Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Five

The Excuse

W00t! None needed!

The Week

IMG_3179 Normally I get to go to exciting places like Mission, TX and Rogers, AR. This week I wound up going to Chicago. If you know me at all, you know that I love visiting ballparks, so the chance to visit Wrigley was one I had to jump at. Fortunately my good friend Brian was able to join. So we got into town on Saturday to see what trouble we could cause that night, and then do the game on Sunday.

IMG_3178 The one really sweet bonus was the room – for whatever reason, the Hyatt we were in decided to upgrade us to a suite – with a sweet view! Saturday night was dinner at Harry Carey’s (see the restaurant below), and then we headed out to a dueling piano bar called Howl at the Moon. (Inside note for anyone who knows the other story – it was much tamer!)

IMG_3221 Wrigley was just as amazing as I had hoped. I must admit I prefer Yankee Stadium, but Wrigley was just amazing. Our seats were down the third base line, in the shade. The shade (and wind) made for a very cold afternoon. I was glad I had a fleece on. The game itself was great, ending with a full count, two outs, Cubs down by one, and runners on first and second. Couldn’t ask for very much more. You can see all the pics here.

The rest of the week was tamer by comparison. I was out in Schaumberg, a western suburb. Despite my best efforts, I really wasn’t able to get out to see the city again, which is not overly surprising. I did manage to find the local White Castle and stopped by there this week (twice). There’s also a Famous Dave’s just down the street. Yeah – I need to start eating better again.

The Restaurant

IMG_3192  Brian and I went to Harry Carey’s in downtown Chicago. I had been there many years ago and remembered really liking the place. This time around it was more tourist trappy to me than anything. The food was very good (Brian had the chicken marsala, and I had the chicken involtini). But the waiter we had was much more concerned about turning the table than anything else. Not sure that I’ll be finding myself back there again.

The Exercise

I knew it wasn’t going to happen this week because of the style of class I was teaching. I was 8-8 all week long.

The Travel Note

As much as possible I try to fly Continental. Part of it is because I have status with them. The other is that they do so many things right. For instance, through my iPhone, I can find out where I am on a standby list.

I arrived at O’Hare, which is problem number one. I’m in Terminal C, which has 32 gates and I’m pretty sure 6 bar stools. But anyway, I need to check a bag (long story). I also needed to make sure my bag could get on the earlier flight that I was on standby for. I had put myself on standby when checking in last night.

When I arrive, I’m directed to the automated systems where I can do just that. When I get to the screen where it talks about standby and the button to check anything for an earlier flight is grayed out. So I asked the *ahem* helpful agent that’s roaming the area:

Me: Excuse me. I’m trying to make sure I’m on the standby list for the 5-o’clock flight.
Him: It should tell you on the screen.
Me: The button was grayed out.
Him: Ok, well, try it again.
<I do with him standing there>
Me: See – it’s grayed out.
Him: It’s telling you that an earlier flight isn’t available.
Me: That’s fine. Last night when I checked in I put myself on the standby list. I’m just trying to confirm it.
Him: There isn’t an earlier flight available. That’s what the screen is telling you.
Me: I put myself on standby. I just want to confirm this. <In the back of my brain, all I can hear is Jeannie Bueller screaming “Speak any English?!”>
Him: You can’t get on standby.
Me <losing all patience, and speaking as slowly as I can>: Ok. I put myself on the standby list last night. I just need to confirm that I’m on the list.
Him: Ok. You need to go stand in that line. <He points at a line that would make the DMV seem like a short wait.>
Me: Well thank you very much. And you have a wonderful day.[1]

At this point I’m done with this whole experience, and thought I’ll just take my later flight. When I get my boarding pass printed, sure enough it says that I’m on the standby list, and the person taking my baggage checked my bag on the earlier flight.

Thanks for the help, buddy!

The Five

Seeing as how I’m not a tourist in San Diego there are many things I either haven’t done or done in a while. Here’s 5 things I really need to do [again].

  1. Visit the zoo again - Since we moved to San Diego we’ve never been back.
  2. Tour the USS Midway - From everything I’ve heard it’s one of the coolest experiences in San Diego, especially if you’re an airplane nut – which I am.
  3. Tour the Star of India – There it sits in the Embarcadero, and not once have I been on it.
  4. Go to the beach – Not that I’m a huge beach person, but I think it’s been about 2 years since I’ve spent a day at the beach.
  5. Wine tasting in Temecula – Not that Temecula is the greatest wine region in California, but they do have some good wineries up there. And it’s just a fine time.

[1] There may have been a little sarcasm in my voice. Maybe. Just a little. The smallest amount. Barely noticeable.


~B said...

I have often what happened to airport checkin agents in their childhood to make them the way they are...because I have had nearly the same conversation with them about 25 times. Like the time in Vegas where I stood in the First Class check in line for about 20 min without moving before I was told--the First Class should be checking in on the adjacent line (marked for another airline) as they were using the First Class line to have passengers waiting to be rebooked from another airline. Huh? Apparenly I had missed the memo that it was absurdly opposite day that day.

Shelly W said...

Thanks for the 5 tips about your city. J and I were just talking with my mom last night of things to do. I think we may actually be coming out there in August. We will see!

Jay said...

A little chilly at Wrigley for our wimpy SD friend? ;) Have you kept abreast of the new open-air stadium up here in the frozen wasteland? Which would you prefer the sunburn section or the frosty bring your parka section?

Has there ever been a world series game called for snow? How about a season opener? Yesterday's high was 53F.

ps. Go to the beach, 2 years? seriously. At least for our sakes so we may vicariously enjoy some decent weather.

jersey said...

There have been baseball games called on account of snow. I'm not sure about a World Series game, though.

And the Minnesotan I was there with was cold as well (although he only had a t-shirt and jeans).

As for the beach - we do dine outside during January/February if that helps.