BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

Yummm .... FOOD!

I got two restaurant meals today! Due to "scheduling issues", we've had to shift some stuff off from my actual birthday (Saturday), so The Wife ended up taking me out for lunch on Friday. I'd been wanting to go up to the Signature Room up on top of the John Hancock Center ever since I'd read about their lunch buffet. Now, I love buffets ... I must be the result of some strange experiment of mixing Conehead and human DNA, given my tendencies to "eat vast quantities" ... and I was sure that they'd be doing a nice job on that up at the 95th. Of course, I'm also a cheap bastard, and when I heard that the lunch buffet was only $18 (at a place that a burger will set you back $13), I was very anxious to try it!

Given that we live about 50 stories up in the air, one would think that the view from the 95th floor would be not that much of a draw, but the vistas and perspectives that you get from up there are really special. I snapped a couple of shots, but they're still in the camera.

Our schedule was further complicated by Daughter #1 only having a half day (which we didn't find out about until the night before). We ended up asking if she could go hang out with one of her classmates for the afternoon. As it was, we didn't get out of the house to head over to the Hancock until after 1pm, and once we were done The Wife decided that she would go get the rental car (that I'd reserved for a 3pm pick up) and that I should go reclaim Daughter #1. We were trying to work it so we could get up to Dojo by 4:30 for #1's 4:45 class, but due to complications on collection Daughter #2 (it took essentially four stops, since her class was out in the park when we got to school, but was on its way back to school when we got to the park, etc.) we ended up being a bit late.

This was a rare occasion, in that The Wife almost never comes to Dojo, so The Girls were excited to have her there (when she eventually appeared, she'd dropped us off and then ran errands for about an hour). Part of the reason she'd come along was that we needed to get more stuff for these NCLB open houses we've been doing ... somehow we get more traffic by our table if we have a big bowl of candy sitting out, and we've been trying to do that without it looking too much like an "early Halloween". We'd had some mixed Hershey miniatures previously, but they were out of them at the dollar store where I'd picked those up a week or so back, so we ended up going with about half tootsie roll minis and half caramels, another 40lbs worth of candy! At least this time I had the car and didn't have to hand-schlepp these home (well, except for the last 4 blocks from where we found parking).

We ended up having dinner at Garcia's up in Lincoln Square (just up the block from Dojo) .. this is a very good neighborhood Mexican place which is a bit fancier than your typical taco stand, but is not much more expensive. You can get a burrito (as I tell The Girls "as big as your head!") for $4.00 that even I have a hard time finishing, and you can get a 2-taco plate (with rice, beans, etc.) for like $3.50 ... The Girls like the cheese quesadillas there (but next time we'll have to remember to just order one appetizer portion for the two of them, as we ended up with about 1.25 orders "to go"), and they have a lot of other options as well.

To add to the "specialness" of the day, the Parking Gods were also with us. Normally, we can count on it taking 30-45 minutes of mindlessly driving around the extended neighborhood down here on a Friday or Saturday night before we can find a spot. Last night, I got off the drive, came across on Oak, and had just started the "run around Washington Square" death spiral, when I saw a spot right around the corner of Newberry Library on Clark St. ... I did have to screw up traffic a bit (I was already in the left-turn lane and I needed to make a right), but it was amazing to find a parking place that fast!

Today The Wife has to go do a major NCLB open house (I'm not sure about the details, but this is one where about half of the franchisees are participating, so it's not just for one school, but for like half the city), which is going to have her tied up for most of the day. We will have just enough time when she gets back to get ourselves organized and back into the car and off to my "official" birthday celebration ... they're taking me out to Medieval Times (with various special "birthday package" add-ons), which I understand is going to involve my getting "knighted" as part of the show ... should be fun!

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