Monday, August 22, 2011

The Chicago Air and Water Show

Alright, so I will start this post with the fact that it was originally going to be much longer, and in fact was much longer.  I had a part all about the fantastically fun day I had today (in a completely sarcastic non-fun way).  That fun included flat tires on my bike and broken refrigerators (we haven't had a working fridge for 5 days now and have 3 more days to go...yay.)  That fun day ended in a fully functional bike and $150 off our rent for the upcoming month.  Real yay for that one.

Instead of going into great detail about all of that stuff, I will move on to the actual fun day we had yesterday.  We went to the 53rd Chicago Air and Water Show.   It's the nation's largest air show, is completely free, and was only about a 20 minute bike ride from our apartment.  As the name implies it is an air show...but the water part mainly just seems to describe the fact that it is over the lake.

To sum up the show, it was awesome.  Everything from bi-planes to sky divers to fighter jets, all strutting their stuff for the crowd.  There will be many pictures to follow.  Keep in mind two things: 1.  These pictures are only a sample of what we saw.  Many of the single plane performances were hard to get good pictures of. 2.  The pictures, as cool as they look, don't begin to do justice to how awesome some of these shows were

Downtown Chicago got a bit smokey from the show

Ok, so I feel I should explain this one.  I know, it looks unimpressive.  However, this plane (an F-16 I think?) was so G-D fast that I could not for the life of me get a picture of it.  On it's first flyover I tried.  However, I misjudged both its speed and how low it was.  Here's how that picture went: The plane got near, I took a picture of a blue sky as the plane flew over at speeds I couldn't quite comprehend, about one second later the sound of the plane hit and literally knocked me to the ground.

This boat was not part of the show, but I'm about 90% sure that it was propelled by jet engines.  I kid you not, the boat had freaking jets in the back.  There was no propellor.


Monday, August 15, 2011


I don't have anything in particular to talk about.  So here are some bits of randomness from recently.

As you have heard if you read Kayla's posts, we went to the zoo.  Here are some pictures she didn't share that I like.

 So these very well may be some of the ugliest animals I've ever seen.  They are naked mole rats.  Uuslally I wouldn't take a picture of such ugly creatures (no offense to them, it's not their fault) but it was crazy how many of them were in this little place.  They had this giant ant farm type exhibit set up with tunnels going every which way, and in this one little chamber there was like 30 of them all just in a giant pile sleeping.  Crazy how numbers can make something so ugly suddenly cute.

 These are sand cats.  You may look at the picture and think it's strange I'm talking plural when you only see one.  However, look closely and you will see the second one.  That log is hollow, and that is a hind leg sticking out the right side and a paw sticking out a little hole on top.  They may be wild, but they sleep in weird positions just like domestic cats.

Next comes pictures from the mall next to the Chicago Water Tower (the history of that tower is pretty cool and you should look it up if you don't know it.)  Most of the pictures are from the Lego store.  Anybody who knows me is well aware of how I feel about shopping, and will understand why there won't be an epic tale of shopping to follow.  I was pretty blown away by the mall itself though.  It was my first time inside of such a tall mall (8 floors.)

It's soooooo tall inside and this picture doesn't do it justice since you don't get the 360 degree view.

The dragon below is completely constructed out of lego's.  Little bits of him wrap around throughout the store.  Sucks for the person that had to build it.   I wonder if it ever gets broken by rowdy children.

 And then there was the Chicago skyline at the front of the store once again completely made out of lego's.  At first I thought that they had only halfway done it and had skimmped out because I thought the 2-D buildings in the background were cardboard cutouts.  Upon closer inspection though, I found that they were simply made out of the little tiny lego's.

Well, that's all I've really got at the moment.  No fantastic stories (Kayla covered the zoo visit pretty well) or deep revelations.  Just some pictures of good times we've been having.  This weekend we're planning on going to the beach.  We had planned on going last weekend but between the rain and the need to get last minute school supplies for Kayla (meaning shoes), we didn't get a chance.  Hopefully the weather will look favorably on us and we can go this time.  If so, we'll be chilling at Montrose beach just a bit over a mile from our apartment.  How I love the city and all of its convenience.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

School, fun things, and a crappy situation- Kayla

I'm very excited to announce that I received all my culinary school things (aside from two text books, which they were out of at the time).  It was a surreal feeling, walking into that school, knowing that I was actually going to do what I moved to this city to do.  I can't believe that I'm lucky enough to be able to do this, and that I have a fiance who 100% supports me.  I suppose it really hit me when I sat down in the chair to get a picture taken for my student ID and the man behind the camera said, "say future chef".  That was it.  That was the moment that I realized that the title "Chef Davis" is not that far away, and "Chef Quijas" will follow closely behind.  Like I said, it was a little surreal.  Orientation was boring, as expected. I suppose that no matter what school one goes to, orientation is always boring and full of things to which I find myself saying "well, duh".  One such thing being "come to class".  Although, this nugget of advice was probably lost on the guy sleeping in the second row.  Orientation was but a bump in the road to the true goal of the day: receiving equipment.  Along with three new uniforms I received, I was also given a nice shiny tool kit in a very snazzy carrying bag.  It was a lot of stuff, but certainly no 80 lbs worth, even if I would have gotten my two text books.  Here are the first in a very long line of pictures that will be available on this blog:

 I felt it was necessary to take a picture of the giant whisk sitting in one of the offices :)


In other news, we are so far having a great weekend.  Although I didn't get that job, we decided to out out to celebrate the selling of the car by going out to Pizano's with the money we have received from dog sitting.  We got some fantastic pasta primavera and then a supreme, deep dish pizza that was out of this world.  I've never had supreme pizza before, and I honestly didn't think I liked it, but this was fan-freaking-tastik.  I am thoroughly convinced that no pizza in the world can compete with Chicago style pizza (even though I do love St. Louis provel cheese).

Today we decided to ride our bikes down to the Lincoln Park Zoo, which is only about a 5 mile ride away from us.  All bike rides seem considerably shorter in Illinois since the roads are flat.  So, we got there, had a great time, and then started seeing ominous clouds in the sky.  Nick, who had checked the weather earlier that day and declared that it would be 85 and sunny, then looked at me and said, "oh no".  It turns out that he had typed our old zip code, 65201, into instead of our new one, 60625. So, we rode our bikes to the zoo today based on the weather predictions for Columbia, Missouri.  Of course, we did get rained on.  We managed to stay out of it pretty well by exhibit hopping, but towards the end of the day, when our feet were sore and we were starting to get hungry, we knew that we could no longer dodge the rain.  We splurged for ponchos ($4 total) and geared up for the ride home.  All in all, the ride home was fairly enjoyable.  Our lower legs, however, were extremely dirty by the time we got home.  With this being the third time we've gotten rained on, I've decided that it would be prudent to invest in some ponchos that are not disposable.

 This is the only animal picture with which I will bore you.  You never get to see snow leopards this close and I thought it was an excellent shot.

Our snazzy rain ponchos.  Oh, Nick...  I have since asked him many times to repeat our new zip code

I would also like to announce to the world that this city is exhausting me.  Last night is a perfect example.  I probably fell asleep around 11 with my head on Nick's lap while he played a video game.  I eventually awoke an hour later, extraordinarily cranky about the fact that I was not in bed and that I had to walk ten paces to get to that destination.  I did make it there, but apparently zonked out without getting under the covers; Nick was amused to find me laying on top of the comforter, fast asleep.  About an hour after that (maybe a little later), Nick came over and said that he was going to get me under the covers.  To avoid moving as much as possible, I rolled over to his side of the bed (with my eyes still closed), let him flip up the covers on my side, rolled back over to my side and let him cover me up, and then proceeded to fall right back asleep.  I don't know that I've ever been so tired in my life.  Even at 8 this morning, after 9 hours of sleep, I still felt like I needed about 4 more.  Needless to say, there was a lot of laughing this morning about my horrible state last night.  City life is exhausting.  

The last part of this epic post will describe an event, about which I have often wondered "when will this happen to me?"  It can be summed up in five words: a bird pooped on me.

Friday, August 12, 2011

So many pictures! -Kayla

First thing's first: I have orientation for school today!  Aside from these pictures, I'm sure I will have many to share tonight of my uniform and utensils.  I can't wait!  I will apparently be receiving close to 80 lbs of equipment today; hopefully I can manage that all on the train!

I have so much to share; we have really been busy!  Last night, after Nick got home, we ate the chicken pitas I had made (yum!) and then rode our bikes the few blocks to Lincoln Square to see the live swing band that was performing there.  Pictures follow:

Half way though, we got distracted by the farmers' market.  Here's our haul:

Look at how big that cantaloupe is!  It's almost the size of the watermelon!  That little jar is five cheese and garlic dip.  I can't WAIT to make mashed potatoes with that!  I'm making perogies tonight, so maybe I'll melt some of the dip and put it on the perogies.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it!  

I finally got around to finishing super cleaning the house, so I took pictures.  Now you can all see what the place looks like 100% finished and clean.  Note: there are no lights on in these pictures.  It's amazing how much light we get being in the garden apartment!  

And, of course, the car is officially gone.  It's really a scary feeling to know that if we need to go anywhere, it's bike, walk, or public transit.  Fortunately, all of that is really easy here.  I still can't believe that the car sold in less than 24 hours.  That extra money is really going to come in handy thought!  To celebrate, Nick and I stopped to get a night cap after we were done taking care Joann's animals.  I don't know if we mentioned that, but we are cat/dog sitting for Matt Michael's aunt.  She has 5 cats and a dog and they are all a pleasure to be around.  Not to mention the extra cash flow that we are getting from this!  

Speaking of extra cash flow, I now have a commitment every two weeks to clean a house.  It's not much, but it will be at least $75 every two weeks; that's $150 more than we had each month.  Not too bad.  The interview I had on Wednesday went really well.  It wasn't so much an interview as let's chit chat.  Gina, the owner, was very nice and gave me a few good tips on some things to do in our area.  It's not the ideal job, seeing as I will only be able to work weekends, but money is money.  I was actually a little confused in the interview because, on the phone, she had said that I could work all three available shifts (Friday morning, Saturday morning, and Sunday afternoon).  In the interview, however, she said that there was A Thursday evening instead of a Friday morning shift and that I wouldn't be able to do it.  I don't know what gives; maybe one of her current workers decided to change shifts.  Either way, it doesn't bode too well for me, as she told me that she was hoping to get one person to cover all three shifts.  Also, Bittersweet Bakery called me last night to let me know that their shifts run 7am-3pm and 3pm-11pm.  In other words, I can't even interview there as my school is 2-6pm.  Sucksville.  

One last thing.  I made these coasters: 

I love them because I made them from a map of the Chicago area.  The individual picture here shows the loop.  I also made one that has our area on it and two more of random areas.  I put them on white tiles with mod podge and acrylic spray paint.  They make me happy :)