Sunday, November 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Eddy!

The other week, we went to Chicago to celebrate my 30th birthday with family and friends, and to visit some of my favorite Chicago places. We started off with a trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo on Thursday:

We made sure to see the penguins, Nicci's favorite animal:

On Friday, we went to visit the Museum of Science and Industry, which is apparently (according to their website) the largest science museum in the western hemisphere. I mentioned to the woman at admissions that I was in town for my 30th birthday, and that I used to volunteer at the museum (a long, long time ago), and she gave us a big discount! That was really nice. Here is a picture of me on a climbing wall that represents navigating the ups and downs of business:

On Saturday night, we had a big party at the Street Side Bar and Grill in Logan Square, with a bunch of my friends and family. Here are some of my friends, with a handsome guy in the middle:

Nicci's family also came up from Missouri as a surprise. Nicci didn't even know they were coming! Here is Evan (Nicci's brother) sitting across from me at Street Side, with a reserved expression:

After the party, Nicci was not feeling well, so she went home, but I continued my night of debauchery at Maciej and Christie's sweet new pad. I didn't take any pictures, though, just in case I run for president some day...

After that, Nicci and I checked into our favorite Chicago hotel, the Inn of Chicago. We got a sweet room on the top floor, with a great view of downtown. It faced west, too, so we saw two sunsets over (or through) downtown. Here is a picture of almost the same view, from the hotel's roof deck:

I also worked some more of my birthday magic: the hotel manager gave us free drinks for my birthday!

We enjoyed our last day in Chicago, Sunday, doing some shopping on the Magnificent Mile. Here is Nicci taking a quick, pink break from shopping:

All in all, it was a great trip. Thanks to all my family (and Nicci's family too!) and friends for making my birthday party an excellent night!

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Beer and Bites in Portland

11.17.2009--Portland 009

I recently attended an amazing conference in Portland and Eddy was able to join me over the weekend for a fun-filled mini vacation. Turns out, the best things to do in this town are drink microbrew and eat gourmet. Needless to say, we had a great time!

Aside from the celebrated food cart fare, Davis Street Tavern was one of my favorite finds. One day for lunch I enjoyed the Fearless Scottish Ale, the most heavenly crab bisque ever and the salad Nicoise. We also loved Milo City Cafe. Over the course of our trip, we ate there for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Best Hungarian mushroom soup ever!

We visited the famed Saturday Market. Lots of great food and beautiful arts and crafts. We also met a few of my Etsy friends. Not surprisingly, Portland has a large population of Etsians. We had a nice chat with one of the owners of appetite home--one of my all-time favorite shops.

Our big outing was to the International Rose Test Garden. It involved a beautiful (but strenuous) march up a mountain.

11.17.2009--Portland 020

11.17.2009--Portland 021

11.17.2009--Portland 025

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Two Black Cats

In addition to the fun run, we also revived our escaped convict costumes. Here is a picture of us when we first made them. We also whipped up a batch of vampire cupcakes.

Then we headed over to Dave and Dana's for a delicious dinner and some playtime with their two black cats.