Saturday, April 23, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Train

After nearly four years of marriage, Joshua and I took our first-ever vacation the past three days. Oh, sure, we've visited family over the years, but a true vacation? Never!

Thursday morning, we drove to Bloomington to catch the train up to Chicago. It turns out that parking there is terrible, and our trip was about cancelled before it even got started. Joshua's luck came through, though, and we found a spot to put the car. Here we are jumping on the train. What a luxurious way to travel. We even bought doughnut holes and beer in the cafe car!

After arriving in the windy city, we walked to the Wyndham to drop our luggage and then quickly over to Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian steak house, all-you-can-eat meat extravaganza. I was pleasantly surprised, especially by the fried polenta. I even tried lamb, quite surprising for me.

After eating a huge lunch, we wandered around the city for a while. I enjoyed seeing all of the lovely planters, freshly filled with annuals. There were plenty of ranunculus - so pretty!

We braved Navy Pier, despite the cold weather.

Yep, that's us in a fun house mirror. I don't think we've ever looked better!

Friday, the weather was even worse, cold temperatures in the upper forties and rain all day. We made it to the bean, another delightful mirror picture. I think I look just like a character from Fiddler on the Roof, but the scarf was a real necessity with the rain and cold.

Friday afternoon, we used some VIP tickets to bypass the 2 hour line at Shedd Aquarium. That's Joshua smiling with the long line going way into the background. Joshua's favorite animal was the penguins, and I liked the otter.

We took a bus back to the hotel after the aquarium. I did enjoy the ride. Soon after taking this picture, the bus filled up, and we had a couple of friendly people to help us back to the hotel.

Friday night's dinner was the fanciest I've ever been to in my life. The Signature Room on the 95th floor of the Hancock Building was highly recommended, and it did not disappoint. Unfortunately we weren't able to enjoy the view due to thick clouds/fog, but we still had a nice time. Delicious food and live piano music were lovely. We would definitely go back. Joshua wouldn't let me be tacky enough to take a picture while in the restaurant, so here he is in the elevator after dinner going back down.

This morning we jumped on our return train and made it home by 2:00. It was a quick, but fun vacation. Maybe we'll go on a vacation again some time.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I'll Take the Henny Penny Chicken

During my undergraduate time at Augustana, I lived about two blocks from Mulkey's restaurant but never tried it. The outside looks a bit unappealing, and the giant sign advertising Henny Penny chicken wasn't enough to draw me in. Mistake! Dad, Mom, and I went there yesterday for dinner and had a lovely time at this old timey diner. I did indeed try the Henny Penny fried chicken and enjoyed it thoroughly, along with some of the crispiest, tastiest fries every. Two thumbs up for Mulkey's restaurant in Rock Island.

Dessert was Whitey's new flavor, Salted Caramel, which put up some serious competition for my favorite-of-all-time ice cream, Cedar Crest's Caramel Collision. I think Caramel Collision still takes the prize, but considering I only get it once a year while in Wisconsin, Whitey's will be a nice substitute when visiting the Quad Cities.

Hope you all had a nice weekend!