Another forum meeting, just a small one...

annie1992May 7, 2012

Yes, we had another forum get together, just a small one. Robin (rob333) had to be in Chicago on business, so I hopped the Amtrak and met her there. Here she is, the 28th member of the forum I've met!

Neither of us brought gifts because I took the train and she flew into O'Hare. She was very brave and took the Blue Line train into Chicago, and met me at Union Station. We were both starving, so we walked several blocks to Weber's Grill, where they cook everything over charcoal and it smells wonderful.

I had the sampler, one BBQ'd rib, a beef kabob, a shrimp kabob and a chicken breast with honey mustard sauce, alongside a pile of crispy fried onions:

Robin had the flank steak with peppers and onions and a nice pile of garlic mashed potatoes. Her steak was rare too, just my kind of girl, and Ann T would have been proud.

We both saved room for dessert, Meyer Lemon creme brulee topped with chopped fresh strawberries. It was good, but I like the usual vanilla stuff better, and Robin thought she would prefer coconut:

From there we took a cab up to Old Town and the Spice House. I bought Elery a box of hot spices, including the Vulcan Fire salt with habanero peppers, a hot chili sauce, something called Red and Black, ground black pepper with chilies and something else hot I don't remember because I know I won't be eating it, LOL. Robin got some crystallized ginger and we went next door to Old Town Oils. We tasted several things, including flavored balsamic vinegar, and bought a bottle of chocolate balsamic.

Another cab ride and we were at the Lego Store next to John Hancock, so I could get a small gift for Robin's little guy, who had to stay home. An elevator ride to the top of the John Hancock where Robin could see The Lake. She said she was amazed when she flew over Lake Michigan, she'd never seen a lake so big, so I thought she should get a good view.

Then we walked back to her CTA station for her ride back to O'Hare. It's quite a walk, and I warned her, but walk we did. By the time we got there we were both red in the face but congratulating ourselves on what great shape we were in. (grin) My hotel was 2 blocks from Union Station and about a block from her CTA stop, so I just went and checked in.

My feet hurt, so I took my shoes off and found that I had walked blisters on the balls of my feet!

Yup, matching one on the other foot, LOL, and the next morning I hobbled the two blocks to Union Station to get the 7:30 am train back home. No breakfast because even at Union Station the only place open at 7:30 am is McDonald's and Cinnabon!

Robin's only casualty seemed to be the loss of one of her favorite earrings and she called the next day and told me she'd lost another one that day. Chicago seems to have an earring sucking vortex, but I did suggest that she tell her boss that there was a Cartier up on Michigan and that would make her feel better. She thought a gift certificate would be nice. (grin) I don't think she got one....

Robin, it was wonderful to meet you, and I had a great time, but the next time we're taking a taxi back to the train stations. I guess I'm not in as good condition as I thought, I used to walk that with the girls without a problem ....about 10 years ago. :-)

Oh yeah, I'm going to make you walk me all over Nashville one of these days....


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Hi Robin!!!!! So nice to see ya!

What a great time you 2 had in a short period of time! Quite the little whirl-wind visit, and it's nice that the weather was co-operative.

Annie, you must have the record of meeting the most members. It's your magnetic personality :)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 8:07AM
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I knew you two would have a great time together. Sounds like you made the best of your time. Annie, thanks for showing Robin around Chitown; I know she appreciated the comfort of having someone familiar with the territory.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 8:43AM
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Sounds like an amazing day! Glad you both could get together!


    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 8:46AM
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It was amazing. As a matter of fact, I was wishing I'd met her at least a day later so I could've been less amazed and more focused on us. I was amazed over the oceanic sized lake, the height of the buildings, the architechture, how riding the L was like being on a roller coaster in a good way, the people... I was amazed over everything. Even the different ways they did things. The people were so gregarious and kind. Just kind people. But loads of people, everywhere all the time. Whew. Not like Atlanta--a big city--but spread out enough and not shoulder to shoulder. I loved loved loved Chicago!

Annie was a great tour guide and I was so happy to be near her. She's one fantastic lady. The food was great, the company, better, and we walked and walked and walked... so much, every inch of me is still hurting!!! Nor has the smile left my face.

I wish I had uploaded the picture, but I'll have to do it later. It's of the little fella. He hasn't even made it out of his bedroom. He's fresh outta bed and is sitting, surounded by legos. As far as the eye can see! And he's very happy. He loved her present. Almost as much as I loved seeing her and hearing her. I didn't "get ginger", she gave it to me! And some chocolate balsalmic vinegar. If it ever slows down enough, I might get to enjoy them sometime soon. Well, time to go catch up at work!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 9:20AM
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WHAT FUN! I used to take the train from Grand Rapids to Chicago quite often when I lived in GR. And the Blue Line to the airport if I was flying out of O'Hare. Brings back lots of memories. And they don't call it the "Second City" for nothing! There's an endless supply of fun to be had there though, if you can tolerate the hustle. Sounds like you guys had fun, fun, fun! Thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 11:02AM
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It was all fair, really, because Robin bought my lunch AND she took the train into town so I didn't have to go out to O'Hare.

We shoulda taken the water taxi, though, from Michigan to Madison, and saved our feet!

Robin, I'm glad the little guy liked the surprise, I never knew they made so many Legos!


    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 12:00PM
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By the way... it did end up being a trifecta. I didn't buy any more earrings, because I didn't want to jinx the new pair. They even had beautiful ones at the hotel and the airport.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 12:45PM
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Robin did anyone tell you look like Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York? You really do.

Annie, I have had blisters just like that so many times. Owie.

Glad you guys had fun. Come to Philadelphia some time.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 6:11PM
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Good eye, Pam! Yes, there is a marked likeness!!
Have you got a British accent Robin? :-)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 6:29PM
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What a wonderful sounding day!

I absolutely love Chicago and it sounds like you both packed a ton into a short time .Annie beats me on the number of forum members I've met but not by much.....I've met 21. Five of which I have head the pleasure to have to my home for dinner.

Robin is on my bucket list, so is mustangs.... I really want a proper tour of that town. ..maybe next year on our trip to Florida.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 9:08PM
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Nice get-together, I love those! I'm always happy to have a face to a name. Chicago AND Nashville are on my list of cities to visit.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 9:24PM
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Jessy...? You have not "done" Chicago???
Hoo boy!...Let me know when we could plan that!! Beginning with The Art Institute, Chicago Lyric and on to all the great food places...Topolabompo for example!!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 10:21PM
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And if you're in a hurry or can't get reservations at Topolabompo during your visit, Rick Bayless also has a restaurant in the food court at Macy's on State, called Frontera Fresco. I haven't been there yet, but I will, I know a couple of people who have eaten there and said it was very good and way cheaper than Topo.

Robin, I just knew you were going to have to get another pair of earrings!

Sharon, you're right, it's fun to have forum friends at your house. I've had 7 at the house. And I miscounted, Robin is actually #29. I forgot Maureen, and she even came to my house...


    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 10:39PM
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What a great meeting, but those tootsies were baaad! I can sympathize, that happens to me too. But I loved Chicago as you did, and can't wait to return. Hmmm, keep your eyes open Jessy, we may find a cheap airfare and jet off to the Second City to play!

Nashville is on my list too!

Nice to meet you Robin! My son was a Lego fanatic too! He's 29 now and still plays with his nephews!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 12:03AM
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I know Nashville, c'mon down! The ins and outs, the good and the historic. Everyone is welcome too.

Never heard Duchess of York, and NO, I am way far away from a British accent. Try fast talking Southern. Weird combination, but then, so am I! My hair has seen a hard day at that point. I did think she wasn't going to post that. I'd have put on my jacket and shown the one earring side. You'd have never known the other was missing.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 8:44AM
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Linda and Ellen you are ON, LOL. In Chicago I'd like to walk by Alinea and get a picture in front of the restaurant but not actually eat there, LOL. Robin I'll ask for a personal tour of Vandy :-)

Annie looks like you are catching up in meeting forum folks!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 9:27AM
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Rob, I think you look a lot like Fergie (the Duchess, not the Black-Eyed Peas) -- the same coloring and the shape of your eyes. Pretty!

Hey, me too! I have never visited Chicago or Nashville. I sure have spent plenty of time in O'Hare. I'd love to meet you there.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 9:30AM
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Now that is something I can do, Vanderbilt. It's my home away from home. You're on Jessy. C'mon on over! Just stop in Hollister for me on your way. Crab and artichokes. A mere pittance for a backstage view here. Right? Small price!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 10:14AM
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Excuse my Robin...Lego Land just opened 45 minutes from my guest room.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 10:38AM
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"---Never heard Duchess of York, and NO, I am way far away from a British accent. ----"

dcarch :-)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 7:01PM
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Wow, she DOES look like Sarah Ferguson. From now on, I'm calling her "Princess Robin"!


    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 8:19PM
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The eyes and the smile...Rob by a mile. But there's a definite resemblance.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 8:56PM
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Honey, everyone knows I am a "Princess", but Fergie is only Duchess (of York). She's kissing cousins with both Andrew and Princess Diana. I would be flattered, except, my lineage is Irish nobility. Those rotten British!

dcarch, I could just kill you! That's not her best picture. Or mine. So I guess we're equal there. She, however, looks a thousand times better when she's cleaned up. I only look marginally better.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 9:02AM
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I agree, that is not a very flattering pic of Fergie and not what I was thinking when I saw the resemblance. Rob's eyes are much prettier. Yes, the pic in the link is far better!

I supposedly look like Martha Stewart. I hope not in her days in prison.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 9:09AM
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"I would be flattered, except, my lineage is Irish nobility. Those rotten British!"

My darling Irish grandmother felt the same! Fergie, schmergie. I see a vague resemblance but your happy spirit shines a much brighter light for me.

What a great get-together. The food pics made me seriously hungry. I may have to make creme brulee as a result.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 10:17AM
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Wow, I've never seen that other shot of Fergie!
I like the one DCarch posted better.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 11:11AM
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I also prefer DCarch's photo - and I notice a strong resemblance also in the bangs and hair.

Sounds like a delightful meeting and hopefully it will spawn more. I really have to visit the Midwest some time in my life!


    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 12:01PM
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It was a very nice time, Lars, and I would LOVE to show you around my part of the country if you ever come here.

Robin, I shall continue to call you Princess, you can "one up" Fergie that way. I also agree, your eyes are prettier.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 11:57PM
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Oh how I miss Chicago!!! The food.....*sigh*

If you all decide to do Nashville, please include me. I'm only 2 hours away. I've not had the pleasure of meeting anyone from the forum and I know I'm not much of a poster but it would be fun to wander around finding good chow!!!!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 10:58AM
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I have been to Nashville a few times. Each time I managed to miss the CMA FEST.

CMA FEST would be a good time to go to Nashville.

Lars, you and I might have met before. I have been to LA a few times. Each time I like to walk around Venice. A few times it was July 4th weekend and people would BBQ in their backyards, which is their "front yards" and you would be inches away from their BBQs. I would ask them what they were making, and they would give me some to taste.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 11:15AM
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dees_1, we're really in the planning stages. Email me.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 9:02PM
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What a great meeting! Chicago is a great town, I've been there many times.

Robin, it's really nice to see you. Hopefully we can meet someday. I will watch for other meetups...

Lars, you do need to visit the Midwest. I'd be right there with Annie and would love to show you the sights.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 9:37AM
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Robin, what a handsome boy you have, I'm glad he's enjoying the Legos. I remember stepping on a zillion of them when the girls were younger, I learned to hate them, LOL.

Now I step on them again, Bud has them everywhere.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 11:16AM
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As for things to step on in the dark, jacks are worse than Legos. So are Barbie doll shoes.

And - there are no small CF meetings. :)


    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 1:04PM
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Robin, e-mail sent. Besides, a trip to Nashville should include a visit to Trader Joes! It's the closest one by three hours!!!

Oh wait....don't know if I can fit a shopping trip to TJs in the motorcycle's saddle bags.....

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 3:42PM
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Good looking young man, Robin. I know you enjoy him!


    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 4:28PM
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Dee you're really gonna be outta luck if you come here, you'll have to go to Whole Foods too. You'll just have to bring a huge pickup to have it all fit.

Jude, you know I do! I had so much trouble having a baby, had him late in life... so he's more like a grandson to me. Spoiled rotten with love.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 11:15AM
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I'm late to join the party here, but I'm glad y'all had a great visit. I see the resemblance, but I wouldn't have thought of it if Dedtired hadn't brought it up. Neither picture of Fergie is good. The first one looks like she hadn't slept in days, and the second one is too photo shopped or airbrushed to look like her. The pic of Robin is great, though.

I don't know if I'll ever make it to the Chicago or midwest area, but it looks like a great city to visit, and Annie was a wonderful tour guide.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 9:49AM
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