Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Get Away Replay

Things I learned in Chicago:

1. Kindergarteners are nothing like piranhas. According to the Shedd Aquarium guide, the whole wild, thrashing, feeding frenzy, little fish taking down a cow thing is a piranha myth. Sort of. He said that was the impression given to Teddy Roosevelt during a trip to the Amazon, but what T. R. didn't know was that the piranha he observed had not been fed for a week. Makes sense, I'm a little cranky myself without my latte, which brings me to (quite possibly the most important thing I learned)...

2. The coffee you brew in the hotel room is nas-T. Ew. Even the memory is bitter. (HA! That was a good one. I'm pun-stoppable!) I don't even want to think about when that pot was last washed. Still, that was all that stood between me and a mythic piranha frenzy, because...

3. They charge out the whazoo for coffee at that hotel. Me, pay $3 for a cuppa plain Joe? Uh, what part of "Say Wha?" don't they understand? BTW, everything else at the Four Points by Sheraton (on Rush St.) was excellent, including it's proximity to...

4. Starbucks! That's right, the Mother Ship was on the corner. Perfect, no? No. What were all those people doing there at 9:30 a.m.? Doesn't anyone in downtown Chicago work? And don't they have coffee makers at home and/or work? Helloooo, I was on vacation. It wasn't like I had all morning to stand around waiting for my latte. Fortunately this was after I had learned that piranhas don't attack or I would have bitten someone, despite my new-found peace and tranquility acquired dirt cheap at...

5. Trader Joe's! Yes, Trader Joe's Market was squished in between the hotel and The-Pit-of-Desperation-Formerly-Known-As-Starbucks. Yay! I now have my very own, genuine Trader Joe's canvas shopping bag. At last I can show all the plebeians at Hy Vee how incredibly cool I am. I may even start walking around downtown Iowa City, just because! I am one of the beautiful people now. Bask in my hipness.

Oh yes, Trader Joe's had a full variety of Three Buck Chuck. TBC has restored respectability and good taste (that tastes good!) to a price range of wine whose reputation has been sullied by the likes of Mad Dog 20/20, Boone's Farm, and Night Train. But not everything at TJ's is good, for instance...

6. Using Trader Joe's Premium Quality Facial Tissues featuring 100% recycled paper is like blowing your nose on sandpaper. And I don't mean the Super Fine Finishing Grit, either. The King and I both know this because we were both hit with the Mother Of All Colds just as we backed out of the driveway. If you have not yet experienced the kick-assedness of this particular virus, you will soon. If you stop reading this blog every 30 seconds so you can blow your nose or pop another aspirin, you know what I'm talking about. You have my sympathy. 'Nuff said.

7. Speaking of kick-assedness: A couple of 20-oz. beers at ESPN Zone in the afternoon makes shopping sooooo much more fun!

8. Speaking of shopping and beers: Unfortunately there still is no bar/lounge at the American Girl Store although, as the King pointed out, sales would sky rocket if the Dad's didn't have to schlep around the place whining like little children (Can we go yet?). Also conspicuously absent: the "Molly's First Drunken Party" play set.

9. Speaking of All-American, I dragged the Royal Family to the top of the Sear's Tower. Yes they still call it that, although Sears hasn't owned it for quite a while as they point out in the pre-flight movie. Those are some fast elevators. I loved the view! The Prince and Princess? Not so much.

10. What else can I say? Great time. Definitely deserves the "Windy" nickname. Excellent pizza at Pizzeria Due (across from Starbucks!). Had to drag the family (especially the husband) out of the Museum of Science and Industry.

Can't wait to go back.

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