Vacation Details
4/2017: Chicago "Home of Champions"
Vacation Details

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All trip ratings are on a 1 - 10 scale: 1 the worst, 10 the best, 4 roughly equivalent to watching Jeopardy on t.v. with my mom. 

Arriving in Chicago on time: 8
Finding out Rowd was going to be 1.5 hours late: 1.5
Waiting in the airport for 1.5 hours for Rowd: 4 (not as bad as expected)
Popcorn from Garrett's "famous since 1949": 1.949
   Note: This was absolutely the worst popcorn I have ever eaten.  No flavor, not crispy, just horrible, like sugar corn pops with no sugar and no crunch.  I was hungry, I got a small, and I still had to throw more than half the bag away!!
Rowd finally arriving: 8.5
Us getting to the hotel and seeing Hammer: 8.5
Waiting for Mike Bongiorno (aka Michael G. Bongiorno, Mike, Mike B, Michael, MB, etc.) to arrive: 6
   Being in a lounge: 8
   Food and snacks in lounge: 4
   Lounge having only Diet Pepsi despite having regular Coke: 1.25
Mike B arriving: 8.5
Us getting to the Harvard game before it ended: 8
Minnesota-Duluth scoring with 26 seconds left to break a tie: 2.6
Harvard putting on a great flourish in the last seconds before losing anyway: 9
Food and drinks in Ketel One Club between games: 5
   Everything being pre-paid: 8
   Quality of food and snacks: 4
   Quantity of food and snacks: 2
Denver-ND Game: 3
Popcorn during game: 7.5 -- SO much better than Garrett's!!
Drinks in ChiBar in hotel late night: 8.5
Crazy spicy nut mix in ChiBar when I was starving: 8.5

Z arriving: 8.5
All 5 of us actually hanging out together for the first time in years: 9.95
Weather: 2.5
  Note: While it was sunny and clear, it was very cold and windy and I only had a light sweatshirt!  I was freezing!!  Yes, I am soft now.
Checking out Navy Pier: 7
Seeing the huge ferris wheel: 8
Not having to actually go on the ferris wheel: 9.85
​Lunch at Harry Carey's: 7 (I wasn't hungry and didn't eat anything, but the food looked and smelled pretty good).
Mike B leaving us for the afternoon to take a work call: 2
Pinstripes with everyone else: 8
   Bowling: 8.5 (WAY better than expected)
      Losing the first match to Hammer right at the end: 3
      Pulling out the second match late: 8.5
      Seeing Z throw the bright yellow "canary" ball: 9
   Bocce: 7
      Early fun factor: 8.5
      Bad inconsistent carpet on court: 5
      Me being unable to score 1 point late and me and Ham losing because of it: 2.5
White Sox game: 9
   Suite: 9.5
      Us being the ONLY people in the suite: 9.5
      Huge crispy salty popcorn: 9.5 -- best of the trip so far!!
      Suite being really warm with windows closed: 9
      Beef and other food: 8.5
      Dessert cart and sundae station: 9.75  
      Me not being able to eat one thing on the dessert cart: 1.25
      R not getting a sundae because the cart closed in the 5th inning when it was supposed to stay open until the 7th: 2 (for Rowd)
     Small little opening in windows making suite cold by late in the game: 2.5
      No foul balls finding their way into the little opening in the windows: 2
   Game itself: 7 (not bad)
     Watching B​yron Buxton make 4 great plays in the field and also strike out 4 times (in 4 at-bats): 8 (1 point for each great play and strikeout...if only he got another at bat this would have been a 9!)
Us somehow not actually going to Polekatz after the game: 8
Fantastic cold beer in ChiBar in hotel late night: 9
​Crazy spicy nut mix in ChiBar: 7 (I wasn't starving)
​Mike's roommate remembering me as being really into music: 9.95
   Me not hearing his exact words as to what song I thought was the same as another song: 2 -- I still am trying to figure out the two songs!

Weather: 8 (Just SO much nicer than the previous day!!  Actually warm!!)
Breakfast: 1.5
   Long wait before leaving for breakfast because we were "in line": 2.5
   Long wait outside restaurant once we were there: 2.5
   Restaurant being called "Yolk": 1.000005
   Everyone other than me ordering eggs: 1.000005
  Me having to see large open packages of eggs in the kitchen not far from our table: 1.000005
   Rowd and Ham getting runny-yolk eggs: 1.000005
   Z not only getting a runny-yolk egg, but actually dripping the gross yolk all over a plate, sopping it up with his toast, and having it run down off the toast onto the plate: 1.0000000000000000000000000000000001
      Serious True Note: I just gagged thinking about it as I typed that last sentence
   Mike Bongiorno at least getting an omlet: 3
   Me somehow not gagging and making it through the breakfast: 9.75
Z leaving to go home: 1.00000000001
Swimming with Michael after breakfast: 9.5 (WAY better than expected)
Walking the "Magnificent Mile" w Ham and Rowd: 8.5
Us going to the observation deck at the top of the Hancock Tower: 6
   Them making me go: 2
   Me not feeling THAT bad at the top: 7
   H and Rowd going on the "Tilt" ride that tilts out over the side of the building: 7
      Them actually doing it: 5 (for them - they seemed to like it but not as much as they THOUGHT they'd like it)
      Them not making me do it: 9.999999999995
   The observation deck ONLY having Diet Pepsi: 2
   Us FINALLY getting back to ground level: 9.5
Great pretzel at Auntie Anne's on the walk back: 8
Wacky cab driver on the way to the hockey game: 4
   Him ALMOST getting in a fistfight with the other cabbie in the hotel driveway: 1.5
    Him NOT actually getting  in a fight, meaning we could leave the hotel: 8.5
    Speed on the way to the game: 9
    Crazy lane changing at high speed on the way to the game: 2
    Us getting to the game safely: 9.5
FanFest before the game: 3 (even though H and Mike liked the band)
Food and drink at Ketel One club before game: 8
   Roast Beef and other dinner food: 8.5 (WAY better than expected!)
   Seeing Tony Esposito: 7
   Drinks: 8
Denver/Minnesota Duluth game: 7 (pretty good, especially the 3rd period)
   Seeing Chris Biotti and Charlie Uchill between periods: 6.5
   Having to shout back and forth at them across a gap and not hearing half of the conversation: 1.75
   Crowne Royal Club between 2nd and 3rd period: 6
      Desserts: 7 (Though 4 for me because I couldn't eat the cookies)
      Drinks: 5 (Good and cold, but R and Ham took FOREVER to get them)
Mike B going to bed after the game: 3
Giordano's with R and Ham: 8
   Having to wait 45 minutes for pizza to cook: 3
   Hanging out while they ate the super-thick pizza: 9
  Me not being able to really try the pizza: 4 (I was pretty full from the game so it wasn't that bad)
Ham going to bed after the pizza: 3
Me and Rowd hanging out at the Denver victory party at ChiBar: 8
   Us actually getting seats at the bar after a few minutes: 8
   Denver fans being so jacked and randomly breaking into chants of "Lets Go Denver": 8
   It taking forever for us to get drinks: 2
   Crazy spicy nut mix at bar: NA (I was too full to eat any)
   People watching at the party: 7.5 (I was super jacked about the environment, but I didn't see anyone famous that I recognized or anything else that could have pushed it higher)

Mike leaving to go home: 1.00000000001
Ham leaving to go home: 1.00000000001
Me leaving Rowd at the airport so he could leave:1.00000000001
Me leaving to go home: 1.00000000001

Trip Ratings:

R: 10+ (For actually driving it to happen)

Ham: 10 (Great effort, particularly with bowling and bocce, so sorry I couldn't finish that final bocce ame!!)

Mike B: 10 (Fine effort across the board, sorry we didn't have time for a second swim)

Z: 7.95 -- Super effort for making it and on the suite! But 0.05 points off for missing half the trip, and 2 points off for the memory of your egg yolk on toast (which just made me gag again just thinking about it).

Friends in suite at White Sox game, 4/7/17
Chris Bove aka Hammer
Hammer, Rowd, Zin, and Bod -- 4/7/17
Mike Bongiorno
Eric Lowrey aka Zin, 4/7/17
Chicago Downtown Skyline 4/8/17
Ham and Rowd "Tilting"
 96 stories above Chicago 4/8/17
Denver wins 2017 NCAA Title
Giordano's Pizza
Rowd, Mike, and Z
Navy Pier
Rowd and Zin
Keith Loud aka Rowd
With Abe Lincoln and "Common Man"