Monday, July 18, 2011

A day trip

Wow it's been almost a month since my last update yet I've thought about trying to do it often.  Summer is 1/2 over and I'm still blogging about the beginning of summer activity--sorry!  Memorial Day weekend Diana and I decided to venture to where I have never gone...Michigan! We decided to make a day trip out of it by going to tour some of the Michigan wineries.  The first stop was Round Barn Winery (  Right off the interstate, the round barn was easy to spot.  The winery was a perfect adventure being that it was humid and began raining out.  Venturing in to the tasting area, we were ready to try different wines--Diana chose the red route and I chose white.  For being a wine in Michigan and not knowing what to expect, we were pleasantly surprised.  As a souvenir, our tasting glass! 

Next stop was the St. Julian winery across the street from Round Barn and great for someone on a winery tour!  Five glasses of wine later, we were pleased we stopped by there.  I was very happy because they had sparkling wine and I love drinking sparkling wine. 

At our last winery, it was starting to storm and not very busy.  Our wine guide was nice enough to give us two delectable truffles to take home--mine espresso and Diana's cookies and cream.

We ended our day with a drive through New Buffalo and stopping for a late lunch at a little local bakery and lunch spot.  The Salad was huge and very flavorful.  The drive home was quiet due to the wine coma Diana was entranced in. 

I left Michigan with a good taste in my mouth and a yearning to go back again--so much so we are renting a beach house in a few weeks!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I think I smell fish

Each week I sit on the bus reading the Red Eye on my way to work and look at the new restaurants.  Each week my mouth waters and I start brainstorming about who I'm going to get to go with me with the new place and how I'm going to do it.  While casually talking to my friend a while back, GT Fish and Oyster came up. 

We decided we go and after some arranging and rearranging we ventured there yesterday.  I was able to try three different oysters, which were very yummy and all very different.  I had two west coast oysters that were sweet but my favorite was the butter tasting oyster (sorry can't remember the name).  I feel like the other small plates were more scrumptious than the oysters.  The shrimp, pistachio, grapefruit, avocado bruschetta was amazing as well as the lobster roll.  We walked out being very happy we went there.

GT Fish and Oyster had a great ambience about it.  It was lively, fun, a bit on the loud side, but yet romantic and personal.  Next time you want oysters, seafood, a nice glass or wine, venture over to GT Fish and Oyster and I promise you won't smell like fish walking out but rather feeling satisfied!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Brunching in Chicago--Such an experience!

My favorite meal of the day is definitely breakfast--hands down nothing ever tastes bad and so many choices to choose from.  My two neighbors and I ventured to try a brunch place in Ukranian Village after reading rave reviews in "Travel and Leisure" Magazine; the place Jam (  After taking a bit to find it and tucked into the neighborhood we walked into a warm chic environment that yelled me!  With plastic chairs and cute wall decorations, I knew this brunch place was going to be a success.

There are known for their electic and different dishes inspired by mom's breakfast cooking.  To prepare our palates, the servers brought us warm olive oil and ginger cupcakes with red beet frosting.  It was decadent and gave us a glimpse of what we were in for! 

We began with a peanut butter and jelly scone, which was soft, moist and crisp all at the same time.  I chose to eat the biscuits with creamy asparagus followed by the yogurt and granola.  When wondering what to order when you go to Jam, definitely try the creamy asparagus and biscuits!  The fresh asaparagus of the season with the extra spices in the biscuits was creamy, rich, flavorful and worth every last bite.  The parfait was a perfect following...I don't know where they got the granola from, but it was amazing and if only I could have my granola turn out half as good as theirs!  The homemade raspberry jelly added to the fresh berries and the yogurt--Yes the pick was a bit generic and not very adventuresome but so worth trying!      

Pull some money out of the ATM (yes it's cash only) and head over to Ukranian Village to try Jam--it won't let you down and with their large outdoor space, it's a perfect summertime destination!

Girl and Goat--A Top Chef Experience!

Sorry it's been awhile since I've written last but I've been busy with my professional life and have finally gotten around to sitting at a computer and writing.  One of my great adventures right before to Easter was to go to Girl and Goat, as my foodie friend, Angie was in town.  We trekked down there late on a Wednesday night hoping to snag a spot at the bar.  When we arrived the wait was 45 minutes so we figured we would grab a glass of wine and wait patiently, as we thought it would be worth it.  Fifteen minutes later, we were escorted to one of the king tables to sit right in front of the line and right in front of Stephanie Izard herself.  I was pretty stoked but a little shy to go ask to take a picture with her, next time I guess.

Because this is a place to share, we decided on four plates--the green beans, goat belly confit, the pork shoulder and calamari stuffed with lamb sausage.

First to arrive was the green beans and scrumptous they were, but a bit on the salty side.  Next came the calamari.  I can honestly now say I've had shortbread crisps which is pancreas and it didn't taste so bad.  It was part of the lamb sausage.  Third was the pork shoulder.  It was so tender and the taste of the pork decadent.  It was lacking lots of flavor though, which I was hoping for, but I guess not.  Lastly, and one the most amazing plate was the goat belly confit.  I can honestly say I still see that plate of food and taste it in my mouth just writing about it.  It was so amazing.

I have to say I was slightly deflated after being here.  I guess I was ready to be blown away by the food wondering how quickly I could return there.  I'm definitely glad I had my Top Chef experience :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

#86 See Blue Man Group at Briar St. Theatre

I was introduced to Blueman Group through my uncle Matt who always aspired to be a Blueman but because of his height was limited on even getting an audition.  Ever since watching one of their live DVD shows, I always wanted to see them live.  I was able to see the touring Blue Man Group while in graduate school, which was really good.  When my friend approached me if I wanted to see Blue Man Group, I hopped at the chance.  I had heard they had a new improved show and to see them in their actual theatre, why not!  We chose not to see the painted seats, but instead we were right behind them.  It was such a funny show and very entertaining. It was a bit sad we didn't get to take any photos, as the show is amazing.  I know Blue Man Group may be a bit tourist thing to do, you still should think about checking it out.  It is a great event especially for someone not into musicals and PS the seats that can get painted on, don't get that much paint :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

There are a few perks of this industry...

When many think of an audiologist, they don't think wow I bet they are really cool and get to do really different things--well we may surprise you!  We had our national convention (AAA) here in Chicago this past week.  We were able to learn things to further our education that will affect our patient care.  We also got to do a few things on the side!  One of those events was attending a live show from Collective Soul! 
Taking place at the Excalibur, it was an unusual venue!  As not the most popular hot spot in the city, I was a bit hesitant to go.  With three floors and multiple stages, there was plenty of entertainment and a great place to visit with people.  Collective Soul put on a great show! 
The icing on the cake is that I got to see Joel, the guitar tech for Collective Soul!  I got to see and catch up with him.  The perk was that at the end of the show, I got to help with some of the lights :)

You never know what audiologists will be upto next!  We always are doing something fun...

#221--Stroll through the Field Museum

As a resident of Chicago, I don't always participate in "tourist" activities but since I had a few friends in town this past weekend, I figured why not!  I ventured to the Field Museum to see natural history. 
We saw lots of taxidermied animals, including the largest bird collection in the world.  It was interesting to see some of these animals that were stuffed for the Chicago World's Fair!  We also got to experience Sue, the full T-Rex and attend her 3D movie. 

To be honest, I'm definitely a Science and Industry Museum fan but I'm glad I went to the Field Museum.  Boys (and girls) who like dinosaurs are definitely going to love this museum.

#221 is crossed off my list and ready to move on :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

All I needed was a laugh, not a fist fight...

I was presented with a great Thursday night activity last week, watch my friend's cousin headline at Zanie's Comedy Club.  After the past few weeks I had been having, I wasn't going to turn down a chance to laugh so I said yes.  We arrived a bit before the show began and purchased our two drink minimum.  I love comedy places because everyone there is ready to have a good time, or so we thought...

One of the opening acts was really funny and I know she'll make it big some day, while another one was bit blah and inappropriate.  During the headlining act, the reason I had came, a little dispute began to play out in the audience.  Some of the patrons did not want to respect the server and the two drink minimum rule and when she started yelling and complaining a paying customer, became very angry.  I fist fight insued followed by a lot of the guests leaving.  It was definitely an experience I wasn't expecting to have...

Next time you need a good laugh, you never know, you may get an extra added bonus of seeing people fight, which causes a laugh in itself.  Raise your glass, get ready to relieve some stress, have a good laugh, and go to a comedy show near you!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chicago Chef Week

I've learned that my palette and my inquisitivenss has made me a bit of a foodie.  Chef week allows me to try something new.  Last night I ventured with my friend to Blackbird (  I've walked by plenty of times entranced by the appearance of the place itself. 

There is just something about the place that always drew me to walk by it.  As a high end restaurant, I knew I wasn't going there anytime soon.  Chef week allows people like me a chance to try a high end food restaurant at a fraction of the cost.  I started out with a warm spring noodle with avocado and pumpkin seeds followed by the entree of a squash and ricotta torte with mushrooms and arugala.  Our dessert was a dark chocolate ganache with parsnip ice cream.  It was all so delicious and the presentation was to die for.  The highlight of the dinner was the palatte cleanser of a green tea truffle.

So next time you hear of chef week here in Chicago, follow your instinct and try that restaurant you've always been drawn to or if you aren't daring enough, follow my recommendation and go to blackbird!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Everyone needs a great girlfriend!

Sometimes there are those people that you meet and you instantly click with and become friends...that's what happened to Molly, Laura, and I. After meeting two years ago through big shoulders fund, Molly and I became instant friends.

As our lives have gotten busy, we decided to have a girls date for afternoon coffee. I took the girls to my nearby neighborhood of Noble Square to go to my favorite coffee shop in Chicago, Lovely (!!

I discovered Lovely the first week I was in Chicago.  A lady I had babysat for in Columbus, had recommended this shop after reading about it in Domino magazine.  After eating their tuna salad sandwich, tomato basil soup, and their to die for macaroons, I was in love.  I had recommended we go there and now Molly and Laura also think the place is LOVELY :)

So next time you're in Chicago and you don't want to go to a Starbucks for afternoon coffee, stop by Lovely for their mini pies and amazing coffee!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I'm ROLLING Along!!

Sorry for my delay in posting, but I wanted to include a picture of this activity--You'll have to wait for it I guess.

I got lucky enough to go rollerskating this past weekend with 9 of my girlfriends all due to winning a silent auction!  So we packed into two cars and headed out to the suburbs of Chicago (a feat and adventure in itself) to attend rollerskating.

Now I had attended plenty of birthday parties in the past held at rollerrinks but I was never lucky enough to host one of my own. I should have known what a Saturday afternoon at a roller rink would have been like, but I was unprepared. We were greeted by yelling, laughing, crying, and rollerskating kids. Some parents had rollerskates on as others were too shy to try again.

For the next three hours we skated around the rink to today's top 40s as well as a few throw backs to the 80s, requested by me. There were a few falls along the way and plenty of laughs! We all concluded that it was definitely the best birthday party activity we had participated in in awhile!

So next time you're wondering what to do for your birthday, consider rollerskating as your next adventure!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Goal #89--Attend an Opera!

Ever since I've been little and watched movies on television, I've been curious about the Opera.  Once I moved here and saw the Lyric Opera, I've really wanted to attend!  Then after talking to some of my hearing aid patients about how they go to the opera, I decided I was going to go to the Opera and that's what I did this week!!

While celebrating the end of sailboat racing season, we were visiting about the Opera and one of my colleagues had tickets for sale!  I got very lucky that they were the king seats :)  So my friend Sarah and I took on the adventure of attending! 

"Girl of the Golden West" by Puccini was the name of opera!  The Lyric is absolutely amazing and so beautiful!  I could not believe how big it was!  Our seats were really nice with no one in front of us and perfect view of the stage! 

I've decided that operas have such romantic stories and yet so tragic.   It makes you wonder if romanticsm really still exists in this world...The opera was wonderful and I'm so glad I went!  We had a great time.  The set was amazingly done and the music was great. 

So next time you are thinking of something to do in the city, expand your arts and think about attending an opera!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

#469 Go Speed dating!

Yep You see it!  I went speed dating!  I've always wanted to and thank God for my friend's building for hosting it I was able to partake!  We rounded up our friend making abilities, our smiles, and great personalities and set out to try this adventure out! 

I set out for this speed dating even with NO expectations!  I figured open bar and a chance to laugh about this experiment, why not do it!  I would encourage anyone who has a chance, do it!  We haven't gotten our decisions back yet, but we had a great time!  We had fun time and actually met really socially acceptable people. 

So as my journey in Chicago continues, I may have met some new random friends and/or potentials.  Don't worry I'm sure I'll keep you all updated on my love for this windy city!

Cross it off my list to do...

I've vowed this year to myself to make more frequent blog updates especially because I do have a lot to write about and it's fun!  The winter has been quiet here in Chicago.  Sorry to my out of town friends for not blogging about the great Blizzard 2011...but I never even left my apartment to take a picture of the drifts; instead I made chili and we had a girls day in our building!!

A month ago I was in sunny California for the Winter NAMM show!  It's the largest musician tradeshow and always a fun time!  I love going to see old friends, enjoy the sun, and be a nerd talking about hearing loss prevention...

Well I'm signing off--get ready for a post to me each week!!