Author Archives: Toby Barnett
I couldn’t be happier with how the visit with Travis went and the weekend vacation. Leaving on a Friday and getting home late Monday night was perfect. Now I am resting and reminicing about the Museum of National History, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Art Institute of Chicago. That is three epic places in during that 4 day period.
And these weren’t the smallest of buildings. The buildings where huge, not just huge, but acres of HUGE. I was wearing my boots and my feet are like rawhide leather that could withstand anything now. On average, Travis and I spent 3.5 hours at each place going from room to room and exhibit to exhibit. Each time we turned around there was something else or a room that drew us in and we couldn’t stop, we just had to continue.
Over and over we gazed upon one-of-a-kind and irreplaceable items from history. It was just truely amazing.
Another amazing feet was Sunday night’s escapes. After walking around the Museum of Science and Industry we took a drive up north to Mustard’s Last Stand for a real Chicago dog with all the fixings, then it was drive around a upscale neighborhood just to look at some homes and a temple. Feeling like we needed a drink we drove south to a pub for some drinks. I had a few Bell Ambers which were surprisingly smooth. Then we had a craving to try some bacon.
It didn’t take long before we arrived at Paddy Long’s because we heard there was a thing called a bacon board. The rumors were true but we started out with the Bacon Grenades; deep fried bacon wrapped sausage with bbq dipping sauce. YUM is an understatement. We thought about ordering more but we went to the Bacon Board to try 4 different types of bacon. By this time, Travis and I had the bar smelling of bacon. Winning. Still not satisfied, we ordered a Bacon Bomb Sandwich.
Oh holy hell, that took us over the top and after finishing a beer we both decided it was time to head home. Walking Monday morning with my first official bacon hangover, it felt great, and I need substance to fill the void that was now vacant. More food and the morning’s flavor was Chicago’s Bagel Authority. Damn, the menu was so packed with tasty concoctions that would have any breakfast expert in a state of wonder. We ordered some Sara’s Secrets and enjoyed every single bite of cream cheese, sprouts, and mounds of avocado.
That mean gave us enough energy to walk around the Art Institute and look at Monet, Picasso, mid evil armour and weaponry, and loads of religious paintings. It was great and I needed more time but unfortanetly it was time to catch a flight and have one more Chicago dog before boarding. I did it, another dog, made the flight in time and even got a home signed around. Now I am blogging and its 12:55 pst and I’m wupped.
Time for bed; night night.
When Travis invited me to stay with him at the Jesuit house on campus I was bit nervous – like with anything a bit new. I’ve been to church, Christmas Eve mass, and had many discussions, religious and on a variety of other topics. With this pending trip though I soon got over the nervousness as I realized I know virtually nothing of what my cousin does, outside working with troubled youth and studying philosophy.
Up arrival Friday, after battling through what looked like Seattle traffic, we were at the Jesuit house. Checking into the room I hurried to put on a wrinkly white shirt and blue sport coat to look halfway presentable for mass. Not being anywhere familiar with procedure and song, I followed Travis’ lead and stood awkwardly in silence during song. I felt okay as guest but there is always a part of who wishes to participate.
Mass was really good and the building and architecture more amazing than I thought. Afterwards, everyone made there way downstairs for a toast to new recruits and a professors tenure. Drinks where served and I was being introduced to many folks. So far, I’ve remember one name of a short pudgy Irishman named Ryan, also a Jesuit, who sang some and made me laugh like no other. Maybe that is why I remember him. Or it could be that he had a tie on with the coolest knot I’ve ever seen. Either way, he is rememberable.
Today I awoke to breakfast and a bit of a hangover, from the dark beers at the Norse Bar, folks I didn’t, and food I desperately wanted to eat. After chow and getting to know more and more folks, hard to keep everything straight when meeting a large group, Travis and I set out for the city. Riding the Red Line on the “el” (elevated subway) into downtown Chicago was interesting. Not for the people but for the architecture. It is odd to see so many homes/buildings all made out of brick.
The city was great and the people a bit on the crazy side. Seen a young kid, 19/21, looking like he was going to die on the sidewalk as well as many wasted folks but we kept walking. We walked to the river and see it dyed green, I was more impressed by the police boats, took photos of the cool buildings, parade, skylines, and then arrived at the Field Museum of Natural History. Walking in my boots, people that know me know my boots were not made for walking, for about 4.5 miles, will give a person time to rethink their style. We did the tour, 3-D Waking Sue movie, took a bazillion (yes, that is officially a number) pictures, discussed history, science, the evolution of our species and the hope that society will not destroy itself.
Time for food and a street vendor had a tasty, maybe because I was starving, Chicago style dog. It was good but nothing beats Seattle’s Downtown Dog. Now it was time for a cab because I couldn’t walk to the Navy Pier for more touristy stuff. Cab driver couldn’t drive yet we made it safely to our destination. We walked through the pier but being that it is still winter outside it wasn’t all the impressive – summer would be better.
But on the highlight side, a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant was open, haven’t been to one since Maui in 2011. Travis had never been and I recommend a 1 1/2 lb cajun shrimp bucket. Yes Yes Yes! It was so good and I could have kept eating them but we finally ran out and it was time to get back and rest. Hoofing it back to the “el” we prepped ourselves for the crazies.
The train had its fair share of super drunks and one guy that had been being an asshole to his girlfriend he was so crunked. Needless to say I was happy to be off that ride.. Travis and I can back and did some work; with me entering a listing and him a bit of studying. It felt good to get the feet up. So so good. Then we went out an shared a large pizza while chugging the water. 2 beers on St. Patrick’s Day is a personal best for me – in a good way.
The two items I noticed about Chicago I have share are 1. The city and river are dirty with garbage and litter (disgusting) and 2. People here drive and park like crap (seen cars put their hazards on and leave their vehicle in the street while others banged into other cars just to squeeze into a “parking” spot). Interesting difference in Chicago culture when compared to the Pacific Northwest.
End note: I am no skinnier with that long walk as I’ve not been starving LOL
Today I am on my way to Chicago to visit my cousin Travis and to spend a highly anticipated St. Patrick’s Day in a new place. From 30,000 ft I can finally see the Washington sky, been a while it seems and the mountains have had nothing but rain, and I am reminded how interesting and exciting the unknown is. East I fly and into the future.
Last night, Joy and I started chatting about vacations and this will be my first, besides Pubcon conferences, that I will vacationing without her. It seems odd for both of us. Most of the time, I spend my weekends with her, unless I have to work, and always travel with her. So this trip is a bit odd in that respect.
Anyhow, it will be awesome to spend time with Travis as it has been years since we’ve been able to hangout, have intellectual discussions (with the first Jesuit Pope and President Obama in town there should be no shortage of conversation), see architectural and historical sites, enjoy some haunted or Capone tours, eat and drink to fulfillment.
I’m surprised there is no internet on this flight so it leads me just to blog. No inputting a new property listing or keeping tabs on the Facebook social media world. It is good to unplug for a bit and get back to my roots, blogging here. So I guess is on to more fun stuff than work.
One question I am going to have answered is “why do they call Chicago Chicagoland?”. No clue why. Is it a local cultural deal or is Chicagoland an actual place. Either way, I have never seen the History, Discovery, or Travel Channel use the Chicagoland reference.
I believe I am staying at the Jesuit university with Travis, should be cool. From pictures he sent upon his arrival in Chicago the campus looks great, has excellent location (always a real estate agent), and has beautiful architecture worthy of a thousand pictures – unloaded my phone last night and brought the GoPro. I will be getting crazy with pictures and maybe some video. I would like to actually put an edit together but never seem to get it done. Maybe this Chicago trip will persuade me to do it.
Side Note: 3g just popped up but alas it was a fleeting connection.
Can’t wait to arrive and the flight is going great. I fly Southwest as much as I can because I like their service and ease of travel. Of all recent past flights, this flight in particular is so smooth. Not one bounce of turbulance yet I probably just jinxed myself. Yep, I did but it is was small. Irony. I would really like an internet connection as to be able to move on and not worry about publishing upon landing. Ah well. Just get it done.
Well that is it for now and probably will post here as well as the real estate site. Laters!
Joy, the kids and I are having a great day at Great Wolf Lodge. I am having a bunch of fun with the kids and to make it that much better is my brother and family is here. We all got down here this morning and spent all day in the water park. I went down backwards with Joy and the girls on a tube slide and thought I was going hurl. I was sea sick pretty fast and it didn’t go away very quickly but now resting in bed I feel somewhat better. Well that is it and now to chill.
I picked all the suits today and they fit and make me look great. I’m going to kill it at tomorrow’s listing appt.
I finally took the next in 2013′s business plan, upgrading the work wardrobe. It was a decision I fought for so long because I am so comfortable, more personally than anything, in jeansm shirts, and a pair of boots. But with a little prodding from Joy, friends, and some colleagues I made the shift to buy a couple sports jackets, slacks, shirts, and a nice pair of shoes.
As a Marysville real estate agent it is important I look the part as to match the personna and professional I strive generate at every appointment. The biggest hurdle for a new wardrobe was that a more formal looking dress makes me feel stuffy- well it used too. Now I think I’ll feel more professional and confident in every situation and not get caught off guard in a shitty t-shirt and some worn out jeans.
I went to the Men’s Warehouse because the commercials are engrained into my head and Nordstroms breaks my wallet so much each time I shop their. Well, that is it for and hopefully this part of my plan works out.