We checked out of the hotel, I grabbed a bit to eat from their breakfast bar, and then we picked up a couple things from the Grocery Store, Dahl’s, on our way to see Toni and Christopher.
Once we arrived, Jantina started preparing crowd-favorite: Monkey Bread and Christopher and I stepped out back to play another round of Bocce. We basically relaxed all morning. We looked through Sunday flyers in the paper, experimented a bit with the Simpsonizer, Jantina and Toni ran to Target and we played with Cameron and Luci.
Toni’s dad prepared another awesome dinner for us before we had to say goodbye and start the trip back home. We had a wonderful time and are looking forward to our next visit!
This morning Toni, Christopher, and the Twins picked us up so we could enjoy the Des Moines Farmer’s Market. It was a lot larger than we expected! Jantina found a neat spider-pumpkin Halloween decoration and we tried Dutch Letters for the first time (yummy almondness).
For lunch, Christopher and I ran to “George the Chili King”, a local establishment that has been in Des Moines since 1915! We ate the pork tenderloin sandwiches, which went a long way toward making the Iowa experience complete.
We did some shopping, I helped Christopher pick out a new 500 Gig hard drive and split his photo library to make it more manageable. Jantina and Toni continued the shopping trend that evening as Christopher and I went to see the Simpson’s Movie (very funny… “Spider Pig … Spider Pig“). We ate at the Cheesecake Factory and then called it a night.
Friday we made it to Des Moines around 5:00, checked into our hotel to drop off our stuff and Christopher met us soon after. We went to Toni’s parent’s house for dinner (which was awesome, pork chops, asparagus, and sweet corn) and to visit. Cameron and Luci have grown so much since we last saw them, they are doing great (and so cute)!
After dinner we went to the back yard to play Bocce. It was our first time, but it was a lot of fun experimenting with techniques for tossing our ball close to the jack or alternately into another player’s ball to push it away from the jack.
I also spent some time looking at Christopher’s computer, the disk was completely full. He’s not had the Mac Book that long, but he’s a heavy user (20 Gigs of Music and another 20 of photography, yikes!). I used Disk Inventory X to get a graphic representation of the usage and iPhoto Diet as a first pass at unclogging things. It did free some space, but it was clear he needed more.
We had Cold Stone Creamery as a night cap and then back to the hotel to visit a bit more. Tomorrow we are off to the Farmer’s Market!
Noir is subject of the cover story in the Illinois Times this week, along with the Imagine Foundation and Eclectic Artists Co-op and Gallery. There’s a little photo of Julie, me and Josh on the Illinois Times site, too.
This weekend we are going to see our friends Toni and Christopher in Des Moines. To get us in the proper frame of mind, Christopher sent us this radical postcard:
I especially like the ear of corn wearing shades. (I suppose an Illinois postcard wouldn’t look too different from this!) It’s only been a matter of months since we all lived in Orlando, but sometimes it feels like a lifetime ago. I’m sure that will especially hit home when we see how much their children, Cameron and Luci, have grown.
Julie received “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” in the mail Saturday and ripped through it before we had to go to work at Noir tonight.
Saturday was John Cox’s birthday party at Josh’s. Many of the Cox family were there along with Jim. I got to attend for a bit during my dinner break and after work and Sunday brunch and Sunday evening after Ultimate.
Tonight we had a nice show at Noir with Toby Foster, Super Famicom (P.J.), My Bicycle Emergency (Wilson), and Wabash (Griffin).
My sister talked me into getting on Facebook. I do like the simple layout and the extra features like the flickr and flog modules.
Yesterday I went to Normal for lunch with Brett. We met at the coffee house on Beaufort street and walked across to the Groove Cafe. I had a great burger with a side of sweet potato fries. Brett’s doing well, we had a good visit before he had to get back to work.
Other than that, I’ve been playing the new Bomberman on XBOX Live Arcade and reading a pretty neat book written by the CEO of Starbucks.
We’ve been trying restaurants we haven’t tried before the last few Mondays. This week Josh couldn’t go, but Julie and I went to Cafe Moxo, just off the Old State Capitol square in downtown Springfield.
- Our soup was great. Peppery hot and green beans had snap.
- Cheese sandwich was good, not remarkable.
- Bottomless cup of coffee was great.
- Cheesecake was very good.
We also stopped in The Elf Shelf, next door, and I picked up a Bowie CD while Julie got an Edith Piaf CD.
Then last night I stayed up way way way too long working on the shirt design that Jenny G started for Jax Hat III. Way too long.
Julie turned on the computer monitor today to find a severe blue cast to the screen. Looks like maybe the green cathode isn’t working, maybe The Sony/Dell screen has lasted nearly 10 years. Is that a decent lifespan for a CRT monitor? So, does anyone have an extra 19″-plus monitor sitting around that they don’t need?
Julie and I went over to Springfield to see the Candye Kane concert tonight, but it was canceled due to illness. So we went scouting good places for lunch we haven’t tried in the downtown area while looking for somewhere to eat dinner.
The sky was strangely yellow-green and bright and we spied a big, clear, double rainbow right over Saputo’s.
And speaking of Springfield, Springfield, Ill., came in second in the competition to host the premier of “The Simpsons” movie, I heard today. Bummer.