Sunday, May 27, 2012

How to get away

A few weeks ago my parents came to visit. We did a bit of shopping and eating around chicago, then we took off on the open road towards Galena, IL.

It was nice to get out into the country and enjoy some wide open spaces and fresh air.

We took in some local history by visiting Ulysses S. Grant's home.

We walked around the downtown, 

up a monstrous staircase,

and through original cobblestone streets.

We enjoyed the old architecture and charm of the town. 

We also enjoyed the beautiful views of rolling hills, waterfalls, fields, and lakes. 

The hardest part about the trip was finding Vegan fare. There is just something about the country that drives people to serve meat, cheese, and butter with and on everything. There was hardly a hummus platter or veggie burger on a menu for 100 miles.

The surprising highlight of the trip was the rental car. We decided our Focus's, while perfectly adequate for our normal travel requirements, just weren't going to cut it for a long drive with four adults and their weekend luggage.

It was a sad moment when I returned it to the rental company. When driving my own car now, I imagine I am still gripping the Volvo's soft leather steering wheel, while enjoying the smooth, quite ride. It was bliss to drive. The downside of the car was it got us into looking at cars. We aren't buying one anytime soon, but we are finding our mantra "we don't have a car payment and don't want one" less and less motivating and comforting as we entertain guests and drive around in 97 degree heat with no air-conditioning.

You haunt my dreams Volvo.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


The food was disappointing. Seriously, mine and Jake's tofu scrambles were cold, greasy, and unequally portioned, Brian's veggie skillet had about three pieces of veggies in it, and Lauren's dish was missing at least two different toppings. Oh, and Jake almost didn't get his pancakes. It was an off day for the restaurant. 

My buddy, Ben, didn't let the food debacle get to him. He was just perfectly content to chew on his stuffed hammer and laugh.

...chew on the table and laugh...

...chew on his nose cleaner and laugh....

It was a vicious cycle of Ben going about his cute business and me snapping pictures across Jake's place setting. Both were great sports about the whole thing.

I wasn't the only one sucked into the vortex of Ben's charms. The little girl one table over was quite taken with him as well.  

Oh that smile! Make it stop. It is just too much sometimes.