Tags: travel

Medieval Lady

Halp, I have eaten all the food….

Based on a recommendation from an internet… um… acquaintance? Person whose stuff I read even though I don’t actually know them?...... anyway, I am in Chicago (which is not the recommendation part; it’s another thing), and I was trying to figure out where to go to eat, because Chicago is a city which has some really great food. So. I asked for recommendations, and got a short list of places—one of which happens to be right around the corner from the hotel.

It is the Weber Grill, which is basically what would happen if you gave Sano and Katsu a restaurant budget, and possibly a crate of beer to get through while they were working out the concept. Seriously—you walk in and there is this fantastic charcoal grill odor, with overtones of ALL THE MEAT, because there are these three giant charcoal grills, which were so big that they had to have basically exhaust areas underneath for the used-up charcoal, in order to allow space for putting in more charcoal up at the top without undue loss of heat and grilling time.

I sat up at the chef’s counter, where you could basically sit and watch them grilling (did I mention it was ALL THE MEAT on those grills? And also pretzel rolls, because that is what they use for hamburger buns. And also for the complimentary bread. *squee*

It was, frankly, a little bit warm, but still really interesting. I had enough counter space to spend time before the food arrived (grilled barbecued meatloaf! And some ribs. And also some garlic mashed potatoes) reading a PDF of a 15th-century German incunabula (as one does…what?).

And, yes, I did in fact have dessert. *g*
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greeting, worm

Meet Virginia

Up visiting the parents for the weekend; arrived safely late last night (had planned based on having a half-day yesterday...not realizing at the time that the half-day had been inexplicably scheduled for the afternoon.

Perfectly reasonable drive; slept well, although odd to not have to account for feline location/attention-and-food emergencies.

This morning, Mom and I went to a pick-your-own strawberries place, and did, in fact, return with a prodigious quantity of same. Shall be bringing a bunch back with me on Sunday (be warned, O Roommate!), mostly in a sliced-and-frozen state.

Took advantage of the hot tub (in fact, came home, showered, and THEN went to soak... quasi-furo!)

Much of the afternoon will doubtless be devoted to strawberry prep. Oh, and vampires.*

May also nap... feel like I could about fall over. *thunk*

*Course prep, about which I shall doubtless say more anon.
greeting, worm

Slow boat to...

(Been forgetting to actually mention this, because of all the other many, many things going on)


I will be going to China for three weeks this summer!!! End bit of June, first bit of July. Beijing, various other bits including Harbin, ending up in Shanghai.


Study program for academic-types, which means that it will be very busy, but also fairly amazing. Probably won't seem really-real-for-real until I'm actually there, of course, because these things never do.

Any useful travel resources and/or suggestions about activities, foods, things to avoid, oh Interwebs?
greeting, worm

Bonjour, everybody!

Greetings from the Wilds of Canada. Well, ok, the Not Quite Wilds of Montreal, actually. Up for a conference... which was originally going to be a Grand Researchy Crazy Roadtrip, but got scaled back. Probably for the best, really; this Fall is already CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY ACK FLAIL HALP TGIFBBQ.

Due to the cleverness of a friend-of-a-friend, there are three of us sharing a quite nice rental apartment, rather than the hideously expensive "official conference hotel." It's really a neat place-- two bedrooms, plus sleeper sofa downstairs in the living room/dining area, galley kitchen, one and a half bathrooms, amazing windowseat. The one thing I really don't like is the tight spiral staircase, because it's just asking for somebody to slip and fall. Oh, and I wish that the lr/da windows had proper curtains, not just sheers.... although from what I've noticed walking about the neighborhood, it seems to be the standard pattern.

Not much chance to look around yet (and, well, conference), but I'm hoping that I'll get a chance. I've actually visited Montreal before (and Quebec City, which is what it keeps getting confused with in my head-- Chateau Frontenac, I am LOOKING IN YOUR DIRECTION), so I have an idea of specific places I would like to go if I get a chance. Enjoying the lovely autumnal weather (although my desire to not check luggage lead to not bringing a sweater; very annoying), with the foliage turning and the air smelling properly like Fall.

In spite of the chill, still hoping to find the place with maple sugar-swirled soft serve ice cream. Mmmm. Maple sugar....
Medieval Lady

No bets on which construction project will be finished first....

Hi, all, from Boston! Well, Cambridge. At any rate, from where Mom and I are visiting for my sister's baby shower, which is tomorrow.

Since the house is under construction/expansion, we are staying at a very nice hotel (where we also stayed for their wedding last year, actually), within walking distance (it's kind of a long walk, but perfectly fine... although less pleasant in the heat).

Got to the airport bright (ish) and early (in fact, earlier than we had planned, yay), and had two good short flights, broken up by a really, really long layover. Ah, well. During the layover, when a nearby small child was having a horrific tantrum, I finally asked Mom if sibster and I had been like that at that age (because recently it seems like there are screaming children EVERYWHERE and I've been cringing at the thought of having inflicted that on my hapless parents). Fortunately, she thought and said, "No. Between the two of you, you had two times when you were very upset in public, but that was it." Which was a great relief.

Got picked up, dropped off at the hotel, relaxed for a bit, then trekked over to sister-and-family's place, got a tour of the construction progress (looking good), was amused to learn from brother-in-law that stephew's reading skills have recently been improving a lot due to him watching Naruto Shippuden in the subtitled version (heeeee!), and went to dinner at a very excellent (AND REALLY LOUD!!!!) local brewpub-- during which drive we passed brother-in-law's school, currently under massive construction, and close to sister's workplace, currently under... yeah, you know. Then there was preparatory present-wrapping, and in Mom's case, preparatory present unwrapping, because the fully-wrapped and bagged version of her gifts won't fit in the bag she was planning to transport them in. Hee.

All in all, a quite good day. Tomorrow: the shower!
Medieval Lady

(no subject)

1) Home from weekend visit to D.C. Cats have deigned to forgive us our egregious absence, but are keeping a sharp eye to make sure we don't try to pull this again.

2) Weekend was, by and large, fantastic.

3) Notable exception: the newly-renovated-revised-reconceptualicated Museum of American History. Argh. Weird echoey space, annoying glass (?) stairs, general vibe of "futuristic modern interior," which was oddly out of place... AND they took away the old-fashioned soda shop! *sniffle* Which was one of my favorite aspects of my very first visit to D.C., lo those many years ago-- all carved dark wood and marble counters and swivel seats and so on. *sigh*

4) Weather was decent, with intervals of rain. Very obviously moving into autumn, which is a time I am fond of (fonder of than, say, hot and humid).

5) Going to go fall over; after that, must devote concentrated intellectual effort to Very Very Important Application, which is this week's primary project.
Medieval Lady

If you should plan to motor west...

One of the things about the US is that it really is a driving-oriented country. Way more money has gone towards the highways than the railways, say, and there are more areas without well-developed public transportation systems than have them. I notice the difference whenever I'm in countries (or cities) where public transportation is the best way to get around-- and I notice even more when my automatic mental answer to "how to get from point A to point B" is "take the train" rather than "drive."

Frankly, I like driving-- I also like the train. Buses.... not so much, but they can still be a fine option. Airplanes are somewhere in the middle.

Been thinking about this recently because it looks like my options for next year will either involve moving (to a greater or lesser degree) or a really long commute two to three times a week. We're talking... oh, 10-15 hours on the road per week, from where I am right now.

Now, generally speaking, if this was more than a one-year position, then I would obviously need to move. For a year, though, it becomes a much trickier issue-- commuting versus moving expenses/time/hassle, what commuting distance is reasonable, what gas prices are likely to be, what the living expenses look like for the various options (which is a fancy way of saying, "Yeah, doubling my rent and utility bills by living alone is a dumb move when I know that student loan and car payments lurk in my future"), how annoying a two-and-a-half hour drive would really be on a regular basis versus how annoying moving this summer when I know I would have to do it all again next summer would be....

*mutter* And what I keep thinking is that this whole problem would be SO much simpler if there was just a nice set of trains that operated punctually between here and there.
Medieval Lady

Bwa ha ha!

So, as a follow-up to the "argh!" post, I would like to say that I did, in fact, manage to find a cheaper hotel, which should also be within walking distance of the Important Conference. And, the really cool part is that I found it at a cheaper price, then was poking around to see if I could find out more about the hotel, and found the same hotel at an even cheaper price. The many uses of the Internets!

This makes me feel better about the trip, frankly-- I mean, I'm excited about the trip, but the financial aspect was making me say, "ack!"-- and, while I didn't want to end up in a lousy hotel, or far from the conference, and while I knew that the original hotel was a fairly good deal, it's really good to have found a better one. *grin*