Tuesday, September 13, 2005

back from the midwest...

so we had an eating and drinking tour of three states. first we rented a new Chrysler Pacifica from Enterprise and my wife fell in love with it. so now we need to buy one. clever marketing eh? we drove to visit family outside Milwaukee where the beer flows freely, and either the Packers or Harley Davidson (not sure which) is king. beautiful country farms are being replaced by golf courses and houses, but that's progress. went to a big nice wedding and reception where pretty girls did dirty dancing to tunes like "save a horse, ride a cowboy". what fun!
next stop was a farm in central Illinois. kinda nowhere - just a ways east of Peoria. here, beyond the fun of riding in trucks and tractors and learning about the latest in hybrid corn seed technology (genetic pesticides in our future!) the big thing (to some anyway) is surprisingly - art. I discovered the magic of watercolor painting and the thriving community of talent doing exhibitions around the country. so I spent about 4 hours in a nice studio pencil sketching, stroking a sable hair brush and learning basic techniques. cheap fun and time consuming - which I guess is a good thing to do while the crops grow.
next we hit Chicago and searched out great pizza, hot dogs, gyros, and pastries. and of course beer -- I think the highlight for the kids was being allowed in the bar on the 96th floor of the Hancock building and having cocktails (O'Douls and a virgin pina colada). they were totally unimpressed, however, by Renior, Picasso, Van Gogh, Dali, etc. at the Art Institute.
last stop was Chesterton, Indiana for a memorial service. alcohol here is no fun -- can't buy it on Sunday and on other days it's only sold warm and who knows what else... kinda like Salt Lake City. we did have fun pigging out on WhiteCastle burgers. a first for all of us as I don't think they exist in California (but I could be wrong). the counter guy had a record of eating 24 burgers in one sitting, but I settled on six at a time.
update: added links -- pics later (counter = 2378)...