Vacation Blog: Hello/Goodbye Chicago

Even though yesterday focused only on Christopher and our time with him at his boot camp graduation, we’ve seen many other things while in Chi-Town. After Al Capone on Wednesday and with Zach arriving on Thursday, we were able to see some sites. We walked the Navy Pier, ate deep dish pizza at Geno’s East, shopped on the Magnificent Mile, took a boat tour of architectural structures around Chicago, and braved the Willis (Sears) Tower. After Christopher shipped out Saturday morning, we saw Soldier Field, drove by Wrigley Field, went along Lake Shore Drive, ate lunch, helped Zach buy vinyl at Reggie’s Music Joint, and finished our time in Chicago by having the best hot dog ever — a SuperDawg.

So, we depart tomorrow and will be heading to Nashville . . . with a stop along the way in Indianapolis. But we are sad to leave . . . for it was a high of 73 degrees today. We understand it is roasting hot back home in Houston. High of 105 there today.

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Vacation Blog: Graduation from Boot Camp

It was an emotional day as Christopher graduated from boot camp. we are so proud of him. It’s been an amazing journey for him and we spent lunch hearing the events of the past 8 weeks. Here are some photos that capture the moments of the day.

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Vacation Blog: Lincoln, Christopher & Capone

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Which one of those things just doesn’t belong here? What an amazing trip to the Lincoln Presidential Library . . . and on a day when the SCOTUS made a landmark ruling on equality. The video presentation was so technically brilliant. I couldn’t figure out how they accomplished it. Got to see Lincoln’s stovepipe hat, too. Made me think of President Obama’s library . . . bet they will have the first presidential Blackberry. Jokes aside, a very stirring visit.

In Chicago, we went to Tommy Gun’s Garage. It was dinner and a show in the style of a 1920’s speakeasy. The food was great and so was the entertainment. The actors served us a great meal. Then, they sang, danced, and had great fun at the expense of the audience members! Rhonda and I had a great time.

Finally, we heard from Christopher. He called us as we were getting near our hotel in Chicago. We spent a bit of time hearing about his adventure at boot camp. Like before, he sounded great. He’s looking forward to spending some time with us on Friday following graduation. He asked for pizza and a movie. The day is his . . . he’s earned it.

Tomorrow: Zach flies in and we head back to downtown for a fun time.

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Vacation Blog: it’s Hot in St. Louis

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It’s been a full day of walking around seeing the sights of St. Louis. We were outside all day, either walking the grounds of the arch or taking a ride up and down the Mississippi. We spent the day around the arch, riding to the top of the arch, too. Temps were close to 100 degrees. Finally, we ended up in the St. Charles area, eating (and imbibing) at Trailhead Brewing Company and going to see Monsters, Inc. Fun and exhausting day. Tomorrow: Springfield, IL and Chicago.

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Vacation Blog: St. Louis Surprise

Because Rendevous BBQ in Memphis was going to be closed, we decided to forgo Memphis. Rhonda’s parents used to live there and we’ve done Elvis, The Peabody, and most everything else.

Therefore, we headed straight up to St. Louis, MO. And, it’s hot — Houston hot. But, we got to the hotel and relaxed. We decided to find a local restaurant. We found HOME, a local eatery here that was judges best in STL in 2012. The owner/chef was trained in Houston at the Art Institute of Houston. (exciting for us since we live in H-Town) After leaving a phone message for a reservation, Josh, the owner and general manager called me back. Unfortunately, they were booked for today. But, they opened a new restaurant in a hip, cool part if town. He offered to set us up there for dinner.

Table was AMAZING. Such great fare . . . served in small portions so you order and try several things on their menu. Rhonda had the best — Chicken Pouillard. I had the Cassoulet and it was very flavorful. Loved it. Get the Gruyere Cheese puffs — the best cheese/stick- thing you will ever eat for an appetizer. Very helpful waitstaff. Jill helped us get the perfect wine & beer for our meal. If you are ever in STL, go. Great place. Visit their FB page here.

Tonight = rest. Tomorrow segue tour downtown and the arch.

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