Now that my dad has joined the footloose and fancy free ranks of retirement (is it wrong that the idea already appeals to me at 31?), he and my mom are taking impromptu road trips. Last weekend they packed a couple bags and one dingo into their car and trekked 12 hours up to Chicago to visit me and The Foo. They brought their sweet pup with them, and this here pic's proof that Foo still has some dingo love left in him yet. Enough for a rump-to-rump snooze draped all over his grandmasters, anyway. Foo sure does love Mike, as evidenced by the fact that he could not take his sad brown eyes off the man. It was almost creepy. Foo has always had a thing for the mens, and boy has he seen his share come and go.... but where was I going with this...
My parents love Chicago and have visited about a thousand times in the five years I've lived here, so there was no need to relive the standard tourist fare. We winged it (retirement style) instead. Starting Friday night I took the BBQ lovers down the street to Smoke Daddy to check out Chicago's version of meaty tang. The rents approved, and so did I once I discovered the "Carolina Style" sandwich, which stands for slaw on top. And cheese if you so please. And I do. One saucy thumb up.
On Saturday we grabbed brunch at Lula, which is -oddly enough- the namesake of mum and diddy's dog. Later that night, I dragged them to a bike messenger dive in the loop (the kind that doubles as a liquor store, yeah) to hear D's band play. As we approached, they noticed a long line of club-goers forming outside the building. We would have been the only white folks to join the line, and massively underdressed at that, and yet they seemed really excited about the prospect. That is, until they realized we were actually headed for the establishment nextdoor, which appeared to be closed or altogether condemned. Not so!
Once we were not-so-comfortably inside amongst a handful of people and the stench of spoiled smoke and old vinyl, I disappointed mom again with the news that no way in hell would the sursly surly bartender have wine or margarita mixins. I wanted her to ask just for a laugh but thought better of it after spotting the decidedly "I want to kill you, slowly" look already on the bartender's face. Trusting my judgment, she happily settled on a gin & tonic and earplugs for an extra buck. Dad went with scotch side of earplugs, and it was vodka straight up for me. For once they sucked their drinks down faster than me. Someone needed some liquid courage I guess. Forty-five minutes later it was all said and done, and they genuinely seemed to enjoy the musical experience. Troopers, right? Four sore thumbs up.
Then there was Sunday (anything but) coming down, because Sunday was my long-awaited date with Alaksan king crab legs, in season only for another month or so. My crab cravings are so severe that I drool just thinking about them, weird feeling on sides of my tongue and all. No kidding, it's Pavlovian. We hit Joe's Seafood for lunch, because it's a little more affordable that way (I did my research). Still about two-hundo for the three of us, but what a delicioso splurge it was. The legs were perfectly cooked and expertly cracked and prepared (by someone else) so that giant chunks of flaky crab were ready and waiting for us to easily fork right out of the shells and into our lovin' mouths. Zero work, people. 'Twas the best crab I've ever had, hands down, and the 'rents concurred. Six claws up! I try (and fail) not to get too excited over food, but this was well worth the anticipatory frenzy. In fact, it's grounds for one more trip of indulgence while the legs are still in season. If you're in town, I highly recommend you take me there. Hee.
One of those nights we watched Mumford on Netflix instant play. We could hardly hear it half the time over my GD heater, but it seemed to be surprisingly good. A little outlandish in the end, but a good story. We settled on Netflix after searches through my "borrowed" On Demand channels left us collectively staring at a penis TWICE. I had to convince them this was not what I usually find. Damn the nearby cable users who watch 27 Dresses a bazillion times, why don't I ever find the interesting stuff when it's just me?? Two phallic thumbs down.
Unfortunately, the 'rents' trip was cut a little short. My gramps is in the hospital for blood clots, so my parents packed up the car and trekked through all sorts of winter weather to visit him in Jerz. If I were retired I would have piled in with them. Instead, I'm here sending many good thoughts his way. Love you gramps. And love you, rents, for being good sports, great houseguests, and loving grandmasters to the dingo that misses you so much he licked himself a new hotspot just to prove it! One paw down.