Hey Guys! I realize it's been a while, but the business center at the hotel stunk and trying to blog from a phone is a living nightmare so I put this little gem on hold, until now. Every year The Minch Family takes a vacation. During an unofficial meeting about it a few months ago, everything seemed lined up for us to take the same Ocean City trip we had taken the last few years. I made the suggestion we try something different, perhaps a big city, like Chicago. We could catch a Cubs game, eat deep dish pizza, see the kidney bean sculpture at Millennium Park. My suggestion was met with a tepid response at best. The next day something magical happened, my brother Dennis decided he liked (and subsequently came up with) the idea. With Dennis' higher stock value in the family, everyone got on board with after his endorsement. The Minch's were going to Chicago!
We left at 7AM on Saturday. For the millionth time, I tried staying up all night so I would sleep in the car. I even watched Scream 4 at around 3am. For the millionth time, that plan failed and I was left tired, uncomfortable, and filled with memories of a bad movie.
For those of you outside the Rochester NY area, of the many things we lack, perhaps the worst is a Sonic Drive In. We've had television ads for them for roughly 15 years, but the closest one is out in East BumbleAss. So we make it a point to swing by one on the way to any vacation spot. This year to be different, we decided to get Sonic on the way back and instead we would try White Castle. The GPS (the worst antagonist of this trip) said the closest one was in Cleveland. What it didn't tell us was exactly how unsavory our surrounding would be. Also, it didn't mention how the workers would be none too happy with our order of 30 sliders. (If it makes a difference, there were 6 of us. It doesn't? Okay screw you then!) I can only imagine the amount of spit/dish detergent/rat poison that was put in each of those sliders, but against all odds we made it out alive and with our order...
|Not only was Neil Patrick Harris not there, they won't serve you if you make that joke.|
Then it was off to Miller Park. We had some extra time and we were all hungry so we decided to head towards the park and eat at one of its adjacent bars/restaurants. It's important to note, it was a scant 127 degrees in Wisconsin that day. As we walked up the parking lot we saw something completely new to us, people were tailgating the ballgame!!! As Western New Yorkers tailgating was nothing new, but never for baseball. Impressed, we made our way to the park to find some food...
As we walked around the outside of the park, we realized that it was an island unto itself. That's when we made the grave realization...
Cue Realization music...
The fans were tailgating because there is nothing around! The park doesn't open for another 40 minutes! While none of us were thrilled with this, it sat particularly poorly with the females on our trip. We muscled it out and got some brats and cheese fries once the park opened. (This is why mascot Bernie Brewer has had three heart attacks) The only other problem, was the dome was left open so it remained 127 degrees throughout the entire game. It was indeed too hot to drink beer. Don't get me wrong, I tried, but that first one went down like a cup full of nails. Sidenote: Brewers lost that game when closer/civil war general John Axford blew it in the 9th.
The next day we went to historic Wrigley Field. As someone who wants to go to every ballpark at least once n his life, this was a major destination.
Wrigley has a far better set up than Miller, in that there are bars and stores and things to do before the game all around. On the suggestion of my good friend Bill, we went to both The Cubby Bear and Sluggers, the latter was quite popular with my brother, as it had an upstairs batting cage. The girls mentally prepped for another ballgame, by getting moderately to fairly hammered. I would judge them, but I waited until I got inside the park to slurp down $7 beers. Unlike Miller, those went down smooth as silk!
I had the hope that somehow, someway Bill Murray would be at the game. Sadly, instead I wound up with Jim Belushi. Some days that seems like a metaphor for my life. Hoping for Bill Murray and then getting Jim Belushi. Side Note: The Cubs lost that game and Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis were at the next game.
As far as touristy stuff, we ate deep dish pizza at both Gino's East and Pizzeria Due. We went to Millennium Park to see the Kidney Bean. We also walked down Navy Pier, stopping at the Harry Caray's Tavern where references to the old SNL sketches are met with eye rolls.
To be fair to the ladies (my sister and sister-in-law) who had been brave little troopers during the two baseball games, we took a trip to a Chicago nightclub. I think it was called Leg Room or AssHats or something like that. Couple of notes:
There was a swarthy gentlemen who kept grabbing girls by the shoulder to get them to have drinks with him. As you can imagine, this didn't work, and he was fairly persistent.
There was a flamboyant young man who made a failed attempt to get my Mom to dance.
Beers were only $3!!! For a club, not bad. I got ripped...
Chicago's Catch Phrase should be: Chicago-For Every Giant Fat Guy, There's The Ridiculously Hot Girl He's With!
Just wondering, Girls when you decide to wear that skirt out, mentally do you just accept that at some point somebody is going to see your butthole?
While it was a far busier event than the usual Minch Family Vacations, the Chicago trip was pretty great. Though it was one of those vacations you need a vacation from after. You better believe we stopped at Sonic on the way home.
Switching gears, tomorrow, 7/24/12 my newest article for eatyourserial.com will run. I open with a joke about a twist in Dark Knight Rises involving two loser villains. (Sorry Calendar Man) I didn't want it to run without at least acknowledging the events in Colorado. My deepest condolences to all involved. I damn sure checked in with my Col friends to make sure they were alright (One tweeted pretty early. The other I texted.) There's a lot that can be said on many different level about what happened and what should be done, but for right now, the only appropriate thing to say is let's remember the victims: innocent people who went to see a movie.