knock one out to take the lead, he managed to get a starting position on the All Star Team.   Now, if only he would shave.

After the game, and the wee shuttle bus ride back to Long Wong’s (honestly, best way to do Milwaukee Baseball, you get out before everyone), we had a decision to make: White Trash Fest, or Casino.   Yeah, we chose Casino – probably not the best choice as while Milwaukee has gone non smoking, the casino is on indian land and is not subject to such silly government restrictions, and my lungs and throat were not pleased.  We taught people the right way to play PaiGow, and ended up leaving 2 hours or so later and went to the Miller Time Pub. Surprisingly, they had a decent beer selection (for those of you who care), minus one specific American beer.

And then I turned into a pumpkin – so we called it a night.

The next day I asked Steve to take me to his favorite breakfast place – Ma Fischer’s in the artsy district, where we had skillets.  Of the potato and egg kind.  Tasty.

Then, quite stuffed, we made our way to Bastille days, where the 45 ft tall Eiffel Tower replica was about the only French thing there.  It was more of an arts and crafts festival, with an around the world choice of food.  They did have wine and beignets, as well as crepes, but they also had brats, pizza, ice cream, and cheese curds.

We were a little too stuffed to try any of that (sad about the cheese curds), and made our way to Bar Louie so I could watch the World Cup final, and Steve could watch the Brewers game (Corey Hart had the walkoff home run on that one too, I’m totally his good luck charm).  The great thing about the trains to Milwaukee is that they’re not reserved, so I was flexible on the time I left – I thought maybe 3 pm – nope, and not 5:45 either.

We caught up with his friend Jodi, and went to dinner at a local place called the Water Buffalo for dinner, and then to a pub nearby to wait out my 7:30 train.  Good thing I did decide to push my leaving time, because turns out there was a woman struck and killed on the line (2 blocks from my house!!) by the 11 am train, and things were probably a mess until about 5:45 pm.

All in all, it was an incredibly awesome weekend – mostly thanks to the Awesomeness of Steve and his hosting skills, and that Milwaukee is a pretty cool town to visit.  Especially if you like Bratwurst and Cheese.
 

Restaurants

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:08 am by Heather

  1.  Spring (Bucktown/Wicker Park) – Sept 1, 2009
  2.  Hot Chocolate (Wicker Park) – October 27, 2009
  3.  Chalkboard (Lincoln Square) – December 6, 2009
  4.  West Loop Tavern (West Loop) – Jan 5, 2010
  5.  Gemini Bistro (Lincoln Square) – Jan 31, 2010
  6.  Kuma’s Korner (Logan Square) – March 26, 2010
  7.  Naha (Near North Side) – April 1, 2010
  8.  Marigold (Uptown) – April 8, 2010
  9.  LM Le Restaurant (Lincoln Square) – June 21, 2010
  10.  Otom (West Loop) – July 16, 2010
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June 4, 2010

[Travel / Adventures] 073. Visit the Frank Lloyd Wright museum

Posted in Travel & Adventures at 11:24 am by Heather

I’d won tickets in the eKiwanis raffle last year to visit the Frank Lloyd Wright house, and they were only good for a year, expiring at the end of May.  My good friend Julie had said that she’d love to go with me if I’d wanted and so we were off to visit.  Our first day didn’t work out so well as it was pouring rain, so we made plans for a rain date.  Luckily, the day was lovely and beautiful, and we met up in Oak park and got into an afternoon tour.

The house is amazing – I highly recommend anyone who lives or visits Chicago to visit at least once.  Unfortunately, they don’t allow photos in the house, but it was really lovely.  I was taken with the fireplace, which used mirrors and cutout windows to trick the eye, and yet make it a welcoming little nook, that seemed roomy.

It’s not really a large house, and it’s hard to imagine 6 children living in the bedroom, but they probably didn’t spend much time there, as Catherine had a day room, and the children had a rather large playroom of their own, complete with church-choir-like balcony, which must have been grand fun to grow up in.

After the house tour, Julie and I walked around Oak Park, taking a little walking tour of some of the nearby houses; unfortunately, since we didn’t know about the FLW walking tour the next weekend, we couldn’t see inside the homes, but they really are very cool architecturally, and the company was fun, too.

June 2, 2010

[Project] Donate at least $50/mo to http://www.donorschoose.org/ and make a quick post about what my contribution helped

Posted in Project tagged at 9:38 am by Heather

I’ve currently made 6 donations to donorschoose.org, and have managed 3 completed projects.  I’m focusing on math and science projects for high-poverty schools in Chicago, as I’m really big on kids learning and LOVING science.  You can keep tabs on my page here: http://www.donorschoose.org/donor/427018

The latest project I’ve donated to (and doubled my donation thanks to GroupOn) is The Art of Show And Tell In The 21st Century, which is for an LCD projector for a classrom, instead of everyone huddling around a computer.

February 21, 2010

2010 Best Pictures – Up

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:00 am by Heather


Up (2009): Jonas Rivera – watched Feb 19, 2010

Heather’s Rating: **       – It was ok

This was OK. I thought the first 5-10 minutes would have been a spectacular short film on its own – really sad and moving.  The rest of the film made me laugh a couple times, and was predictable as most animated films are.  Visually stunning, but the story line left me a little Blah.

February 20, 2010

2010 Best Picture Nominees – The Blind Side

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:47 am by Heather



The Blind Side (2009): Gil Netter, Andrew A. Kosove, Broderick Johnson

Heather’s Rating: ****   – Loved it – would see again

I really liked this movie – it was warm and made me think if I was in Leigh Anne’s shoes that I would take in some total stranger at 17 years of age from the projects and adopt him.  I think Sandy Bullock was fantastic in the role, and I can see why she gets nominations.  I’m not sure this is dramatic enough to win a best picture, but it definitely deserves a nomination.

January 7, 2010

We interrupt your 101 in 1001 programing for this news

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:57 pm by Heather

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker! The WBCOOP is a free online Poker tournament open to all Bloggers, so register on WBCOOP to play.

Registration code: 732751

November 23, 2009

[Travel / Adventures] 071. Visit Houston (part 3)

Posted in 30 Day Habits at 10:02 pm by Heather

Chick-Fil-A!

Part 1 is here
Part 2 is here

Saturday dawned a little later than Friday, which was lovely.  After some coffee and chatting with April’s folks, we headed out to the mall with the top down, so that we can run some errands and also I would be able to takes the CHIKIN for the first time.  Yes, it’s true, I had never eaten at Chick-Fil-A, and was amazed at the line for the place.  I mean, the chicken is fantastic, but hey.  I might have a different tune if I had one nearby.

April got her nails done, and I resisted the siren call of the cupcakes (which were TEXAS sized), and we then went to Charming Charlies, which is a fantastic little store that sells just accessories.  And the lovely part is that everything is sorted by color.  I found a bunch of lovely pieces that I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on already.

The other weird thing we ran into was The Strangest Mediterranean Festival EVER.  You’d think such a fest would have hummus and gyros, and perhaps some baklava.  No evidence of that, but we did have the option for Tamales, BBQ, and Kettle Corn.  Is there a Mediterranean Texas that I’m missing?

And then it was time to go home and prepare for birthday dinner at Benihana’s…

… to be continued

November 22, 2009

[30 DAY HABITS] 075. Blog daily

Posted in 30 Day Habits at 9:22 pm by Heather

Its a good thing that its a Sunday night Bears game versus in the afternoon.  My massage therapist is there right now and her take on it was “well at least we can get into a state of mind where we don’t care that the game is going to be ginormously bad” (ok, that’s paraphrased but you get the point.

November 21, 2009

[30 DAY HABITS] 075. Blog daily

Posted in 30 Day Habits at 11:11 pm by Heather

Wow, with somuch going on today (packing and stuff), I almost forgot to post!

This will be short, but we had a great turn out for the eKiwianis pre holiday party, even if I did have to listen to christmas carols before thanksgiving…

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