BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

The birthday weekend ...

Well, The Wife has a bit of a tradition of dragging out birthday celebrations over a week or so, and given that this was "the big 5-0" for me, it got a bit of extension too. Daughter #1 had a sleep-over with a friend on Friday, but since we had a rental car for the weekend, The Wife, Daughter #2, and I went up to Buffet Castle, this Chinese buffet place I like up at Belmont & Kimball for dinner ... it's like $8 per person for dinner, including peel-and-eat shrimp, maki, and a wide array of mainly Chinese eats (although there are some Mexican and Italian things too). The reason we had the rental car was so that I could go out (subbing for The Wife) to a ClubZ! regional meeting in the suburbs on Saturday, which took up almost all day. When I got back, though, we headed out to my fave Indian place, Standard India, which is still hanging on up in the fast-suburbanizing (you can't really call an influx of Potbelly, Jamba, and other cookie-cutter chain places "gentrification") strip east of the Belmont Red Line stop. Standard India is special in that it has buffets for both lunch and dinner, with dinner still being under $10 for really excellent Indian food. Sunday was, while a day early, the main "birthday activity" day so we got up and opened up my presents, then headed down to Chinatown for some dim sum, and then went over to the Museum of Science & Industry. We only had 2 hours to do the museum, so our options were limited, but we did stuff The Girls hadn't gone through before, and got 2 of the Mold-a-Rama goodies of the 3 we saw there (we got the old train and the U-505, and passed on the John Deer tractor). I think they used to have a Lincoln bust machine there too, but that could have changed decades ago. The Wife had initially intended that we were going to go out again Sunday night, but I was feeling a bit "fooded out" at that point, so we just ordered in some pizza instead and watched the (disastrous) Bears game. On Monday, after I took back the rental car, The Wife took me out to lunch at the Signature Room up on top of the Hancock Center. They have an $18 lunch buffet that is quite a deal, given the setting, and so that's always fun.

One special thing was that The Girls made my birthday cake for me this year. Every other birthday we've just picked up one from Jewel, but they wanted to do something "special", so they did a banana pudding filling with sliced strawberries center cake, which was quite yummy!

A couple of other b-day presents came in today, so there was a bit of an extra extension there ... plus I got a small floral arrangement from my old college girlfriend (who I've not heard from in nearly a decade), so that was nice.

Today was my first day up in Evanston, and was interesting. I really hope that works out, but I also really hope that I will be able to work at least a couple of days a week from home, as that hour-plus "2 trains and a bus" commute is likely to wear on me after a while!

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