Wednesday, November 26, 2008

November 24, 2008 - Chicago, IL, USA

"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"
"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said.
On Saturday morning, while the guys were still sleeping off the night before and I was nursing a pot of coffee at the dining room table, Deb headed to the gym. When she returned, she was loaded down with bagels, cream cheese and lox. Angel! One of Sten's and my strongest cravings after a year overseas was for a bagel and lox sandwich. For the next few mornings - after the party/ping pong tourney at Dan's studio that went until 4am and the late night of sushi take out and Lost episodes at Kate's house - we would roll out of bed (in my case, usually only 3 hours after falling into it - damn jet lag) and soothe our tummies and cravings with bagels and lox.

But after 4 nights and 3 days of partying, and no lox left in the fridge, there was only one thing left to do: brunch. So, on our last morning in town, we headed over to the Bongo Room with Kate, PJ and Rob. Weaving through the tables on our way to our booth at the the back of the room, I was shocked at the amount of food on the plates we passed. We ordered judiciously, or so I had thought, but we still wound up with a huge amount of food on the table. American portion sizes really are bigger than anything we have seen anywhere else. But where else can you have a breakfast consisting of omelettes, hash browns, breakfast burritos, and pancakes with pears, caramel and vanilla flecked whipped cream, or peanut butter chips, bananas, and white and dark chocolate, or pumpkin, carrot, and cinnamon spice topping? We've been in a breakfast rut on board Mata'irea lately (it has been too hot to make anything but coffee and yogurt), but after brunch at the Bongo Room, we're full of inspiration for new things to try when we return to the boat.

We had a great visit to Chicago. We didn't see any sights or visit any museums. We were having too much fun catching up with old friends, like Bob and Krissy who drove up from Indiana on Saturday, to venture out to see how the city had changed in our absence. When we realized on Sunday night that we hadn't taken any pictures in a few days, we looked around to see that the only ones who were still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed were Lucy and Zoe, who both have four legs and wear collars. The rest of us all looked like we had been on a three day bender, and nobody needs that documented.

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