Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A Card-Carrying Member

Is it bad that I've been living here in Woodbury since the middle of July and I only just made my first visit to the public library?

I've been in a reading phase lately, where I can't seem to stop reading. So, spring break seemed like the perfect opportunity to go feed my new hobby. We were really impressed with how technologically advanced our library is. Perhaps this is a common thing, and we just don't get to the library enough to realize that it's not that big of a deal, but our library has a self-checkout system. Just like at the grocery store, you swipe your own books and library card, and you're out the door, without ever having to interact with anyone.

My first job in high school was working at the Sturgis Public Library. I remember the days when you had to check each book out manually, stamping cards with the loud, ka-chunk noise. We've come a long way. Back then I couldn't wait for my hour behind the circulation desk, giving me a break from the boring task of shelving books. I'm glad things were a little simpler back then.

Christmas is now complete!

One of the things that's been on my wish list for a while has been a trip to see the musical, "Wicked". My parents and my brother and sister-in-law saw it a couple of years ago and it seems that's all they ever talked about when we would get together. I had to see what they were raving about. Well, David surprised me this Christmas with tickets to see "Wicked" in Chicago, but up-ed the anty by arranging to meet our friends, Mike and Laurel (from Michigan) for the weekend. Working around my school schedule meant I had to wait to enjoy my biggest Christmas present, but it also gave me something to look forward to, to get me through a long, cold, Minnesota winter.

So, this past weekend we drove down to Chicago to meet Mike and Laurel for a couple of days of fun.

Mom Gafford found us a good deal on a hotel, so we were able to stay right on Michigan Avenue (right next to Water Tower) at the Allerton Hotel. We had such a great time.


What can I say? This was absolutely incredible. I will never watch "The Wizard of Oz" the same. I love going to the theater, and up until now, "Phantom" has been my favorite. But I confess, I do believe that "Wicked" has slipped into first place for me. The Chicago cast was incredibly gifted. I could go back again, and again, and again. Definitely 5 stars!

Navy Pier

We spent a very windy morning at Navy Pier. It was INSANELY windy and yet, we still decided to take a ride on the ferris wheel. It was all fine though, the cars are mostly enclosed so we were pretty protected from the wind.

Mike and Laurel on the ferris wheel at Navy Pier

David and Melissa on the ferris wheel at Navy Pier

We had lunch at the Billy Goat Tavern and Grill on our way out of Navy Pier. Some of you may remember the SNL skit that originated here...

We tried the cheeseburger, of course. It was good:-)

The Museum of Science and Industry

Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry was a bit of a disappointment for us. I hadn't been back since a youth group trip in high school, and I don't think a single thing has been changed or updated in the 12 years that I've been away. Compared to the other museums that Chicago has to offer, this Museum only gets 2 stars.

The only redeeming quality was the U-505 Submarine exhibit that we paid $5 extra to visit. It was pretty interesting and our tourguide, Sean was very knowledgable on his subject. (A little too passionate about his subject, perhaps, but still knowledgable.)

The Weber Grill Restaurant

Naturally, we'd heard about this restaurant on the Food Network, and had to try it out for ourselves. We were not at all disappointed. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was great as well. They have about 8-10 ENORMOUS Weber grills in the kitchen that they cook the food on. We gave it 5 stars and were so impressed that we decided to go back for the breakfast buffet in the morning. While the breakfast was very good as well, we were disappointed to find that it wasn't being cooked on a grill. We also didn't think the selection was worth the price paid. We'd go back to the Weber Grill Restaurant for dinner in a heartbeat, but we'll save our breakfast plans for an IHOP or Denny's next time :-)