Monday, January 9

Chicago Days 3 & 4

I started recapping my Chicago trip so long ago. See parts 1 and 2 here.  But obviously, I have to finish!

Saturday - 11/8/14 - Brunch and museums!

On Saturday morning, I had the best pancake I'd never had. Ever. And probably will ever have. 

Let's start from the beginning. The goal on Saturday was to explore the Museum of Science and Industry. This came very highly recommended and I love museums, so I thought to give it a try! I rode out on the L like I had the day before to get to another line to reach the museum. After the 30 minute ride on the L, I got hungry, so I jumped off and looked for a nearby breakfast location. A quick yelp search brought me to The Bongo Room. When I got there, I knew I had found the right place as the wait was about 40 minutes long. After being seated, I split some red velvet pancakes and a breakfast burrito with my dining partner. With the red velvet and the glaze, I thought for sure that the pancakes were going to be too sweet, but to my surprise, they weren't. They were dense and subtly flavored. The breakfast burrito was good... but not life changing. 

By the time breakfast was done, it was around 1:30 in the afternoon. Instead of bothering with the train, I hitched an Uber ride to the museum. I only spent a few hours in the Museum. It was full of well.... science. There were exhibits about storms and a miniature Seattle with a train running through it. While I enjoyed the Submarine Exhibit, I'm not sure I could ever submerge in a submarine! I think I would be too scared. Another favorite exhibit was "Yesterday's Main Street" where we got to see an American street in the early 1900s. 

After spending some time there, I went to UChicago. Oh! How I wish I had gotten accepted there back in the day. Visiting probably would have made me try harder on my application. I loved the small old homes, bookstores and churches. The diners really made me wish I had lived there. I stepped in a few of the local bookstores as the sun set outside. In all honesty, I was looking forward to meeting Dan Pashman, who was promoting his book, the Sporkful (titled after a podcast of the same name), but a few misteps and spending too long at the museum delayed me. Still though, walking around the campus was wonderful. 

Dinner that night was at Goose Island Brewery. If you're a casual drinker with an awareness of beer brands, you've heard of this brand. While the food was nothing to write home about, the beers were great! I really enjoyed some of the beers! If I remember correctly, Sofie was my favorite. I think I'm a fan of sweet and sour tastes. 

Sunday - 11/9/15 - Chicago Field Museum

Sunday was my last day, and mostly spent in the Chicago Field Museum. This was one of my most favorite places. The biggest attraction for me was seeing the Ghost and the Darkness, two man eating lions from the Tsavo region in Africa. 

There were plenty of other awesome sights in the museum though. There was an exhibit dedicated to the religion of voodoo in Haiti, a hall of diamonds and rare gems, and a rich history of tribes native to the northwest US. It was also home to the largest T-Rex fossil. 

A quick lunch wrapped up this fun trip. A fancy hot pocket and stuffed mushroom, featured below. 

Monday, January 2

New Year Resolution Reflection

Now that it is 2017, I wanted to reflect on some of the goals I set out in 2016. Just comes along with loving the planner community and the bullet journals!

1. Stop worrying about work for the next 6 months. Long story short, I got on a project that is long, unique and outside of the office. For the past few months, I've been extremely worried about about the project. 

Goal Achieved? Mostly. 

My reckless optimism was unwarranted. And it got a hell of a lot worse before it got better. The worst bits had be crying in my car everyday after work. The best bits gave me so much perspective. 2015 was such a great year for my career. It seemed like I found success in everything I did. 2016 was quite different but I'm still at the same job, so it can't be that bad! 

 2. Keep Active. I'm not going to set a goal of losing a certain amount of weight, but I do want to keep active and moving.

Goal Achieved? Not really. 

I didn't even go to the boxing gym I signed up for 12 times in this past year. I have found success in wearing a fitbit and keeping my updated with my stats and my steps, for most weeks. I'll probably reformulate this goal somewhat for the new year. Typical... This was when I did step outside for once to Deception Point.

 3. Write letters to friends. 

Goal Achieved? Barely. 

So, yes. I have created several letters to be sent to friends. I have purchased water colors and practiced brush script (which still looks awful compared to others). I have not actually sent out a single letter. But that's what the new year is for, right?

 4. Cook! 

Goal Achieved? Indirectly. 

So, I have adequately developed my cooking skills in this past year. I have tackled cake making, sangria mixing, and various other dishes. But, my SO, has improved by leaps and bounds. He's gone from making very ... meaty steak to making Thai food, Korean food and improving in American, Mexican and Italian. It may not be all my skill and effort... but I'd call this one a win. Also, I made an entire dungeness crab! 

 5. Travel out of the country. 

Goal Achieved? Yep. 

I had already booked the tickets for my China trip at the time i wrote this last year, but I think the year's been pretty solid in terms of travelling. 

In this next year, I definitely have goals that I'll have to reformulate and try for again, but all things considering, not terrible!