Saturday, February 27, 2010

BEERtrekkin ~ Louisville, KY to Chicago, IL

It was with great anticipation that we hit the road Friday because we were now truly on the last leg of our trip and we were making a stop in Munster, Indiana at the Three Floyds (FFF) Brewpub. It was fantasticular stuff as you will read about in a bit, and the sis was excited about getting to see Kathy, another lil munchkin aunt. We stopped off at Indianapolis for that, specifically at the Castleton Square Mall where we hung out in Borders. Flashback! I haven’t been in a Borders Books & Music in a long time, and this one was fairly new. My lucky find there was the newest issue of Malt Advocate. I’ve been on the hunt for this magazine since I first learned of it a few years ago. No, really. Literally. No one seems to carry it or want to, and until now I’ve been reluctant to just subscribe to it yearly. There is another magazine simply called Whisky Magazine that I also have to find, but in the meantime… Kathy had to be on her way. She was meeting with some lovely ladies of the q-tip variety for cocktails at 4:30pm and cards. Shazam! I want to be in my 80s and 90s and still enjoying cocktail hour and cards and whatever fun comes my way. And if it wasn’t coming my way, I’d get out and find it. Getting old just means getting better, in my opinion.

We were able to make the rood earlier than we had the last couple days, the main reason to meet Kathy in time. I had to go on a wild goose chase through forests and tropical jungles to find us a luggage cart, but eventually I got lucky and we were soon packed, loaded, and on our way. Tell you what, those luggage carts are a darn good thing; now if only we had thought of that at our first hotel. Oh well.

Not too long on the road, we drove past more snow on the side hills of the road while passing ever expansive fields of white and slushy lakes. Or ponds, some were pretty small. The rivers weren’t slushed over though, and I attribute that to the difference between running water and still water. The slushy lakes were cool, and as much as it looked like once could meander across it, I wouldn‘t recommend it. Thankfully we haven’t run into any snow while driving, knockonwood, and with home in sight today, we very well may not. If we do, I’ll be sure to make the most of it. I may be a sun-bunny, not a snow-bunny, but that doesn’t mean I still can’t have fun with it.

Mm… coffee…

Called Doc around 11am to check on my baby, so here is the daily update on Mr. D’s health and well-being. Still perky, eating, and in especially good news, some a couple small BMCs between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. I am letting Doc keep him over the weekend because he has to run some more tests Monday. Turns out my baby has an enlarged, infected, very sick kidney. Doc’s daughter and fellow veterinarian also checked on the D-ster and agreed on the problem. An ultrasound proved it beyond a doubt. So, they have him on antibiotics to treat the kidney problem now that we know what the specific issue is. The antibiotics may hopefully start his kidney back on the path of recovery, but it’s hard to say right now. If not, then Doc and Marjorie will proceed further. Once he is better though, my D is going to have to go on some kind of kidney medicine regiment to prevent something like this from coming back, and also engage in more follow up visits to stay on track of it. While I miss my baby terribly, I have my sis and lil munchkin and Skyler to keep me busy and smiling, along with the knowledge that he is in the best hands possible. Mom was kind enough to visit Mr. D some today at my behest, and she said that he is the star of the animal hospital. Everyone loves him. He is being super good, purring, and not fussing at all when they have to do what they do to test and give medicine. When it came to his bath there though, that was a different story. Much squirmier than when I give Mr. D his baths, all I can guess is that it just takes mommy’s magic touch. Something like that though isn’t unusual. I haven’t been as militant with his baths lately, a habit I need to get back into. He actually really does enjoy them, especially how clean and dandruff and loose hair free he feels afterwards. Before leaving the vets office, Mom took a pic with her cell phone (go Mom!) and sent it to me. Awws of cuteness ensued for minutes afterwards.

While chatting with Mom about Mr. D and other random stuff, we passed fields bursting with wind-power mills that stretched as far as our eyes could see in a slight gray haze. They weren’t just on one side of the road either. To our right and to our left, the wind-power mills were spinning in decent succession, a given with the massive wind which was blowing at that moment and had been for a while now. There were even some new ones being built and erected to harness even more of the clean power and energy that Mother Nature naturally has to offer: wind. Now that is renewable energy.

It took mere minutes to leave Louisville and find ourselves in Indiana. Greeting us across the border was a trio of extra long natural gas tanks that were painted to resemble ears of corn. Quite the hoot, actually, though it looked like on the two outer tanks were painted in detail while the middle one just a solid color.

Got up to work out again. At least I’m building good workout habits while on the road. It’s far too easy to be lazy at home, a bad habit I need to break. Yesterday’s workout was thankfully on an exercise bike so I sweated up a storm for 50 minutes and after sneaking a peak in today’s exercise room, they have a bike here, too. I’ll do the elliptical if I have to, but I prefer the bike. As I look at it; I didn’t put on the extra poundage over night, so it’s going to take a while to lose it. Slow and steady and I don’t want to be as skinny as I was. That was too skinny. Gasp! There’s no such thing as too skinny you say?! Um, actually, yes there is. But I digress.

A shorter drive, it seemed like no time at all that we met up with Kathy then hit the road to Munster, Indiana and a date with destiny: FFF Brewpub. It was actually rather easy to find, and while we cruised the exit street on our way to beer and food destiny, I kept the lil munchkin entertained by feeding her. It was time, after all, and the binky was losing effectiveness. Can’t blame here though; when you’re hungry you are hungry and babies can only tell us how they feel by crying sometimes. It’s learning how to differentiate the cries, smiles, burbles, giggles, and funny faces that test a mom’s observation mettle. Belly happily stuffed, we made our way into the brewpub to stuff our own bellies just a wee bit. With all the snow on the ground, I just had to touch it…and I did. Hard and crunchy, it reminds me of the ice in snow cones, except in this instance, you want to avoid any and all colors. I made the mistake of sneaking a peek into the bar while holding the lil munchkin for a few: No Babies Allowed. Actually, no kids allowed and I can understand that. The side we sat on was baby friendly and from there we wiled away a couple hours. The intention was to miss some of Chicago’s rush hour traffic, but that didn’t work out so well in the end. I had a Ham on Rye (the beer, not the sandwich) followed by a Scarf Patrol, a bourbon-barrel aged Oatgoop. Fanfreakingtastic. I also got a couple 22oz bombers to go: Brian Boru and Behemoth Barleywine along with a 12oz bottle of Cantillon Classic Geueze. I must always answer the call of the sour, especially when it comes from Cantillon. For munchies, I ordered a small plate of mussels steamed in Gumbalhead with chopped celery, bacon, salsa verde, and buttered herbed toasted baguettes. Yummy!! Jenn went for a small side of fries with homemade horseradish for dipping. Let’s just say the small plates were the big version of small. Other than that, the food was fanfreakingtastic and their mussels quickly grew into my favorite mussels eaten to date. Awesome! The beers were, of course, delicious, savory, and I look forward to delving into the bottles I took home. As much as the night could have waned on pleasurably at the FFF Brewpub, we had to get to the hotel in Chicago at some point. T-shirts were a no-go again (I seem to have bad luck when it comes to getting t-shirts at brewpubs I visit), but I did take home a pint glass. Most importantly, I came, I saw, I drank, I ate, and in the bestest company possible.

Our plan to miss out on Chicago traffic was a massive FAIL. Apparently everyone was not out partying despite it being a Friday night. Buggers. After crawling and creeping along, the hotel came into view amongst piles of snow which I promptly walked in with toe-socks and flip-flops. Yes, toe-socks and flip-flops. Crazy, I know, and just the way I like it. In reality, the shoes I brought suck so shall have to look for new ones. I’m actually thinking of those toe shoes, especially if they are water proof. Toe-socks + toe-shoes = incomparable coolness.

I was zonked and fell asleep around 11pm Florida time, 10pm Chicago time. The rest will do me good for the last lap of my BEERtrek and then it’s onto BEERventures, BEERports, and BEERhunts. Prosit!

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

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