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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I Survived The Big City

80/94 to Chicago sucks, as usual, for construction, as usual. I'm glad I didn't take it. The CAG gave me some back road instructions to get to the southwest suburbs through rural Indiana and Illinois. Between her instruction and the maps I downloaded from Mapquest I had the route planned out. (Mapquest would NEVER create a route like this, but I'm glad you can drag a window along a route to see the turns you'll need to make.) I did good time on the trip with just a tick over 3 hours including a quick rest stop, one overshoot of a turn (that sign for 231 was tiny), and spending an hour on the backroads. I bet 80/94 would take more than an hour.

Both the Cylon and Pet Doc were busy this weekend so I couldn't fit them in, nor head up Friday night since I couldn't crash there. However a weekend with the CAG and *cough* a friend who was supposed to call me back *cough, cough, glaring to the western 'burbs.* would be a good time. The CAG has a new townhouse. Very open, full of windows, has a huge basement perfect for a party, and ridiculously overpriced. For my Chicago area readers I find your real estate prices to be absolutely insane. Perhaps not California levels of insane, but I honestly don't see how anyone can afford housing up there.

I'm growing to love the METRA trains. One hour ride to downtown and I don't have to worry about parking. (Yet another reason why I want to see suped-up elevated monorail for Indy.) The only problem with the train was the CAG read the schedule incorrectly so we had to wait an extra hour. (NOTE: with a computer controlled elevated monorail in theory wait times would be less. No need to pay for conductors so a train can be run more frequently.) The temp was in the 70's and sunny. Far better than my last sub-zero trip in February for the auto show. We were to take a riverboat tour of the downtown architecture. My only fear would be the Dave Matthew's Band tourbus on a bridge at the wrong time. Sadly we couldn't get the actual architecture tourboat because it was sold out. "I guess I should have got the tickets online like you said." I merely nodded in agreement. We hit the next ticket window and found another ride. I called my other friend to see about dinner on Sunday *cough* but she still didn't answer her phone.*cough, cough, glaring at western suburbs.*

I love being on the water. Maybe one day I'll purchase a boat. Lake Michigan was fairly smooth, only disturbed by other boats' wakes. We had great views of the Chicago skyline. If you're ever in Chicago, you must take a boatride.

Frontera is a upscale Mexican restaurant. "The guy is semi-famous. He has his own show on PBS." I still haven't heard of him. The margaritas were good in the bar. After an hour the CAG and I are seated.

CAG: I'm really interested in the [duck dish]. But what do you recommend?
Waiter: [Starts talking about the pollo de Caribbean which sounds like a fabulous chicken dish.]
CAG: Umm...okay. [End of coversation and waiter turns to me.]

Question: what did the CAG just order? I was ordering the chicken anyway. Our dishes arrive and the CAG takes a bite and looks at mine.

CAG: [takes one bite and looks at mine] They screwed up my order. This tastes like chicken instead of duck and looks exactly like yours.
ME: [one raised eyebrow] No you ordered the chicken.
CAG: NO I DIDN'T! I wanted the duck.
ME: [verbally repeats the above conversation she had with the waiter.] That sounds like you ordered the chicken to me.

Perhaps the waiter should have repeated back what he thought the order was; however, as a customer I feel you should always name the thing you're ordering just to be sure. Oh yeah, the margarita we had with dinner was the most bitter and sour drink I've ever had. I'm still not sure what grade to give Frontera. Parts of the experience were great. Other parts were very subpar.

Enough for now I need to get some things accomplished today. I enjoyed the mini-vacation overall. Sometimes you need to not be home for a weekend.

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