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Monthly Archives: September 2015

Day 2 Trip to Chicago

Today was a busy day.  We had breakfast at the Corner Bakery. Which was close to the hotel, just a block or twoso an easy walk.  Much of the menu was eggs or breakfast panini’s.  It does get busy there but it flows really well. After breakfast we jumped, well moved quickly to get in to the train to go to the Shedd Aquarium. 

There a number of ways to get around taxi, walking, bus, train or walking.  We took the bus.  It was only 4.50 for my wife and I to get on the bus.  It took us about 36 minutes to get to the Shedd Aquarium campus.  By campus I am redpfering to the area that includes Shedd, the Field Museum, Soldier Field (Da Bears) and the planetarium.  There a number of things to do in that area.  Great for kids! You will have tired kids!  We managed to fit in the Aqarium and the Field museum in one day.  Which is still a lot of walking for adults.  It may be better to split these two museums into two different days you can squeeze them together but you have to prioritize what you want to see at both.

The Shedd Aquarium is a fun for the whole family.  Now, it is smaller than the Atlanta Aquarium but still has lots to see.  This is fun for kids.  They do have a big round aquarium as you walk in the door.  It has a few small hammer head sharks, stingrays and a massive eel.  They have many small aquariums divided up by parts of the world.  They do have an aquatic show.  The show that we saw talked about how they train the Beluga Whales.  They do have Atlantic Dolphins. As I kid I do remember them doing shows, but they did not perform while we were there.  It may have been because they had a young dolphin that was less than a year old so it could have been why.  

 The main tank as you walk in.  
  
A jelly fish.  
    
  

The show tank with dolphins and whales.  

Sting ray petting.    
    

More jelly fish.
   
Since we were in that area, we decided to try and go to the field museum.  Now the field museum is huge! The cashier said we could make it through in 2 hours. Well let me tell you, it took us almost the better part of 4 hours to get through. We managed to see everything, but we had to rush through a bit and skip somethings that we were not as interested in.  Our biggest interest in the museum was Sue the T-Rex and the other dinasour exhibit. They did have a Mammoth exhibit and a Viking exhibit as a traveling exhibit.  Most of the exhibits there are permanent like China, Tibet and Early Americas.

For dinner we ate at an Italian restaurant called Volare. It was recommended by one of the hotel staff. It was located in the Magnificant Mile just a block or two from the Courtyard Marriot.  The food was amazing.  My wife had the seafood risotto.  For the money it was good.  It was loaded with calamari, octopuses, oyster and clams.  I had the lasagna which was home made.  

Places we went:

Corner Bakery: http://www.cornerbakerycafe.com

Shedd Aquarium: http://www.sheddaquarium.org/

The Field Museum: http://www.fieldmuseum.org/

Volare: http://volarerestaurant.com/chicago/

Cigar Festival at Weston, Mo

On 9/26/2015 my wife and Inlaws and I attended a cigar festival in Weston, Mo at the Weston Tobacco Company.  Going to a festival can be fun.  Cigar festivals cater to a niche market. Sadly, this festival was a bit of a busy. Not sure how it is in years past, but it was a little poorly planned.  They had BBQ but only had one tray for maybe a few hundred people.  There was suppose to be free alcohol but it was only the beer, watered down beer. The hard alcohol you had to make a “donation”. They did allow outside alcohol into the event, but I did not bring any.  Even though it was never stated when the tickets were bought.  They did provide free gifts and t shirts.  Part of the tickets were a pack of 5 cigars from vendors that would be there to sell there products.  The idea was that they would mail them to the people that bought tickets.  Unfortunately, mine did not come in the mail tell a week and a half before the event and I was out of town the week leading up to the event.  So I only managed to get 3 of the 5 cigars enjoyed.  They did have music which was actually the high light of the event.  There was a car show, which was nice to have a cigar and a quasi drink and looking at vintage cars.  All said and done it is 50/50 that I would attend another cigar festival. 

The Weston Tobacco store is a nice little store.  They have a nice facility, but the selection is small.  But given the size of the community it may be all the selection they need.  They do make some of their own hand rolled cigars and can be found at some the local wineries and othe local business’.  Which is nice to see local business support each other.  If you are in the area it is worth checking out.

Weston Tobacco: http://www.westontobacco.com/2015/3/24/laoq132p4buwjy49dcosqqnfrxbylg

Day 1 Trip to Chicago

Today was just a travel day.  We arrived at the Union Station in Kansas City, Mo around 6:45 am. Keep in mind I am not a morning person. We finally boarded the train (which was 30 minutes late arriving) at 8:15am.  My wife and I saw someone I knew from college in on the train.  We were surprised because it was a small school maybe 20 minutes south of Kansas University.  So. Small world! The train it self was very roomy.  The seats had leg rests and had more room than a plane. For the most part the train was clean and relaxing.

Our first scheduled stop on the way was in La Plata, MO.  Which was an interesting stop only because I had never heard of it before and it was a very, very small town. Our second stop was on Fort Madison.  There were snubber of other small stops along the way.  We arrived in Chicago, Il around 3:30pm and walked almost (1.8) 2 miles from the Union Station in Chicago to our hotel the Courtyard Marriot, which was located in the miracle mile.

Traveling by train is not what it use to be in the United States.  But… It brings back a sense of nostalgia.  Granit, people do not get dressed up to travel like they use to back in 30’s and 40’s and such.

This is how people use to dress to ride mass transit. http://www.teara.govt.nz/files/p-24986-na.jpg http://cruiselinehistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/84-2+Challenger+lounge.jpg

This is how we travel now…….

   
    The observation car.

 The observation car.

  My wife in the observation car.
 A boat casino in Fort Madison.
  Fort Madison. The original Fort Madison.

The observation car is a good way to enjoy the view.  Great for kids!

This was pulling into Union Station, Chicago.

 For dinner we went to Mortons.  The original Mortons in Chicago. The food was AMAZING! Expensive! But good.  It is a steak and seafood place.  You can easily spend a few hundred dollars.  So if you are on a small budget you may want to pass on it. Luckily my mother in law provided a gift card for $100. That was spent just ordering the main dish.  The desert was worth it as well.  Some of the deserts you have to order with your dinner.

I would recommend making reservation.  Although it being a Sunday night there was onlyone other table being used. Keep in mind there are three locations in Chicago.  The website for Mortans.  http://www.mortons.com

 

Storm Front Moving in At Wabunsee Lake

   
    
 

Hygiene Issues in Space

NPR posted an interview about women in space.  Much of the conversation was about female hygiene issues in space. Very interesting.